The Nemesis Vector

Reads: 11185  | Likes: 20  | Shelves: 20  | Comments: 21

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

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

ET Code 45 protocol...

Chapter 8 (v.1) - Chapter 8

Submitted: July 02, 2017

Reads: 366

A A A | A A A

Submitted: July 02, 2017

A A A

A A A

Chapter 8

As both men stand glued to the portal window, Rory asks again, “What the hell are those things?? Looks like those alien bastards are moving those large objects from around the dark side of our moon.”

“Yeah, like moving in to stay if you ask me.”

“Whatever those things are, it’s probably why the aliens attacked the space station. They wanted to test our defensive capabilities here, see if we had any defensive weapons we could use against them.”

“It would take one hell of a weapon to put a dent in those objects.”

“With their visit here they know we have no defensive weapons to stop them.”

“Look at the bright side Rory, if we did, that alien ship would have destroyed the station with us in it.”

Numerous large, gun-metal gray circular objects, some several miles in diameter, move in an orderly procession from around the dark side of the moon. The giant orbs, backlit by the white light of the moon, are an ominous reminder of the aliens’ unwelcomed presence.

“This is unbelievable… whatever those objects are, they are huge. Like I said, we have got to re-establish the com, and get hold of Houston. Flight Control needs to know of this situation ASAP…”

“Copy that Rex…”

“Rory… get all the video cameras, on this side of the station, focused on those objects. Make sure the video feed is directed to NASA. I’ll finish up here; they will need to see these.”

“I’m on it.”  Rory immediately moves over to the video controls and tries to switch on the cameras but finds there is no power to run them.  Also finding to his dismay the video power feed to NASA is down, he yells back to Rex, “Video com is down… looks like we only have the audio link.”

“Copy that.”

“From the damage you found at the com, I’m positive now there must have been a high frequency electro-magnetic pulse in that laser beam, Rex.”

“You’re probably right. From what I am seeing here, it had to be an electromagnetic pulse to do this much damage.”

As Rex finishes the installation of the board, he is confident the com is now fully operational. With the last turn of the wrench, Houston flight control is once again in contact with the space station.

“ISS, this is cap com, do you copy… over? ISS this is cap com Houston control, do you copy?”

Rex moving quickly to the com panel responds as Rory, half stumbling makes his way back to the com to rejoin Rex.

“Copy Houston control… this is Captain Rex Huntley, come back.”

“Captain Huntley, it’s damn good to hear a voice from up there. What the hell has been going on? Ever since the com link went down, everyone has been chasing their tails down here to get back into contact with you folks.”

“Houston, I know you were monitoring the repair on the arm this morning; did you happen to see anything, out of the ordinary, appear on the video?”

 “Nothing unusual Captain; just watched you and Captain Scott working on that repair. Things seemed to be going along fine, when suddenly the feed went down… just went black with static.”

“Nothing showed up in the background?” Rory questioned.

“Not anything we could see… just watching the feed on the repair, monitoring you both… vital signs you know. When it went black, we just considered it a technical glitch, nothing more; but after working on it for over three hours, we haven’t been able to pinpoint what happened. Was there anything on your end that you can attribute the communication outage to?”

Looking at each other with a look of disbelief, Rory and Rex ask one more time, “You’re absolutely sure; you noted nothing unusual?”

“Nothing Captain… what’s up? You sound a bit agitated. Is there something wrong? Is everyone okay?”

“Houston, I am requesting a red secure encrypted line. I am now putting Houston Control on notice. We have an ET Code 45 situation here at the space station. Per instruction, I am now only able to communicate under ET Code 45 protocol. Do you copy, Houston?”

After a moment of silence that felt more like a lifetime, “Your communication is understood Captain Huntley. Please hold as I enact the setup of the red line. Please be patient this will take approximately ninety seconds to initiate. After encryption is complete, you will be contacted via the proper protocol going forward.”

“Copy that, Houston,” Rex says as he turns and looks in Rory’s direction. “We will wait for your instruction.” 

Both men realize their lives have been forever changed. They have been thrown through a door that neither would have opened voluntarily and there is no way to step back into the world they both knew. 

“So… would you like to explain to me what the hell ET Code 45 protocol is? I’ve never been briefed on it.”

“You are right Rory; you haven’t been briefed on it because before this event it has been above your pay grade.”

With a sharp tone, Rory retorts, “Above my pay grade! Don’t you think since we are both in this shit here together, that you should bring me up to speed... like right now?”

“Rory… you’re right and once we get clearance from Houston, I will completely fill you in… but here is the short version. ET Code 45 indicates that the space station has been breached by an alien force.”

“So, what you are saying is that the purpose of the red line is to keep a lid on the information… to keep it top secret?”

“Yes… that’s what it means. All communication is now unequivocally sensitive and it will remain so. The red line will insure that no leak of this information will occur. Such a situation among the general populace would certainly cause mass panic. No password means absolutely no communication… period. That will be our protocol from now on.”

“Understood…” With a moment’s pause in the conversation, Rory asks, “Do you think it would be a good idea for me to know the password… just in case something goes wrong?”

“Absolutely… it’s ET44.”

“ET44…That’s easy enough to remember,” Rory replies as he turns back to look out towards the alien orbs through the viewing portal.

Still standing over the com panel, Rex asks, “Have those objects changed position at all?”

As he squints to focus his eyes efforting to see clearly out into the darkness of space, Rory looks out the window and responds, “The orbs appear to be getting closer to us and there’s more of them. It looks to me like they could be heading in the direction of Earth.”

“In the direction of Earth?” Rex questions.

“Yeah… looks that way. Based on their current trajectory, it seems they might have been hidden on the backside of the moon… what do you think, Rex?”

“Seems likely, the way they just appeared like they did. One thing is for sure, they are sneaky bastards… real sneaky bastards.” 

After what seemed to be an eternity of silence, Rory sounding frustrated remarks, “I wonder what’s taking Houston so long to get that red line up and running… this waiting just isn’t working for me… it’s really creeping me out. Didn’t they say ninety seconds...? It seems like it’s been more like a half hour,” Rory complains.

“They did Rory… and it’s only been about 2 ½ minutes. Someone obviously had to find the President as he is the one who gives the go ahead to initiate ET45 Protocol.”

Rory continues to peer out the portal, watching the procession of orbs, as they continue to assemble into view. 

“What could they possibly be doing with all those orbs Rex? It makes no sense; it’s almost looks like they are moving them into position to build something.”

“I agree with you… why would the aliens move all those objects into position if not to build something with them; a structure of some sort.”

As Rory turns back to Rex, he again impatiently asks, “What the hell is taking them so long?  This is crazy.”

“I know Rory… it seems like hours, but it’s actually only minutes… hang in there… just hang in there.”

“I’m trying, but I have a bad feeling about this Rex… a real bad feeling.”

As Rory turns back to peer out the window, suddenly and without warning, the alien ship has reappeared and is once again just a hundred feet away from the space station. The ship’s sudden reappearance startles him causing him to jump back from the window. Trying to speak, but with no audible words coming from his mouth, he turns in Rex’s direction in a state of shock. 

Unable to speak but in a whisper, Rory grabs Rex’s arm and stammers, “Th... they… they’re back Rex… they’re back… oh my God… the aliens … they’re back!”

An alarming cold chill immediately runs down Rex’s spine as adrenaline pumps into his veins.

Hearing the fear in Rory’s voice, Rex instinctively shuts the com down and then moves as fast as he can back to the window to see for himself… while Rory, not budging, stands at the window stricken with fear.

As Rex cautiously peers out the portal, he sees the Alien ship is once again in position to re-board the space station at C airlock.

“I told you I had a feeling these ass holes would show back up here.”

With a look of disbelief, Rex sees that once again the aliens are deploying the boarding tube in the direction of C airlock. He hurriedly re-checks to make sure everything is shut down on the com and motions at Rory to stay back away from the portal.

“Get back damn it; don’t let them see you in the window.”

Rory, with a glazed look of shock on his face, stands there unmoving.

Rex realizing the state that Rory is in takes control of the situation; he knows there is no room for error.

“Get your helmet on Rory, we gotta move and we need to do it now!”

 Rory, still not moving, stands at the window frozen with fear. 

“Get your damn helmet on, NOW! We need to get moving and out of the station! Those bastards are going to re-board the ISS and we need to get the hell out of here… do you hear me!?!”

 As he puts his own helmet on, he forcefully shoves Rory’s helmet into his hands, “We are not going to let them take us and if you want to stay alive, you need to move, and move fast, we have to get to the aft airlock!”

“Okay,” Rory says in an abandoned whisper, “…whatever you say.”

Slowly moving now, but moving, Rory lifts the helmet over his head. Rex turning to him, “We are going to stay alive, Rory… We are not going to die here… not today! Do you understand me? We ARE going to stay alive!”

With his helmet now on, Rory moves his head up and down, signaling a yes back to Rex. Beginning to move faster, he secures his helmet snapping it down and locking it into position. Rory’s state of shock has now turned into fearful determination. With his breathing, shallow and fast, he tells Rex with a sense of urgency… “I’m all about staying alive… need to stay alive…I hear you, I’m with you Rex.”

“Good, I need you at 100%; 100% here with me… do you understand?”

“Understand…100%.”

“We need to haul ass right now for the aft air lock… are you with me?”

“Yes… I’m with you.”

Both men start the slow, labored journey towards the aft air lock.  Moving in zero gravity conditions in a cumbersome space suit is a difficult task at best, but they know they must move quickly to avoid detection.

“Don’t forget to turn your oxygen on, Rory”.

“Copy that Rex, switching oxygen on now.”

“This zero gravity is tough going, so make each step count. Stay focused, no time for miss-steps.”

“Copy that Rex…” and with a labored breath, “… thanks for helping me back there… I just got shook up.”

“No harm, no foul Rory… actually I did too.  Follow me; just keep your legs moving.”

“I’m right behind you.”

The space station’s aft air lock was designed for emergency use only. Its design is small, and only accommodates one astronaut at a time. It also takes time to move from one part of the station through the air lock and then into the next part of the station. Both men are moving as fast as is possible, knowing that evacuation through this air lock is their only chance of escape.

Only minutes behind them, the aliens have attached the boarding tube to C airlock and have, once again, begun the boarding process. As they enter the space station for a second time, Rex wonders if it could have been the communication with NASA that had brought them back and if not, what are they looking for now; more human specimens or something else? Now aboard, they move from module to module searching.

In his haste to keep up with Rex, Rory stumbles losing his balance and falls face forward onto the station’s grated deck.

“Son of a bitch; wait!” Rory screams. “Stop! Come back! I’ve fallen and I need your help! Don’t leave me here Rex!”

“What’s wrong?”

“I can’t get up! Do you copy?”

Rex, hearing Rory’s distressed call for help, immediately stops and turns to see Rory lying face down on the grate. Rex moving quickly reaches down and grabs both Rory’s hand and arm and pulls with all his strength to get Rory back to his feet.

“Alright Rory, get moving… only about 40 feet to go and we’re there… we can make it.”

“Copy that,” he responds as he struggles to catch his breath.

With only 10 ft. left before reaching the air lock, Rory looks back along the path they had just come. As he does, he sees a group of large, dark, forward moving shadows dancing on the walls of the module not far behind him. With his breath frozen in his chest he turns and starts moving faster along the module. He realizes the aliens are gaining on them.

Rex reaches the aft airlock and quickly opens the door and gets in. As he pushes a button, the airlock losses pressure, and he opens the outer door exiting safely from the station into the star-studded blackness of space. Waiting anxiously, Rory watches Rex disappear from sight, his heart now pounding in his chest and echoing in his ears. He is completely alone inside the space station now and the aliens, moving ever closer, are only a short distance behind him.

As Rory enters the airlock, he realizes there is no time to de-pressurize and exit the station safely without being seen. He quickly reaches up, pushes the red button for de-pressurization and the door closes behind him.

“Rex, I’m not going to make it out in time, those bastards are almost to the door, they will see me exit the airlock… son of a bitch, I’m positive the bastards will see me.”

“Just stay calm for me Rory, can you do that?”

“I’m trying… I really am trying Rex.”

“Rory, I want you to listen to me carefully… the airlock viewing window is located high enough if you squat down with your back against the door and lean your head to the corner as far as you can for me, get your helmet out of view, they likely will be unable to see you… it’s your best hope… do you hear me Rory?”

“Yes… I hear you…” Following Rex’s instruction, Rory awkwardly squats down as low as his suit will allow; his back pressed firmly against the airlock door; his head bent to one side as far as it can go. As the seconds tick by, Rory, barely breathing, whispers aloud to Rex, “They have got to be right outside the airlock door… I can feel them… I know they are standing there, I know they are right outside the door.”

Rex, trying to reassure Rory as well as himself, whispers, “Rory, calm down… they are not going to find you…trust me, just stay calm…”

“I don’t want them to get me Rex… I want my life with Sahara, and our baby… Lord, please help me.”

Rex, positioned just outside the outer airlock door has a retractable tether hooked securely onto the outer aft safety rail. Desperately hoping that Rory was able to move out of their view in time, Rex feels himself growing impatient and starts to move to a position where he might be able to cautiously peek inside the airlock. 

The aliens, having arrived at the door of the airlock just seconds after Rory had moved out of their field of view, stand motionless just outside as if they sense Rory’s presence. Squatting down and with legs aching, Rory stops breathing as he sees the shadow of one of the creatures stopped in front of the window. Feeling as if he were frozen in time, Rory waits for what seemed an eternity and then the shadow is gone. Several minutes pass and with the sound of shuffling footsteps growing fainter, the module is quiet.

“Have they gone?” Rory whispers… “God, I hope they have gone.”

“Stay down Rory… I’m going to try and take a look… what do you hear, anything?”

“Nothing Rex… nothing at all.”

“Okay, Rory… gonna move into a position to take a look… stay down and don’t move.”

“I can’t stay in this position much longer; this suit is cutting off the blood supply in my legs, my feet are numb.”

“Hang in there just a little longer.”

“Copy that, just a little longer.”

Rex moves closer to the airlock viewing portal and once again confirms with Rory that there is no sound coming from the module. Confirmation received, Rex peers through the window and sees no evidence of the lifeforms, only Rory in a contorted position on the floor of the airlock.

“Looks like they have cleared the immediate area, maybe gone back to C airlock… no matter, we need to get you out of there.”

“Copy that, getting up now.”

Rory, with cramping calf muscles and his feet numb, tries desperately to get up off the floor. With legs shaking, he rises slowly to his feet; his face grimacing. Nearly passing out from the severe leg pain, he stops to take a few deep breaths as he fights to remain conscious.

“Got to get up… got to get out,” he speaks aloud to himself. Reaching his feet, he turns cautiously to look out the window and sees the module is still quiet and empty. Taking one last quick look, he hits the depressurization control and moves outside into what feels like the safety of outer space; the door closing behind him.

Rex sees the red depressurization light flashing indicating Rory’s impending exit from the airlock. With a huge sigh of relief, Rex grabs Rory, still dazed from the ordeal, as he exits the chamber. Seeing his condition, Rex secures his tether and helps him to stay upright along the foothold as he gets his bearings.  

“Damn glad to see you Rory…. you scared the hell out of me!”

With a half-smile Rory responds, “I scared the hell out of myself.” Breathing more normally now Rory asks, “Do you think one person can send too many prayer requests, maybe using them all up? I said another one in there, but I’m a little concerned He might be getting a little tired of hearing from me…”

“I don’t think He counts Rory… the way it’s gone so far today, we might need to send a few more his way before the day is over.”

“I hear ya, Rex… I hear ya.”


© Copyright 2020 Bo Demont. All rights reserved.

Chapters

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

More Science Fiction Books