Collective Minds

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 21

The weapon floated idly in space, with the increasing rumble of the massive armada in the distance. The huge engines of the mother ships resonated like unending thunder as the crafts closed in on the seemingly helpless planet dead ahead.

A tiny red light began to flash on the bomb, which reflected slightly off the sizeable DaVincium ingot in the trough. The alloy was secured underneath a clear polymer cover that held it in place, as the light began to flicker faster.

One of the lead ships in the fleet activated a long, bright, wide field that seemed to scan in the vicinity of the weapon. The illumination only lasted a few seconds, as the bomb suddenly, and very violently, exploded in all directions.

The massive detonation was so large that the dark side of the moon lit up like it was daylight for a moment. A huge blue shock wave emanated outward in a circle, but was quickly drawn back in as the DaVincium did it’s job. The ingot on the inside of the trough glowed red hot, then went critical, creating another massive shock wave that exploded outward as the ingot imploded. The force of the wave was so great that it caused a half dozen ships to upend, slamming into other crafts in the fleet and destroying them.

The other ships in the armada scattered haphazardly, trying to clear the wreckage without taking damage. Several began to scan the area where the blast originated trying to ascertain what happened. As their scanning lights lit up the area, the wreckage from the destroyed ships became visible, floating and spiraling in the abyss.

All at once the wreckage began to shift direction toward the origin of the blast. The debris began to pick up speed, moving toward a sizeable black hole that had opened. As the space junk approached the swirling vortex, it began to crush and flex like a soda can under the enormous stress of gravity. Pieces began to swirl down the void like a toilet, disappearing in the dark matter beyond the event horizon.

The fleet realized what was happening and tried to pull away. But outer space wasn’t having it, drinking them all toward it’s belly like a starving anteater. Their engines roared in a futile attempt to break free, with dozens of ships colliding in a panic. The collisions did as much damage as the wormhole, as the armada began to destroy itself trying to escape.

Back in the lab, Einstein and the crew watched in disbelief. “My god,” he whispered, “It’s working. They’re being pulled in.” Dr. Hawking smiled crookedly, watching the alien fleet as it was decimated. It was the best scenario they could’ve hoped for.

“The wormhole isn’t expanding yet,” observed Kat. “The ships must be absorbing the gravity and pulling it back in with them.”

Maggie stood from her station trying to see what was happening. “Is it over? Did we get them all?,” she asked impatiently.

“Not yet,” replied Dr. Hawking. “Cross your fingers.”

Back in outer space, the ships continued to pull away from the vortex in vain. Only ten remained, six of which were badly damaged and nearly to the event horizon. The other four, still desperately trying to pull away, seemed intact as they struggled against the impossible odds.

In what seemed like a desperation move, the four functional ships all generated a huge burst of energy from their centers. The blasts connected and fused in a square radius around the perimeter of the wormhole, causing it to shrink. Slowly the hole tightened, as the six crippled ships added to the firepower with what little energy they had left. All ten poured on the power, creating some manner of dampening field that seemed to be collapsing the hole.

Four of the crippled ships exploded from the energy output shortly after trying to help, while the other two were pulled down the hole as it continued to shrink. It had closed enough, however, that the last four ships were able to take a stable orbit around it. Their dampening field was still connected, and continued to shrink the hole until it was gone completely.

The research team watched from the lab as the ships deactivated their field and resumed course towards earth. Kat’s optimistic look turned to fear as the four huge crafts lumbered forward.

“Damn!,” she yelled, discouraged. “Four of them made it through!” Dr. Hawking studied the monitor, and came up with a conclusion. “They must have generated a field similar to the one in the power supply beneath the reflector. On a much larger scale.”

“Those weapons must be extremely powerful,” added Einstein. Kat quickly made her way to the wall and picked up the phone.

Outside the base the sun was nearly set. The fortress looked serene in the dusk of the desert, nearly lifeless. The troops had taken their positions out of sight, and the gauntlet was about to be thrown down.

The intercom came on, resonating throughout the entire outside of the base and into the night. “Attention all personnel,” echoed Kat’s voice, “The fleet has been disabled, but four ships cleared the wormhole. Prepare for ground assault. Strike teams, stand by. I repeat, strike teams, stand by.”

Ben Franklin, hearing the announcement, knew he was the man to draw first blood. Also having the live feed from the telescope in Canada, he watched carefully as the four remaining ships settled into a tightly clustered formation over North America. The massive crafts stopped, prepping for the imminent attack.

Franklin typed on the keyboard, as the computer locked in the coordinates for the ship nearest the atmosphere. He worked frantically, with Marie Curie watching from behind. She was startled as the roof above them opened, exposing the clear night sky. There were scattered clouds, through which she could see a few stars and the crescent moon in the distance.

The whir of hydraulics and gears brought the huge super weapon to life as it turned and tilted into firing position. The hum of the field generator building caused Curie to back peddle, as the hair on the back of her neck stood up.

Ben Franklin made a final keystroke, and looked to the cannon. “Plug your ears!,” he warned to Curie and DaVinci, sticking his fingers in his own. The field emitter roared to life with a singular, hugely concussive hum, accompanied by a massive electrical discharge that shot into the sky like a thousand bolts of lightning tangled together.

Franklin looked at the monitor on the computer and watched the eye in the sky. The four ships were still clustered in formation, as the plasma bolt streaked up from the surface. The massive energy stream hit the front ship directly in the center, blowing it to atoms in a fiery explosion that rocked the other ships around it.

DaVinci looked up through the opening in the roof, and could see the explosion from the surface. The sky above the atmosphere lit up like the fourth of July momentarily, then went dark again.

“Direct hit!,” exclaimed Ben Franklin, who held up his arms in victory. Madame Curie couldn’t believe it. The plan was working. It was actually working, and the enemy was on the ropes. Franklin looked to his monitor again and saw that the charge for the cannon was completely depleted. It was regenerating slowly, as the amount of electricity to create a bolt powerful enough was massive. But the time it took to siphon that much juice was something he feared he didn’t have. “Now would be a good time to pray, Leonardo,” Ben said nervously.

“LOOK!,” screamed madame Curie frantically, pointing to the monitor. Ben watched in horror as one of the ships began powering up the primary weapon at its core. The energy swirled and built, then fired a counter strike at the origin of the blast from moments ago. DaVinci prayed with his eyes closed as the room suddenly lit up like a strobe.

The huge bolt came down over the base in a singular discharge, but freakishly split into four as it got close to the surface. All four streams fed into the conducting rods erected at the corners of the hangar, until the entire discharge had been absorbed. The rods glowed for a few seconds, then changed color back to their original luster.

No sooner had the blast ended, then Franklin’s computer tracked the trajectory of the shot. The cannon rotated again, only slightly, and began to power up as the three scientists plugged their ears. The return fire was much more stable than electricity, firing back a massive, concentrated blue bolt that streaked through the sky like a bullet train.

Franklin looked at the monitor again, and watched excitedly as the blue beam hit another ship, blowing it cleanly in half. Massive pieces broke away from the fragmented vessel, and flames shot out nearly every opening in the hull.

The portly philanthropist looked at the energy readings on his screen from the moment of impact, and got a concerned look on his face. Madame Curie could see he was worried. “What’s the matter, Benjamin? You should be rejoicing.”

“I say, Leonardo,” asked Franklin. “If it wouldn’t be too much trouble, would you mind dialing Jack up on the telephone, immediately? It’s rather urgent.”

DaVinci picked up the telephone and looked at the buttons. There were so many. He reached to push one, then hesitated. He reached again, and stopped, until finally his female cohort bailed him out. Curie snatched the phone from his hand, dialed Jack’s number, then set it for speaker phone and put the receiver back in the saddle.

“Great genius indeed,” she mocked. DaVinci blushed, angry and embarrassed, and listened as the phone rang out loud. The line clicked, and Jack answered on the other end.

“This is Briggs.”

“Colonel Briggs, we have an issue,” spoke Franklin. “The shot from the mother ship loaded the superconductors to capacity. They’re working as planned, but if the alien crafts fire more than one bolt at a time, the conductors may go critical. That much alloy will create an explosion that could very well destroy the entire continent, or worse.”

“Kat reported that you already smoked two of those monstrosities,” Jack answered back. “I imagine they’re deducing at this point how you were able to do that. Surely they’ll be able to figure out the difference in the energy signatures between the two strikes. Once they know we’re shooting their own firepower back at them, I doubt they’ll pull the trigger again. Be ready if they do, but barricade yourselves in and prepare for ground assault. Nice shooting, Ben. Well done.”

“I understand,” said Franklin. “Godspeed to you and your soldiers.” The phone clicked, and the line went dead in the room. All three people looked at each other and breathed a slow sigh of relief.

Madame Curie looked up and saw what appeared to be debris coming through the atmosphere. Tiny dots that looked like shooting stars were whizzing down toward the surface in rapid succession. Her curiosity turned to fear, however, when she looked at the monitor and saw that it wasn’t debris at all, but hundreds of tiny projectiles being launched from one of the ships like torpedoes. “My god,” she gasped. “They’re coming.”

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.