Recently, while I was attending a Robbie Burns dinner and enjoying my fill of haggis and expensive single malt scotch, my oldest friend Malcolm, asked me how I was making out with my original novel I was writing. I had to admit to him that the blog had taken over the majority of my free time and that I hadn’t worked on it in quite some time. He encouraged me to keep going because even though he wasn’t a big fan of science fiction/militaristic writing, he did enjoy what I had written. So, here I am posting pieces of what I have in sequential order to spur me into finishing this thing to then place it in a trunk and lock it away for all of time… or maybe edit it and try to get it published… who knows?
I have already posted some snippets of other chapters included in this story, the Interlude Chapter parts 1-6 and The Speech, are all taken from this novel I’ve been working on.
So, without further ado, here is part 1 of the prologue…
The elevator hummed as it neared the top floor.
The General took a deep breath; the future of humanity in the intergalactic conclave rested on his ability to persuade the council. The door slid open and the aide to senator Galian stood waiting for him. He was still getting used to the fact humans weren’t alone in the galaxy, and this aide was living proof of that. The General wasn’t a short man by any means, he was average height for a human male at 6 feet, but this aide towered over him.
“Good evening General, are you ready to enter the chamber?”
“May I have a moment please?” the general asked quietly.
“Certainly, but I caution you don’t take too long, the council does not like to be kept waiting.” The aide said as he turned and moved back into the council chamber. The general turned to look out of the window. The conclave’s council chamber was located on the top of the tallest spire in the massive citadel. The citadel spanned what seemed like the entire horizon, but in reality it was only a couple hundred square kilometers, which is still massive compared to anything on earth, but then again they weren’t on earth.
The citadel was built by the Carians, a race of space travelers whose physiology closely resembles that of a bi-pedal lion. Each Carian stands roughly nine feet tall, they have muscular arms and legs, their hands and feet end in sharp retractable claws and their mane of hair flows down to their shoulders. Their body is covered in a very fine fur that keeps them warm even on the coldest planets. The Carians are considered to be the bravest warriors in the entire galaxy. In battle they fight to the last man, they will never give up and they will never surrender, in schools the children are taught to equate them with the Spartans of Greece of ancient Earth. As the general stared out over the citadel, he recalled the battle that brought humanity to the grim realization that they were not alone in the galaxy.
He was just a sergeant at the time, in charge of training the new recruits, on Beta Earth. The planet itself was pretty much as close to a carbon copy of earth as you could get. It had a perfectly balanced atmosphere, sunlight, liquid water, seasons and ice caps; it was pretty much perfect, save for the humidity. For some reason, despite the hygrometers they brought with them from home registering that everything should feel like a nice warm summer day back in the northern territories on earth; it felt like they were in the deepest jungles of the new Amazon. The shade provided little relief from the oppressive stickiness of the air causing you to feel like you had just gotten out of the shower the minute you stepped out of the climate-controlled barracks and training rooms. Due to the massive risk of heat stroke and dehydration amongst the troops training on the planet, the ESC mandated that water reservoirs be installed every few hundred meters and monitored every few hours for levels and replenishing.
They had just left the training compound in the Borl sector where they had been training in extravehicular combat for zero gravity deployments when the first ship appeared. Luckily, the Borl sector was located several klicks from the main training grounds, so his squad went unnoticed during the initial attack.
They were sleek and black in colour, very metallic looking, which gave credence to their origin as synthetic species. The ships were shaped like falling water droplets with a metallic liquid shimmering around their outer hull. They moved in unison using very tight formations to slip past the defense perimeter and begin wreaking havoc. The ships began shooting at the orbital defense canons from below and raining heavy fire down on the fighter launch hangars of the training grounds of the facility. They demolished with very little opposition. Most of the fighter pilots didn’t even make it to their ships before getting killed or were quickly running through their pre-flight checks when their fighters were destroyed.
They had used an unknown form of technology to make a light jump into the atmosphere of the planet, thus rendering the satellite defense platforms useless. They started with the major defensible positions and then moved to the barracks. As the ships flew low laying waste to any person or object they saw, large machines were dropped that immediately burrowed beneath the ground while contingents of ground troops were dropped as well. They used the underground, aerial and land assaults to overwhelm the defenders before they even had an idea of what was going on. It was a perfect assault, one that could not be replicated with the human technology at hand, but one that they would now inevitably need to plan for.
The attackers looked like machines, but their bodies appeared to be liquid; they moved with a quiet grace like a deer bounding through the woods, but their shape never stayed the same. The only thing that was constant in their form was a large metallic weapon that looked to be, somehow, grafted to their liquid frame.
He and his men were on their way back from their zero G training when they stumbled upon the attack. As they rounded the final bend to the training grounds and came out of the cover of the trees he and his men watched as their friends were cut down in front of their eyes by an overwhelming force, like a dark metallic wave was washing the base clean. He signaled for his squad to follow him and they quietly moved to the mess hall, taking refuge behind the large structure. They all looked at him, their leader, all silently wondering what was going on. Their eyes were filled with sadness and confusion; they looked to him for guidance.
“I don’t know what’s going on or even what we are being attacked by, but I do know this, we are not going down without a fight! We will not just lay down and let them wash us clean from the planet. We’re going to show them what humans are made of” he hissed as he hefted his weapon.
“Sarge, the only weapons we have are training rifles with blanks, we don’t have anything that can hurt…whatever they are…” McCague said meekly.
“You’re right Mickey, so first thing’s first, we can’t kick ass without our ass kicking gear. Wolfe, I want you Michaels and Brown to get to the armory and bring us back all the weapons, ammo and ordinance you can find. Stay low and stay out of sight. We’ve managed to stay undetected for this long, I’d like to keep it that way”.
“HOO RAH SARGE!” they whispered as they skirted around the mess hall building and bee lined it for the armory using vehicles, shipping crates and whatever else they could find as cover.
“Second, we need to find out where these things are weakest so we can kill them”, He told his squad as he peered around the corner. He was looking to find a straggler or one who was hurt and lagging behind the rest so they could snatch it and get some new intel on this attacking force. “spread out and stay hidden, if you find one, three whistles, like we practiced in night ops training. You hear the whistles move back here. Understood?”
“Understood”, came the hushed response as his squad fanned out over the courtyard. As he moved through cover in the courtyard he came across a lot of dead, but not the enemy, their own. Scores of soldiers killed by whatever weapons these enemies were using. It tore large jagged holes clean through their targets but not a single hole was made in any of the cover. As he examined the body of one of the newest recruits, the kid didn’t even have his basic bars on his uniform, he heard the whistle, three long notes. Perfect, he thought to himself as he made his way carefully back through the courtyard to the mess hall.
“Got one Sarge! He’s still kicking, but it doesn’t look like he’s going anywhere” the rookie said as he and the corporal wrestled the alien over. As they dragged the invader over, they could finally get a good look at it. Their body was indeed liquid, but they appeared to be encased in some sort of armour that held them in a solid form and allowed for the attachment of the weapon to the right forearm. The face is what intrigued the sergeant the most, it didn’t have any features. It was a swirling blob of metal-like liquid, no eyes or nose or mouth. As he knelt over the creature, he pulled his knife out of its sheath with a faint click and the alien it started flailing its arms and writhing on the ground. Clearly, despite not having any eyes, it could see him.
“Hold it down!”, Sarge hissed at the men watching the alien writhe on the ground. Four of them jumped forward and held the alien down, one on each appendage as the sergeant knelt beside it. The sergeant used the tip of his knife to poke the armour that held the creature together; he discovered his knife slipped right through it as if he was slicing through butter at Thanksgiving dinner. As the tip of the blade touched the swirling metallic liquid inside the armour, the creature let out a very high pitched screech. “SHUT IT UP BEFORE IT ATTRACTS MORE!”, the sergeant hissed at his men. His men looked at each other confused; the creature had no mouth so they had no idea where the screech was coming from. Finally, Jenkins, the one holding the arm with the weapon attached to it, held his hand on the face where the mouth should have been and the screeching quieted, but didn’t stop. The sergeant pulled the knife out of the alien’s armour and the screeching stopped altogether. “Clearly, we can hurt them, if you have to get in close use your knife. They bleed too…” he pointed down, and the metallic looking liquid was oozing out of the hole he had made with his knife and onto the ground. The liquid appeared to shimmer with every colour in the sunlight but when looked at it directly it appeared a very dark grey.
Jenkins stood up and looked at the alien as it lay on the ground bleeding from the wound the sergeant had made, he stepped over it, letting the sweat drip off his chin. As some of his sweat hit the ground a drop of it landed on what was oozing out of the alien, there was a sizzling sound and some foul-smelling smoke as the liquid bubbled until it was gone.