These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up. Enjoy!
That wasn’t really what had Ronnie’s attention, however. It was the large group of military personnel – the first he’d seen since entering the base – that really threw him. All had weapons, something that wasn’t odd but wasn’t that common either, and the air in the place had an edge to it, something Ronnie could feel even from the safety of his cab. He stopped the vehicle a good hundred yards from the group, who, he now saw, were right near the recently installed antimatter reactor. He rolled down the window of the cab and then crouched down in the seat as best he could, staying out of sight, listening, just like he had in the mud in Vietnam.
Outside in the tunnel a hundred yards away looked to be fifty scientists accompanied by about half as many soldiers. The soldiers all had machine guns while ahead of them the Greys had flash guns. Colonel Michaels saw this and frowned, then stepped forward.
“Quiet,” one of the Grey’s said, or more properly ‘sent,’ for the word was ‘heard’ in everyone’s mind but not by a single ear. Even Ronnie back in the truck a hundred yards away got the message loud and clear.
Colonel Michaels closed his mouth and firmed his jaw and stared into the large black eyes on the Grey’s oversized head. He’d long ago gotten over his fear of the things, knowing that they sensed that emotion miles away, like they did all irrational thought. It was keeping the mind rational, logical, but also skipping about in abstract ways that weren’t easy to follow telepathically, that was the secret to undermining the Grey’s dominant hold in all situations with the humans, of which there were increasingly many.
The Grey stared back at him, then sent out the message, “disarm.”
“What?” Colonel Michaels said, looking from that leading Grey to its two companions gathered around the antimatter reactor. “What do you mean ‘disarm?’ We’ve never had to do that before.”
“You’ll do it now,” another message came, this one seemingly from one of the other Greys, although how Colonel Michaels or any of the others could tell was beyond their ability to explain.
Colonel Michaels shook his head. “I won’t.”
There was no message this time, just the feeling imparted that that was that, the conversation was over, as was the meeting and everyone’s life. It was known instantly, as you’d know a breeze was blowing your hair.
Colonel Michaels reacted and managed to get his right hand holding the machine gun up a fraction of an inch, or about as much as he could in a few fractions of a second. After that the psionic blast from the leading Grey in front of him cut into his forehead and blew his brains out the back of his head as sure as a gunshot at point blank range would do. Brain-matter flew all over the soldiers behind him, but they were trained and didn’t hesitate as their commander’s body began falling to the floor. Neither did the Greys.
Before Colonel Michaels’ body was on the floor several more mind blasts came, each blowing the brains out of an unsuspecting soldier. In a matter of moments the floor was littered with a dozen bodies.
For the soldiers’ part, they reacted quickly. Machine guns were hoisted and aimed, but trigger fingers suddenly weighed a thousand pounds and wouldn’t move.
“Their minds!” one soldier managed to shout out, and second later his head exploded in an unseen blast.
“Ed…Ed!” another soldier shouted, staring across the few feet that separated him from his nearest companion, Ed Childers, member of Delta Force for more than a year, but now staring with wide and frightened eyes as his arm seemingly moved against his will, pointing the machine gun his companions’ way.
Ben Dean was mowed down as were a dozen soldiers around him. He kept firing and crying and trying to say he was sorry but he couldn’t stop. The firing continued and then–
It was a single shot, but the bullet went right into Ed Childers’ forehead and stopped that finger from firing. He fell to the floor dead and Gus Tine gritted his teeth and reached down to grasp the bullet wound in his side, the one he’d just taken from Ed, but’d been lucky enough to survive, unlike many of his companions lying dead beside him.
“Start shooting, our wounds stopped ‘em!” he shouted to the other wounded men around him, just three that looked capable of firing. Of them, two nodded and reached for their weapons, and Gus directed his attention back to the three Greys still standing near the antimatter machine. He took careful aim and–
“Shit!” Chris Evans said as he saw Gus’s brains blow out the back of his head, another one of those mind blasts from the aliens. He glanced over at Doug Best, who was the only other one down on the ground with him. Doug had his machine gun up and got a few rounds off, right at one of the Greys and then–
“Shit,” Chris muttered again as Doug’s brains exploded out of his head. He gritted his teeth, raised his pistol up to his eye, aimed, and fired. The Grey ahead of him – its name was beyond human comprehension – had sensed what Doug was doing, but just a hair too late. The 9mm bullet slammed into the small space between its two black eyes and it jumped back a step involuntarily, then began to fall back slowly. It was dead before it hit the cold steel floor of the tunnel.
A shout went out, but that wasn’t quite right, it was more a mental blast of anguish, and it came from the two remaining Greys. They unleashed their fury at the same time they unleashed their reserves. The door behind them that led into one of the many smaller storage chambers opened up and several Reptilians poured forth, each armed with a flash gun.
On the floor Doug was able to smile at his kill before his head exploded like an overripe melon, the mental blast from two Greys hitting him at once. Blood and brains showered those soldiers still around, of which there were few.
The initial firing and mind blasts had taken out more than forty of the scientists and nearly all of the thirty soldiers. The remaining scientists had managed to run back into the tunnels, most heading toward the ramps leading up to Level 2. Some of the soldiers also cut and run, although some were actually pulling back in face of the alien onslaught of mind blasts, trying to protect the fleeing scientists, as was their main duty. Now that Reptilians were pouring forth, and with flash guns, it was a whole new ballgame.
“Run!” a voice shouted, one of the few soldiers still standing near the antimatter reactor, and immediately he became the target of every Reptilian rushing in. It only took one blast from a flash gun, however, and he was vaporized instantly, not a trace of him but a smote of dust that fell to the floor in a barely discernible pile.
That pile was trampled over a moment later by a scaled toe on one of the Reptilians feet, the large claw-like talons dashing it into oblivion. The thing wore no clothes, just a sort of utility belt that held some of its weapons. Many around it began hitting a small, orange button on those belts, allowing them to vanish instantly from sight. This one simply raised its gun and ran forth, its slit-serpentine eyes shining out as its scaled-body descended upon the mayhem. The creature made a hissing sound and raised its flashgun up, taking aim on another soldier, then firing. The man had been rushing toward the elevator that would lead to the surface, and was vaporized instantly. Several scientists were also rushing that way, and they met the same fate.
In the truck Ronnie could hear the scratching and scraping of the Reptilians’ feet as they ran through the tunnel, hunting down the fleeing humans. The sounds were getting closer, closer to his truck, and he knew he had to do something. His eyes began to move back and forth in a panic as he thought. What weapon is there? What can I use? How can I–
The door to the cab flew open and Ronnie bolted up from where he’d been crouching down on the seat. A Reptilian was there, its broad snout just inches from his face, its yellow and serpentine eyes showing no sign of emotion. In its hand was a flash gun. Ronnie’s eyes went wide. He managed to open his mouth in an attempt to shout ‘no’ when the alien fired and everything went black.