Chapter 17, Back to Square OneMature

Chapter Seventeen

Back to Square One

November 9th 2140, Top secret training facility on the Roman I space station

7:38 P.M.

            Arden, Connor and the rookies hadn't moved from their huddle under the landing pad for the past few hours. The dropships would be returning within the next two hours, but John and Dale still hadn't returned yet. They had hardly spoke the entire time. Besides, waiting for the inevitable to show up was more than enough to plague their minds with thoughts. Nakahara stepped up to them suddenly.

            "We have a problem," he stated.

            "What is it this time, Naki?" Victoria questioned in an already annoyed tone. Nakahara ignored it and continued. He didn't have time to quarrel.

            "Our perimeter scouts just radioed me," Nakahara said. "They have spotted a massive group of the aliens headed right this way. They'll be here within fifteen minutes."

            "Fifteen minutes!" Connor couldn't believe his ears. He and the rest rose to their feet. "We don't have time to waste then. Let's get our defenses ready!" He started toward the watchtower stairwell but Nakahara seized his arm and stopped him.

            "I've called for all of our troops to come back to the main facility. We're not engaging them this time unless we absolutely have to."

            "What are you talking about?" Arden inquired.

            "We take up defensive positions inside this chamber, close the blast door, and hope that they pass right by us," Nakahara exposed his plan.

            "That's it?" Margaret wondered. "That's the plan? We just hide instead of fight?"

            "Precisely," Nakahara nodded.

            "There must be a reason for this," Viktor crossed his arms. "How many of the beasts are out there?" A subtle pause befell them.

            Nakahara breathed in heavily and replied, "at least twice as many as the initial attack."

            "Damn..." Arden muttered. Just after he spoke a vast number of FKPD troops and whatever nonmilitary personnel remained came piling through the stairwell exit from the watchtower. They massed all around the landing pad they were standing under. Nakahara gave Arden, Connor and the rookies a hard look, then proceeded on top of the landing pad.

            "Listen up everyone," Nakahara didn't even have to shout. Hardly anyone was speaking, for a sense of hopelessness had settled among the lot of them. The mass of troops and civilians looked up at Nakahara with dismal eyes and slightly defeated postures. Nakahara noticed and exhaled in concern.

            "I see it in every one of you," he continued. "A fear and dread that has corrupted your hearts and poisoned your strength. I say have no fear! The monstrosities that attacked as hours ago were crushed under the weight of our strength. If they dare to mess with us again in this facility, we will hold fast and steady until either the last alien breathes its last breath, or the last man breathes his last breath. Our discoveries up here and preemptive knowledge of these creatures will help the battle on Earth immensely. So let's fight hard to keep on serving Mother Earth. Fight for your home, fight for your families, fight for mankind. But if tonight is to be our end, we will not yield to these unnatural abominations! We will destroy every last one of them that sets foot in here, or we will die trying!"

            No battle cries were shouted at the apex of his speech, but the troops and civilians did stand taller, more confident, and nodded approvingly. No speech could make them complacent with the possibility of dying, but Nakahara's speech at least helped them feel like the next two hours would indeed be their finest and most invaluable to the effort of staving off this surprise alien invasion.

            "Is anyone still left on the outside?" Nakahara asked all of them. No one answered. Nakahara opened the local frequency on his helmet com. "Confirm, all Manifest Training Base personnel are inside the main facility chamber?" Again, no one answered on the helmet com. "Alright, let's lockdown. Close the blast door."

            Warning alarms sounded inside the facility and yellow hazard lights flashed all around the frame of massive blast door. The heavy doors set in the walls of the facility began closing. The first set of doors had thin long windows that showed a scarcity of the outside. The doors collided and firmly locked together.

            "Lockdown stage one, successful," a disembodied female voice softly echoed throughout the chamber. Second, was a set of extremely thick, windowless blast resistant doors that rumbled the walls of the chamber as they started to close. They collided and locked with much louder sounding clamps and thuds.

            "Lockdown stage two, successful. Manual lockdown of secondary chamber access required to complete facility security procedures." Nakahara stepped down from the landing pad and activated the switch to close the smaller blast door and cut off the watchtower stairwell access.

            "All lockdown stages, complete. Oxygen reserves at peak capacity, and falling. Power levels nominal. Lockdown diagnostics, complete."

            "Get in to positions on the sub-buildings everyone," Nakahara ordered over his helmet com. "Settle in, but be ready to fight." Everyone lackadaisically spread out around the chamber and took up positions across the catwalks and sub-buildings. Only a small handful of soldiers remained on the ground floor, and most of them were behind makeshift barricades of crates and sandbags. Arden, Connor and the rookies stood at the front of the forces on the ground level.

            Almost everyone sat down or leaned against a wall, waiting for the aliens to come. Minutes passed, and sure enough they didn't have to wait long. Nakahara checked external camera links from a small security room in the corner of the chamber. His eyes stared hard at the gigantic mass of aliens thrashing their way through the gulch and along the mountainside in the afternoon sun. As the mass of creatures came closer to the main facility, the very walls of the chamber began to rumble.

            Soldiers stood up and gripped their rifles tighter, looking all around the chamber as if they were trying to find where the thunderous patter of around a thousand alien footsteps were coming from. Everyone waited in perfect silence, alert with mixed feelings of primarily fear. A handful of soldiers scattered around the chamber knelt down and began to pray. As the shaking and rumbling of the chamber reached its peak, Arden, Connor and the rookies' heart rates spiked and their breathing quickened.

            "Get ready to kick some ass," Arden muttered. His cocky remark made the rookies feel better, and made Connor smile. A minute passed, and the sound of the aliens began to subside. Some of the soldiers loosened up, others sighed in relief.

            "Is that it?" Connor questioned. "Just like that? No conflict? They're just going to come and go?"

            "Appears so," Viktor answered. They waited longer until the sound of the alien procession was nearly gone.

            "Looks like we're not going to have to fight in a corner after all," Margaret shrugged. Then, a combination of happiness and dread filled their souls next, when two familiar voices crackled inside their helmet coms.

            "Hey crackheads!" Dale's voice rang in their ears. "We've almost reached the base. Had to run our asses off. Hell, we  still are actually." Dale actually sounded slightly out of breath.

            "What he's trying to say," John left off. "Is that we've been getting chased by aliens all the way from the site where we destroyed the jamming beacon. So, I'm sorry to say, we're bringing a small... well, sort of small amount of the aliens with us to you. Just get some soldiers ready to provide some covering fire for us when we get closer to you guys. We're almost over the mountain range behind you all, so the aliens will be wide open targets in just a moment."

            "Not good," Connor muttered. He rose from his position and sprinted to the armory. Arden followed close behind. They dashed out of the armory after having both donned jetpacks. They were both carrying a jetpack in their hands, and were heading straight for the watchtower. Arden pulled out his pistol and threw it at the console next to the stairwell. With luck, it struck it perfectly to switch the small doors blocking it off to open again. They didn't slow down and scraped their shoulder armor across the still opening doors as they disappeared inside the stairwell.

            "Mist, Shadow!" Viktor returned. "You have a massive alien army right on the other side of that mountain. You're surrounded!"

            "What!?" John shouted both frustrated and confused. "That would mean they're right on top of you guys!"

            "They are," Margaret replied. "Nakahara ordered us to bunker down inside the facility and wait for them to either enter, or pass right by us."

            "Naki! You fucking disgraceful coward!" Dale roared.

            "That's it Shadow!" Nakahara shouted back. "After this is over I will see to it that both you, and Mist, are discharged from the FKPD!"

            "Suck one!" Dale returned.

            "Shut up Shadow!" John quieted his brother. "Let's focus on the problem at hand. Speaking of which, how big is the problem?" Before anyone could respond, John and Dale crested a portion of the mountainside that at last revealed the training base far down below them. Almost a sheer ninety degree drop-off was right in front of them, making a perilous-looking decent if they were to have to jump.

            After they had been running for hours, they didn't think their hearts could beat any harder. However, they were proven wrong when they laid their eyes on the thousand-strong alien horde swarming across the mountainside toward them, just past the watchtower above the main facility.

            "Nevermind, we see the problem," John said. An alien screech pierced the air behind them only several tens of meters down the mountain. The lot of alien creatures that had been chasing them the whole time were closing in. They both turned around and aimed their guns downhill. Two submachine guns and two pistols unleashed a rainstorm of bullets down the slopes.

            Their bullets primarily only slowed the monsters down and pissed them off. A handful dropped but the rest pressed upward and were almost on top of them. John and Dale started stepping backward to take advantage of the tiny distance they had to work with. All of their guns clicked empty at the same time, leaving the aliens plenty of time to gain ground. Dale holstered his pistols and pulled out his carbine. John threw one of his submachine guns barreling in to the chest of one hostile, sending it tumbling down the slope for a moment. With his free hand he reloaded his other submachine gun quickly and continued to fire into the advancing horde.

            "Hold them!" John felt his heel hovering over the edge of the cliff. At last, the female aliens caught up and were at a range to fire as well. Only a few needle bullets shattered against their armor before they had no other option than to jump.

            "We gotta go!" Dale holstered his carbine and back flipped off of the cliff side. John holstered his remaining submachine gun, turned around and dove off the cliff as well. They leveled out horizontally and spread out their arms and legs to slow their decent as much as possible. They ended up dreading their decision to jump when they noticed the massive alien army directly below them. They had heard the shriek from the cliff top and were anxiously waiting to skewer John and Dale when they reached them.

            "Perfect," John moaned sarcastically. "You guys, we're falling to our death out here," he addressed the others at the base.

            "Not yet you're not," Arden's voice spoke in their helmet coms. Connor and Arden suddenly collided in to John and Dale in midair.

            "What are you two doing!?" Dale questioned.

            "Saving your skins," Connor answered. He and Arden shifted on to Dale and John's backs and tore off the jetpacks they already had. They attached the jetpacks they had brought with them to their armor instead.

            Both John and Dale's helmet AIs beeped once and spoke, "New hardware detected. Standard jetpack attached and ready for use. Fuel capacity, 100%."

            "Now let's get back to the main facility!" Arden barrel rolled away and set his jetpack on full burn, heading for the watchtower. Connor opened his limbs to brake his decent, then followed suit. John and Dale zoomed behind them. The mass of aliens below shrieked and snarled as they watched them fly right overhead. The four of them landed in the watchtower and turned to see both the gigantic alien force, and John and Dale's pursuers, rushing directly toward them.

            "Give us a break," John bent over and placed his hands on his knees. He and Dale were exhausted. Victoria, Margaret and Viktor rushed in the watchtower from the stairwell.

            "How kind of you two to join us again," Victoria smirked behind her visor.

            "What's the plan?" Viktor wondered.

            "Survival," John straightened up and pulled his sniper rifle off of his back.

            "Nakahara," Arden spoke in his helmet com. "They're coming. They'll be on us in just a minute or two."

            "Understood Fog," Nakahara confirmed.

            "Sir, might I suggest a course of action?" Connor asked.

            "Spit it out Smoke."

            "Sir, they're exposed all over the mountain slopes but they won't be for long. If we get our forces out here and fire on them now, we might be able to hold them off and survive just long enough for the dropships to return. But if we wait inside, they'll be on top of us and it'll just be a bloodbath."

            Nakahara was silent for a moment.

            "Sir, we don't have much time!" Arden urged him. Another two seconds passed.

            "All combat personnel, proceed up the staircase and assume defensive positions between the rocks and hills and crevices," Nakahara ordered. "That means now soldiers! MOVE!" Only a few seconds passed before Vapor Team saw the soldiers pouring out on to the land around the main facility, rushing to form a solid defensive perimeter around the rear of the watchtower and the main facility. They fired at the mass of aliens looming down the slopes toward them, hardly needing to aim since their bullets were bound to hit something in a group that large.

            "Mist, stay in the watchtower and do what you do best," Connor said.

            "Gladly," John grinned. He rushed to the edge of the tower and began unloading magazine after magazine from his sniper rifle.

            "Shadow, go grab a machine turret and let loose hell," Arden said. "Stay in the tower too. You both are too exhausted in your legs to be moving around in the thick of their forces."

            "Don't insult me," Dale joked with Arden. Once the last of their soldiers reached the top of the stairs, he bolted down to grab a machine turret.

            "So the rest of us will be amidst the others out there?" Margaret questioned.

            "Hell yeah," Arden answered. He pumped his shotgun and continued, "besides, I've been dying to fight these things up close.

            "Don't get too eager, Fog," Viktor told him.

            "I know, I know," Arden rolled his eyes.

            "Alright, enough talk," Connor cocked his marksman rifle. "Let's hold them off, or die trying." The rest of them cocked their weapons and sprinted out of the tower. They spread out among the defending line of FKPD forces and fired in to the oncoming horde.

            There was so much gunfire that it almost deafened them. The constant droning of rifles, pistols, portable machine turrets, carbines, snipers and even anti-personnel rocket launchers tore and blasted the creatures apart. However, unlike the first engagement at their training base, they had far less soldiers holding the line this time around.

            Despite their nonstop barrage of destruction, the horde of aliens were closing fast. Half of the alien forces were still on the lower portions of the mountain slopes, but the other half were on level ground now. Only three hundred yards of clear open space was present between the FKPD and the aliens. That distance was slowly shortened by the second. Whatever aliens were killed in the front were instantly trampled over by the rest behind them.

            Dale had acquired a machine turret from the armory and was stomping back to the stairwell when he noticed a greenish light in his peripheral vision. He looked over at the massive blast door and his eyes widened when he saw several alien blade tips slicing through it like butter. "No way," he groaned. He whipped around and readied his machine turret at his side, preemptively starting to spin its barrels. "Guys!" Dale addressed the rest of Vapor Team. "They're cutting through the blast door to the main chamber!"



            "Those green swords can cut through anything apparently," Dale answered. "I'm going to stay in here and hold them off as best I can. If anyone can assist me, feel free."

            "I'm the only one close to you," John proclaimed. "I'll be right th..." John was interrupted by two green alien torpedoes blasting away small sections of the watchtower rooftop. He took cover for a short second then set his eyes to the sky, only to find approximately twenty-five phoenix fighters swarm right over the tower. "Hostile air support inbound!" John addressed the entirety of the FKPD forces. "I repeat, hostile air support! Take cover!"

            The FKPD defenses instantly bolted behind boulders and under trees to avoid being struck by the phoenix fighter's needle bullets and torpedoes. However, their suppressive fire on the advancing alien ground forces was broken, and the creatures were now able to progress nearly unimpeded.

            John set his sniper sights to the sky and started to carefully pick off whatever fighters that he could, remembering the weak spot they had between the wing and the fuselage.

            "Mist! Are you coming or not!?" Dale questioned anxiously.

            "I can't!" John answered. "I have to help thin out the enemy fighters before they blast our forces down and let the alien horde run us over!"

            "Damn it!" Dale shook his head in frustration.

            "Don't worry, Shadow," Nakahara's voice chimed in to his helmet. "You're not alone." Dale glanced over at the stairwell to see Nakahara dashing toward him.

            "Naki?" Dale scrunched up his face, surprised. Nakahara reached his side and aimed an assault rifle he wielded toward the blast door.

            "Let's hold them off together," Nakahara nodded at him.

            "Really?" Dale raised an eyebrow. "You're not here to put me in handcuffs?"

            "Not yet."

            "Yet?" Dale rolled his eyes. The green blades began cutting chunks of the blast door away and revealing scattered holes all across its face. They saw at least one alien behind each hole, continuing to cut the rest of the way through.

            "Just shut up and open fire," Nakahara squeezed his rifle's trigger, aiming left and right. He took out a couple of aliens before they even had time to step foot inside the chamber.

            Dale waited until they cut through completely and began filing inside one by one through the rugged entrances they created. He opened fire with his machine turret and his bullets tore through the creatures. Nakahara and Dale's gunfire combined was enough to hold the small amount of aliens getting inside.

            "You both going to be okay in there?" Victoria asked them.

            "Yeah we got this," Dale answered. "Just hold your own up there."

            "On it," Victoria replied. The forces above ground returned to firing in to the oncoming alien horde as best they could, while still trying to avoid the hostile air support. A handful of soldiers diverted their aim to the skies in hope that small arms fire could help John thin out the fighters too. It helped to an extent. After some deliberation, a couple of their fighters were damaged enough to lose some flight control and were forced to retreat. John was the real factor in destroying the air support. He carefully maneuvered around the watchtower, lining up shot after shot with extreme care and taking down fighter after fighter.

            The mass of the alien ground force was under fifty yards away now. The FKPD troops started to panic and step backward.

            "No!" Arden addressed the soldiers as he pulled out his shotgun. "We can't fall back. If we don't stand our ground we all die. Hold them here, no matter what! Oorah!"

            "OORAH!" the FKPD boomed across the mountainside. They steadied their aims, planted their feet and readied themselves for the fight of their lives. They hadn't taken the time to notice how many aliens they had actually killed in their seemingly suicidal onslaught. As it turned out, barely over half of the creatures were dead on the mountainside. The remaining number of aliens still outnumbered their defenses three to one.

            At last, the aliens were upon them. The FKPD forces desperately stood their ground. They dodged the alien blades as best they could and returned with fire and blunt weapon blows. However, none of them were super soldiers like Vapor Team, and their attempts at physical blows against the abominations mostly just pissed them off. Regardless, the soldiers stood strong. For a whole minute not a single alien got past their defending line, but their ability to stave off the beasts would not last forever.

            Arden furiously packed shell after shell of his shotgun in to any alien unfortunate enough to get close. Out of the corner of his visor he spotted a blade coming right for him. He used the butt of his shotgun to bash away the arm of his attacker, whirled around under its swing and tackled the creature to the ground. Arden took his pistol from his hip and unloaded almost the whole magazine in to the alien's face until it ceased its screeching. He stood up and swiftly turned to find another alien sending his blade in a stabbing manner right toward his torso. Arden tried to sidestep the attack, though the action was unnecessary as Viktor's short metal blade chopped off the alien's forearm.

            The creature roared at Viktor and clutched his neck with a lightning fast lunge of its remaining arm. It lifted Viktor off the ground and opened its maw, ready to envelop his head for the kill. Viktor stuck it right through the heart with his blade as Arden blasted away a chunk of its torso with his shotgun. The alien dropped Viktor and fell to the ground, writhing in pain. Viktor stepped over and stomped its head, shattering the alien's skull. They both nodded to each other quickly and continued their melee.

            Margaret desperately tried to take down any aliens that were locked in combative proximity with their fellow soldiers. A terrifyingly large one leaped over a distance of twenty yards right toward her. She raised her rifle to take it down but the beast was unfazed by her bullets. It collided in to her and latched its jaws on to her helmet all in one smooth motion. It jerked her head side to side, sending a shooting pain down her spine. Margaret used her enhanced neck musculature to prevent her head from moving too violently, and her reinforced bone structure prevented her neck from snapping.

            "Get off of her!" a soldier cried out as he shot a few rounds in to the alien's neck. It let out a pained whine that still sounded like a howl as it released Margaret's head from its jaws. The soldier slammed the butt of his gun in to the creature's head, but it didn't even make it twitch. Instead the alien crashed in to the soldier next and enveloped his head in its maw, shaking it violently and snapping the soldier's neck in several locations.

            "NO!" Margaret fired her rifle in to the alien's head, killing it at last. It was too late for the soldier that helped her though. She lunged back to her feet and carried on. The fight was turning bloody fast. Their defending line was shattering. But at last, a glimmer of hope sounded in their helmet coms.

            "Manifest Training Base, this is the evacuation dropship group. Mission accomplished, all dropships unloaded and all personnel are safe back on Earth. We're only thirty seconds out, get ready to..."

            "Negative dropship group!!!" Nakahara interrupted as he and Dale were heavily engaged in close quarters action with a handful of aliens in the main facility. "The skies are not clear! I repeat, the skies are not clear! Get to a safe distance away from this base immediately!"

            Vapor Team and the soldiers took quick glances at the mountain's peaks as their dropships descended toward them. John sprinted to the edge of the watchtower, risking his own cover to line up more clear shots at the fighters in an attempt to save the dropships from being engaged, but it was too late.

            "Confirmed, air space is hot," the dropship pilot responded. "Waving off and will return when you..." the dropship was struck by a phoenix fighter's torpedo. It burst in flames and was sent spiraling in to the mountainside.

            "We've been engaged!" a different pilot spoke. "Evacuation group is under fire!" All of the alien fighters flapped away and sped toward the dropships, firing multiple salvos of torpedoes their way. John continued to try and pick off the fighters. Only five remained now, and he believed he could finish them off and save a handful of the dropships. However, his heart sank when two more fighter lances rose over the mountain peaks and bombarded their evacuation transports.

            "We're not going to make it! I repeat we're not..." the dropship pilot was cut short when his dropship was destroyed as well. It didn't take long before every last dropship was blasted asunder, decorating the mountainside with their remains like ornaments on a Christmas tree.

            "Guys," John spoke over his helmet com in a dismal voice. "We just lost every last dropship. We're stranded up here."

            "Damn it!" Nakahara bellowed as he thrust his combat knife in to an alien's neck. He swiveled around and was nearly chopped in half by an incoming blade when Dale bashed his whole body in to his attacker, sending the alien to the ground. Dale's machine turret had clicked empty. He clutched the barrel and swung it behind and over his head, slamming the bulk of it in to the alien's center mass. It was crushed.

            "Looks like this might be our end after all," Victoria groaned. She was fighting with only two FKPD soldiers left in their part of the defending line. The soldiers fought valiantly, but were overcome and chopped to pieces, leaving Victoria alone. She steadied her light machine gun on a group of aliens in front of her and squeezed the trigger. Ten bullets fired before the gun clicked empty. "Damn," she muttered, dropping the gun to the ground and picking up two alien blades. She squeezed them and watched the blades flare to life. At least fifteen of the creature's began cautiously surrounding her.

            "Don't talk like that Haze," Connor spoke. "As long as one of us is alive, we've got a chance at survival. I see you over there," Connor diverted his aim toward Victoria, who was now completely surrounded by the small group of aliens. "I'll keep you covered from the ones at your back. Give 'em hell girl."

            "Copy that," Victoria planted her feet. "What are you waiting for!?" She bellowed at the abominations around her. The alien's lunged toward her. She danced in between the whir of their blades and shimmied around their sides to keep away from taking on too many at once. A few of them were dropped by Connor's gunfire. She moved her blades to block swing after swing, sending a fatal lunge of her own when she had the chance. Three of the creature's slashed their blades at her waist all at once. Victoria jumped and twirled around in to a horizontal postion, swiping one of her blades under her, severing each of the alien's arms that tried to cut her in half. She gracefully landed on her feet and cross cut both of the blades she wielded across the torsos of the now defenseless aliens in front of her. Connor picked off all but the last one before his Marksman Rifle clicked empty and was forced to reload. Victoria bull rushed the creature and slid right between its legs, dodging an attempted swipe. She cut off both of its legs. The beast started to fall as Victoria dropped the blades she held and threw her combat knife in to the back of its head before it could even hit the ground.

            "Facility chamber is clear," Dale suddenly chimed in on their helmet coms.

            "Copy that," John acknowledged.

            "Listen up people," Nakahara addressed the entire base. "I'm ordering us all to retreat. Retreat back to the garages, procure transport vehicles, and get the hell away from this base as fast as possible. Our only hope is to get to a different base and evacuate from there."

            "With all of these aliens breathing down our necks!?" Arden questioned.

            "That's an order Fog!" Nakahara shot back. A few more aliens appeared in the cracks of the blast door. Dale pulled out his carbine and began thinning them out. Nakahara helped, but was already moving toward the stairwell.

            "The plan is still returning to Earth?" Connor inquired. "We're still going back to square one?"

            "Affirmative," Nakahara answered.

            "Copy that Naki," John ejected his sniper rifle magazine.

            "We're on the move," Connor, Arden, Viktor, Victoria and Margaret whipped around and began sprinting for the garages, which they could reach in just one minute if they didn't slow down. The few remaining FKPD soldiers ran with them, firing behind them as they retreated.

            John was about to reload another magazine when he heard a heavy figure land in the watchtower. He turned to find a stray alien glaring at him with its enormous black pupils, holding its blade in one hand. This one was particularly massive. It wasted no more time and lurched toward him. John sidestepped an overhead swipe. The alien spun around and slashed at his chest but John turned his sniper rifle vertically and bashed its arm away. He sent the barrel of his sniper down on to the alien's head with a painful thud. It returned by cutting the barrel of his sniper clean off. John shifted his grip and tried to ram the butt of his rifle in to the alien, but it cut off that half of the sniper too.

            He dropped his broken sniper rifle and rolled backward, retrieving his submachine gun from his hip and unleashed its magazine in to the center mass of the alien. It painfully pressed forward toward him as his bullets pierced in to the monster's chest. His submachine gun was only halfway through its magazine when the alien cornered him and slammed him against the watchtower wall. The submachine gun slipped out of his hand and clattered across the floor several feet away. John felt its monstrous hand grasp his neck. It reared its blade back and came jabbing at John's face, but he forced his head to the side and let it cut in to the wall of the watchtower instead. He grabbed its blade wielding arm right in front of his cheek and snapped its elbow, causing the alien to drop its blade in pain. The alien threw John behind him with so much force he nearly exited the watchtower. His back slammed in to the outer railing causing him to bend over backwards with his head leaning out of the tower. John looked forward to see the alien leaping toward him. He gripped the railing of the watchtower and brought his feet up, planting them in to the creature's chest and letting its own inertia carry it over John's body and sail out of the tower. It flailed as it fell hundreds of feet to the water below.

            John sighed in relief while he was dangling over the tower's edge, holding the rail with only one hand. He pulled himself up and turned to look at the fighters again. His eyes widened when he saw every fighter had unleashed both weapons in their arsenal at once while he was engaging the lone alien. Glowing green torpedoes and needle bullets sailed through the air toward the watchtower.

            "Crap..." John muttered. There was no way he could save himself from the impending doom. From the moment he saw the oncoming barrage, it reached him in under half of a second. Needle collided in to his armor, most of them shattering on impact, but a small amount breached it, or struck an unarmored area. Searing pain assaulted his senses just before the torpedoes blasted the top of the watchtower to smithereens.

            Connor, Arden, Viktor, Victoria, and Margaret jerked their heads to look at the watchtower when they heard it explode and stopped for a brief second in disbelief. Fury and hatred burned in their souls when they saw John's lifeless body careening high in to the air and over the cliff's edge. A smoky trail followed him as his jetpack was once again destroyed from the blast.

            John's body disappeared behind the cliff and dropped in front of the blast door. Dale was taking out the last of the aliens in the chamber again when he saw his brother's body through one of the openings the alien's had created. It was flipping uncontrollably down toward the water below. Dale's eyes widened and his nostrils flared. He let loose a lament that one could argue rumbled the very walls of the chamber.





To be continued...


Book Three, Return to Earth, is underway. Go there now to continue the story!

The End

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