Extinction Part 5: Incursion
A vortex of high speed wind swept down the walkway as hot and dry as the Arizona deserts. Drake felt his skin start to burn as the whiteness in the air began to dissipate and visibility started to return, he spun his head around in all directions and saw an enormous plume of grey dust and black smoke starting tumbling towards him and the crowd that lay down on the floor motionless. He was suddenly aware of a loud ringing noise and his balance was off even though he was lying on his back, the disorientation was overwhelming. Using all the strength left in him he rolled over onto his chest and began to push himself up and off of the floor, and in doing so he noticed the young technician was unconscious next to him. Quickly his hearing started to come back and a loud serious of explosions boomed from all around him, he glanced back down the walkway to see the cloud approach at a frightening speed and a flash of white light piercing through the crossroad they just passed.
“Ugh....! Come on, wake up!” He crawled on all four limbs exhaustedly and unevenly towards the young woman, her back was turned toward him as she lay awkwardly on her side. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled over onto his back, slumping under his own weight on top of her. “Come on girl! We have got to go now!” She didn't reply. He looked into her face and saw there was lifeless sleep before looking back at the cloud rampaging towards them, debris speeded through the air as the cloud dominated the view. He picked himself up onto all four limbs once more, gritted his teeth and pushed with all his might to get up onto his legs. A loud voice muffled by an electronic speaker came from in front of him
“You there, DON'T MOVE!!!!!” Drake swung his gaze off of the girl and up towards an oncoming soldier. The soldier ran to him at great speed from 25 meters away, Drake hardy took note of what the soldier was doing as his head spun in a sudden dizziness. “DON'T MOVE! DON'T MOVE!” the soldier repeated as he get within touching distance of Drake. He forcefully but at the same time gently sat Drake down on to the floor, Drake was severely confused. What was the soldier doing to him he thought with increasing fear!
“Please... no! I got to get us out here! Please.... help us... the ship....” Drake tried pointing in the direction of the battleship as it lifted up into the air slowly, his arm had never felt so heavy.
“Stay still civilian!” The soldier used softer, more calming tone. “MEDIC!!!” He suddenly shouted in an extremely loud tannoy voice. Drake was getting more and more confused, his body feeling heavier and heavier. The world started to spin all around him. He looked around and everything went grey. The plume of dust and smoke engulfed them like a wildfire that had gone out of control. The air was now thick and his throat and lungs became irritated as they quickly filled with the remnants of what it was the took a hit all the way behind them.
“What... what's happening?! Why... why are we... who are... who is....?” The soldier stayed still beside him, his arm on his back for support.
“Stay calm civilian! We are getting you out here quick! You need immediate medical attention! Stay as you are!” Through the thick dust the soldier's all-body suit appeared to glisten brilliantly, he was covered head to toe in a metal-plastic alloy that didn't have any seams at all, the suit bending impossibly as he would move. Drake looked down on to the floor as saw a pool of blood had developed around his entire body, he head begun to spin rapidly and his eyes couldn't focus on anything around him that was visible through the hazy dust and smoke. He looked behind him to see where the injury was but all he saw was blood staining his clothes to the point of a morbid mess of pain and depravity.
“Where... where... where am I hurt? I...I..I don't feel anything...” And then drake glanced to his side to look at the metallic face plating of the soldier, his vision was blurred and Drake attuned all his mental capabilities towards focusing on the soldier. There was a sudden sense of discomfort on his left side and in disbelief he spun his head around and looked downwards. Drake got wheezy and he suddenly could not breath, everything started going black and he began to slump downwards. The soldier moved to keep him in a upright sitting position, more blood was filling around him. As Drake started to droop onto the floor he moved his arm to stabilise himself and fell backwards.
“Oh Jesus!... Oh Jesus!... My arm! Where's... my... f888ing... arm!!!” He began to wince, his eyes watered! “Oh... God! Oh god please... help... me... help..” The darkness began to ensue and like a sledgehammer smashing into him, the pain began to pushed him over the brink of unconsciousness. His entire body went numb and he looked at the short stump that was left, with the last few seconds of awareness he looked around for his arm but couldn't see it. Instead his attention was abruptly forced onto the gigantic ship as it rose to 500 feet in the air. An amazingly silent and bright beam of white energy cut through the behemoth spaceship, split clean in half it came crashing to the ground in dust, smoke and flames at frightening speed, crushing everybody that lay on the floor near it under tens of thousands of tonnes of debris. The noise was unbearable before muffling out to a drone and Drake gave in to the lucid feeling and slipped into the darkness.
End of Part 5
Part 6: Integration
Drake felt his whole body convulse violently as an onrush of air filled his lungs in the darkness and his hearing quickly kicked back into place for him to hear the distant booms of orbital bombardment. Still unable to see anything he felt calm as his senses started to tune into the screams and moans of the few casualties still alive around him. He sat up with an eerie ease as he felt a warmth begin to surge through his bloodstream, feeling his heartbeat increase with every second. A wave of energy filled inside him as suddenly out of the black void a blurry digital image hung in front of him. Small, fluorescent green and rectangular in shape, slowly the clarity increased to reveal bright words that remained fixed in the very same place in his range of vision, no matter where he pointed his eyes the words would follow, never lagging behind. 'ACTIVATING'.A warm female voice suddenly filled his mind.
“Nano-Adaptive components installed. Neural Integration started... complete. Vision coming online...”
The blackness immediately faded away and the nightmare that was unfolding in this small star system was visible in a new surreal world. There was perfect sunlight and the dust and smoke was nowhere to be seen. He knew it was all around him, thick enough to block out the light from above and choke anyone who breathed it in, but it had been removed completely to show him perfect sight in this one sided war zone. He knew he was losing. The screaming dropped in volume as if it was being muted by an unseen god, Drake could hear himself breathing. The technology had pumped nanobots direct into his blood steam and began changing his DNA. The suit continued to talk as a million other voices started to call out to him, he could feel them move around the vast network of veins, arteries and capillaries, flowing through his internal organs. Each of them signaling there state and readiness before suddenly what felt like a warning, a system alert, overwhelming his attention and crashing into his senses. The nanobots were talking to him, they were the female voice, they were the new surreal world of crystal clarity beyond any human eye, they were calm feeling inside him.
“You require immediate medical assistance. Current reparation method will take four hours, two minutes and fifty-one seconds to re-grow the missing tissue. The medical authorities have been notified of your condition. Remain calm.”
They had killed all the pain and then activated his adrenal glands before he had woken up. He knew this as if he was there watching it all unfold. He knew everything that happened when he blackout, the soldier dragged him away from the street down and a couple of meters into a small alley way between two enormous buildings. He knew his arm was being held in place by the tight suit, moulding the separated limb perfectly in place for the millions of little machines to re-grow the tissue where it was sliced by shrapnel of the humongous battleship. He knew this is what that soldier who came to his assistance had seen. He heard that human-electronic voice again beside him.
“Just do what they say. You have been out for few minutes, I had give you the suit because you losing blood and I am afraid to say you friend will not be joining us. The girl is dead, it's better you found out this way because I ain't dragging your crying *** all the way back with me. We have come under attack by unknown force and you work in space survey so you are coming with me, you'll get fixed up when we are in orbit and heading back to Earth. The boat is already on it's way so come on, get up! Come on! Let's Go!”
The soldier, still wearing his own Bio-Armour pulled Drake up onto his feet and as quickly as he was up he felt another signal from the nanobots, they were telling him to go to a specific point in the city. As if time had slowed down, Drake witnessed all the skyscrapers fade away slowly until they were ghostly outlines against the concrete jungle floor, a fuzzy green light could be seen several hundred meters ahead of him. With a new instinct he zoomed in to the light and acknowledge this was the landing spot to the nano's, the light was fixed on to the floor crammed deep in between two massive skyscrapers that stretched high into sky above. The nanobots urged him to move and a planned out route was laid out in front him like a first person view of his very near future. The plan was placed into his memory, the urban scenery returned to normal and his perception of time sped up, not a millisecond had even passed.
The two large men ran out into the street, WHAM!, another bright white flash! Their whole world lit up as if they were escaping from a lightning storm born in the bowels of hell itself, the beam slowed and the skyscrapers tumbling to floor ground to a near halt. Drake watched as the aggressors might and power was revealed, the energy from the beam was so intense that every atom in its path disintegrated into nothing, erased from reality, an impossible feat of technology. The strike was not a one off punch into the heart of the city, it continuously rained down as it moved at hundred's of mile per hour across the surface of the planet from it's hidden orbital position, clawing at it like a predator slicing at the belly of it's prey.
“Warning! Exterior temperature critical! Three million degree's centigrade. Evacuate.”
As quickly as the Nano's had told him, the beam had passed. The temperature immediately lowered as a split second later a new horror appeared, overwhelming the calming effect and adrenaline rush that surged through him. The corpses, the buildings, the concrete floor, the surviving wounded... All started to burn. The metal and carbon began to glow, the skin of those around them caught fire, the concrete exploded for hundred's of meters around the vicinity. High pitched screams of pure torture flooded the area, muffled only by the sound of war. Men, women and children were sealed in their fiery fate. A mother dropped her new born baby as the fatty tissue within them both liquefied under the heat, an elderly man fell to the floor as his clothes melded with his body, a wall of objects and people bellowed towards the two men from the path of destruction in front of them, pushed up into the air by the impact like a bowl growing from the ground. Time once again sped up and the 200 storey buildings came crashing to the ground, obliterating anything and anyone that may be beneath. The ground shook like it had been hit by an asteroid, a global killer striking afar, sending its choking think atmosphere outwards like an unstoppable animal hell-bent for the kill. They knew that if the next beam that came round was closer then last few, the Bio-Armour would not be enough to stop a fiery death as it melts through them. As they cleared the alleyway, the soldier spoke.
"There's the boat! North-north-west, altitude 123 kilometers! We gotta move now... Something's coming for us!!"
Drake spun round, from far beyond the horizon he could feel it coming like an superfast train on a collision course. This one was heading right for them, and they only had minutes until it was here. They realised they were not going to have a fiery death like those ahead of them, they were going to be erased from existence itself.
(Thanks for PM's, sorry for no posts in ages... I will check my PM's from now on. Didn't think this one would catch on in a forum but thanks for the comments folks. I really appreciate your words and will make a bigger effort.... and no, I am not revealing the ending because defeats the point of a story lol)
The evacuation boat arrived towards to the surface of the planet, resembling a rectangular edged deep sea research submarine the vessel angled it's nose upwards as it braced for a hard landing. A curling vortex of dust erupted from the ground as the invisible thrusters on it's underside erupted into life to halt it's rapid decent just a few meters above the rubble strewn street. With a booming crash the boat slammed into the ground ejecting debris into the air all and preceded to slide forwards as the inertia of the decent took it's toll on the polymer tarmac below.
Grinding swiftly to a halt, the rear plating appeared to disintegrate into nothing and a small team of six soldiers ran out into the open taking position around the ship as they awaited the two oncoming passengers. As they ran towards them Drake shouted out via the comms.
“Soldier, Solider! There are survivors here, we have to take them with us.”
The solider continued to move without acknowledging what was said.
“Solider! We have to help these people!”
Again the solider continued run ignoring Drake's plea. Under a moment of heroic nature Drake stopped running fully aware of the impending beam bearing down on the position they were just situated and picked up a young child, unconscious from the thick and poisonous gases that resulted from burning building yet were non-existent under the protection of the Biosuit.
“Put that ******* child down now!”
A blow from the side knocked Drake to the floor, a green fuzz of light for a split second dominating the left side of his peripheral vision. Suddenly on the floor Drake saw the soldier with his weapon suddenly in view, attached to his arm and pointing at the child who lay in front of him. ZAM! The child was thrust several meters away, his body twisting as if hit by a speeding a train.
OFFENSIVE CAPABILITIES DISABLING
A feeling of horror overcame Drake as the authoritarian act he just witnessed flooded his senses like a nightmare.
“Jesus Christ you killed him!! What the **** are you doing! How could you...”
The soldier grabbed Jake, with incredible strength he threw him twenty meters into the vicinity of the six soldiers who were guarding the vessel. They in turn grabbed Drake and thrust him into the back of the boat and forced him to sit before securing him down with a fluorescent band of blue light that came from the roof and increased gravity to such an extent that not even someone of Drake's large build could fight against it. The soldiers all entered the evacuation boat in quick unison and the open hole in the back materialised into a metallic wall.
“Pilot take off!”
The gravity field shut off and Drake got to his feet and swung wildly as one of the soldiers approached him, the soldier effortlessly pushed him against the wall of the vessel before trying to reason with him.
“He was gone!! That child was brain-dead! There was nothing we could do for him! The fumes, everything, he was already gone!”
The small vessel lifted from the ground, the oncoming was racing towards the edge of the city. The soldiers stopped and stared through the hull plating as if it was made some kind of translucent material. Drake turned his head around, the beam passed through the city at tremendous speed, carving through the skyscrapers from high above and they began to collapse to ground. The soldier who escorted him ran to the front of the vessel.
“Pilot! We gotta get us out of here now! Right now!”
The vessel rose up accelerating all the way, in no time they had cleared the canopy of the city. All around beams of energy going all the way into the distance and beyond the horizon streamed down from the heavens. Drake witnessed the destruction and trails of fire as each beams raced across the surface of the planet.
“There's thousands of them! You got to do something! You have to stop them!” Drake tried to grab the soldier pleading with him to do something to stop the carnage.
“We can't do anything! We are powerless to stop them!” The soldier replied.
“Who are they?! Why are they doing this!” Exclaimed Drake.
“We don't know! They won't talk to us!” The soldier shouted back.
They began to rise clear of the atmosphere, the light sky turning to black. A firework display of unimaginable power lay ahead of them against the darkness of eternity in all directions, hundreds of destroyers, thousands of fighters. All firing their gun turrets, missile's and laser turrets at the unknown foe. The weapons were completely ineffective. Massive flashes of extreme white light emanated from the source of the energy beams that struck down on the planet. Drake spun around to look at all the soldiers who just stared at nightmarish scene.
“What the hell are those! Are those our nukes!??!!? Are we nuking them??! Why are they not being destroyed???!!!! What the hell are they!!!”
From the pilots cockpit an alarm began to ring out, the pilot moved his head to acknowledge the small red light flashing in front of him, suspended in the air like a hologram.
“Sir! It's the Lucifer!!! Light speed down! Landing assistance offline! We are stuck here in this system! Her drives have been disabled! We are not going anyway!”
“Just get us to her pilot!!! Everybody, brace for a rough landing!”
Billions of people on Earth and Mars had been killed in the war between Earth and Mars. The oldest planetary settlement's struggle for true independence from the powers of the homeworld had been the greatest catastrophic loss of life in previous human history. At the end of war entire nations had been destroyed and lawlessness had broken out as each authority had been stretched beyond breaking point. Famine enveloped both planets, decades of terraforming on the fourth planet in the solar system had been ruined. Vast areas of fertile land on earth razed. It was a war of people and all that mattered was who had the most.
Weapons of extreme destruction, dirty nukes, plasma gas, orbital electron strippers were subsequently destroyed after peace had ensued. The 4 major powers agreed that this would be the war that ended all wars. Never in previous history had humanity been closer to it's own destruction. Tensions still lived between the powers that be, but another war had to be avoided at all cost.
The Asian Alliance, the most powerful nation the planet Earth had ever witnessed, had victory over the United States of Europe and African Union who sympathised with the other planet, subjugating them into the war against the Martians. The Federal States of the Americas soon joined after the regions the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Morocco, Japan and the rogue state of Laosia were annihilated by the freedom fighters. Six hundred million men, women and children were lost in the 2 weeks of the initial attack.
The combined forces of Earth replied with devastating effect, launching orbital batteries that stripped the electrons off of every atom on the 10 largest cities on Mars. Death for the inhabitants was instantaneous. On both planets, nobody knew the war had started but those engaged in it. The governments had kept the propaganda machine in full flow and the people were going about their usual business. Those in range of seeing the destruction were in range of it's effects. The public never stood a chance.
Drake's mother and brother, were in one such Martian city when the orbital battery commenced. After this incident, the Martian authorities made a public announcement to the entire planet that for the first time in humanities history, Inter-Planetary War was under way.
“Dad, what was my mother like? Why did she leave us?”
Drake's father turned away from holographic view across the surface of Mars, the orange glow of the Martian sunset filtering through the wall in front of him. He moved towards his young son and pulled the chair from under the table and sat down beside him.
“Drake, your mother didn't leave us. She is watching over you over you right now, protecting you. Although you cannot see her, she is there looking down on you. Your mother loved you and your brother so much, she would wake in the morning and sneak into your room and quietly watch you both as you slept. For some people, time is something that catches up on you, it was God's will that her time had passed. She was the most beautiful, caring woman I had ever known. Her love for you both will last forever.”
Drake was confused, he looked down at his breakfast as and thought about all his new friends in school, a feeling of loneliness sank in as he remembered the beautiful, caring women that accompanied them in the mornings as he would say goodbye to his father before being escorted by his teachers.
“Daddy, will mammy be coming back soon to take me to school?”
His father closed his eyes as emotion swept over him, he looked away from his son, containing his dignity, fighting back the tears that raged inside him. Slowly he reached out and took his son's hand in his own. With a deep breath, and a stammered voice his father spoke.
“No Drake. Mammy won't be coming back.” His father began to cry silently and looked towards his son, opening his eyes and looking into his soul. His eyes watered as flashback memories of his wife and youngest son bombarded his mind. “Your mother would be so proud of you, you were the most important thing in the world to her. And you are the most important thing in the world to me. We both will love you forever.”
Drake didn't understand. Seeing his father cry made him sad, he got out of his seat and moved in close to his father putting his arms around his waste and hugging him as hard as he could, hoping he would never have to let go. His father picked him up and put him onto his lap, enveloping him in an embrace that only a caring, protective father can give. The sadness of the atmosphere around him flooded in on Drake and cried into his fathers chest. His father angled his head down to his son and kissed him on his brow.
Hiding underground amongst a vast network of tunnels and caverns, the war effort raged above their heads. His father spoke softly to him in a soothing quiet voice.
“Don't worry son, we are coming!” Drake held his breath. This was not real. This was not his father!
He awoke from his dream. The soldiers were holding down to the ground, the weapons built into the forearms of the suits exposed and pointing towards him. The pilot could be heard radioing out to other ships as they made their approach vector towards the destroyer.
“I repeat, we have an unknown signal coming in. It has debilitated a civilian on route, there is some kind of projection being put into his mind. He is talking to something. The nano-bots have been transmitting back....”
The lead soldier screamed at Drake.
“What the hell was that! Who were talking to! You answer me now civilian or I will end you right here, right now! We saw everything now start talking, who was that!!!!”
Drake had just made contact with something, or something made contact with Drake.
The escape boat crashed into the landing bay of the Lucifer, sliding across the runway before the gravity brakes brought the small ship to a standstill. The nanosuit that Drake was wearing automatically got him up off the floor as if remotely controlled, he was a prisoner inside a steel body.
The pilot waved his arm over the holographic display in front of him and the back door evaporated away and ship powered down. The lead soldier signalled for all his men to move.
“Civilian, you are going to tell us what we need to know. We want to know who you are talking to. We want to know who is attacking us. We want to know who the ones that are coming are and we want to know why they are contacting you!”
As the marched out into the flight landing bay Drake pleaded with the soldier that he didn't know what was happening, he was confused at what had just happened and started wishing that somebody somewhere would give the answers they were looking for.
“I don't know! One second I was looking out into space, the next... the next, I don't know. It was a memory....”
The soldier interrupted him.
“Yeah we know all that civilian, we saw the whole ****ing reunion. But remember that your father is ****ing dead and that message at the end has got a lot of powerful people in this ship even more interested in you now. Who was it!? Answer me!”
Drake felt that he was about to be interrogated with physical vigour as a group of marines rushed into the landing bay and headed towards them, following the marines were 3 officers walking at a brisk pace.
“Mr Drake Chackowski! My name is Agent Rychek and this here is Agent Cordoba, we are with the Internal Security Force. This gentleman to my left is General Becker, he the man in charge of this ship so if you don't want to go for a swim outside you'd better do what he says. If he says jump, you say how high... give us the information you have and everything will be fine. We know you are not in league with the enemy, we just need to know what we are up against. Somebody who knows you is talking to you even if you do not know it yourself.” Together the group started to walk off the landing bay before the general who was walking slightly ahead of them stopped, turned and looked at Drake, the whole group stopped. The General walked up to Drake, his large scale matched up to Drakes, but his appearance was battle hardened. His eyes were as cold as ice and Drake instantly realised that if it were to ever happen, the similarities in bulk would not help him. The General spoke in surprisingly soft manner.
“Son, we need your help. Everybody, wait here. Drake... come with me. I want to show you something.”
Instantly felt he had control over his own body again, the ability to move at his own will came back giving him an instant feeling of freedom. It was comforting, as was the voice of the General. But he didn't know him, he had never met him before but he recognised a voice of friendship, and perhaps a little desperation. Together the two huge powerful men walked over the outer wall of the landing bay, it was immense in scale stretching the entire length of the Lucifer, over 1 kilometre long. Suddenly the whole started to become translucent, the outer space beyond coming into full view. The destruction occurring on the surface of the planet, visible. The General continued.
“Take a look, what do you notice?!” Drake looked at the planet, he didn't understand what the General was getting at. “Drake, they are not attacking us. Take a look. Take a good, close look. Not one of our ships has been attacked, not one of cities has been attacked.”
Drake saw it. He knew now exactly what the General was talking about. Drake spoke back to the General.
“They... they are attacking the planet. It looks like our cities are just in path of the weapons.” The General interrupted softly.
“Exactly. We have no idea who these things are, or what these things are. I have never heard of a foe that destroyed the resources of the place it plans to conquest, have you? The poles of this planet are to cold for life, they don't seem to be interested with those areas. But everywhere else, look at them. They are erasing the surface of the world. They are attacking the air, the tree's, the oceans. We have a lot of information from you already, the Nano's immediately helped us there. But there are holes that they cannot explain. We are hoping you can fill those holes. We believe the ones who spoke to you are the ones who give us the message, or warning. Has this sort if thing ever happened to you before?”
The two men continued looking out into the view in front of them. Drake broke the brief silence.
“My father used to take me to the hospital, he would take me to room full of doctors. They said they were trying to help me remember things. Things I had forgotten. I was young, I didn't know what they were doing to me. They were probing my mind.”
The General looked at Drake with a more sympathetic look. He turned towards him.
“They never explained to you what happened did they.” Drake knew the General already knew the answer that, it didn't seem like a question but a statement.
“No... I felt uncomfortable there. There were people there in the room that weren't dressed like doctors. They were dressed like... you.” The General nodded.
“Drake, something happened to you when you were young. You were with your mother and brother they day it happened. Do you remember now? The Nano's have been trying to dig out those missing memories ever since they entered your body. They are being blocked, there is no technology we know of that can do that. They have been trying to unlock those secrets for nearly 30 years.” Drake quickly looked at the general and froze.
“The Nano's, they have only been in me for about 20 minutes!...” The General interrupted him.
“Drake, those doctors put the Nano's into you the first time you went to the hospital. My boys just gave you a suit, the rest was already there. Son, I don't know how you are going to handle this, but you were in the Martian capital when Earth activated an Orbital Stripper. Nothing survived for 20 miles from the epicentre, no buildings will left... there was just you. They found you unconscious. There was no radiation in you, no physical harm. You are a walking enigma.” The General looked out toward the planet once more. “We think you have been involved with whatever sent the message before. Drake, those things out there.... they are exterminating life... we can't stop them.”
Drake remained silent, he didn't know what to say or what to do. Suddenly an extreme flash of white light flooded through the translucent wall, the Nano's kicked in to full functionality once more. They faded the light that Drake could see... an explosion of unimaginable power erupted from the surface of the planet. Dirt and molten rock rose up through the atmosphere like a bowl of continental proportions! The debris was spewing out into space, colliding into the spaceships and destroying them like a man would swing at a fly, ploughing through them, overwhelming the 1 kilometre behemoths with the sheer mass of the objects. Some of that debris was heading for the Lucifer. The General shouted, his voice loud and booming as if coming through a tannoy.
“This is General Becker! All hands abandon ship! All hands abandon ship now!”
There was no time, the chunk of land was the size of twenty first century Austria, and it was travelling at over fifty thousand kilometres an hour. It was going to hit them.