Alien Incursion
by Jerome Baquilar
The two F-51 fighters flew circles around the huge rectangular alien craft, which had been in Earth's orbit for the past 10 hours. Sensor imaging estimated the size of the ship as five miles long, with a 30 by 40 foot cross section. Space shuttle Gore had just established link-up with the alien ship, and its mission team was making final preparations to board. With their air/space fighters armed with videocams, and enough nuclear explosive to wipe out a medium sized country, Air Force lieutenants "Halo" Goodwin and "Terminator" Rhodes still couldn't help but feel like sitting ducks. Their mission? External video coverage of the ship as the team made their way aboard to either meet the aliens, or secure the ship. And, to not fire until fired upon.

"Terminator"-Hey Halo, you getting an itchy trigger finger yet?
"Halo"-Nope, and you'd better not either. We're just sending video footage back to the U.S., and nothing else, unless they shoot.
"Terminator"-Why in hell is it just us two flying up here? Couldn't they have sent more fighters up?
"Halo"-They could've, but then it would be open season on the United States, if our enemies knew a lot of our forces were up here.

The United States won against the United Nations in World War IV just six months ago, but not without suffering heavy military losses. And, without any allies to speak of, they could be taken with a well-timed strike, if not for the U.N.'s own losses. Tension, if not the threat of war, was present in the earth air. All attention in each of the 71 United States of America, however, seemingly was on the video coverage sent from the two F-51's circling the alien ship in Earth's orbit.

He knew no one on board but himself, and that was for his own good. And the Earth's, in the worst of conceivable scenarios. Marine Sgt. Lloyd Hunt was the "safety valve". Explosives in his backpack, detonated upon pushing his trigger on his spacesuit. Or on non-detection of life signs within his suit. If aliens on board proved to be hostiles and/or overpowering, he was to manually detonate the explosives, destroying everything and everyone on board the ship. He looked unemotionally as humanly possible at each member of the boarding crew, walking past him, and into the linking "bridge" connecting the U.S. space shuttle to the alien craft.

The military cyborg, named "Robbie". Not even a glance as it walked without hesitation into the link. Navy S.E.A.L. (Space, Elevation, Aqua, Land) commanding officer Glen Coffey. A slight nod towards the man who would save Earth if need be. Navy Lt. Alan Young. A cold stare from his WWIV hardened face. Marine Lt. Jeffrey Tolbert. A salute from a fellow marine. Trisha Dean, linguist extraordinaire. Fingers crossed. Walter Sheppard, government computer expert. Seemingly too occupied trying to compose himself. Army Sgts. Xena Mathis and Dan Chen. Laser rifles cocked and ready. Marine Sgt. Troy Anderson. Paused, to let Hunt go before him. Hunt checked his diagnostics eyepiece. All systems normal. Grabbed his own arms and legs, testing the fit of the skin-tight black spacesuit. Okay. Minicam switched on, on the left side of his helmet. Hunt took a deep breath, and walked through the lock tunnel and into...

A dark corridor, which automatically switched Hunt's night vision mode on. The corridor was about 15 feet high, and maybe 20 feet wide, and leading away into darkness. The walls were full of wires, metal, and other inorganic-looking material, seamlessly etched into each other. Hunt spotted the rest of the group right in front of him, close to the entry point. Young, Mathis, Chen, and Tolbert had their rifles pointed down the darkened corridor. Dean and Sheppard were looking around, seemingly in awe of the alien ship's interior. Coffey motioned for Hunt to come to where they were. Hunt stepped onto the ship, and found himself on a metal sheet, resembling a conveyor belt of some sort. Anderson walked right behind him off the belt as Coffey conferred with his squad.

"Okay, here's what we know. We still do not sense life signs aboard, and our atmospheric readings show no oxygen. There is gravity here, though. Now, we walk down this corridor, until we find something. Ready?"

The rest of the group nodded, and they walked down the corridor, Robbie in front, next to the conveyor belt. They walked for about 30 feet down when they were stopped.

Sheppard- Wait, what is that on the wall?

Coffey- I don't know, looks like it may be an input device, and a small monitor.

Sheppard- Looks like I may be able to plug into it and read some of the data there, if there is anything.

Coffey- Go ahead, but be careful how you rub it. It may be an alarm or security device.

After opening his pack, Sheppard fished through the contents until he found a metal universal jack connected to a wire, and he attempted to link his helmet computer to the alien device. Coffey ordered the troops to be ready for anything as Sheppard tried accessing the alien database, if possible.

Sheppard established the link to the alien data, and the output on his helmet monitor and the monitor was identical. It was, however, unreadable to him.

Sheppard- Hey, Dean, check this out. Can you make anything out of this?

Dean- You've got to be kidding. I have never seen characters like that before. Nothing even close.

Sheppard- Well, if they're still around, I hope you can talk to them.

Dean- I hope I don't have to!

Then, the belt starting moving.

Young- Shit! It's moving, Commander!

Coffey- Stand fast, and hold your fire. Keep calm!

Chen- Anybody see anything yet?

Mathis- This doesn't seem right. Someone's definitely in here besides us.

Young- Look over there!

Young pointed to a large, rectangular figure moved along by the conveyor belt. From a distance, it appeared to be a metal box, and was followed by two other "boxes".

Chen- Do we fire, Commander?

Coffey- Keep your arms up and ready, but do not fire. Yet.

The belt stopped, situating the boxes in front of the team. The boxes were about four feet high, and almost that wide and deep. They looked just like the walls around them. The armed soldiers nervously kept their rifles aimed at them, but not firing yet.

A robotic voice boomed, seemingly from the wall behind them.

Voice- Do not move.

Coffey- Who are you? And, how did you learn our language?

Voice- We learned your language from images and sounds transmitted through your satellites. And, we are your conquerors.

Robbie started twisting madly, and his arms and legs seemed to be pulled out of their sockets by some invisible force. Then, his head was yanked off in similar fashion, and he and his parts stopped moving. Then, Young fell to his knees, clutching his throat.

Young- My suit! No air!

Coffey- Fire at them! Now!

Mathis- Nothing, Commander! Our weapons aren't firing!

Chen- Damnit, now I'm losing air! Help!

Mathis- Shit, me too!

With their rifles somehow rendered useless, Coffey ran towards the first box, and tried to rip its wires out with his bare hands. But, a few seconds after he gripped a handful of wires, an electric shock ran through his body, sending him to the floor. And, his oxygen supply was cut off in similar fashion. Young, dead. Robbie, in six pieces. Chen, just collapsed and not moving. Mathis, Anderson, Dean,  Sheppard, Tolbert, on their knees, struggling hopelessly to stay alive. All of them were slowly, painfully dying, or already dead. All, except Sgt. Hunt.

It was the moment of truth Lloyd Hunt feared, and hoped wouldn't happen. He pushed the detonation button. Nothing. Apparently, those aliens knew how to disable all of their devices and weapons. He then contemplated ripping the helmet off his head, to activate the "death switch", but it might not do any good, they probably disabled that function as well. After all, they knew well enough to not cut off his oxygen supply. What were his options? He then remembered the shuttle, and headed back to it, oblivious of what was transpiring out in space at that moment.

"Terminator" had been wiped out from a ray weapon of some sort from the alien ship. They just got their orders to fire on the aliens when his fighter was set to flames. "Halo" manuevered into firing position, and fired his entire weapons arsenal at the ship. Nothing. He frustratingly tried firing them again when the bright stream of light overcame his craft... and him.

Hunt got back into the shuttle, and saw the shuttle pilot sitting at the cockpit. He went over and told him to start the shuttle. No response. He was dead, like the others. Hunt had to figure out how to do it himself. He saw from the status monitor that all weapons and life support systems were not functioning, but everything else was. He quickly strapped himself into the pilot's seat, then fired the shuttle engines, and thrusted it to full acceleration. The shuttle ripped itself from the link, and the alien ship. If things would go the way he planned, the alien ship would have everything sucked from it by the vacuum of space, and unfortunately, so would the shuttle. He had a smile on his face as the shuttle rocked briefly, and then Hunt was forcefully dragged off the seat, breaking the straps, out the shuttle linkup, and he saw the earth in what had to be the most glorious view of the planet... he comforted himself with the sight of what looked like a hundred boxes sucked out of the alien ship. Then, drifting into the earth's atmostphere, red light started to glow on his helmet face shield...

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