The Day The Earth Went 'Splat!'

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


This will also be included in an upcoming book, 'B-Movie Backlash. The Compilation'.

Submitted: November 25, 2017

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Submitted: November 25, 2017

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The Day The Earth Went Splat.

 

Part 1.

 

We’d been out to the mast to check for signals. Every day a group of us, three or four, would make the trek along the path to see if there had been any kind of answer to our continuously relayed message.

 

‘Welcome from planet Earth! Is any one receiving us?’

 

Occasionally there would be a hiss. Was it just static or was it another form of life trying to make contact back? That possibility was what kept me going, day after day, month after month, year after year. I’d been brought up on the B-movies, where life, sometimes the most unlikely and hostile kind, did indeed exist and make contact – even if it was only in an effort to take over the planet. I could not abandon the thought that, one day, someone or something, would answer.

 

We were based in a large building, but it looked more like an old manor house than a space communications base. There were usually about twenty of us in residence, but there was a lot of coming and going. People would arrive all full of enthusiasm, sure that they would be amongst the first to converse with some kind of alien life. It didn’t take long for that initial keenness to evaporate once the reality of studying a screen of ‘nothing’ sunk in; once the continuous trekking backwards and forwards to the mast in all weathers yielded no result.

 

There were five of us that had been here, almost since the place had been established. The others stayed for anything from a couple of weeks to a year. I would not leave while the facility stayed running; I think the other four felt the same.

 

It had been raining for the last week but today, it was grey but dry. The path we had to take to the mast was not much more than a one-and-a-half mile trek through mud, uphill all the way. We’d then spend a couple of hours analyzing the receptor panels, looking for any kind of response, any kind of ‘blip’ at all. There were five receptor panels, so five of us would make the trip. We invariably took longer to make the one-and-a-half mile trip back, even though it was downhill; our enthusiasm would be somewhat dented.

 

But today there was something, on three out of the five receptors. It wasn’t anything that could be taken as a message though. There was no voice, no crackle, no hiss.....just a ‘SPLAT!’

 

We looked at each other, at the receptors and back to each other again. “What do you think, Stan?” Aiden asked me.

 

“Well, there’s definitely something there. It shows up quite clearly on the graph too. A definite ‘splat’ sound.....Maybe some kind of Space Gunk?”

 

“A molten meteor shower perhaps?” suggested Graham.

 

“I don’t know....The intensity is more or less identical. If it was a meteor, wouldn’t it be hitting the receptors with different forces depending on the angle of impact....”

 

We noted it all duly down, reset the message, then got ready for our return trip. We had not taken more than a few steps before it began to rain...

 

Part 2.

 

We picked up our speed so we were moving along at a steady, but slippery, jog. Already water-logged, the ground rapidly became squelchy, boggy, and puddled. With more than a mile to go we were splashing our along, our shoes and pant-legs more mud than material.

 

Then Graham came to a slippery halt. “What’s that doing here?”

 

He is pointing at the ground and when I join him I see his point. It looks like some kind of amphibian, similar to a frog but most definitely not one. And it seemed to be surrounded by some sort of jelly-like substance.

 

Aiden pointed to the ground where it seemed like more and more of them were emerging from. “Never mind what they’re doing here, what the hell are they?”

 

Cautiously, I stooped down and in my gloved hand picked up one of the gelatinous creatures. It was almost khaki in color, with these huge eyes looking straight at me. The outer jelly seemed to move and flow as the....’thing’ suddenly opened it’s huge hinged mouth to snap at my fingers. I only just dropped it in time to save myself from losing at least a finger.

 

It landed hard, on a piece of rock. There was a piercing shriek, of such an intensity it seemed to reverberate through my head in an endless circle of noise, before the jelly split and the now much smaller creature turned into what can only be described as a small pile of slush.

 

“Oh, that is so gross,” said Amanda, the only female in our group.

 

“There’s hundreds of them, look!” Graham said. “And they are not coming up from the ground. Not really! They are falling from the sky, landing in the mud and climbing up again.”

 

The realisation hit us. We were not being rained on by water, raindrops; but were being pelted by gelatinous hungry creatures that seemed to be after our blood. We shielded ourselves as best we could and began to splash our way even faster back towards our base. I tried to close my ears to the sickening squelchy splats as more and more of these things landed upon us.

 

There came a sound very like the shriek of earlier only even louder, more intense. We all froze, turned back the way we had come. There, right beside our receptors was a huge crowd of these things, all collected together in a gigantic pulsating mass. Apart from one!

 

This one seemed slightly different to the others. Larger, somehow more ferocious, it placed itself in front of the heaving jelly and looked directly towards us. It’s mouth was open and it let out what can only be described as a roaring whistle that seemed to penetrate it’s way right through to the innermost part of my brain.

 

And then it’s mouth shut and we were left with the instant relief of silence. Our relief was to be all too short-lived though. That giant mass seemed to explode into thousands of parts, each being one of those creatures, and they were all heading towards us at a quite astounding speed.

 

“Drop everything!” I shouted. “We’ll get it later. For now just head for base!”

 

 

Part 3.

 

We knocked the creatures from each other’s backs as we hurtled towards the building. I found myself desperately hoping that someone would see our approach and have the door open for us before we arrived.

 

The worrying thing was not only the things that were pursuing us, but the amount of them that were in front of us too. We needed to warn base but we had dumped everything in our haste to get moving. Would any of the creatures already be inside? And if so, what sort of damage would they already have caused by the time we could issue out a warning?

 

We finally got to the end of the muddy track, to the tarmac path that led up to the building. The ‘rain’ was still pelting us, but there was no soft mud here to cushion their fall and we were now sliding through sludgy remains instead of water-logged mud. That’s not to say that some of them were not surviving. Those that were lucky enough to land on the grass, well, some of them at least were surviving to take up the pursuit.

 

The door was shut, quite firmly. We shouted as we approached but if anyone heard us they did not respond. My hand shaking, I reached up to the keypad, started tapping in numbers. The creatures were surrounding our feet, starting to crawl up our ankles, our shins and calves.

 

“Stamp on them!” Graham shouted. “As many as you can!”

 

Sickening shrieks and squelches, splatters of gunk made it hard for me to concentrate. The number I typed in was wrong so I had to start again. Finally the door slid back and we rushed in closing it straight behind us. Even though we were quick, we were not fast enough to stop some of the blobs from coming through the door with us and they seemed to know what they were doing. They all scattered in different directions making it impossible for us to catch all of them.

 

“Where is everybody?” Amanda seemed, like me, to be thinking the worse. “Are we too late?”

 

And then we hear it, the shouting, the swearing, coming from the floor above us. There were loud splats, like water balloons popping. Some of the creatures seemed to be making a much swifter and stronger descent than others, landing with sufficient impact to make them explode on landing.

 

It took a moment for that to sink in; for me to realize just what I was seeing. Those that had stayed back must have found themselves somehow invaded. Perhaps the creatures had fallen through the now disused chimneys that seemed to have openings in almost every room in the base.

 

We were clearly caught up in the center of some alien invasion, and the rest of us were engaged in a desperate fight back. They were catching the creatures up on the higher floors and throwing them out of the windows. A good strategic plan with just one real fault. With the windows open, more of the creatures were getting to make their way inside.

 

We needed to get up on to the higher floors and lend a hand, or perhaps a foot would be a better way of putting. We’d eradicate as many as we could on our way up!

 

 

Part 4.

 

The scene that greeted us was one of chaos. People were flinging themselves at the creatures as they slithered their way around the floors, the desks, in some cases even the light fixtures. Some were half way up the walls, seeming to have the ability to cling on and defy gravity, a bit like slugs. They would cling on too, not giving up without a show of snapping resistance.

 

“If you’ve got shoes on,” I shouted, “stamp on them. Leaves a mess but it’s quicker if they are on the ground.”

 

“You’re back, Stan!” Edward exclaimed, while hurling one of the blobby things from the window. “Do you know what these are?”

 

“No, but the receptors picked up some kind of ‘Splat’ and that must have been these things, I guess, while they were inbound. Sorry, but we were under attack, and didn’t make it back here in time to warn you. We tried!”

 

“No worries. We’ll beat this yet. How many, do you reckon?”

 

I looked at Graham, stamping busily beside me. “Haven’t a clue, Ed. Could be thousands, could be millions. We’ve no idea if this is a national downpour or a localized shower!”

 

“Nothing’s been coming in over the airwaves, so chances are it’s not that widespread. We could be in the process of saving the entire planet!”

 

I have to say I rather liked that idea, and I renewed my efforts at stamping and hurling the gelatinous globs through the open window. I could not be certain but it seemed that the downpour had stopped. Maybe just as well as the light was starting to fade from the sky. There were not many hours of sunshine left at all, and once it got dark I knew that the temperature would plummet. It would become just too cold to keep the windows open much longer.

 

Finally, we seemed to be getting at least some of the rooms clear, at least of those that were alive. The mess was something that would have to be seen to be believed. As we cleared the rooms we sealed them, closed them up. We were going to need some space to rest in, even if it was covered in alien goo.

 

And then a strange thing happened. As the temperature dropped, the creatures seemed to shrivel inside while their jelly-like outers solidified and cracked. Those that we had failed to dispose of were being defeated by the cold.

 

That gave me an idea! “Any left inside, place them in cool-bags and take them to the kitchen. We’ll freeze them! They cannot take the cold!”

 

Within a few hours we had the base cleared on the inside, with some rooms still comparatively gunk-free. We should head out and retrieve our gear, but none of us wanted to risk coming across any rabid amphibians in the dark. We’d leave it for the night. Head out and retrieve it in the morning.

 

And that’s just what we did. But the strange thing was there was no sign outside that those things had ever been there. Even the data, the ‘Splat’ sounds and graphs, had disappeared. The equipment was all there but the data had been wiped as thoroughly as if it had never existed.

 

Had we all imagined it? When we returned to base I knew just how to find the answer to that question. I handed the equipment to Edward then made my way directly to the kitchen. Putting my hands on the handle, I shut my eyes and lifted. The smell and the piles of dust, the shrivelled up bodies were all I needed to see to get my answer.


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