Invasion

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“Angelina! Angelia, where are you?”

Blasted Crestas! What was Raymond thinking? Governor of a multi-race? Idiot! Pound up these porch steps one last time; I’ll probably never see… Damn! Don’t think! Just—

“Here, Peter! Everyone’s accounted for. Cerulean and Roux are running the—  Isn’t Paul with you?”

My heart has stopped. Really stopped.

“No. I thought he was helping you.”

“He was. But I sent him to find you.”

“I’ve been doing a perimeter check. Everything’s down. Crestas certainly know how to blast their way into—”

Tears are filling her eyes. Focus! No tears—not yet…Her voice cracks.

“Where’s Paul?”

“He’s probably helping with the last of the evacs. Don’t worry, honey, I’ll find him.”

Yeah, sure. The whole planet is blowing to pieces… okay. Stop! Exaggeration won’t help. Think!

“Where was he heading?”

Good, she’s getting a hold of herself.

“To Capitol Hill.”

“You go ahead. I’m sure he’s around. Cerulean’s probably got everyone else in transport. He snagged a friendly Bhuac trader who was heading home to Helm, but she said she’d take us to Lux first.”

“I’m not leaving without my son!”

“Me neither. But it won’t help having the two of us wandering— Wait. Holy Hill! I know where he is. Go on! Tell that Bhuac to wait. I’ll be right back!”

“Peter!”

~~~

The whole world is falling into enemy hands, but my son wants a last private moment with his hero.

“Paul!”

He’s so little for eleven. The Crestas would tower over him like a mountain. But not a hint of fear in those eyes.

“Hey, son, come on! Your mother’s worried sick, and Cerulean’s holding a Bhuac trading ship for us. We’ve got to hurry.”

“I’m not leaving.”

“What? Don’t be insane. You’re leaving if I have to pick you up and carry you!”

“This is our home. Our planet. The Crestas have no right!”

He’s hugging Doctor Mike’s statue as if he thinks it’ll protect him. So young… So foolish.

“They have much bigger weapons, and they’re going to use them. Now quit acting like a child and hurry up. Once their scout teams come this way, they’ll take us prisoners…if we’re lucky.”

“I don’t care.”

“Well, I care! We can’t win. Not this time. We’ve got to leave—now!”

“Doctor Mike wouldn’t. He’d stay and fight.”

“By the Divide! He didn’t. When humanity lost the first time, he left. And for good reason! There’s a time to walk away…or run away and come back later. Right now we’ve got a real good reason to run.”

“Will we come back…later?”

If my heart keeps falling like this, I’ll never find it again.

“I hope so. Come on, son. Your mother’s frantic. And Cerulean will have my head.”

Good boy… Ah, dang it, he’s wiping his eyes with his sleeve. I hate that. I can’t feel, I’ve got to think.

“Stop!”

Damn! Cresta scouts…

“Hold still. We’ll not accept resistance.”

“Resistance? Look, my hands are up. Put your hands up, Paul. Listen, we’re just leaving. No need to worry about us resisting…”

“Hold still.”

Oh, God! He’s leveling his weapon.

“Tamir! Is that you?”

Thank God, Cerulean! I can breathe again… The scout’s not pleased though. Still, Cerulean could charm an Ingoti water rat…

“Do I know you, human?”

Gotta love Cerulean’s smile.

“Luxonian. Though I can see how you might make the mistake. Don’t you remember me? Cerulean. I was in the leadership council between the Ingal and the Supreme Judges back on Cresta in 04.”

“Oh, my apologies. I didn’t realize. Are these your—”

“Yes, they’re mine. Thank you for holding them. I’ve been looking for them everywhere. Please, go about your business. I don’t think you’ll find anyone else. Emergency transportation has been arranged. Next time… you might like to give a little more notice.

“We gave the humans a full day. We’re not always so courteous with our enemies.”

“Enemies! You’re the ene—”

I have to stopper my son’s mouth. Sorry, but there’s a time to shut up. Cerulean glares at him but swings a full grin at the Cresta. Man, he’s good.

“Forgive the youth. He’s inexperienced.”

“Take him or I’ll give him an experience.”

~~~

 On board the Bhuac transport. Peter leans back with his eyes closed on the cushioned bench with Angelina’s sleeping head resting on his shoulder. Paul hunches between crates at his father’s feet.

Cerulean steps into the small cargo space. His eyes travel from Peter to Angelina—to Paul. He beckons to Paul in silence.

Paul lumbers to his feet. His red, swollen gaze scrapes the floor.

“Yes, sir?”

Cerulean lifts Paul’s chin so that their gaze locks.

“This is not the end. You’ll return home. Luxonians will work things out with the Crestas.”

“And what if another race decides they want Newearth? Will you save us again? There will always be more of them than us.”

True, but defeat isn’t the answer. Grieve, as you must, but when you recover, I’ll be waiting. There will come a day. You’ll return. And I’ll come with you.”

“Why?”

“Because…it’s my home too.”

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00

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Dedication

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Oh, Lord, why do human beings insist on performing these ceremonies? I bet Doc Mike himself wishes they’d get on with it and just bury his remains. The Governor is as wordy as a Cresta at an Inter-Alien convention.

“…and as Peter, son to two other magnificent examples of humanity’s finest, so touchingly reminded us, Doctor Mike was the guiding light behind this new beginning. As Governor, and in effect, Commander and Chief of—“

Pul-leez, Commander in Chief, Raymond? Of a couple hundred kilometers? Tuck that ego in a bit.

“…we’ll know prosperity and good fortune into an unimagined future here on Newearth, all starting from our humble beginning in—”

We’ll all pause now for dramatic effect.

“…Mikestown.”

Breathless silence. And I do mean, breathless. It’s so hot and humid, why on Newearth did he pick July, of all months, to have this dedication ceremony? 

Doctor Mike’s remains descend slowly into a marble receptacle. An engraved slab slides over the top. Luxonians in full regalia steer a life-sized statue of Doctor Mike to the grave and center it on a marble stand.

The end! Please, make that the end. Oh, no, he’s starting up again with the smile that knows no bounds.

“…And I would like to invite our newest citizens and Luxonian guests to our modest repast before we begin this new and challenging—”

“Thank you, Governor Ronald Raymond!”

A tall Luxonian woman with three human attendants gestures politely toward the assembly hall, situated on the west side of the Capitol building.

Thank God! Saved by the cooking staff.

~~~

“Hey, Cerulean! So, what do you think?”

Peter’s smile is always so genuine. He reminds me of Anne. I hope—No. Better not go there.

“Hello, Peter. Mission accomplished. You always said that you’d see this day—”

“No, actually, that’s not true. I’d have given up but for ol’ Doc. You want a sandwich or something?”

“Sure. The cook is a friend of mine. I’d better partake, or I’ll have a lot of explaining to do.”

Hmmm…. Where did they get chickens? Forget it. Peter looks happier than I’ve seen him in a long time. Must be a weight off his mind.

“So where’s Angelina and the baby?”

“They’re helping with the food. Several of the attendants took sick after the resettlement, so she’s been managing…sort of.”

“Good of her.”

“Not really. It’s a dream come true, settling Newearth and starting over. I feel like one of those guys from the old stories… It’s overwhelming.”

“Now that Doc Mike is laid to rest in all proper ceremony; you’ve got—”

“By the Divide, wasn’t the Governor a bit long—”

“Hello, Governor!”

That smile beats all. I’m not sure how he can make something so intrinsically decent appears so sinister.

“Hello, Cerulean…Peter. It’s wonderful to see you here. Terrific speech, Peter, heartfelt and sincere. That’s what these people need—to remember their heritage and learn how to work together. No more us and them attitudes, eh?”

“Absolutely. I was just telling Cerulean that my wife, Angelina, has been—”

“Wonderful! Keep up the good work! I must circulate. Got to keep the blood pulsing between races, ha, ha!”

Hand pumps all around.

“If you need me, I’ll be in the Capitol. Meetings…planning sessions, you understand. But I’m here for you. Cerulean, don’t be a stranger. See if you can talk Sterling into a visit this year, eh?”

“I’ll keep that in mind, Governor.”

Trip trot… Off he goes. Wonder how long he’ll last…?

“Cerulean?”

“Oh, yeah. Sorry, Peter. It’s been a long morning.”

“I told Angelina I’d help out. You want to visit a while? No work required. You can watch us slave away in the kitchen.”

“Charming as that sounds, I can’t. I’ve got one more stop to make before I meet with Roux. There’s been some intergalactic action that might need our attention… nothing for you to worry about.”

I hope.

“All right… Well, thanks for coming, Cerulean. I know Mom and Dad thought the universe of you and Doctor Mike trusted you, and he didn’t trust many beings. Really, we should’ve been thanking you for this day. Mikestown wouldn’t exist if you hadn’t—”

“Forget it. I played my part, as did a great many. Say hi to Angelina. I’ll visit… soon.”

“Hold you to it.”

~~~

A gravestone rests under an apple tree, roughly etched with the words: Anne Smith—Last of Her Kind. Blinking, Cerulean crouches down and pats the Earth, smoothing the thick grass with a caressing touch. Slowly, he pulls a small leather journal from inside his jacket. He flips to the last page and peers at the words:

The Earth is renewing itself at an astonishing rate. Cerulean has traveled about and told me that it looks like God reinvented the Garden of Eden. I can’t help but wonder: Who will live here next? Will they treat the Earth better? Will they treat each other better?

 Oh, God, Anne. I hope so.

~~~

Novels by A. K. Frailey

Science Fiction

Last of Her Kind  http://amzn.to/2y1HJvg

Newearth: Justine Awakens http://amzn.to/2pq0vWN

Historical Fiction

Melchior—Vengeance Is Mine http://amzn.to/2taeW2r

Historical Fiction & Science Fiction Blend

OldEarth ARAM Encounter https://amzn.to/2KLhlsN

OldEarth Ishtar Encounter https://amzn.to/2OAkDQF

OldEarth Neb Encounter (In production)

OldEarth Georgios Encounter (In production)

Children’s Book

The Adventures of Tally-Ho http://amzn.to/2sLfcI5

Inspirational Non-Fiction

The Road Goes Ever On—A Christian Journey Through The Lord of the Rings http://amzn.to/2lWBd00