The Nemesis Vector

Reads: 7943  | Likes: 20  | Shelves: 19  | Comments: 21

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

The Nemesis Vector is growing.

Chapter 21 (v.1) - 21

Submitted: July 12, 2017

Reads: 241

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 12, 2017

A A A

A A A

 

Chapter 21

 

Wasting no time and in light of a potential, if not impending threat, the UEA agrees on a plan to fortify and expand the size of the ISS. The first step will be to secure the station, should any of the stranded aliens still be trapped and then transform it into Earth’s forward operating base.  Both Americans and Russians will then use shuttles and supply rockets to ferry advanced weaponry and supplies to the station. This endeavor, due to its complexity and necessity, will require many precision launches all done within a relatively short period of time. Calling upon the combined expertise of engineers and scientists from both countries, the UEA Command realizes preparation time is of the essence. All concerned know they could face the threat of an alien attack at any time. 

As Rex and Rory rest their weary minds and bodies, the ominous black cloud is detected by the Hubble telescope. UEA’s central command forwards the data to the Goddard Space Center for study in hopes that they can provide insight into what this large object might be; how it could possibly impact Earth’s inhabitants, and what threats it might pose to the planet itself.

Morning comes all too early as the two men wake and ready themselves for what could potentially be another long and hectic day.

Rory’s heart is heavy as he thinks of Sahara and wonders what she might be doing this morning. A smile crosses his lips, as he sees in his mind’s eye, her beautiful face and round tummy. He day-dreams of holding her in his arms and kissing her softly. It’s been such a long time… nearly six weeks. Now, feeling a lump forming in his throat, he knows she must be worried sick and it angers him that he is unable to give her even a sixty second call to let her know he is ok. He feels his blood begin to boil as he recalls all of the things that have happened in the last near forty-eight hours. He truly wishes he could just go AWOL from all of the chaos but knows, in the bigger picture, he must be part of this chaos to help keep Sahara and their baby safe… he knows by what he has seen, this is not something that is just going to go away.

Rex and Rory are finishing up breakfast in the cafeteria when Dr. Rice walks in.

“Good morning gentlemen I trust you slept well. I always sleep well here; like a baby you know… like a baby indeed. Hope you did too.  May I sit down?”

Putting down his coffee and sitting up a little taller Rex replies, “Sure, Doctor… by all means… pull up a chair. Slept like a rock last night myself. The accommodations were very comfortable and we certainly appreciate your hospitality.”

“And you were right Dr. Rice. The theater was great and it does have a popcorn machine,” Rory chimes in. “By the way, my only complaint, besides not being able to call my wife, is that there was no butter for the popcorn and no beer to wash it down.”

Dr. Rice laughs, “I see, I will have to have the catering office take care of that for you Captain; right away too… right away! What is popcorn without a little butter?”

“Are you going to have some breakfast Doctor? I believe they stop serving in fifteen minutes, if you are,” Rex inquires. “The ham, eggs and hash browns were good, although the OJ was a bit on the sour side.”

“No thank you, Captain… really no time for breakfast this morning… much to do… much to do indeed. Also, I don’t drink OJ… too many calories. Now… where to begin,” pausing, Dr. Rice puts his hand to his chin. “Let me begin by saying, yesterday the main super powers formed an alliance. I believe they call it the UEA… acronym for United Earth Alliance. With the situation as it sits regarding the ISS and what you gentlemen went through, the powers that be, did not want to waste any time. Now, all of the scientists here are part of that entity and work directly for the UEA. Just this morning UEA central command requested our first assistance on a matter of great importance… yes, utmost importance. Seems those orbs you discovered near the moon are emitting, or should I say, forming an ominous looking black cloud. Our time lapse surveillance indicates this cloud is getting bigger and bigger with every passing hour.”

“I knew those objects were bad news,” Rory looks down at the tables shaking his head… “I knew it.”

Our team of scientists has reviewed this information and has come to the conclusion that our visitors are forming some sort of shield.”

“Shield, Doctor?”

“Yes… they are forming an enormous shield… perhaps to block something… maybe even the sun’s rays in order to keep them from reaching Earth. It might even be an unlimited power source for them; a giant solar panel per say. I thought it best to talk with you further before I formulate my response to UEA command… to get your opinions before I report back with any type of answer to them. Take a look here on this view screen. Right here, you can see the relative position of the orbs… and here you can see the cloud… almost like a black vapor. This series of pictures, will give you some idea of the growth of this entity over the last eleven hours… it has nearly doubled in size during that time… doubled in size, I say.”

Leaning forward in his chair, Rory sighs, “Wow… this really doesn’t look good… does it?”

“It’s hard to say for sure… really hard to say, however before I respond back with an answer to command, I thought it best to get your opinions. Here, as you can see, is the cloud and you can also see the relative position of the orbs. What do you think gentlemen?”

Both men look surprised as they glance at one another. Rory says, shrugging he shoulders as he looks at Rex, “Excuse me Doctor, but you already told us that.”

“I did?  Well then maybe I do need some breakfast after all; low blood sugar perhaps.”

 “You know Doctor; this is all starting to make more sense to me now. I believe these aliens did not want any eyes on what they were doing and once they boarded the space station and abducted our astronauts, they came back to assess just how advanced our current technology is. I had believed initially that they had intercepted my transmission to NASA and that was what had brought them back to look for Rory and myself. But now, with this information, I believe they would have come back anyway.”

“Oh, my good Captain, don’t be confused. We are sure they came back because of your communication to NASA.”

“What makes you so sure Doctor?”

“The timing of your communication Captain, was just too coincidental… too coincidental. We are quite positive they monitored your transmission.”

“And the cloud… what do you think about it Rory?”

“Well, Rex, I agree with the conclusion reached by Dr. Rice and his team; I think it’s a shield to block the sun and I would also add that it seems that it could potentially be an extinction level event for us all if they are successful…”

“Yes indeed gentlemen. If this cloud is designed to block the rays of the sun, it could mean the end of life on Earth as we know it… yes, certainly a possibility.”

Rex, nodding his head in agreement remarks, “I agree with you… this cloud is some sort of shield and maybe even a high tech weapon of some kind. It certainly appears, from the size and complexity of this structure, that our visitors are not likely to be leaving our solar system any time soon. They look as though they are definitely moving in to stay.”

“I would agree with you 100% Captain Huntley.”

After a moment’s pause, Dr. Rice gathers his things and moves to stand, “Very good gentlemen and thank you both for your keen insight. Oh by the way, I have some very good news for you both. In two hours, both of you will be flown to Edwards Air Force Base. It appears to me that Command has further need of your services there.”

“Further need? Under the circumstances Dr. Rice, I can only imagine the dozens of different scenarios that might be evolving… but I’m not sure how much more help we can be, we have shared everything we know.”

“That’s a good point indeed Captain… a very good point indeed, but they do feel it necessary to debrief you there.”

 “Frankly, I don’t care what they want or need as long as I can see my wife.”

“I’m sorry, once again, Captain Scott. No one has said anything about you seeing or even speaking with your wife quite yet. There is still a fair amount of debriefing to be done you see.”

“Look Doctor… I believe I have been pretty patient up until now and I will see her. I’m not going anywhere, until I know I will get to see or at least talk to her!”

Grabbing Rory’s arm forcefully and walking towards the door, Rex smiles, “Okay Doctor… guess we are going to Edwards. Thanks for the movie and the popcorn.”

Following them through the door Dr. Rice smiles, “It has been a pleasure gentleman. I know that you are both anxious to leave here, and I don’t blame you. Have a safe flight, and I look forward to working with you in the coming days ahead of us. I too, must excuse myself. I have a report to write and I don’t want to keep Command waiting. I always try to be prompt with my responses you know. Oh, and by the way, we would like another blood sample before you leave; it will only take a minute.”

Rex releases Rory’s arm as Dr. Rice turns in the opposite direction to walk down the hall. “He’s a funny old bird, isn’t he? Are you feeling a little calmer now?”

“Yeah, I’m fine… and you are right, he is a funny old bird; no doubt has a crazy IQ too. Don’t you think it’s kind of an ego stroke that he wanted our opinions?”

“Well… I think it was more about him telling us, that we are to be out of here in two hours. Guess we’d better get packed.”

“You really think that? I thought he was sincere and valued our opinions.”

“You know Rory… this was merely some kind of weird debriefing by him… nothing more… nothing less. The whole meeting was recorded.”

“You’re probably right, but I still wonder why they want all of these blood samples.”

“Maybe they are checking us for some kind of contamination.”

They watch as Dr. Rice walks down the corridor towards his office.  Every 6th or 7th step his head ticks to one side as though a small electric shock hits him.

 

“Do you see how his head ticks to one side?” Rory asks.


“Yeah… He’s probably thinking about the report he has to write. Maybe that tick is the way he changes his thoughts from one thing to another.”

 

 “Suppose it could be… he doesn't walk normally though… certainly not like the rest of us.  He does more of a fast shuffle that carries him slowly along to where he is going.”

 

“I know… and look how his hands are moving, fingers pointing. It’s as if he is having a rousing conversation with someone, but no one is there. He is totally lost in deep thought; oblivious to the world around him… he is definitely, by any definition, a strange bird.”

 

“You’re right about that Rex; he’s also kind of irritating… always wanting a blood sample. What is that about?  We’d better get going… after all…we have yet ANOTHER flight to catch.”

 “Do you think we can get mileage points? I mean what the hell.”

 

“Not likely… but we should.”

 

As Dr. Rice reaches his office, he continues to mumble to himself aloud, “Well!  Maybe that would work!” as he points a finger towards an invisible person with whom he might be having a conversation.

 

Many of his colleagues consider him a genius by all academic standards and others just think he is crazy. His mannerisms and his idiosyncrasies put many people off, especially people who don't really know of him or his accomplishments in the field of Astrophysics. His published papers in both Astrophysics and Astrobiology are well respected. 

 

Walking over to a small refrigerator in his office, Dr. Rice retrieves a bottle of sparkling seltzer water and moves towards his desk fumbling to open the bottle.

 

“Time to get to work,” he says aloud to himself as he sits down at his cluttered desk. Mumbling and shaking his head from side to side, he talks aloud to himself, “Unfortunately, no one is going to like what I have to say in this report… no one.” He ticks his head several more times as if to jump start his mental need to change gears and begins tapping the keys on his computer as he repeats, “No one is going to like this… not going to like this at all.”


***

“Holding the cotton ball against his arm, Rory grimaces, “Wow… that nurse who drew my blood, had the bedside manner of a cadaver and I’d guess a sadistic one at that. She jabbed and poked me like she was really enjoying it. Missed the vein twice; I feel like a human pin cushion!”

“She’s just mad, after reading your chart, that you are married and off the market.”

“Man, that’s one disgusting thought. I really don’t like nurses; I never dated one and if I were single, I would never date one then either.”

“Why not,” Rex asks him.

“It’s that hospital smell; they all have that smell about them.”

“Damn… You’re awfully picky; I think you are just a big baby and maybe even a little needle shy.”

“And you’re not?”

“Nope… Needles don’t bother me. I just always hope the nurse is good looking,” Rex says smiling. “You know, there is nothing worse than a mean ‘Nurse Ratchet’, especially one with a black and prickly looking mustache! Ever had one of those come at you with a needle?”

“Yeah, now that you mention it, I have… Mrs. Stodelmeyer, nurse at my middle school had a moustache. Man, her moustache was so thick we used to think she was a he! When I think back about being sick at school and having to go to her office, let me just say, it totally creeps me out.”

Laughing as he watches Rory’s face wrinkle up remembering the mustached nurse, Rex remarks, “Well, we had better get moving and collect our gear.  That plane will be waiting for us.”

“So what! Let them wait… in fact, let’s be late! They aren’t going to leave without us.”

“My but your feathers are ruffled up today… what is with you?  I can’t recall you ever being quite this cantankerous.”

“Well Rex… let’s see… I have had aliens try to kill me… I’ve been slimed by one… I’ve been unable to contact my pregnant wife who is probably worried sick and it’s all starting to really piss me off!”

“Okay… I get it. Once we are at Edwards, I’ll make sure you get to call Sahara.”

“Thanks Rex, but I can and will handle this situation on my own.”

“Just trying to offer my help bro; not trying to step on your toes here.”

“Man, I’m sorry Rex; if you want to help, you can. Actually I would appreciate it… just a little frustrated by it all.”

“I get it. I will find out who we need to get permission from so you can talk with her. I’m glad we had this little talk grumpy pants; meet you out front in five.”

***

Dr. Rice picks up the phone and calls the infirmary. “Were you able to get those blood samples drawn from Captain Huntley and Captain Scott?”

“Yes Doctor, we did.”

“Wonderful!  I want to make sure those blood samples are labeled properly and put in cryo stasis as soon as possible. This will allow for the best results in preserving the DNA; is that understood?”

“Yes, Doctor, we understand. We will handle these blood samples with the utmost of care.”

“Thank you and when you are finished please send me the time the stasis was completed so I can put the data into my permanent records.”

“Yes, Doctor as soon as we are done, we will do that. Is there anything else Doctor?”

“No, that will do it… thank you; that will certainly do it.”

“Dr. Rice scratches his balding head and hangs up the phone, “Yes that will certainly do it, exactly what I need… exactly what I need indeed.”

***

Once again arriving on the tarmac, Rex and Rory find Secret Service waiting to escort them to the waiting jet scheduled to take them to Edwards Air Force Base.

Taking a seat after storing their gear, the two men sit silent as the plane taxis down the runway and then lifts off and up into the clouds.

Fifteen minutes into the flight, Rory breaks the silence, “Wonder why Command wants us at Edwards?”

“Hard to say, but whatever it is about, I’m sure it’s important.”

“I’m sure they might think it is important, but we really don’t have any more pertinent facts to tell them.”

“I would agree with that. Command knows everything we know and by now probably a lot more. Why don’t you try to get some rest? We have a long flight ahead of us and I’m going to catch a few Z’s myself before we land.”

“Me too… Damn vampires at Goddard drained so much blood, I’m feeling a little weak and light headed,” Rory laughs.

“Stop your whining you big baby and get some sleep.”

Pulling the plastic window shade down, Rex, adjusting his pillow and closing his eyes, lets the hum of the engines and the gentle rocking of the plane lull him into sleep.

 

 


© Copyright 2019 Bo Demont. All rights reserved.

Chapters

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Books