No one had caught him. That was all. He had successfully eluded all dangers of life on the run. Nothing else mattered.
James Phillips ran across an endless field of grain. The wind stung at his exposed cheeks. His skin seemed unable to handle the cold, and soon a chill ran through his entire body. The strands of grain swayed back and forth, as if listening to some endless piece of beautiful music, perplexed by it, absorbing it. The half moon provided very limited light, but James’s eyes were keener and more adapted for this particular task than most; he could faintly recognize the line of trees that were his destination.
Phillips’s legs pumped as his destination grew ever closer. It seemed to grow bigger as he progressed.
The wind picked up. The grain slapped his legs, slowing him down. He willed himself to go faster. His legs pumped harder, and each step was pure, uninterrupted agony. His legs began to ache, feeling as if they were about to give way beneath him. Sweat covered his body, chilling him so that he shivered.
The line of trees was only meters away. Nothing stood between him and his destiny. Flinging himself with a burst of adrenaline, he cleared the tree line. Gasping for breath, he slumped to the ground. James’s heart threatened to beat from his chest. Instinctively, he put his hand against his rib cage to keep it from carrying out that threat. Almost a mile away, across the grain field, agents of the FBI began scanning the entire area, trying to find him. But they were too late. He had the information, and he was safe. Only a few more seconds . . .
James woke up lying in a bed. A doctor stood beside him, scanning for any sign of a problem. He was safe.
“Ahh,” a female voice said from somewhere behind him. Startled, James stood up. “Grothal,” the woman paused, “or should I say James Phillips?”
“Whatever you like,” he replied. His blue skin tingled as the doctor aimed some sort of medical device at him.
“Welcome back,” said Admiral Roocha, the head of the empire. “Did you get it?” Her voice was almost threatening, and he nodded quickly, handing her a small data card.
“Everything for the invasion,” he replied. “Tactical information, strategies, weaknesses, everything.”
“I shall notify Imperial Command,” the admiral said. Grothal swelled with pride. The invasion of earth was about to begin.
Traveling through space at faster-than-light speed was an experience that was not soon forgotten. The stars became brilliant streaks of luminescent, white light. Grothal’s skin itched like mad. He would have to let the doctor take a look at it.The door of the turbolift slowly hissed open. “Admiral,” Grothal said with a nod as he took his place in the meeting room. This room was one of his favorites. In the center was a long, oval-shaped table, metallic black and so clean you could see yourself clearly. Every few feet was a comfortable chair with a computer terminal next to it. On either side of the table was a gigantic window (or force field, to be more precise), allowing all in the room to see the stars, no matter what their position.
“Ah, yes,” muttered Admiral Roocha, looking up from her display. “Are you ready to discuss the attack pattern?”
“Yes, Admiral,” replied Grothal, stepping to attention. An image appeared, showing the earth surrounded by Uvarian warships, at least fifty, maybe more.
“Warships one, two, and three will attack first, concentrating on this section of the planet.” The admiral highlighted Asia.
“Admiral,” he began slowly, “I have come to learn that this section,” he highlighted North America, “is the most powerful and can be expected to provide the most resistance. Therefore, I propose we attack it first.”
Uvarians and humans were very much alike. The only major exterior difference was their skin coloration, and that was easily dealt with. The operation had worked flawlessly.
“We shall make the change in plans,” the admiral said, sounding more than a little impressed.
A few days later, on the bridge of his warship, Grothal stared at the view screen, his adrenaline levels rising. Only kilometers from where he stood, Earth hung in its steady orbit, blissfully ignorant of its impending doom.
“Charge the laser batteries,” he said to the helmsman. “I’ll be in the first fighter wave.” Before anyone could argue with him, he rushed out the door.
“Gmomchee, Leader,” buzzed Grothal’s voice over the communication system, “I’m starting my approach.” Below him the evergreen trees grew larger with every passing moment. He was nearing one of Earth’s large cities, known as New York. Behind him was an entire legion of fighters, ready, willing, and more than a little eager to attack, laser cannons spewing death. Not that he didn’t understand. He was pretty excited, too. He hoped this would work.
His cannons were charged. It was now or never.
Grothal dove. He sped toward the skyscrapers, his eyes watering at the speed. These ships were clearly meant to work in the vacuum of space.
He put his hand on the fire trigger. Just a few more seconds . . .
He pulled up, almost blacking out from the sudden change of direction at such a high speed. Behind him, solar flares hidden in some of the larger buildings launched and detonated, incinerating all the fighters. Except his.
Before the attacking fleet could compensate for the sudden loss of life, James Phillips transmitted the self-destruct sequence code on all channels . . . The explosion of fifty mammoth warships, even from orbit, was brilliant enough to light up the sky with a brightness never before seen.
James pulled off his artificial though extremely realistic-looking blue skin, revealing that of a human. They had done it. That was all that mattered . . .