The Nemesis Vector

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Bring it on....

Chapter 10 (v.1) - Chapter 12, 13

Submitted: July 06, 2017

Reads: 203

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Submitted: July 06, 2017

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Chapter 12

“Commander, I am glad you mentioned the Russians, sir. They have already been in contact with us having heard Captain Huntley’s transmission. We told them just what you suggested; that it was a power failure. We gave out a simple glitch code and told them that everything else seems to be in working order.”

“Did they accept that explanation?”

“Yes, they seemed okay with the explanation as did the Japanese.”

“All right, that’s good. If there are any major changes Wilson, contact me immediately via the red line. I will be in touch with NASA just as soon as our team has time to review all of the data. Lastly, thank you for your prompt response to the transmission of the com and video feeds… I hear from my aide they have just arrived.”

“That’s good Sir… good to hear. If there are any further developments, I will be in touch immediately.”

Doubt clouds the mind of Commander Brubeck, as he mulls over the limited facts regarding this situation. He finds it hard to believe there was any need for the initiation of the ET Code45 protocol. Having been associated with the NASA group for nearly 30 years, his viewpoint is definitely influenced by his beliefs that such a phenomenon involving ‘aliens’ does not possibly exist. He feels that aliens and alien abductions are only believable to those who frequent the newsstands purchasing any one of the many rag tabloids. In his mind, those that believe in such things are cranks, crackpots, or weirdos with mental problems; none of which ever have any solid proof of extraterrestrial life forms beyond the occasional blurred picture attached to a sensational headline.

The general shakes his head talking to himself, “This is just more of those damn UFO fictional sightings… only now a NASA ASTRONAUT is making the ridiculous claim.”

At the Pentagon, in a high security briefing room, five military men, each having above top-secret clearance, are seated around a table awaiting the start of the meeting which is to be led by Commander Brubeck. Each man, with a folder in front of him, has been briefed regarding the current situation and all of the suspect events that had recently transpired on the International Space Station.

As the men study the brief, the door opens and the Commander walks in. Seeing him, with a rustling of chairs and paper, each attendee immediately moves to a position of attention. 

Briskly walking to the head of the table, Brubeck pulls his chair back, sets his briefcase down hard on the table next to the phone and announces, “At ease gentlemen, you may sit down. As you can see from the brief in front of you, we have, what could be, an extremely serious concern to our national… actually, our global security. However, at this point, we have very little to go on as a result of our last communication with the ISS. During that communication… audio com only... which you can see on the established time line lasted only 2 minutes and 36 seconds… Captain Rex Huntley invoked an emergency ET Code45 and during the time it took to establish the red line, communication was once again lost. No detail is known as to the condition of the station or the other crew members, with the exception of Captain Rory Scott. Scott, who had been working with Huntley on the repair of the robotic arm at the time of this breach, was with Huntley at the time of the last communication. The personnel files of these two men appear to be above reproach, medical and psychological profiles are clean and they both have outstanding Air Force service records. Now, moving on, our communication experts have found nothing unusual in any of the audio com feeds. They have even checked and rechecked back one full week prior to this incident. Currently, the video analysis team is reviewing the video feed and they should have that completed any minute.”

As the commander moves to sit down, one of the officers stands to ask a question.

“Excuse me Commander, with so little communicated during that last com, how is that we can be sure… I mean, is it possible that Huntly may have gone… ”

With a snicker echoing through the group of officers, the Commander calls out an abrupt, “AT EASE gentlemen!” As the group quiets, the phone rings and without hesitation, Brubeck answers the call.

 “Yes… okay, I understand… he will be here within five minutes… good,” he finished and hangs up the phone. “Gentlemen, the video analysis expert will be here in just a few minutes… perhaps he will be able to tell us something more.”

“Commander… if I might continue?”

“Certainly, Captain… go ahead.”

“Thank you sir… I have reviewed the information Commander and what Captain Huntley is claiming here, in my opinion, is nothing short of some sort of space hysteria.”

“I understand what you are saying Colonel, but let’s just sit tight… all of us. Gentlemen, we need to hold judgement regarding Captain Huntley until after the video briefing.”

Continuing, the Captain remarks, “The way I see it Commander, Huntley had better be right or he’ll likely never fly again.”

“Like I said gentlemen… let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Captain Huntley deserves a fair review of this matter we have before us BEFORE we make a judgment… don’t you agree?”

As one of the officers gets up from his chair, picking up the remote to ready a closed circuit TV on the wall of the meeting room, a tall man carrying a battered attaché enters. Opening the case, he pulls out a memory stick and inserts the device into the computer lying on the table and turns on the LCD projector. Standing just to the side of the TV, he turns to address the anxious attendees.

“Gentlemen, let me introduce myself. My name is Mike Peters; I’m head of the video surveillance investigation team for the Pentagon. My expertise is in video analysis. I graduated with a PHD from MIT and I have worked here in the Pentagon for just shy of ten years. During my tenure here at the Pentagon, I have identified many terrorist threats by analyzing drone video. I have been responsible for making final decisions regarding who lives and who dies using the data I have reviewed. Understand that some of these threats I have investigated have been from close proximity and others have been from quite far away and not easy to discern. With that being said, I’d like to begin this meeting and brief all of you on the findings regarding the last video feed received by NASA just prior to the video com malfunction. Captain, if you don’t mind, I will need the remote.” The officer hands the remote to Peters and then returns to his seat. 

The Commander, clearing his throat, asks, “Mr. Peters, can you tell me… was there anything of significance found in the video to report? I have another meeting here shortly and I would just like to get to the nuts and bolts regarding what you found, or didn’t find… ASAP.”

“Commander, I know all of your meetings are important and I can certainly appreciate your busy schedule… but honestly, you might want to consider rescheduling your meetings for today…”

Brandishing an astonished look on his face, the Commander answers in a gentler tone, “All right Mr. Peters; let’s see what you have for us… please continue.”

The men in the room now silent, fix their attention on Peters as he finds the correct file on the memory stick and then pause’s the video feed right at the point where the two astronauts are working on the malfunctioning robotic arm.

“Gentlemen, what you will be looking at here are the last few frame bites, which I will put on a loop. These frames are just prior to the loss of the video link.”

One of the officers remarks, “A few seconds of a video doesn’t seem like much to analyze Mr. Peters… what can you possibly see, of any significance, in such a short time frame?”

“I can certainly understand why you might have that question Sir, but just watch closely. Now, as I play the video at normal speed, you will note there is nothing much out of the ordinary to be seen; just two astronauts working on the robotic arm. Wouldn’t you agree gentlemen?”

The room remains quiet as all of them shake their heads in agreement but look at one another as if to ask, ‘where can this conversation possibly be going?’

“Now gentlemen, watch as I slow these video frames down to quarter speed. As I slow the frames down, you can see the anomaly. As the frame clicks slowly by, Peters points out with his red laser pointer, a dark rounded edge coming into view on the video and as the silhouette moves ever so slowly into the frame, the unidentified object is noticeably blocking out the stars. Clicking back and forth between the two frames the object becomes more evident and is the reason why the stars have been blocked out, but moving at normal speed it’s not even noticed.”

Now sitting more upright in his chair, and somewhat startled by this evidence, the Commander asks, “So what exactly is it that you are saying Peters?”

“There is definitely, without question, a physical object in the frame, Commander. This unknown object or anomaly, if you will, has mass and that mass is blocking out the stars. What we are looking at gentlemen is a UFO; an alien spacecraft and I might add an extremely large one at that.”

As the military officers, now silenced at the conference table, look at one another in utter disbelief, Commander Brubeck sits back in his chair with a look of impatience and asks, “Peters, just how sure are you that what we are seeing here is an alien spacecraft?”

“Actually Commander, I am quite certain. This dark object I pointed out appeared in the video frame faster than the human eye can blink. The video evidence is crystal clear and definitely supports Captain Huntley’s request for ET Code45. I’m 100% positive the International Space Station has indeed been breached by an unknown alien force, just as he stated.”

With his hands now folded on the table, the Commander remarks, “Breached… that is an interesting choice of words Peters.”

“Breached Commander, in that we currently do not know what is or has been happening up there because there has been no further communication since Captain Huntley’s last communication requesting the ET Code 45 protocol be initiated. Honestly, if the word ‘attacked’ feels more appropriate Sir; I suggest you use that word.”

As the Commander stands, placing his hands forcefully on the table, he announces firmly, “With this evidence gentleman, I believe it is time to put our military forces on high alert. I’ll advise the President and NASA immediately that ET Code45 has been initiated and the event has been verified by the Pentagon. With this news, you are to remain on campus or in your offices until further orders are received. You are dismissed.” 

 

Chapter 13

Shaken to his very core, Rex slowly inches his way back down along the framework of the ISS to where Rory is and tethers himself moving in alongside of him. Grasping to find the words… the right words to talk about what they each had just witnessed, they look at each other expressing no words. Rex, looking at Rory… his fellow crew member… his friend… knows that anything he might find to say to his friend, will not wipe away the look of fear that is etched on Rory’s face. It’s a look that says it all.

“Rory, we just need to wish our friends God’s speed… they are, I believe, in a better place now… a better place than this and their sacrifice makes them true heroes. You and I; we have a job to do now… we’ve got to keep our heads on straight and figure out a way to warn NASA about what’s happening up here. Are you with me Rory?”

“Those rotten bastards killed them Rex… just executed them; cold blooded murder!”

“Yes… you’re right… they were murdered, but you and I, we have got to stay focused Rory.  We need to figure a way to stay alive and right now we need a plan; we have got to do whatever it takes to help everyone back on earth… especially Sahara and your baby. Are you with me Rory?”

Rory, looking down, sorrowful tears welling up in his eyes and rolling down his cheeks, “Yes Rex... I’m with you.”

“Rory, we are going to get out of this alive… I’m going to get us out of here in one piece… I promise you that. There is nothing we can do for our friends now except to fight back and that’s exactly what we are going to do.”

Raising his eyes to meet Rex’s, Rory, choking on his words, whispers, “The crew… they never had a chance… never really had a chance.”

“But we do Rory… you and I… we have a chance. Together we are going to make it through this and get out of here. We are gonna get back to earth and get you back to your beautiful wife and that new baby. We are no longer astronauts, but warriors. Do you understand me?”

“We’re just astronauts Rex, I’m no warrior.”

“I know there is a warrior in you; those aliens just ordained both of us to be warriors whether we like it or not.”

“A warrior?”

“Yeah, a warrior.”

In a firm voice, Rex grabs Rory’s arm knowing he must shake Rory out of this place of darkness. “You are a smart guy Rory; you can do this with me. We are going to fight back and avenge the cold blooded murder of our friends; let’s make them proud!  Like I said, we are warriors now!”

“I know you’re right… we need to fight… we need to make them proud. Their deaths need to stand for something.”

“Good… that’s better… keep thinking like that.”

“We are going to need to refill our oxygen supply again soon, but we cannot return to the space station. It’s too big of a risk.”

“Copy that. What are you thinking?  I don’t see that we have many options here… I’m thinking that we might just need a miracle.”

“You are right… options are certainly limited, but I have an idea. We have to destroy their ship… destroy that ship and kill every last one of those alien bastards.”

Rory, looking at Rex as if he had lost his mind asks, “Really Rex? …and how are you proposing we can pull that off? We have no defensive weapons on the shuttle that I recall… I’m thinking you may need to get a little more O2 to your brain if that’s your plan… we have nothing to fight them with… in fact less than nothing.”

“Rory, I do have a plan… a warriors plan, it’s going to sound a little crazy but hear me out. I believe we do have a weapon we can use to fight them with.”

“I’m all ears… but I think from where I sit, we are pretty well screwed here.”

Rex with a small chuckle and smiling through his helmets visor at Rory remarks, “Oh disbeliever, I disagree… listen up. We are going to improvise and use a little ole’ fashioned human ingenuity. We are going to make our way back to the Intrepid, open the payload doors, and then extend the robotic arm so we can utilize it as a spear to ram the alien ship.”

“You have got to be kidding me! That’s your plan?  That’s our weapon?  You want to make a spear out of the space shuttle’s piece of shit robotic arm?” Rory responds with a look of total disbelief.

“It’s as good as new, remember?” Rex assures him.

“Sure and somehow you magically made it into a spear; how could I forget?”

“Well, unless you have a better idea, I believe it’s the closest thing to a weapon we have available to us. Look, we can extend it out, lock it in place and then use it to stab that beastly ship in its belly; rip its high tech guts out.” Rex looking squarely into Rory’s eyes says firmly, “I was told once by my Dad that if all you have to fight with in a desperate situation is ‘sticks and stones’, then that’s what you fight with. Besides, I’d rather go down fighting these alien pricks if that’s what I have to do. The way I see it, it’s the only thing you and I can do that will give us a fighting chance. The aliens, I’m sure, suspect we are here somewhere… and they are certainly not going to let us leave for Earth in the Intrepid. You know it and I know it. Without a doubt, if they see the shuttle leaving this station; they will destroy it in a mere heart beat… with us in it.”

Pausing to think about it for a moment, Rory with a half-smile says “What the hell… there is an outside chance your plan might just work… it might be really outside, but I will agree there’s a small chance for success.”

“Odds are in our favor buddy; we only have to destroy one ship.”

“Copy that Rex.  I’m betting this alien ship is a forward scout just checking things out. Who knows, they might even be looking to see if we, as a species, are any real threat to them.”

“Well… won’t they be surprised if this plan works? I’m not sure why they have come here; but whatever that reason is, it certainly appears their command does not want eyes… our eyes… on what they are doing.”

“For sure… As crazy as your plan sounds, it is probably our best, if not our only hope for survival. Let’s destroy that damn ship!  How’s your oxygen level?”

“Oh my God… once a safety monitor, always a safety monitor,” with a chuckle, Rex answers. “Oxygen levels are good to go, let’s go get some payback.”

“Yeah, payback… with a little luck, we will surprise them.”

“Yes Rory… we will need a little luck… but just a little will do us.”

“Do you think that robotic arm will hold up?”

“Not even going to let any thought that it won’t work enter my head Rory, and don’t you do that either.”

“You’re right.”

“Let’s get going before that annoying safety monitor shows up again checking O2 levels… Oh that WAS YOU, wasn’t it?”

“Funny… real funny…  You lead the way Rex, after all this is your crazy ass do or die plan.”

The aliens, having explored the entire length of the ISS from C airlock to the airlock that is currently the main service portal servicing the Intrepid Space Shuttle, find nothing of the humans they had suspected to be there. Fortunately for Rex and Rory, being oxygen breathers and having no space suits, the alien search is confined to modules that contain O2. Having found no humans, they return the C airlock where the alien’s ship is soft docked. Several of the returning aliens are at the com opening service panels and investigating the level of human technology. With an intense curiosity, they begin to dismantle the equipment keeping some pieces and discarding others. One of the aliens investigating the com center has collected several cameras and all laptops, taking them back to their ship. Several others from the group have found their way into the Russian laboratory and are looking at some of the experiments. Another has found a small square glass enclosure containing six white mice floating around and bouncing around inside. The creature curiously watches them, amused by the tiny life forms. Alien command is extremely interested in any device the search can produce. Evaluating this potential enemy and any possible threat they may pose, is the main goal of their return to the space station. In their previous probe examination of the human species, they have been cataloged as an inferior, low tech race and easily subjugated.

Rex and Rory move carefully along the framework railing as they silently make their way to the Intrepid. It is a slow climb, tethering as they go for safety. Breathing heavily, Rory points out to Rex, “You know… this will be my longest spacewalk yet… a new personal record for me. When you see Sahara Rex, let’s not tell her about this either… she would not like me doing this… at all.”

“Copy that Rory… but I bet she wouldn’t care… she knows it’s part of your job. She totally supports you and what you do… you’re a lucky man Rory… lucky indeed to have a supportive, beautiful woman in your life.”

Rex, knowing just how emotionally shaken Rory is, keeps him engaged in conversation as they move along the safely railing. Rex knows by keeping Rory focused on Sahara and what he is fighting for, will keep Rory’s mind sharp for the upcoming attack on the alien ship.

“Are you guys ready for your new baby?”

“I know Sahara is busy working on it with her mom. You know it took a while for it to sink in that it was really happening, as we were afraid to get too excited for the first two trimesters. Now, Sahara’s mom is going crazy buying everything in sight for her first grandchild. We haven’t spent a dime on baby clothes… and we can’t seem to stop her,” he laughs.

“Hell, just let her spoil the kid… isn’t that what Grandmothers are supposed to do?”

“She is a great mother-in-law; I have no complaints really... she sometimes gets under Sahara’s skin, but I think she makes more of things that she needs to.”

“You know Rory… this whole adventure will someday be something you can tell your grandkids…”

“Grandkids… hell, I’m just trying to stay alive and make it to be a first-time dad!”

“You will and you will be a damn good one too. You and Sahara are good people and good things happen to good people.  So tell me Rory, are you putting blue or pink bands on the cigars?”

“You know, Sahara wants to know the sex of the baby in the worst way. Reluctantly, she has agreed to wait and let it be a surprise.”

“Boy… that’s kind of old fashioned isn’t it? It seems everyone wants to know so they can plan ahead for either the boy or the girl.”

“That’s me, old fashioned; Sahara said the same thing.”

“You know Rory, don’t get me wrong, old fashioned has its good points.”

“How’s your oxygen level Rex?”

“I’m good to go and by the way, you’re still the most boring safety monitor I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.”

“Just doing my job Rex… just doing my job.”

“I’m just ribbing you rookie. You’re doing a fine job for both of us; I’m truly thankful for you.”

“How much further Rex? I feel like I have run a marathon. ”

“I know… not far now; it will be good to set foot back inside the Intrepid.”

“Copy that.”

Finally reaching the shuttle, their muscles tired and aching, both men make their way to the closed shuttle bay doors.

“Just need to throw the latch on the left shuttle bay door access port.”

“Thank God… not sure I’d have the strength to go much further. Door is open; we are almost there Rex.”

“I hear you Rory… my legs are killing me too.”

Once inside, high up in the bay, the men must climb down to the deck below.

“My God, the shuttle bay deck looks a thousand miles away from up here.”

“It’s just because you are tired; massive adrenaline pumping does that to you.”

“Yeah, I know, feel like I have been drug thru the eye of a needle.”

“I told you more than once, you should be working out more… just keep climbing to the deck and think about the payback we are going to give those murdering bastards.” 

Having neared the deck, Rex helps Rory down the last few feet, “See not so bad; we were down in no time.”

As Rory stops to catch his breath, Rex goes ahead to the airlock checking life support systems and temperatures aboard the shuttle. Rory, just behind him, pulls the shuttle entry door closed and moves into the airlock. Finally inside the shuttle, both men in relative safety breathe a sigh of temporary relief.  Now able to finally remove their helmets and detach their bulky gloves, they set to work.

“Well, we do have onboard power Rory. Let’s see if the com is working. Keep your fingers crossed.” As Rex turns on the com, a green light immediately powers up.

“Well that certainly is a welcomed site!”

“Copy that… certainly is good to see it working, but a damn shame we can’t use it right now.”

“First things first Rory… once we destroy the alien ship we will contact Houston control to let them know what’s going on up here… and then, we head home.”

“You mean… if we destroy it… and IF we live to tell about it.”

“Today, Rory Scott, ‘IF’ is not a word in my vocabulary, nor will it be a word in yours. It’s quite simple, we destroy it… or we die trying. Strap yourself in… it’s game time and it’s about to get real.”

“Bring on the pain Rex… bring it on!”


© Copyright 2019 Bo Demont. All rights reserved.

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