Previous Chapter · Next Chapter
"Hey, Threll. This is Isaac. Just so someone knows, I'm gonna be staying in a cabin out in the middle of nowhere with a beautiful woman. In case there's an alien invasion or something, you and Allen are in charge of the planetary defenses, OK? Talk to ya later." BEEP
"He's out in a cabin with his new girl friend," Josh called out, somewhat disappointed. Still, hearing a message from Stingray over Threll's own answering machine was yet another taste of the world he had always wanted to be a part of.
Sitting in the middle of one of Overtech's hardware labs, Threll wasn't quite as thrilled. A few technicians were going over him, re-installing his weapon components with all due haste. If the Harrakin came for Detroit Threll was going the be their first, middle, and last line of defense. Mike Friedman, Overtech's head of security, had dug up some of the newest prototype Wrexakt derivatives in hopes of giving Threll a bigger bang.
As the techs fretted over him, all Threll could think was that the Harrakin had destroyed the Wrexakt a long, long time ago. How the hell was any of their tech going to give him an edge? He needed Allen and Isaac, but Allen was off on some other crusade and Isaac was playing snuggle bunnies. (It still burned Threll a little bit that Allen had gone off cavorting without him.)
"Fine, Josh. Go hit the terminal and see if you can find a cabin in the name of Cathy McGraw in upstate New York. Notify me as soon as you get something." As he watched Josh "Flower Boy" Laurence scamper off, he couldn't be help notice that most of the other people at Overtech had suddenly developed a similar messiah attitude towards him. Jimmy was in jail, though by now he was probably busted loose and at Danny's side. The Chevalier kids were in SIRECOM's hands now. That left Threll as the only bona-fide hero type in the room. Not that he had been worth much of anything before, of course.
The techs completed installing the diamond-hard buzzsaw feature and Threll took a few swipes with it. He jumped off the table and everyone looked at him with a sort of awe. In a disgusted voice, Threll said, "Must be pretty proud of your work. You're more afraid of your weapons than of me." With that he strode out the door to make what preparations he could.
From birth, every Harrakin is instilled with a natural hatred for the Wrexakt. The litanies are sung for them, telling of the their old master's evils. The most vile of curses are used in conjunction with the Wrexakt's name. If any Wrexakt were still alive today, it would be the obligation of any honorable Harrakin to seek it out and destroy it. This obligation was one that Gevvik was intent on fulfilling, along with uncovering the most horrid of the Harrakin's fears.
His eyes seemed to pulsate like fiery emeralds as he went of the report in his head again and again, though it nearly made him sick to his stomach. One of the Reds in his command had done a scan of the planet and singled out a city called Detroit, a city that was a great gathering place for the Harrakilli at one time according to the human stories. When the scan was complete, he found a trace of something most distressing; Active Wrexakt technology. Although no actual Wrexakt were detected, the very existence of their work in the hands of Earth's defenders was a grave omen. Was the devil himself hiding upon the Homeworld, giving aid to the Harrakin's own little cousins in order to cause more destruction? Were these Harrakilli nothing more than Wrexakt pawns?
Part of Gevvik, being raised in the traditional way, hoped that this was not true as it would be the greatest of blasphemies. The other part, his own ambition, hoped to find Wrexakt works in abundance so that he could smash the enemies' creations in abundance and return triumphantly to the fleet with the news. One way or another, his actions were honorable.
"Sir, I have the enemy's location pinpointed."
Gevvik looked at the screen where his navigator was pointing. It seemed to be some sort of scientific complex and there were bits and pieces of Wrexakt technology all over, even if it wasn't pure. This was their target. "Excellent. Tell the marines that we are fighting our greatest enemy for the noblest of causes today."
It was Italy again. St.Peter's, in reality a small wooden church, was now looming overhead like a gothic cathedral. The light of the sun was seeping out from behind it, casting a blood red stain across the entire courtyard. There was movement in the sky, and Isaac knew what was coming. He had seen it happen time and time again in his dreams.
As the Serpent fell, though, he knew that there was something different this time. The place looked the same, but now this little patch of land on the southern coast of Italy had a name: The field of Armageddon. This was the place for the final battle, where Isaac was duly charged to defend the Lord's covenant.
Part of Isaac knew this was ridiculous. He had never exactly worn the knees out of his Sunday trousers for most of his life and thoughts of God and religion didn't occupy any of his time. But as the Serpent reared his head once again in preparation to strike, he knew what had to be done and wasn't the least bit hesitant to take action.
Usually. But this time he stopped to ask the question, "Why me?"
Isaac stood by as the Serpent charged, watching as it smashed through St.Peter's and swallowed the ark whole. Darkness filled the sky and the Serpent turned towards him, an unsatiated hunger in its eyes. All he could do was scream as it flew through the sky towards him.
And screaming he awoke, sitting straight up and tearing himself free from Cathy's slumbering embrace. The visions had come back with a vengeance.
Josh watched with horror as the alien craft slowly settled down on the grass in front of Overtech. He had always expected that a true alien spacecraft would be far stranger than even the most demented human artist's vision. But the oval shaped ship before him looked like something even he would have been able to envision in a fit of creativity. Another reminder of their kinship?
As the hatch lowered and massive, spiked monstrosities marched out all his hopes of finding some sort of brotherhood was squelched. If anything, an ancient primal awe overtook him as the green glare from the leader's eyes became apparent. All he wanted to do was run. When it became apparent that the Harrakin were definitely coming his direction, that was exactly what he did.
Gevvik saw the small Harrakilli flee as the others approached, armed with their primitive weapons. An amplified voice called out from the building, apparently some sort of challenge from their leader. He stopped and the four Marines in his charge halted behind him. They waited. The humans inside seemed confused, as if no one was brave enough to step forward and act upon their own challenge. As Gevvik was about to bring an end to the game, a lone man dressed in what must have passed for human battle armor walked out and began speaking, his hands held out wide and empty.
The Green realized that he had completely neglected to read these things' minds. Their incoherent jabbering would be much less annoying then. He almost fell over with laugher as the mind of the human in front of him, some sort of para-military leader named Michael Friedman, revealed that it thought that they had come in peace. The humans had interpreted their pause to accept challenge as a peaceful gesture. Gevvik had almost considered showing mercy to this poor misguided fool until he saw the Wrexakt device on its hip. A receiver for ancient transmat technology.
The act was swift. The Harrakin commander drove his fist into the human's midsection intending to send it flying back into the building. Instead, his fist went right through and Gevvik was left with a handful of the man's innards. He lifted his arm up and held the human to the sky, amazed at its fragility. It only managed to cry out one last thing before breathing its last; "OPEN FIRE!"
"Mike did WHAT?!" Threll screamed at Josh. "He was supposed to get to the transmat and leave the Harrakin to me. Damn it! Josh, make sure that everyone gets in the transmat, and then get the hell out of here yourself, got it? Don't be a fuckin' hero."
Josh watched as Threll bounded down the hallway against the tide of fleeing Overtech workers. The lights were flashing now and a voice was intoning over and over again for everyone to either leave through the back exit or transmat room. It was total chaos, but he knew there would still be a few techies who would insist on going down with the ship. He had to find them and "convince" them.
It was important, but not glamorous work. Of course, considering his own cowardly reaction earlier, Josh wasn't terribly eager to be the hero any more. Of course, just the chance to see Threll in action...
The effect of the Overtech security team gunfire only had the effect of spattering Mike Friedman all over the Green's armor. When the Harrakin threw the mauled hunk of meat to the ground and began a charge, the security forces turned tail and ran.
Threll watched as they all raced towards him. One of the men screamed at him as they went by, "Defense pattern Delph!" All Threll could muster in response was, "You've got to be kidding?!" His negativity didn't have time to rub off, though, as the men were quickly gone and he was left standing along in the main hall.
Gevvik looked at the confused man/machine before him. It was the living proof of all he had feared to find. The organic element of the creature was definitely human, the native ancestors of the Harrakin's most sacred planet. The machine part was a sick combination of primitive human technology and abominable Wrexakt tech. It was a walking defilement of all the Harrakin believed in. Whatever its origin, he knew that this thing needed to die.
It almost looked surprised as he came howling through the entrance and plunged into him.
Threll couldn't remember ever being hit so hard. The Green had smashed right into his chest from out of nowhere. His internal damage mechanism was already going nuts as he slammed into the wall at the far end of the main hallway. Severe structural damage in the main frontal plating. Damage to vocal control systems. Psion energy routing fluxing wildly. Cardiac system failure.
The last report stunned him even more than the pain. His heart had stopped? Why wasn't he dying? He queried his cybernetic half and it responded with his cardiac as being a non-vital system.
Sitting there in shock, he would have been killed if the defenses hadn't kicked in. A pair of energy weapons disguised as cameras opened up on the Harrakin and momentarily gave the lead Green pause. It bought Threll enough time to roll over and scuttle out into the main hallway towards the transmat room. He hoped that everyone had gotten out, because he didn't have a hope in hell of stopping these things.
He was only slightly relieved to hear the mad smashing of furniture coming from the lobby. At least the Harrakin practiced the age old human tradition of thoroughly ravaging the countryside. The transmat room was clearly within sight when he heard a scream in his head.
[ABOMINATION! FACE YOUR RIGHTEOUS DESTRUCTION!]
Threll whirled around and saw the Harrakin racing in his direction. Instinctively, he looked around himself and noticed that Josh was running back from the engineering section, evidently heading for the transmat. He'd never make it. "Josh! Go find Jimmy's emergency transmat. Get the Hell outta here!" Josh stopped for a moment and almost looked like he was going to defy Threll's orders, but then he turned around and headed back towards the offices.
When Threll turned back to face his attackers, the Green was nearly on top of him. He fired off a few energy blasts at point blank range, but they just harmlessly bounced off the spiked armor. Even if his weapons were useless, he had to buy Josh more time. When the Green was toe to toe, Threll swung the massive chunk of metal that acted as his left arm at the Harrakin's head. In response, the Green moved faster than anyone Threll had ever seen before, possibly with the exception of a few Omega speedsters. A spiked hand slashed across Threll's chest and there was the sound of tearing metal.
The blow sent Threll to his knees. As he knelt on the ground with his hands to his head, he felt the iron grip of the Green clam onto his purely mechanical arm. He didn't even register the pain as it was torn from his body and tossed down the hall. All Threll could do was stare down at the shriveled little piece of flesh that once functioned as his heart, as it was lying on the ground in front of him. A lime colored liquid that was definitely not blood was pumping out of his open chest cavity, as if mocking the human function it was meant to duplicate. The thought that passed through Threll's mind was that at least it wasn't a human life that was about to be lost, and he slumped back to the ground.
[So you are one of Earth's mighty Harrakilli,] a voice boomed in his head. [How pathetic. So eager to just give up and die. Were you trying to flee into here?] Threll could feel himself being dragged into the transmat room. While he had given up to such an extent that he didn't even want to look at anything, the sounds of the transmat being torn to shreds by the Marines created an all to clear mental picture. [More Wrexakt abomination. Face me, vile thing.]
Threll was lifted off the ground by his neck and found himself staring into the green abyss that were the Harrakin's eyes. An armored hand rose up next to his face and a vicious looking spike molded itself on the end of the fist. [Your death shall be my glory.]
A fly slamming into an elephant would have had more of an effect than Josh did as he threw himself against the Green. The fact that he had managed to sneak up like this was astounding, but the result was unbelievably ignoble. The Green dropped Threll like a sack of rocks and thrust his spiked fist into Josh's stomach. Gevvik was finding that impaling these little humans seemed to be somewhat enjoyable. As if to reinforce that thought, he enlarged the spike and thrusted higher, lifting the quivering body of Josh farther off the ground.
Josh's face was a mask of pure agony, but somehow he was still mobile. He reached up with his right hand and brought it to the wrist of his right, which was holding on to the spike to keep from sliding forward. Looked over to where the two Harrakin Marines were standing, did a quick calculation in his head, and pushed a few buttons on the transmat receiver. He and the Harrakin disappeared. In half a second, they reappeared approximately in the place where the Marines were standing.
Threll found himself wishing he was capable of retching. The four bodies formed a horrid, twisted sculpture of flesh and armor. The Green and the Marine on the left seemed as a massive alien Kali, black spikes and limbs spouting out in all directions. The Marine was fortunate that his head had appeared in the solid matter of the Green's neck, ceasing all brain activity and pain. The leader was still alive long enough to slowly choke to death, even if he could's scream on account of having his comrade's forehead embedded in his voice box. Spouting from them was the Green's outstretched arm, whose spike was now lancing through the forehead of the other Marine on account that head was located in Josh's stomach. Together, he and josh made a bizare elongated statue, the Harrakin's legs beginning on the ground, with two spiked arms reaching out of the midsection, and growing up into the torso and head of Josh Laurence.
It lasted for a moment before falling to the ground on its own weight. By that time, everyone except for Josh was dead from having their vital functions immediately stopped. Josh still had at least a minute of life left as his torso on up was still intact, and by the sounds of it he would be screaming the entire time. Threll managed to climb to his feet and slowly walk into the transmat room. The metallic clang of his feet hitting the ground was muffled on account of the blood that was now beginning to pour from the horror before him. He paused by a table in order to pick up a gun one of the security guards had left behind, and made his way to Josh's side. The damaged motor systems in his body whirred and groaned as he bent over and placed a bullet in Josh's forehead, silencing the screaming. He then reached over and pulled the transmat receiver off Josh's still twitching wrist.
Straightening himself back out, Threll began walking towards Jimmy's office and the emergency transmat. When he was back in the hallway, noticed that he accidentily kicked something. He looked down as saw his heart rolling down the hall. Managing a half-hearted sigh that was also something of a laugh, he continued his walk, idley kicking his heart all the way.
BAM BAM BAM!
Isaac groggily got out of bed as Cathy jumped up and quickly began throwing some clothes on. Who the Hell would hunt him down all the way out here? He didn't even want to think about it.
Dressed in nothing but a pair of boxer shorts, Isaac threw the front cabin door open and began to yell, "ALLEN! You little-"
What was standing where Allen should have been was some twisted robot out of a bad horror movie. After blinking, he realized it was Threll. The cyborg's left arm had been torn off, there was a massive gash across his chest, and he was spattered in blood. The tortured grimace on his face moved to talk, but all that came out was a horrible synthesized imitation of a human voice.
"Isaac, get your clothes on. The Harrakin have invaded while you were off having your little fuck fest."
"Just shut the fuck up and get moving. I don't wanna hear it." Threll turned around and began to slowly circle. Isaac noticed he was kicking a small reddish ball around.
Isaac looked back at Cathy who could only shrug. She picked up some of his clothes and held them out to him. "The world needs you, Isaac. You have to go."
With a sigh, Isaac began to get dressed. Looked like he wouldn't be able to skip Armageddon after all.
Chapter 7: The Human Experience · Chapter 9: This Is A Test
Back to the top