BY WM. A. YANDELL
Wm. A. Yandell
Copyright 2014 by William Yandell
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof
may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever
without the express written permission of the publisher
except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
First Printing 2014
Printed in the USA
Formatted by bzhercules.com
Cover design by LLPIX Design
To not have much, but not ask for help, to go hungry when others need to eat. To make the best out of so little and never to utter the words “woe is me.” This is to me the definition of a hero. It is also a description of my mother’s life raising my brother, sister, and me. My mother will always be my hero and I will never forget the greatest gift that can be given, yourself.
Special Thanks to:
The (Philadelphia) Main Line Writers Group
The San Francisco Self Publishing Writers Group
Beth Mertz Miles
“This is Space Shuttle Allen to Desert Station Control. We are prepared to begin our final descent and are on course for Desert Station, requesting final landing strip designation.”
“This is Desert Station Control to Space Shuttle Allen. Adjust course for Landing Strip B- 2.”
“Roger that, Station Control. Landing strip B-2. We will begin atmosphere burn through in T -3 minutes.”
Captain Alverez looks over at Co-pilot Aston, “Input course for Strip B-2.”
“Yes, sir, inputting course to computer now, sir.”
Captain Alverez switches his headset to inter-ship communications, “Captain to crew, we are beginning burn through in 3 minutes. Lock it down, men!”
As the Captain looks over at his co-pilot, both men smile at the same time. Captain Alverez looks back over his shoulder at the navigator and says, “So, Tom, you happy to be back home?”
“Yes, sir, Captain, but to tell the truth, I am just happy to be off that station and away from those Creatures. I…”
“Tom, that is enough!” Captain Alverez says as he holds up his finger to silence any further comment. He changes the setting on his headset control to “shipboard only communication.”
“This is to all crew; I want everyone up here now!”
“Don, can you take us in through the re-entry?”
“Yes, sir, Captain, I got it!”
“Tom, let’s go!” Captain Anderson says emphatically while pointing towards the door.
Just outside the door, the other members of the crew are gathering. There is an uneasy silence while they wait. No one knows why the Captain would order a meeting in such a rush. The wait is short-lived as the Captain sees the last of the crew is now present. He times his comments to start with the rumble of the vibrations as the re-entry begins.
“Okay, everyone, we have exactly two minutes of down communications during re-entry, so listen up and listen good! There are not to be any communications beyond basic information, with anyone about your time at the station, period. We will be in an extended quarantine at a special hangar while the ship is given a thorough inspection for any contamination. No conversations or mention of any problems or issues that may, or may not have occurred at the station, are to be discussed. And, let me be very specific here, even the existence of any Creatures, is not to be hinted at or even thought about. There will be readers watching for this, so act and think like this was just a routine mission.”
Captain Alverez finishes his comments and then purposefully looks over at the navigator before he continues. “If Control even thinks we might say anything, we will all be headed back to the station. Is that clear?”
A “yes” comes from every crewmember, but it is still not enough for the Captain to stop here.
“They will send us right back up there in a quick minute. I do not want to go back to that hellhole because someone could not keep their head straight and mouth shut. Don’t get me wrong; they tell me to go back up, I’m going back up, no questions asked. For now, I would rather be here, so just keep thinking about how good life is back here on the base, so it can stay that way. That is all!”
The bumpy ride of the burn through begins to subside as Captain Alverez turns back to Navigator Jolton. “Tom, once we touch down, I want you to go back and have a short conversation with everyone, one on one, and explain this again. You got it? Then head back and begin interior inspections.”
“Yes, sir, I understand, sir, I am sorry, sir, I…”
Captain Alverez again holds up his finger and Navigator Jolton understands immediately nothing else is to be said. The Captain enters the forward cabin and sees the re-entry went off without a hitch. The base is now in sight.
“Station Control, we have visual contact and we are on approach.” Captain Alverez says as he regains his seat.
“Okay, Don, you have the controls. Take us in,” Flight Captain Alverez says to Pilot Aston.
“Yes, sir, I have the controls,” Aston repeats back to the captain.
As the shuttle touches down and begins to slow, Aston looks over at the captain, who gives him an approving nod. Captain Alverez calls to the station tower, “Space Shuttle Allen to Control, we are requesting hangar location.”
“Roger that, Allen, you are to proceed to Quarantine Hangar 22, and begin shut down. Welcome home. Control out.”
Captain Alverez turns and sees Co-pilot Don Aston is looking at him. He knows what he is thinking.
Alverez covers his microphone and softly says, “Don, we are going to be in quarantine for a long enough time. I do not want to add any more time to it if it can be helped.”
“I understand completely. He’s young and a lot of the troopers who were killed up there were guys he knew well.”
“I knew a bunch of them too, so let’s just get this thing parked and shut down so we can start the inspection.”
“Yes, sir, entering hangar in ten.”
Captain Alverez switches his headset back to the open channel, “Hangar Control, we are entering hangar outer doors now.”
“Roger that, Captain Alverez.”
“Looking good, Don, once you pass the interior doors and reach the stop block, start the shut down procedures. I am going to check on the crew,” Captain Alverez says as he begins to unbuckle his flight harness.
“Yes, sir, at block position now and beginning shut down procedures.”
The first scream is from one of the crew who is in extreme pain. It causes Captain Alverez and pilot Aston to reach to pull the headsets from over their ears. The second scream is from Navigator Jolton and is one of extreme panic. “The Creatures are in the shuttle. The Creatures are in the shuttle.”
Captain Alverez hits the alarm button and yells into the microphone. “Control, initiate emergency lockdown, we have a containment breach, repeat, we have a containment breach, we have Creatures on board!”
From behind them comes a pounding on the cockpit door as Jolton is on the other side, trapped behind them. Both men put on their headsets so they cannot hear his screams to let him in. They both know, by now all controls have been overridden by the command center. It is only a matter of time before the Creatures get to them too.
The lights come up in the conference room and the video screen with the image of the cockpit fades and retracts. The first question is from the High Commander. “Is this all the tape we have on the incident, no other camera views, or audio from inside the shuttle?”
“To my knowledge, it is everything we were given from the space center. With the exception of the tape of the Creatures’ physical attacks on the men on board,” the General responds.
“In the future, all video and audio feeds are to come to me regardless of what it is, is that clear General?”
“Yes sir, we will copy to you all files,” the General says as he nods to an assistant.
“Can the Creatures escape from the locked-down shuttle?”
“I don’t know, sir. The structure of the shuttle exterior is much more solid than the station itself. It is designed for the rigors of multiple take-offs and re-entries. We are working around the clock to construct another outer barrier with a clorasium field between it and the existing walls of the lock-down hangar.”
“This has become one nightmare event after another. I am told we lost the science team during the last attempt to kill the Creatures at the station?”
“That is what I was told, sir. It seems the Creatures are learning much faster than anticipated and were ready and waiting for the team. Is there any way we can interview Demetrius Zayack, the creator of these creatures, sir? I know the reports say he is very unstable but if we could find out anything that could help.”
“Unfortunately not, General, I was informed that he killed himself this morning on Station One. Do we have another team we can get up there to replace the one we lost?”
“We do, yes sir. We have a team that has the best Life former we know of. Walter Smithton is considered the closest follower of Demetrius Zayack’s work. ”
“Why have we waited until now to get him involved, General?”
“He is not one of Bush’s scientists. He is at a research center that has not been involved with the project, Sir.”
“General Tallen, I am putting you in charge of the mission to take this new team of bioengineering scientists up to the station. We need to stop these things any way you can. We have to find a way to destroy them before they find a way out of the desert space center.”
“Sir, what about Bush?” the General asks bluntly.
“I have already talked with him General. He is still in charge of the project and the station in general, you will need to work with him. Everyone must put aside any differences the Army has with the Alliance troopers, is that clear?”
“Yes sir, it is with me, sir.”
“Good, I will leave you to it General. And, General, good luck. We are all going to need it.”
In the dimmed light of his office, Walter Smithton knows what he must do. He leans forward and begins the entry of a document he has been unsure he should write.
Cyber log start point: This cyber log is being created not as a way to document my discovery, but to expose it, in case I disappear as Zayack did. From the first day of my discovery, I, Walter Smithton, believe I will be accused of following Demetrius Zayack. For those who do not know of Zayack, he was one of the most well-known scientists within the field of bioengineering. Zayack just disappeared one day, simply seemed to vanish into thin air, gone. He left no clues or comments as to where he had gone or was going. He has not been heard from since.
I cannot see how anyone with the success Zayack had, would just up and disappear. No one could go to the brink of great discovery and walk away, let alone remove all traces of themselves. More than Zayack disappeared that day; all of his on-going experiments, and every bit of the research from his lab vanished with him.
Vanishing has become more of a problem for those who complain about the government. It seems commonplace now for people who challenge the hold of government to disappear. These however are protestors and not scientists with proven track records, it does not change, that people disappear, a lot of people.
If you are reading this log, then I have been missing for sixty days or I am dead. Either way, I believe sending out this cyber log bomb, over the internet, is the only way my creation will have any chance of being discovered, and hopefully uncovered. I can only hope and rely on the people and websites that will receive this log. Hopefully they can expose the cover up of my creation of a new life form.
I, like Demetrius Zayack, am a bioengineering scientist focusing on life-form building and development. Within our field, he made groundbreaking achievements, one after the other. He created a whole new level of research results.
Most people who had known, or knew of him, believed Zayack disappeared because of his political dissention. This was demonstrated by his vocal and physical appearances at protests. He was a great critic of the forming of the World Alliance Armed Forces. Demetrius Zayack spoke and worked as a scientist using logic and fact. He asked aloud why a world with an alliance needed another large armed force. He was thought to be a dissident and a problem for many in the government because of this. In science and government however, results matter to those who control the direction of the research, and Zayack got results. Stopping his work would have been too great a price to pay to shut him up.
My discovery has now imprisoned me, as I believe they may have imprisoned Zayack. Lying in bed each night and hoping for sleep, lying awake knowing with each day comes a greater chance of being discovered. I cannot sleep because it is in the night when they would come, swarm over my home, my office, and my lab; taking everything, including me. It is not hearing an out of place noise interrupting the night; it is listening and waiting for the out of place noise to come.
At times, I almost want them to come and take me to where they have Zayack, no matter where he is. If only I could know what they would do if they found out. That is however another line of thought, robbing me of sleep.
I cannot see why Zayack would leave. Scientists are like police detectives; finding evidence is our business, and yet no evidence was found. No one was ever questioned or asked for any information, there was no known investigation that took place. This leaves us with the fact; in the ten years since his disappearance, we have not added any progress to the five years of Zayack’s experiments, until now.
I have wrestled with the decision to continue or destroy the breakthrough I have made. The decision can change on an almost daily or, at times, an hourly basis. It is because I truly do not want to disappear without a trace. Taking the lives of your creation to save a life, even your own life, is difficult. It is not easy when the lives to be taken have done nothing to deserve being sacrificed.
I still cannot convince myself I have hidden them so well. I take one look into a mirror, and it seems to be written all over my face. Yet another day goes by and no one notices. Maybe it’s because I notice things. Maybe Zayack noticed things, little things. I just see being discovered as the inevitable. It is because of the pride and excitement that comes when you have found a piece of the puzzle existing in life form discovery science.
I can only hope the creation of this log will allow me somehow to find rest at night. Now with each night, when I do find sleep, I dream. I dream the same dream of being chased by soldiers down endless streets and corridors, I am following only the shadow of a person. Not just any person, but I am sure it is Zayack. In every dream, he is just ahead of me; never any closer or further, but just ahead, being chased by the same soldiers.
While I am indeed terrified, I get a strange feeling that he is not bothered by the continuous ordeal. He may be even somewhat content with it. This is not something I can begin to understand even when I am wide awake.
I feel the real truth is; I am becoming overwhelmed with the weight of this discovery. It is taking control of me and my reactions. It could create concerns at the lab as others start to see it. It could add more scrutiny from management if they see a concern. This would give way to a greater risk of discovery.
Another added reason to end this pressure and kill them before I lose even more control of my life.