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Chapter 5

Back at their base, the soldiers are preparing for something: something massive. General Edward Leichthammer addresses his soldiers with calm determination. “Gentleman, gentleman, and ladies, the time has come as the object near its approach. We must be ready for its arrival. After we harness this power, we will stabilize this world.” The soldiers cheer at his words, raising their arms and guns into the air, ready to follow him to the end. Dr. Edwards approaches him. “It’s almost time, sir.” “Very good.” He goes outside to the balcony and reminisces about the day they discovered it.

They were still in Arlington, Virginia that day. Edward remembers the moment Dr. Edwards had approached him at the Pentagon as he was walking down the hallway; Julian Edwards is a brilliant and noted astrophysicist and one of the best in his field. He respects Edward, both as a scientist and as a soldier, and is loyal to him—though he suffers from a bit of anxiety problems, especially when it comes to killing innocent people. He told Edward that he just made an amazing discovery; he hadn’t told anyone else, of course. He rerouted the data to his private server and deleted the files. “What is it Dr. Edwards?! This better be important.” “It is, sir. Follow me.” They both went to his private quarters where he showed Edward his findings. “I detected it last night, sir. A massive object seems to be heading towards us moving at speeds up to 3 times 10 to the third km per second and is around 4 km in size. Initially, I thought that it would pass miles outside of Earth’s orbit. But then I discovered that this object is not following a free-fall trajectory, sir. And so, I began some analysis on the object. Initial readings indicate that this object contains high concentrations of energy: energy that we can harvest and use, sir,” the doctor explained it to him enthusiastically. “Interesting… Very good, doctor. I am impressed.” “Thank you, sir.” “Do you know where this object will land?” “Yes, sir. I’ve calculated a path based on its speed, trajectory, and the Earth’s current position and speed as it revolves around the Sun. It will land somewhere in Moscow in 6-7 days, sir.” “Very well. Pack up your things, doctor. We are going on a vacation,” he said as he walked away, “rally the troops!” “Yes, sir,” he turns around. “And bring the fragment!” he orders him as he opens the door, “and the machine.” “Sir? How would we be able to do that?” he asked. He turned back around, “Put them in cargo, doctor. Only bring the necessary parts. We can build a makeshift one in Moscow.“


“Is it possible, doctor?!”

“Well, technically, yes. But it wouldn’t be perfect—“

“It doesn’t have to be beautiful, doctor, as long as it works. Make it so.” He left and closed the door. “He turns back around to look at his screen, “Yes, sir.”

The next morning, the preparations were complete. Edward and Julian were walking towards their helicopter as the wings repelled and accelerated the air around it. Dozens of helicopters lift off and they headed for Moscow, carrying soldiers, vehicles and, tanks. “Uh, sir? What exactly is the plan?” Julian asked, nervously, “I mean, Moscow is the capital of the country. There are millions of people, including the president.” He chuckled, “You’re anxiety is amusing, doctor. The answer is simple: Occupation.” “Sir??” he asked, worried. “Well, that would work, but it would be harder and much more complicated than it has to be. We want to be quiet, so instead, we will use these,” he explained, pointing to the stash of nerve gas they brought. “We’re going to kill everyone??!” “No, doctor. The other gas.” “Ohhh,” he laughed nervously, “sleeping gas. Right.” He stopped laughing, “What are the nerve gases for then?”

“For emergencies, doctor. Now will you kindly relax, please?”

“, sir. Ummm, you do know, sir, that the sleeping gas will only last for a short while.”

“Plenty of time for us to assimilate. Do not worry, doctor. Have you compared the fragment we have to the object? Do they correspond?”

“Uh, no, sir. I’ve triple checked.” “Hmm, very well.” As they approached Moscow, the soldiers prepared to release the gas. “Gas masks on!” Edward ordered everyone. The people of Moscow were just going about their daily lives when they heard the sound of helicopters getting closer. It swooshed above them, releasing clouds of gas. As the people screamed and panicked, the gas began to affect them, and they all slowly fell to the ground. They released the gas to multiple parts of the city as the rest dispersed to everywhere else. Soon, the entire city had fallen asleep and they could safely land. They used the massive, abandoned central mall as their base, which also contains various, deep underground passages; they unloaded all their equipment and started setting up. He ordered most of the helicopters around the city to set up a perimeter and the vehicles to be put inside. “Ummm, sir? You do realize that at the speed that this object is going, when it impacts, it’s going to sterilize Moscow.” “Of course, doctor.” “Then again, it could explode in mid-air before impact, in which it will only destroy a lot of buildings and structure…and only MOST of the people. A spare few might survive.” “Yes, yes. But, let’s not alert the men. I do not need ‘talking’ among them right now. Understand, doctor?” “Yes, sir. I understand. But, what I meant was,” he spoke nervously, nervous chuckle, “if we stay here, we’re going to die too.” “No, we will not,” Edward told him, relaxed. “These underground passages are deep enough to protect us.” “But, the soldiers outside wi--“ “ARE expendable, doctor. Understand? “But--but--“ “No more questions about this. I have already planned for everything. So, please, again, relax.” “Yeah, yeah. Okay,” he took a deep breath.

As he reminisces, Dr. Edwards approaches him and tells him that it’s time. They both go inside and head down to their underground bunker. The big monitor at the center shows the countdown before the object arrives. “Alright, men. This is it. This is the moment we’ve been waiting for,” the general tells his men. They all prepare for the impact and one of the operators begin the countdown. “10... 9... 8... 7.... 6... 5... 4...” he closes his eyes, “3... 2... 1!” Silence fills the air… Nothing happened. No boom from the surface above, no cracks, and no shaking around the room; everything is still. They get confused and arguments ensue. Some let out a sigh of relief, some argue that it happened, but they just couldn’t hear it, and some say that the timer was wrong, etc. Screaming filled the room. Julian skims through his notes, looking confused, searching for any signs of mistakes he might have made. Edward could only lie against the railing with his two hands and his head down, looking irritated and disappointed. He then yells out, “Siiiiillleeeeeennncccee!!!” The whole room became quiet. He turns to Julian, “Ok, doctor. What just happened? Where is the object??!!” “Uh--uh, we--well, I don’t know, sir,” he replies nervously. “Well, then, check the readings!!! Check the monitor!!! Check everything!!!!” “Wait, sir,” speaks one of the operators, “I just got a reading from one of our satellites. It confirms that the object is still in its approach.” “Well, then where is it??!!” he asks in frustration. “Ummm, it appears to be slowing down, sir.” “What? It’s slowing down??” asks Julian, confused. “The object has now reached full stop, sir,” explains the operator, “it appears to have attached itself to a geo-synchronous orbit. Energy readings are off the charts.” “What the hell is this thing?” asks one of the soldiers. “I don’t know, son,’ Julian says, feeling uneasy, “but, whatever it is. It’s not a meteor nor asteroid.” An uneasy feeling also filled the soldiers; something doesn’t feel right; something’s wrong. The room went silent again as everyone contemplates what is happening. Buzz!!! A static buzzing sound emanates from their radio; a voice can be heard. “Hello? Hello? General Leichthammer? Sir, are you there? This is Whiskey 2-6.” Edward snaps out of his rumination and walks towards the radio. “Uh, yes, Whiskey 2-6. We hear you loud and clear. What is the problem?” “Umm, sir. You might want to come outside. There’s uhhh...there’s something you really need to see.” Static! He immediately cuts off. Confused, he orders everyone to go outside to check.

When they all reached outside, they start to slow down as they look up to the sky to see hundreds of glowing bluish orbs slowly falling from the sky…everywhere. Beautiful to behold, a sense of calm fills the soldiers. Takashi and Olivia, still at the Red Square sharing a kiss, also notice the light; they stop and look up to all the light. “What is that?” Olivia asks. “I don’t know,” Takashi replies. One of the orbs falls in the middle of the square and they slowly approach it; another one falls near the soldiers and they too walk closer to it. They stop before they reach it, afraid of what it is. Though one of the soldiers braves himself and slowly approaches to touch it. The orb starts to glow brighter and begins to take shape. Confused, the soldier continues to stare at it. Suddenly, without warning, it turns into a huge, scaly creature—roaring—with four tentacles sprouting from its back; one of its tentacles quickly grabs the soldier’s foot and he disintegrates right before their eyes. The creature then lets out another loud roar and everyone panics and runs away.

All the orbs begin turning into creatures and chase after them. One-by-one the soldiers get disintegrated and the remaining ones, in a panic, start shooting everywhere. But they prove to be resilient and tough as only a few of their bullets managed to breach their armored skin. Takashi and Olivia hear the ensuing chaos and wonders what the hell’s going on. Their orb begins to glow brighter as well and eventually transforms into a creature. It charges at them, but Olivia quickly, using her reflex, repels the beast using her power and they both hastily fly to safety. Panic and chaos continues while Edward and Julian admire the creatures. “Incredible, aren’t they, doctor?” “Yes. Amazing. Indeed our first ever, definite proof that we are not alone. And they walk upright too.” As they continue admiring them, unaware of the chaos around them, Captain Matthews manages to reach them and snaps them out of it. “Sir!! Sir!!!! Snap out of it!!” he screams to them. “Huh, huh? Uh, yes, captain.” “General Leichthammer, Dr. Edwards, we have to get out of here, now!” “Agreed. Let’s go.” “Follow me, sir. You men form a perimeter! Protect the general and the doctor!! Sir, we have to get to the chopper!” “You mean that helicopter, captain?” Julian asks as he points to the crashing helicopter being attacked by the creatures. He exclaims, “Fuck!” and suggests that they head back to the bunker. As they run, Julian sees a creature shifting from solid form to energy form and realizes that they are energy-based life forms that feed off electrical energy; they also begin feeding off the sleeping people. One of the soldiers grabs a M32 40mm Grenade Launcher and fires one round at a creature; an explosive payload is released from the barrel and swooshes through the air with a trail of smoke behind. It hits and explodes with glorious fireworks. The force of the explosion was actually enough to damage it as it begins to bleed—its blood, yellowish in color with luminescence, flows out of its chest. The soldier fires another one and hits it yet again, knocking the creature back this time. As the creature, injured, struggles to get up, the other soldiers continue firing with their M27 and SCAR-L assault rifles and Remington 870 MCS shotguns. They are currently using 5.56x45mm NATO anti-personnel rounds, which are not very good against armor, but are enough, thanks to the wounds the creature already sustained; they succeed in killing it.

One of the soldiers approaches the creature with a shotgun and unloads a buck to its face, ensuring its death. Takashi and Olivia witness all the chaos below them as they fly above through the air. One of the creatures jumps to Takashi and they both go down. “Arrghh!” he exclaims, falling to the roof of a building; they hit it and roll across. The creature gets back up and lets out a roar before charging towards him. Olivia quickly flies down and slams into the creature, knocking it down and dragging it across the roof, nearly falling to the edge. She punches the creature, but then screams out in pain, as its skin is armor hard. The creature swings one of its tentacles in front of her and knocks her back with great force to the wall. It gets back up and starts charging at Olivia. Takashi tries to pick himself up, but another creature appears from above and is about to punch him; he quickly repels himself away to avoid it as it strikes the ground, but it suddenly grabs his leg using one of its tentacles, swings him to other side, and smashes him to the floor. It gives another try at landing a punch, but Takashi quickly stops it using his telekinesis. Olivia regains herself, shaking her head in slight dizziness, and notices the creature charging at her and speedily flies off, avoiding it just in time. It smashes through the wall and falls to the apartment below. Takashi repels its hands and shockwaves the creature off the roof. He takes a moment to catch his breath, but suddenly four tentacles emerge from below—smashing through the roof floor—and wrap his body, pulling him through the roof; the creature pulls him down and suspends him in mid-air. It then sends an electrical current through its tentacles to electrocute him. “Aaaaarrrggghhhh!!!” he screams in pain. The alien stops its attack, as he appears to have passed out. As it prepares to absorb his energy, he suddenly wakes up and telekinetically repulses the creature with great force, all the force he has, sending it through the wall, ripping all of its tentacles in the process as well as destroying most of the apartment: the windows and TV shatter, the floor bends and cracks, and furniture is repelled. He falls down and hits the floor and tries to regain his energy, tries to wake up. Olivia floats back down and looks through the hole. “Hey, are you ok??” she asks him. Gasping, “I’m fine,” he replies.

Back on the ground, Edward, Julian and Samuel have reached the bunker and are preparing to close and lock the main door. The soldiers cheer at their victory, but it is short-lived, as more creatures seem to emerge. Things look bad, but two assault helicopters miraculously appear and unloads their minigun and missiles at the creatures; a bright stream of bullets is released from the minigun’s barrel, hitting the creatures with sheer force. Sounds of missiles whooshing through the air can be heard—leaving behind trails of smoke everywhere—hitting the creatures, and the ground, and some cars, igniting a huge explosion. The soldiers are thrown back from the force, but they’re able to successfully kill two of the creatures and wound one as the rest shifts back to energy form and retreats; they appear to be invulnerable at this state, but are also unable to attack—it’s a good defense mechanism. The wounded creature gets up and almost attacks them, but is suddenly killed by Edward with a shotgun. The soldiers rejoice at their success. One of them quickly informs the others of what they know: to use explosives first and then finish them off with bullets. The other soldiers throughout the city receive this information and start grabbing their grenade launchers and RPGs and eventually, successfully, repel the horde of creatures. Julian and Samuel walk back outside to join them, congratulating the men. Edward contacts the others for a report on the situation: they report that the creatures are indeed retreating…for now, at least. “Hmph. They’ll be back,” he deduces. But, for now, they can breath a sigh of relief. The city becomes quiet again with only the sound of the helicopters hovering in the air heard; they have lost a lot of good men and take off their hats or helmets in respect. “Alright, men. I want everyone to form a perimeter! And I expect hourly reports of everything that happens! I don’t care if what you saw was a rat passing by a cheese! Understood?!” “Sir, yes, sir,” the soldiers answer in unison. “Very good! Carry on. Doctor, let us return inside. I would like to have a word.” “Yes, sir.”
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