The Nemesis Vector

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

Murdered crew confirmed, the aliens are hostile.

Chapter 9 (v.1) - 9,10,11

Submitted: July 03, 2017

Reads: 196

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Submitted: July 03, 2017

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Chapter 9

“Gosh… so many paint choices… what color to pick? You know Mom, I love Rory with all my heart, but it truly drives me nuts that he has been so dead set against finding out whether we are having a boy or a girl… it just drives me absolutely nuts!”

“I can understand that, but you know, years before they had ultra sound and could take a peek at the gender, doctors used to guess the sex of the baby by the number of heart beats per minute.” With Sahara looking at her in disbelief, she laughed, “Really… that’s the truth. They weren’t always right, but then again, they aren’t always right even with ultra-sound now, are they? If I remember right, under 140 beats per minute, it is supposed to be a boy and over it’s a girl… but who knows. I’d hate to rely on it; paint the room blue or pink and find out that we were wrong! They were, however, right when they told me you were going to be a girl.”

Both laughing, Sahara responded, “Oh no… think I’ll play it safe… how about this eggshell color? It’ll look great with the crib bumpers you bought and after the baby arrives I can add some pink or blue accents. What do you think? Besides, if I paint it the right color, Rory will never believe I guessed it right… he will think I cheated and asked the doctor.”

“I think that’s smart, honey… my doctor was only right about you being a girl. He guessed wrong on three of my friends,” she laughed as she walked on down the aisle towards the checkout counter.

Sahara and her Mom have been having such a great time preparing for the little one’s arrival. Sahara’s Mom, knowing better than to ask about when Rory is scheduled to return, keeps the conversation light and revolving around the baby. 

Sahara, checking NASA’s flight calendar daily, finds no mention of the Intrepid’s scheduled return. It’s now only six weeks until the due date… and as each day passes, Sahara feels a little unsure about how this will all work out. She and Rory are still supposed to go through a birthing class together, and also a new parent’s class, but how can that happen if he is not home?

“You know Mom… I’m getting a little concerned about whether Rory will get home in time to attend those classes we signed up for… maybe not even in time for the baby’s birth.”

Ignoring the comment about the baby’s birth, her mom asks, “Are you talking about the birthing class?”

“Yes… and the new parent’s class.”

“You know Sahara, it will all work out. I’m sure that Rory wants to be here as much as you want him to be here. Just keep thinking positive thoughts that his return will be speedy and the two of you can enjoy your last few weeks of blissful sleep, together.”

“Sleep? Real funny Mom… real funny!”

“Well, you know, I’m right,” she laughed as she continued walking towards the register to pay for the paint.

Sahara arriving home late and tired from the day’s activity had hoped to have enough energy to at least prepare the room for painting. 

“No energy left this evening little one… your mommy is tired, gonna fix a bite to eat and just relax.”

Heating a few leftovers for dinner, she sits down alone to eat but the overwhelming emptiness of the house smothers her and tears fill her eyes as an uncontrollable flood of emotion overtakes her. 

“You are supposed to be here with me Rory Scott,” she sobs, “…I miss you so much and I really need you here with me.  I’m getting scared… really, really scared. Something feels so very wrong… please come home...please come home to me and our baby… please… come home safe.”

Leaving her untouched plate on the table, she moves to the couch and as she looks out through the tears on the warm Florida night, she drifts off to sleep.

 

Chapter10

The wheels of communication sometimes turn slowly, but the Pentagon has been advised of the Code ET45 activation and all of the instructions for this protocol have been disbursed to all parties with a need to know.

The Chief of Communications for NASA, Skip Wilson, stands impatiently awaiting a call back regarding the initial briefing of US Air Force, Commander, Les Brubeck.

“Mr. Wilson, Commander Brubeck here. I understand we have a situation on the space station; Code ET45, invoked by a Captain Rex Huntley… is that correct?”

“Yes Sir, that is correct.”

“As I understand it, any communication on this subject is password sensitive and required to be on an encrypted line, correct?”

“Yes sir, you are correct, Sir.”

“Password is ET44… how long before your operator can switch us to the red line?”

“Password confirmed… I will have this line changed to a secure encrypted line immediately… please hold the line Sir; this change will be initiated within sixty seconds.”

“Affirmative Mr. Wilson… I will hold.”

“Hello…yes, this is Wilson… get me a secure red line stat.”

After a minute or so of intense waiting by both men, the line is open.

“The secure line is now active, Sir.” 

“Thank you Mr. Wilson. You and I can now discuss this situation freely.”

“Yes, sir… absolutely!”

“Mr. Wilson, this is certainly an unexpected and potentially serious turn of events… does NASA have any supporting evidence to support what has been reported by Captain Huntley?”

“Sir, are you asking if we have ‘undeniable proof’ of this situation?”

“I guess you could call it ‘proof’… proof that Captain Huntley’s report is on the level about this so called attack… perhaps something in the video or audio feed prior to him reporting… anything?”

Confused by the Commander’s response and the ‘need’ for proof, Skip responds, “Nothing sir… nothing really but his verbal statement. However sir, the com and video links are virtually down.  Although the station is intact, livable and the life support is functioning normally, we have limited communication at this time.”

Almost sarcastically, the Commander questions, “Is there anyone else from the station with a complaint today about these attacking aliens?”

Feeling a touch of anger at the Commanders insinuation, Skip responds, “Only Captain Huntley has made contact with us after the com and video links went down… Sir.”

“And have you been able to find out any further details about what is going on up there?”

“No Sir, we have not. As we were activating the red line, we once again lost the com line and honestly, the video com has been off-line now for several hours.”

“Was there anything at all out of the ordinary noted prior to Huntley’s call?”

“No Sir… nothing abnormal… no distress calls… nothing from any of the other crew members either... it was like someone flipped a switch up there to the off position.”

“What were the events leading up to Captain Huntley’s emergency contact with NASA today?”

“Captains Huntley and Scott were in the process of repairing the space shuttle’s robotic arm when the video feed just went black. At the same time we lost the station’s com link. That is the extent of what we know at this time Sir… that is all we saw on our end.”

“Curious… who do we have up there on the station… how many?”

“The crew is made up of six astronauts in total sir; three US, two Russian, and one Japanese.”

“Do we have a current status on the other five astronauts?”

“We know that Huntley and Scott are alive. They were outside of the station when the com went down… you will see Captain Scott on the last few minutes of the video feed with Huntley. He was working with Huntley as safety monitor. At this time, we do not know the current status of the remaining crew members aboard the station, Sir.”

With a pause, the Commander responds, almost abruptly, “Based on what we know, which is basically nothing about this situation, and with just the word of one astronaut when both the space station and the shuttle seem to be intact; that is with the exception of a downed video and com feed, I cannot, at this time activate ET Code45’s protocol and put our military forces on high alert based on this very sketchy information… it is just not justified.”

“… I understand, Commander.”

“With that being said, Mr. Wilson, these sensitive issues, until further notice, are now a matter of national security… above top secret.  Is that understood?” 

“Yes sir, understood.”

“At this point, the only thing your people need to know is that this matter is a communication problem, nothing more.”

“Absolutely, Commander… we will keep the lid on this sir.”

“Before 0800 hours tomorrow, I want all voice and video com logs from the station and the shuttle on my desk here at the Pentagon.”

“Yes Sir. I will have all of the data we have sent to you immediately via an encrypted red line.”

“Upon receipt, I will have a team of communication specialists standing by to review and evaluate it.”

“Yes sir… we have already started the preparation of the data for transmission to your office. It will be ready to go from here shortly… in fact it will be on your desk within the hour. I will just need you to supply your password on the encrypted line when you receive the notification the data is about to be sent.”

“Good man Wilson. I will have the evaluation team on standby alert so they will be able to take a look at it as soon as the recordings arrive later this evening. Lastly, at this point until we know more about what we are dealing with, say nothing to the Russian or Japanese intelligence groups. If they ask, let them know that you believe it is strictly a com line problem… a potential glitch which is being expeditiously corrected.  Is that understood?”

“Yes sir that is understood.”

 

Chapter 11

“That was close Rex… really close. I thought those bastards were gonna find me in the damn air lock. My legs are still shaking… damn it; was too close!”  With the pain in his legs subsiding, Rory braces himself against the station wall to collect himself. With a half-smile he remarks, “Glad NASA isn’t watching my meds right now… I’m sure they’d ground me.”

“You’re okay Rory… everything is going to be fine now… just hang in there with me,” Rex says, putting his hand on Rory’s shoulder to steady him.

“Your quick thinking was all that saved my ass in there, Rex.  Thanks…”

“You’re welcome buddy... but now, we’ve gotta get moving. We are not out of the woods yet; I think those bastards might have picked up my transmission to NASA.”

“So you think they came back to see if anyone else was left in the station; someone they might have overlooked the first time around?”

“Yes… I’m sure they must have picked up my transmission and at this point, I’m not sure they are satisfied the station is unmanned… empty of humans. I think I’m going to move up to the top of the module and see if they are still docked with the station.

As Rex climbs carefully along the rails, moving his tether as he goes, he hears Rory asking, “Are they still there Rex? Can you see them?”

“Not sure yet Rory… give me a minute. I can’t see the airlock area yet; have about another six or eight feet to go. If they are still at C airlock, we could still be in serious trouble here.”

“Copy that… I will keep an eye on our O2.”

 “Copy that.”

As Rex reaches the top of the aft module, he peaks over the top and he sees the alien’s boarding tube is still attached to the airlock door. Rory, positioned below him, steadies himself as he moves up behind Rex to help stabilize his foothold.

“See anything now?”

“Yes, and it’s not good.”

“Is their boarding tube still attached?”

“Yeah… the boarding tube is still attached; the bastards are still inside… must still be looking for us. Gonna watch them for a few minutes… hang on.”

Rex perched atop the station and hidden from view by the framework shadows, notices a small oval door beginning to open on the outer surface of the docked alien ship. From the open door, he observes in abject horror as human bodies; one by one are jettisoned from the ship.

“My God… oh merciful God…”

“What is it, Rex?”

“It can’t be… no… no, it can’t be…”

“REX, talk to me!”

Four bodies, still fully dressed float toward the space station and within seconds they cross at variable speeds the black void between the two ships and impact the outer hull of the ISS.  Crashing into and ricocheting off the framework like lifeless rag dolls, they leave bright red blood stains on the stark white outer skin of the station. If there was any doubt before, there can be no doubt now… this alien species is hostile. 

Rex, feeling sick in the pit of his stomach, hears Rory urgently asking again, “WHAT is going on up there,” and just as the words cross his lips, Rory sees the first of his four dead comrades.

“Oh my God… Suzuki!  Rex?  Where are the others?  What about the others; are they dead too?”

Rex, still finding it hard to believe what he is seeing, looks down at Rory and solemnly shakes his head ‘yes’ signaling the fate Rory had already suspected.

Watching as their fellow crew members float slowly off into the abyss of space, Rex and Rory stand helpless. Now with the dreadful knowledge of the crew’s fate, the two surviving astronauts understand without a doubt there is nothing to do but fight, fight to kill… fight to stay alive… fight to destroy the murdering alien bastards and fight to destroy their ship. The only question in each man’s mind is… how? 


© Copyright 2019 Bo Demont. All rights reserved.

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