Posted by AlOmega on October 06, 2002 at 18:45:11:
Barbanne and AlOmega
The aliens were nothing like in the movies.
They didn't blast down in rocket-powered ships or anything. Just those smooth, huge, inverted cones, point downward. One minute they weren't there, the next they were - just drifting across the city and killing everything in their path. And the killing was quietly efficient but with great force. It was like the people were just blasted away - blasted away by a titanic force that smashed them to death, stripping them of clothing, humanity, and dignity.
Stripped them and bowled them over.
Every one of them.
Well not exactly ‘smashed’ but they were dead. All dead. Everywhere.
I was working in the Center when it all happened; and, I didn't even know. I didn't usually work late but I had stuff to finish that night and stayed until after ten. I closed up and turned out the lights and locked the door. And there they were. These cones, floating upside down and everything laid waste. People lay dead everywhere. Cars stopped, buses stopped, bodies everywhere. Sitting in seats, lying out doors, everywhere. There was a field of prone corpses spread out on the ground. I walked amidst them, my mind struggling with the shock. It was the end of the world.
I'd always expected it would be different. Noisier, more screaming and fight from humanity. Certainly it couldn't have been any bloodier. Bloodier or less final, all encompassing.
But Humanity had died with scarcely a whimper. Only the birds and insects marred that pristine silence.
I was the only person alive.
The night had been hot and I was dressed in a pair of shorts and a tee shirt and had on trainers and other than that I had a pair of skimpy panties underneath. Not exactly the uniform to save the world.
I felt what I was. A small, frightened, lonely girl - the only one alive in this whole vast city. Maybe the World. No, that wouldn't be true. There had to be others. But right now I was the only living thing in a land of the dead.
I didn't want to be dead.
I wanted to live.
I was young.
I wanted to live. But what chance did I have. Everyone I could see was dead.
I reckoned the best way to escape detection was to join the crowd.
They were all dead. I'd have to be dead too. Well at least as far as those aliens were concerned. They'd have to think I was dead. Truly dead.
Two girls lay on the footpath and they were both dead. They must have been night-clubbing and were dressed in nice party frocks. Or had been. The blast from the ray or whatever it was had knocked them down and one gal's frock had had its skirt blown up around her waist and her top had been ripped open and shredded. She had on a suspender belt and black stockings and one really high heeled black shoe. Her other foot was shoeless and where that one had gone who knows? She had real long legs and would have been a head turner in life. The other gal's frock had been almost stripped off altogether and what was left of it was bunched around her ankles. Her undies looked a bit ragged and were all spotted in blood. She had a big gash in her throat and was bleeding copiously all over her shoulders and breasts.
They'd do, I decided and lay on my back, half on and half off the curb. I wriggled my shorts and my panties down to about mid thigh, and rolled the tops down. I scrunched my tee shirt up under my arm pits and chin. I wasn't wearing a bra and so that left my tits exposed. I leaned over and scooped a handful of sticky, wet blood off of the girl who was bleeding everywhere and, hoping she wasn't HIV positive or anything, I dribbled it from my cupped hand onto my breasts. It sloshed onto my nipple and ran down the curve of my bosom, pooling in the middle. I smeared what was left of the blood around my mouth and wiped it down my chin.
I lay on my back and put my right arm out straight at right angles to my body, so that my hand and fingers drooped over the curb. My left arm I placed above my head, crooked at the elbow, my left hand palm up. I bent my right leg at the knee and twisted my legs together so that my feet were at an unnaturally awkward angle to my legs and each other. I lifted my head and looked at myself, as much as I could, to see what effect I'd achieved. What I could see looked good. I looked wrecked and pretty dead or at least I thought so.
I shook out my hair and lay back and closed my eyes and tried to think ‘dead’. Suddenly it all seemed weird and stupid and I giggled involuntarily.
"No good Barb." I thought. "Get dead girl."
I lay there feeling somewhat uncomfortable and very aware of the cold concrete pressing into my bare ass and back. I thought myself dead and limped right out. I tried to keep my breathing as shallow as possible. No use looking like a great corpse and having a heaving breast and rippling tummy I thought. I lay still and remembered what those real dead girls looked like. I tried to make myself feel like that, look like that. No use playing dead if you end up convincing no one; and then ending up being dead for real. I had to be ‘dead’ now so that I wouldn't be dead then if you know what I mean.
"Dead, dead, I'm dead." I thought.
"Limp out Barb." I thought.
A light was coming. Even through my closed eyelids I could see light, increasing every moment. "Here they come." I thought and imagined one of the cones moving silently through the air. Silently, sinisterly, probing, looking. What would they see when they looked at me. Just another dead body among many others or a live girl pretending to be dead. A live girl whom they could kill then and there. Or capture and torture. Torture horribly. Rape maybe. What would being raped by them be like? What would they be like? I had a vision of myself giving birth to a monstrous deformity and shuddered.
"Shit Barb." I thought. "Corpses don't shudder with horror at the approach of their killers. Limp out girl."
Well, I reckoned, if these aliens knew anything about humans and human females particularly, I should be able to fool them. I mean I'm lying here with my breasts on display, with my genitals exposed. If they know about human females, they'd know that the only way a woman would let people - even alien people - see her, all exposed like that, would be if she was dead. Dead and unable to do anything about it. Dead and with the decision to show or to hide taken out of her hands. Yeah, this girl who's lying here with her shorts and panties around her thighs and her tee shirt all rolled up under her chin has got to be dead. If she weren't, she'd die of embarrassment. I mean anyone can see she’s almost naked. Anyone. What would people think? Nah, she's gotta be dead.
Bought the farm.
The light hit me full on. Even under my eyelids it was bright as day. I really concentrated on my make believe. Playing dead. I shallowed my breathing to almost nothing and I sent messages to my arms and legs to just lie like floppo-ed out. The light stayed on me. It was awfully strong but it wasn't hot or even warm. You'd think being as bright as day it would be like sunlight and warm me up. But no. It was cold. Cold and bright and harsh. I wondered what they were doing. Were they looking at me? What or who were they? Were they discussing me?
"Hey look at her."
"Not dead though."
"Thinks she can fool us."
"Hit her with the gamma rays Tron." (or Grogg, or Klingo or whatever)
Still the light stayed there lighting me up. I must look like I’m in the spotlight of the sun!! Heck they could have counted my freckles hairs by now under that light. What were they doing?
Then it moved away. Not much at first, just a bit less bright but moving, definitely moving. Then it moved again and then it was about gone.
I had fooled them.
I had gotten away with it.
Fabulous. Great. Fantastic!
I could hear noises. Someone, or something, was coming.
The sounds came closer, stopped, started again, stopped, came closer. I could hear no voices but the sounds of footfalls and a sound like a well-oiled, set of wheels.
I decided to risk a peek.
I opened my eyes, very, very slowly and hoped my head was turned in the right direction. It was. A couple of robots, at least that's what I think they were, were wheeling a sort of space gurney along and collecting occasional bodies, piling them on top of the shiny surface of the gurney.
The robots were like nothing Hollywood had prepared me for either. They were vaguely humanoid, obviously 'droids and they were sort of like steel skeletons animated by some power force I could not discern. Their limbs and frame were like a bridge builder's idea of a human skeleton, all joints and struts and stuff and they were transparent. Well you could see right through the skeletal cages that comprised their body trunks, and their arms and legs were just marvels of engineering. They sorta had heads - well skulls anyway - with some sort of heat sensors or light sensors or something which was made manifest by two glowing orange lights which must assess distance and stuff by parallax.
I decide to stay dead and hope they couldn't detect life.
I closed my eyes again and just lay there dead as I could be.
They came closer.
I heard them stop and they collected one of the two dead girls near me. The one without blood as it turned out. Then they moved away. I lay there and just wished them gone.
Skeletal steel fingers and hands tucked themselves under my shoulders and ass and I was lifted up. I stayed limp and floppy like a lifeless thing. They laid me over the other girl's body on the cart thing. Her flesh was ice cold and she was as dead as day-old meat. I could smell a sweet strange scent and realized I was smelling death. I just lay there and hoped they'd take me for dead and maybe I could find somewhere to escape.
Then we passed into – something. I wasn’t sure at the time. It was resting on the ground with stick-like things on the outside. It looked like it had eyes. I didn’t think there was a door or anything until one of those ‘eyes’ cycled open like one of those old-fashioned lens cameras. There wasn't much else and we were inside.
The inside bore no relation to the outside but was just like a huge well lit room. How do I know that you ask? Well, I was still playing dead, hoping for a miracle which would see me given a chance to escape when I became aware I was inside. The robots or droids were unloading the corpses and my pretend lifeless corpse was lifted and laid down on a glass or some other sorta transparent but strong table and the droids proceeded to strip me of my disheveled clothing. There I lay naked and still a bit bloody and suddenly a soft, cultured voice said in perfect, unaccented English, "Ah Barbara, I think you can stop your little charade now."
I got such a shock and a sickly sinking sensation - enough so that I twitched. Having ruined my dead play, I sat up and opened my eyes..
That's how I knew the room was huge and well lit.
The other corpses, all girls had been stripped and lay on similar glass tables.
Other than that, the room was empty!
But where had the voice come from? As I stood a tall woman materialized before me. She took my hand and with a gesture seemed to spin clothing all over my body.
“I’m sorry, Dear Barbara”, she said as a warm smile played from her eyes to her mouth. “We arrived too late, I see. But we found out about the Boroldian attack a little over a frowlf...” She seemed to shimmer for a moment before continuing. “Sorry - I meant about an hour ago. Tandum, one of my Children, is seeing to the damage but I’m afraid from the corpses here and elsewhere, that there were no survivors beside yourself. Even the Twins could not heal those that rest here though the bodies are well preserved. “
What was this woman talking about, I wondered. She had perfect command of English but I knew she was alien. Something about her seemed too perfect. Seeming to read my thoughts, she smiled.
I am so sorry - again. I was unaware that your species was unfamiliar with space travel. Perhaps my information was false but were not those artifacts on this world’s satellite yours? No, I see from your mind they were from somewhere.... Ah, now I understand. They were not from your large island-nation of Australia but from somewhere else. The ‘United States’, I believe. It is a ... country? Yes, of course. My probes are indeed rather primitive and...”
“Just who are you?” I inquired. “And why did you kill everyone? Why?” And with that, I broke hand contact and ran. But where was I to go. A beckoning door offered succor from the madness threatening to crash around me. I ran.
On egress, I was astonished to see an open sky and rolling hills. Because a small lake barred my path, I turned and looked back. There was no room but a small cottage beckoned. It was too much as I felt my knees buckle. But before I could fall, the ground rushed up to support my body.
Whether a few minutes or hours had passed, I never knew. When I regained consciousness, two furry creatures were caressing my hands. I snatched them form the evil creatures. Were they the one’s who had killed everyone?
“She hates us, my Rizult,” one alien said to another.
“No, no. She is just Human; and, they are still so xenophobic, they are”, said the other. Both looked at each other. I felt a tickling in my head until as a unit, both left and entered the lake waters and disappeared. There wasn’t even a ripple when they entered. Before I could rise again, two Beings of Light materialized beside me. No not beings of light exactly. They were a lad and lass about fifteen and 1.42 meters tall. Their blond hair flowed over white diaphanous gowns that shifted in the light revealing nothing. Their blackened eyes were in sharp contrast to their otherwise angelic continence. Each beckoned; and, even though terrified, I rose and accepted their hands. The lady I had met earlier was seated at a table on a grassy hilltop looking over the lake. As I approached, she stood and poured a glass of what I could only describe as pink wine. The brother and sister - the Twins I found out later - had left. I was sorry to see them go.
“Again I find I must apologize, young Barbara. I know you expected death - death at the hands of the Boroldians. You see, they are a barbaric species that stole its technology from the Sandorians. The few Sandorians that were left after their world exploded were unable to resist being overcome. Though the Team had removed much of the Sandorian technology from the Borald Homeworld, a few managed to escape and elude us. We were seeking those few when I received a communiqué that several million had managed to find their way to Earth. Although I have recreated a fully complimented team of fighters, I reasoned that you might be willing to join them.”
I wasn’t accepting all this for a minute. “Why should I believe you? Maybe… .”
“…We were responsible and wish to use you? No, that is not the case”.
She smiled. “You are quite a resilient species. Foolish perhaps or simply cautious? I am unsure. I just wish I had the time to prove what I said is true. I am afraid you must simply accept my word. As a civilized species, we cannot, will not, kill. But you may. And the Borold is a species that in many ways deserve killing. Though they departed swiftly when we arrived, several hundred thousand of them are still on here. We can isolate those that have departed but Earth is your world, not ours.
Also, I would be remiss in not advising that we took the DNA from several of your people and created clones. There are positives and negatives to that, however. Though they live for a time, they will not survive more than a few years. And while enough of your specie’s DNA remains to recreate Humanity, without a boost from the DNA of one of our own, Humans will not be able to repopulate the Earth.
“There is another factor as well.”
Here it comes, I thought.
“You probably will not be able to participate in the repopulating except to provide much needed love to the newborns - that is, if you survive the coming war. That we consider sad inasmuch as you would have been able to produce children if the Borold hadn’t arrived. The reason you survived was that you had a natural inhibition from the energy forms they employed in killing everyone. The side effect is permanent. I am very sorry but...”
“That’s all right,” I responded. “You were not at fault. I should thank you. By the way, who are you?”
I seemed to see a tear in her eye as I asked. “My name-designation is Betea.”
“Well thanks, uh, Betea. I suppose I’d better take command of the Zombie Corp.”
“What we call reanimated corpses. Don’t worry about it.”
She was very kind providing equipment and clothing and so much more that I thought we would never be able to leave. But we did. She provided us with a space craft. For some reason she called it Tandum. I guess it was named for her child. But I never found out.
As Tandum departed for Earth, Lou-San placed an arm around Betea as tears poured from her eyes. She hadn’t seen Betea cry much - or at least not one of her androids.
“Wonder what will happen?”
“She w-will live gloriously (sniff) and die as quickly.”
“Possibly, though I think not. She will fight well and long. I do know that. She has Honor she does. The highest Honor that I’ve ever seen.
“Does she know?”
“That it was all the eggs she would ever have produced that we needed to repopulate the Earth? N-n-no. I had not the heart to tell her.”
“Nor that she would be the Mother - the Eve- of the Human species? I’m surprised. You are generally so forthright, so clinical, so...”
“Mechanical, Lady Lou-San? I understand. You have always thought of me as a ‘thing’. As another machine.”
“But no more,” Lou-San added as she squeezed the beautiful cloned android that was soon to die.