The Nano Wars

First Contact
Wherein lives are uprooted and Locutus blows things up.

First Contact

Excerpt from the journal of Guun:

Earth Date: 10/24/2015

Location: Earth

Solar System: Sol

Galaxy: Milky Way

So today was… rather interesting. I got shot at. A few times. I met races that I didn’t even know existed. I am finally in the position that my heart is NOT beating mercilessly against my throat, and I feel like I can leave an account of what is going on. If I ever survive long enough to see my family, they will probably want to know exactly what happened, and in the event that I am still alive in the near future I would like them to know that.

It all started with Thaddeus. To be honest, I knew he was a little weird. His roommate, Locutus… much weirder. But Thaddeus was… different. Every time I tried to chat with him about anything, I feel like I am talking to… Steven Hawking or something. I mentioned particle physics once, and I understood two or three words of what he said there. I feel like he knew more about my major than I did!

So there I was, sitting in my Book of Mormon class. Locutus had just given this odd prayer, and there was a moment of silence where the teacher was staring oddly at him. Idly, I was looking out the window, and suddenly a flying… machine showed up and blew the windows out!! Turns out, they were after Thaddeus. Who knew? He just bolts out of the door before anyone could react and tears off towards the Manwaring Center, Locutus following behind him with his big, bald head, and dead eyes. I’m telling you man, that guy always creeps me out!

After the initial shock of being fired on by an extraterrestrial warship wore off, what remained was a feeling that can only be described as sheer, stark terror. My flight or flight mechanism kicked in, and only one thing popped into my head: RUN! So I did. Right behind George, who apparently has been through these kinds of things before because he barely reacted to what happened!

Now before we go on, let me tell you about George: The only thing he likes better than his guns is God. And he was very, very good at shooting. If there was anyone that I trusted to keep me alive, it was him. Somewhere in the corner of my terrified mind, this shouted at me, and unfortunately my body followed immediately, and that is exactly why I am in this mess in the first place.

Because you see, George followed Thaddeus. Who turned out to be an alien. A very human looking alien, that spoke with an American accent and everything, but an alien nonetheless. If I had known this, I would have gone any other direction, but I did not. So there I go, toodling along behind George as we run our way through the MC and into the library.

As soon as we enter the library, I turn and see these huge lizard-like monsters, about a foot taller than a human and looking to weigh about 450 pounds each, come into the Manwaring Center Stormtrooper style and start firing on us. And like stormtroopers, they totally missed my head, exploding the glass on the skybridge. I suppose I shouldn’t make fun of them for missing, but let’s get real here, I am gleeful to even be alive right now.

So here’s the thing. We spot Teddy putting a strange device into the USB of the computer in the library. Turns out he was sending out a distress signal, but George didn’t know that and yanked it back out. Luckily though, the signal was able to penetrate the network and send out the signal before it was deactivated. I don’t know if that was lucky or not though, because as far as I know, the only people that caught the signal was a merc team and a sociopathic Sith Lord penguin. I mean… it WAS a cute penguin, but still…

Anyway, Thaddeus ran down the stairs to the I-Center. Apparently he was going to his Secret Lair. Yeah. He had one of those. I mean Teddy is this legit evil scientist, and I ain’t even mad! So the lair was in the basement, but those aliens I mentioned earlier, yeah those things were also in the basement. Turns out they can follow us, and their guns very muchly blew things up, just as I suspected. Who knew a laser could make a potted plant cover a ten foot by ten foot room from top to bottom with dirt and ceramic shards?

So right as we enter the I-Center, the cops show up and start firing on these lizard people. For moment I think “Yay! We are saved!” but no… nope. They have some sort of body armor that pretty much made them immune to bullets. Is that even possible? Immediately the lizard people took down two cops, who then barricaded themselves right beyond the now shattered glass doors. I would tell you what happened after that, but I did not stick around long enough to find out. Instead, we booked it down a staircase into the basement where his secret laboratory (pronounced lu bore ah tory, like in Dexter’s Lab) was.

That is when Thaddeus could stop for a second and explain exactly what was going on: He was an alien and these sociopathic monsters were trying to capture him and steal his creation. I guess this creation was a total game changer, and if it fell into the wrong hands, Earth would likely be enslaved, and we would work on plantations mining cabbage for the rest of our lives.

So yeah, it turns out we’ve been plunged into an intergalactic war; Thaddeus was apparently belonging to a faction called “The Alliance” and the guys trying to kill us… they were called “Legion.” As a generalized statement, it appeared that Earth was already part of the Alliance, and since we were… you know… without warp drives, laser guns and Dark Matter technology, we were considered a lower classification of planets, so we were under a “Do not enter” mandate, on punishment of execution.

Thaddeus gave me a laser gun. I thought it was pretty cool, even though I’ve never fired a gun in my life. Well maybe once, when I was in Boy Scouts, but that was when I was sixteen so it doesn’t really count. George though, you should have seen him smile when he got new guns from Thaddeus. It was like a whole new happy world of sunshine and unicorns was placed before him, but instead of unicorns, there are guns. Lots and lots of guns.

Thaddeus ran a scan to find nearby ships beyond that of our technology here on Earth. Turns out there were five ships in Rexburg, and most of them were parked right over at Smith Park. So yeah, apparently through some strange plot twist on life, Rexburg became the city that housed more technology than the rest of the world combined. The plan was to hijack a ship and get off this planet. I wasn’t exactly sure if I was going to follow him, but I definitely wanted to get out of there, so I offered my… uh… services.

So apparently a lizard monster (Thaddeus called them Krogans) followed us down the stairs. It probably would have gotten us, but some police investigator guy showed up and blew the side of his face off. Holy crap, that was gruesome and I probably would have vomited from all the blood and brains splattered across the wall, but I was more worried that he was still very much alive. His eyeball rolled across the hallway and landed at my feet, looking up at me. Yeah, if I ever have kids, I am probably editing this little bit out for them.

Locutus though, if he weren’t creepy enough, he put a piece of metal on his face that looked like some sort of twisted mask, and the robot in the corner started moving! It walked out into the hallway and destroyed what remained of the Krogan. The Investigator did what Investigators do and investigated as to what Thaddeus was up to. After a brief run down at gun point, the Investigator introduced himself as Bryce Crowley and took a laser pistol from the now decapitated Krogan warrior. But before we could hold hands and sing camp songs together, more aliens appeared! They knocked poor John to the ground, and the geniuses fired what looked like a rocket at Locutus’ mech. The mech jumped out of the way and the entire hallway caved in, leaving John on the other side! When he caught up with us later, he told me that they held him at gunpoint until he led them out of the basement. Which is absolutely hilarious, because John has been on campus a grand total of two times.

So we left that place. Who wouldn’t? We got out of there, and started heading towards the park. Bryce seemed to know what he was doing so we followed him out of the school. And it was a good thing too, because at that time several more aliens arrived, as well as the SWAT team! On our way out of the school, I looked back out the window, and it is a good thing I did because I saw the most gnarly thing! Locutus walked over to his Mech, who then threw him almost twenty feet into the air, and landed on the back of one of those flying ships that shot at us. He then somehow hacked the console, attached a missile to it, and hurled it at the group of soldiers coming down the stairs! I am just glad an explosion wasn’t aimed at me or one of my roommates for once! It was crazy gruesome too, decapitated heads were flying about, exploding torsos, it was a unanimous scream of “Oh crap, this hurts!” Before we rounded the corner, I spotted Locutus and John calmly walking through the wreckage as if nothing had happened! Ahh… good times, good times.

So needless to say, my heart rate is rather high, and I am a tad bit nervous that we are still going to die. The only thing I can think about right now is my comfy, warm bed that I want to burrow into and never leave again. Ever. Ever. Ever.

“Uh… Hello?”

“Mr. President, this is your Secretary of Defense.”

“Ahh yes, Mr. Secretary. Were you calling to RSVP for our annual Halloween Bash? You know you don’t need to…”

“It’s not that, Mr. President. There’s been an attack on American soil by aliens.”

“Like… Illegal aliens? Now I don’t think some gang war…”

“No, Mr. President, I mean real aliens. It appears to have been a small force of less than a hundred soldiers, but the casualties up until now have been massive. There are 146 injured and at least 36 dead or missing.”

a long pause

“So… no Halloween Bash then?”

“No, Mr. President.”

“Very well then. I suppose I should be addressing the nation at this point.”

“That would probably be the best course of action, sir.”

Another long pause

“I really shouldn’t go as an Alien this year then, Mr. Secretary. Thanks for notifying me.”

These wretched halls will be torn asunder

Doctor Thaddeus Brinkman looked up from his patient as the door to his lab opened smoothly with a swishing sound. A short, balding and overweight man in a lab coat and glasses walked in, a nervous expression adorning his face.

“Enris. I wasn’t expecting you until after five. What is it?” inquired Dr. Brinkman. Enris’ face creased with worry, indicating to Dr. Brinkman that all was not right in the station. He put his scanner down on the table, suddenly extremely concerned; Enris was a very mild mannered scientist, and if something managed to upset him, it was very likely that it was a major issue.

“Did Sector 8 go out again? I TOLD Rake not to cross the Beams again, his last attempt at repairing that old Mek nearly resulted in catastrophic…” Dr. Brinkmann trailed off as Enris’ face went white. “Rake is dead, along with the entire repair crew. They were the first to go.”

First to… what?! Thaddeus looked up at his display console. All life support signs were green. That could only mean… “An attack. So far out here? How did they find us?! Who?!” Enris moved to Thaddeus’ main HUD display. “Oh, Thaddeus, always turning off all news channels. You are an asset, you know, this is the reason we have put such expenses into this facility!” With that, Enris pressed a few buttons on the console, activating nearby channels. Immediately upon pressing the confirmation button, the screen flashed red and Dr. Thaddeus was awash with a high pitched alarm. The Captain’s voice blared over the speaker: “Alert! Alert! We are under Legion attack! I require all non-military personell to perform evacuation procedure code CODAC. It was an honor serving with you.” Along with the message, a feed was shown of three warships breaching the facility’s cloaking shield, the mark of Legion emblazoned on each hull.

CODAK. This information told Thaddeus several things:

- Upon entry, the facilities’ self defense system was not activated, meaning that it was turned off from within the bridge or Engineering Bay. The scientist facility was top of the line; with a class S encryption, Thaddeus knew that either they had a very skilled hacker on board, or one of the scientists had betrayed them. The last thought gave Thaddeus chills. He knew each scientist on the team for several years, and he considered them close friends, close enough to keep his whereabouts secret.

- CODAC was not only an evacuation order; it was a death sentence to anyone left on the station. If the bridge was taken, the two battery cores were set to explode within five minutes.

- Legion only had one reason to blatantly break a centuries old no-fire pact on the Alliance, and that was to take Dr. Brinkman’s research, something they would no doubt manufacture as a weapon of war against the Alliance. Such power could bring the Alliance to its knees!!

Thaddeus had no time to waste. “Computer: activate total wiping protocol! I want you to dispose of all files, including THOSE ones. Wipe all trace of my research from the lab immediately.” The computer beeped in assent. “Understood.”

Thaddeus looked at Enris. “How much time do we have?!”

Enris shook his head, “Not much. Probably five minutes before they take the bridge, maybe three after that until they reach here.”

Thaddeus nodded. There was no time to waste! “Locutus! Come with me!” The patient nodded robotically, looking up at Thaddeus with those eery, dead eyes, and stood up immediately. Time to move.

Thaddeus checked the inside of his lab coat to be certain that the package, his life’s research, was still there, safely in his inside pocket. He grabbed another package, its clear glass displaying cleaning supplies, and put it in his front pocket. He then went to his safe and removed some paper, a small personal computer, and three vials of NanoGen. “We take the back exit! It is the closest to the escape pods. From there we go dark, and head for Earth.” Thaddeus liked calling planets by the names locals give them. It was much better than calling it ‘10-4-4675.’

Enris shook his head. “You heard the captain! We engage protocol CODAC! We have to go to Rheys, at the designated military installation! They’ll think you are dead, Thad!”

Thaddeus flashed a grin. “Exactly Enris. Now let’s move!” The trio worked their way out of the back entrance and into the vacant hallway. Here, the sirens were more pronounced, giving the group a sense of urgency to leave immediately. They moved quickly to the elevator, where they were taken to Level 1 without incident. When the elevator doors swooshed open, they were greeted by a worried Dr. Kranston.

Dr. Kranston, the only non-terran scientist nodded to them worriedly. His four arms shook with fear, and his three red eyes were unnaturally large on top of his green, scaly face.

Enris looked at Dr. Kranston and waved him down. “Dr. Kranston!! Thank goodness you are here! Look, we have to get out of he…” Enris gasped as a laser pierced him in the chest, then two to the face. Dr. Brinkman watched in horror as his long time friend’s face melted off and he slumped to the floor, lifeless. Dr. Kranston’s head tilted to the side, his three eyes blinking in unison. He studied Thaddeus for a moment. “Alright. Give it to me. I know it’s on you.”

Thaddeus, shaking reached into his front pocket. “Kranston, you don’t want to do this. I have known you for a long time, and you are simply not capable of…” He was cut off abrubtly. “Can it, Thaddeus!! Always with your self righteous nonsense! We scientists are about exploring the unknown, and you cannot do that with all of your self professed morals!!” He tapped his chest with one hand. “We are organic lifeforms, created by a long line of life forms. When we die, our energy will return to whichever planet they bury us on until we become recycled into the earth. Nothing more! There is no reason to cling to your petty beliefs! Now hand it over!!” With those last words, he shook his gun menacingly at Thaddeus.

Thaddeus knew that he would be fired upon immediately if he were to resist in any way. He sighed, and tossed him the small package, a small cylinder about a hand-span across. Dr. Kranston snatched it out of the air. “Thank you. Now…” he aimed the gun at Thaddeus and pulled the trigger. Thaddeus braced himself. He lamented that he could not escape, but was glad that they would never get what they wanted; he put up far too much protection to let it fall into their hands. he readied himself emotionally for what was to come.

But what was to come was not what was expected. Locutus shoved Thaddeus aside, roughly, taking the blast to himself. Thaddeus blinked with amazement as the beam hit Locutus… and simply exploded, dealing no damage to him! Locutus looked at Kranston, raising his hand. “Laser gun YU-71. I know it well; the facility is stocked with them. I have adapted. Surrender to me; Resistance… is futile.” Dr. Kranston screamed and fired off eight more rounds in succession, each not damaging Locutus at all. Locutus, his arm still raised steadily walked forward in a maneuver to crush Kranston’s face with his hand. But Locutus’ hand did not find the target; Kranston tucked the cylinder into his jacket and fled, his three tails flapping behind him as he scuttled away.

Locutus scanned Enris with his bionic eye. “I am sorry. He is unrepairable.” His robotic voice echoing creepily in the hall.

Thaddeus nodded, inwardly saying goodbye to his fellow friend and colleague. The escape pod was down the hall. They made it.

Thaddeus and Locutus walked towards the end of the hallway to find two pods still in the chamber. So. Most of them had escaped. That was a relief; their collective minds held more knowledge than a hundred planetary labs, and he lamented their departure of this world.

The sirens stopped. It was only a matter of time now before the entire facility was destroyed. Thaddeus hopped into the escape pod, punching the course for Earth. It shot off like a rocket, and the last sounds of the science facility were not good ones; A deep, gravelly voice sounded through his intercom. “Doctor Thaddeus Brinkman, you have failed. These wretched halls will be torn asunder!!”

Moments later, the buzz of silence.

What was to become of Dr. Brinkman? Is there any salvation for him, the planet Earth, or even the nine galaxies? That decision is solely up to you, my intrepid heroes; the fate of trillions lies upon your shoulders.


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