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The Patient Ones

April 18, 2014 20 comments

It’s Storybook Corner time again! As usual, I’m getting this in just under the wire.

This is a 300-500 word story based on a photo prompt, and is hosted by Adam Ickes. This week’s photo is quite open – just a door – where could it lead?

But first, the logo!

ogre-castle

 

You can read the other stories for this month (March) by clicking on the little blue froggy below.

And here’s the photo for this month’s prompt.

SBCorner-March2014

 

Marcus took a deep breath and walked through the door, shaking the snow from his boots. It was warmer inside, and warmer too at his ultimate destination, he hoped.

They had arrived twenty-two years ago amid world-wide panic. “Invasion!” was the word on everyone’s lips. “Aliens!” followed close behind.

After a few days nothing untoward had happened. Contact was made.

The Vonotvi, they called themselves. A peaceful race from the far side of the galaxy, their planet had died when their sun exploded. These two hundred were the last of their race.

They brought new culture, new technology. Technology like Space Fold Unlimited Travel allowing almost instantaneous travel across the planet between any two terminals. Operated by SFUTlinkTM under the guidance of the Vonotvi, this building held one such terminal.

Today Marcus was travelling to warmer climes. The last of his family lost in a flaming mass of twisted metal, he was leaving familiar shores and painful memories behind.

He’d heard the stories, of course. People disappearing, walking in one end and never seen again. Nobody was particularly worried. Did they really disappear? No-one had reported them missing. Most were transients. Who knew if they were missing or not?

The Vonotvi had been on Earth for decades with never a problem and besides, there weren’t enough of them to cause trouble. Conspiracy theorists, they’ll always find something. Everyone used SFUT. Commuters, celebrities, hell, even world leaders. Perfectly safe!

And so Marcus walked up to the desk, swiped his ID and joined the queue of travellers. Men, women, children. Families. Families like the one he’d lost.

He swallowed to clear the lump in his throat and approached the Threshold. A swirling, pulsating mass of colours, the Threshold was everything popular science fiction had promised. One by one the travellers entered, to emerge on the other side of the planet. Marcus closed his eyes and crossed into the “tunnel”.

Immediately the air exploded from his body. He felt weightless. He opened his eyes but had no air in his lungs to scream as his eyeballs threatened to burst from his skull. He was floating in blackness, unable to breathe. Something had gone horribly wrong!

As consciousness left him, he imagined he saw a dark shape approaching.

When he opened his eyes again, everything was clear. He stood in a large metal bay, a hanger maybe, amidst many others. A huge screen flashed images of a planet – clear blue seas, huge cities, open countryside, somehow familiar? – his enhanced brain absorbed the information. Power generation centres, transport hubs, seats of power. Tactics. Mission parameters. The vicious pincers at the ends of his arms, bonded to his flesh, felt wrong somehow. Everything felt a little wrong, but he put that thought aside as he screeched the Vonotvi battle cry, echoed by thousands of others in the hanger.

Ka Vonotvi kee’ash! “For Vonotvi to the death!”

In the gallery above, two Vonotvi, or “Patient Ones”, smiled in grim satisfaction.

Soon.

Take me to your leader

July 3, 2012 Leave a comment

An alien, like the ones who could be visiting our resource-rich planet in the near future – or have they been here ALREADY?

“Independence Day”, “War of the Worlds”, “Battle: Los Angeles” – Hollywood is chock full of alien invasion stories and it’s safe to say that generally, it doesn’t go well for the human race.

I was reading a post on the origin of UFOs on The Matrix Times blog recently, and that got me thinking – what would happen if a bunch of extra-terrestrials actually landed here?

First of all, I’m hoping that they’ll be friendly. Okay, our planet has vast amounts of (moderately polluted) water – a resource which is undoubtedly scarce on the aliens’ home world (according to many Sci-Fi stories). They may wish to take this by force! But more than likely anyone with the technical skills to reach another planet will be willing to at least talk before crushing us like bugs.

My hypothetical aliens might bring a variety of special skills with them – technical know-how, telepathy, may even the ability to alter the very nature of matter, effortlessly changing one substance into another (like turning lead into gold, for example)!

Don’t even get me started on the popular alchemical pursuit of attempting to change a common metal into a rarer metal, thus making the rarer lovely shiny metal so common that the world’s economy collapses (again).

We humans have our own special skill – fearing and hating anything different. So, what would happen when these happy friendly aliens land, eager to be our friends and share their enlightened views of the universe? I’m assuming at this point that the aliens

  1. Contact us first and over a number of years build up a relationship with us so that our fear is somewhat decreased prior to face-to-face contact, or
  2. Have the necessary technology to protect them against the best missiles money can buy during their approach and entry into our atmosphere

Here’s my breakdown on what I think will happen.

  • 10% of the population won’t notice
  • 10% of the population will believe it to be a government conspiracy
  • 50% of the population will panic
  • 5% of the population won’t care
  • 5% of the population will embrace the newcomers, eager for cultural exchange
  • 10% of the population will attempt to exploit the aliens for personal gain
  • 10% of the population will immediately form the “Children of the Sky” cult, worshipping them as gods

Okay, so maybe I’m being a bit down on the human race, but somehow those numbers look about right to me. Probably more than 50% of the population will panic but they fall into the other groups too.

And the funniest thing of all? After all this panic and cult-forming has taken place, it turns out that our new alien friends are actually just a group of student aliens from the Sirius Major College of Fine Arts, backpacking around the galaxy during their summer holidays.