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Excerpt for Chrilic Invasion Arcans of Hyma by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Chrilic Invasion Arcans of Hyma

Sam Magna

Copyright Smashwords 2019 Sam Magna


Discover other titles by Sam Magna:

An end and a new friend

Dark Pluto

Guardians of Sleepless Nights

Jordan and the Secret Pack

The Painting in the Background


Chrilic Invasion


Table of Contents

Chapter One: Death Squad

Chapter Two: In the water

Chapter Three: Psycho

Chapter Four: Alien apocalypse



Chapter One: Death squad

A massive army truck rumbled on a deserted road in the depths of a wet evergreen forest. I secured my seatbelt. Mari drove like a madman. The truck made sharp turns that jerked us sideways. I hugged the black jacket thatched with the Armor symbol at the back. An emerald landscape graced with tree cover stretched to a meandering river boundary. The truck roved through a high bridge, violent rushing waters swept underneath the concrete structure. Shrubs along the river edge bent and dipped. I peered over the rail and saw a fatal thirty feet drop. The gigantic vehicle rocketed through the woods and the view blurred. The rear of the truck, shaped like a cylinder, had a high-tech interior design and several compartments to load weapons.

My gaze settled on the team assembled by Mari. They were clad in Armor colors, black and navy, waiting for dispatching orders on leather seats on opposite ends of the truck. When the vehicle slowed down, I saw the Hyma towers illuminated in thick mist. Surrounding buildings extended high above treetops toward a heavy, gray-blanketed sky. Fog snuck around the spaces shrouding the roads and people below. Iron gates with an engraved image of a blade glistened in the rain. The residence buzzed with military hummers and aircraft.

Riding in silence with Zach and Cramer was impossible. They engaged in a heated debate about the presence of local troopers. An abrupt stop at the edge of the forest interrupted my daydream. A dull cloud layer extinguished the light of day. We spread out the moment out boots hit the ground. Gentle raindrops sprayed my face. The scent of damp earth flowed with cold, musky air.

Brie appeared with her focus pinned on a moving target. A heavy thud shook the ground and I turned to see a bloody corpse lying limp on the grass, the right half of his face chewed off. A foul odor came with the wind. A dead alien corpse lay next to him. The upper part of its body crawled toward me. Beneath, it looked like there had been a large oil spill. Shriveled insides oozed a thick, dark liquid. A horrid, rotten smell choked me and I held my breath. It smelled of mold and flies swarmed around its heads.

My palm clapped over my lips to stifle a gasp. I examined the remainder, feeling bile rise up my throat. Cramer’s face drained torrents of blood. The image of his mangled skull glued to my thoughts. A rough, croaking sound grew louder where the corpse had dropped. I searched the treetops and to my dismay, the branches shook violently.

Two deformed creatures hobbled out of the shadows. They had gaping holes instead of eyes and a set of razor sharp teeth that grew two inches long. Nausea fluttered up my belly watching oily scales breathe. These chrilics were moist from the water. The creatures had hunched backs and fingers extending into needle-like weapons. My mouth fell open. One hobbled fast in my direction, then several others materialized behind it. Within seconds, we faced a horde of ashen monsters.

“Aliens!” Brie shouted. “We need to keep an eye on these nasty things.”

“How do you know about them?”

Brie laughed nervously. Her eye never left the present threat.

“We were stationed here before you guys were brought down to join us. I understand why they’d fail to mention anything about flesh-eating chrilics.”

Cramer’s ripped face entered my mind and I felt my chest tighten. Bloody hell.

“This will be a bloodbath,” Brie announced with hint of excitement. My eyebrows furrowed, I wondered about the woman’s sanity. I was ready to abort the mission.

The electron hidden at the base of her skull catalyzed the change in her irises from light brown to a shimmering cyan shade. Inside the electron, nefelium drained into her blood stream and enhanced body and mind function to the highest level.

A ranger came screeching on gravel to stop in front of me. A soldier in black arcan uniform marched in my direction. His expression twisted in confusion when my eyes shifted to crystal blue. The electron activated telescopic sight and suddenly my vision illuminated in high definition.

“What are you people doing here?” He shouted. “This area is unsafe!”

He grabbed my elbow and I yanked it off. “Get off me!”

A chrilic came rushing in front me. I sent a bullet to its head and black liquid splattered out of the scales. Brie fired the second bullet a spilt-second after and swiftly dropped the other one. We spread out when dozens more flooded the woods. The drop-off area was deserted. I circled the truck and ventured further down the eerie road. My pulse never slowed down. I reached downstream from the waterfall and came out to a slippery riverbank rock lying flat above the water. My thoughts constantly drifted to Cassie, she hadn’t returned from the wetland and I was starting to fear the worst. Armor had discovered more chrilic eggs at the bottom of the water body. The creature had a short growth spurt and within a month, half-grown aliens plagued us. I remembered Cassie’s disappointment when she realized her incineration tactic had failed. She refused to go on missions with the rest of us and opted to go out alone. There was nothing I could do, she was always on the move and we had more aliens to kill before they found Hyma, the biggest town on Saneris Island.

A cabin perched on a rock ledge emerged underneath tipping forest trees next to the river. A white building with granite plates on the roof. I followed a stone path snaking uphill and entered a canopy of trees ending where the sedimentary platform submerged in a transparent stream. I inhaled deeply the smell of pinecones and flower trees. My neck snapped at the sound of boots trampling the mud. I gasped and jumped behind one of the boulders close to the edge of the water. The same man in green uniform I had seen earlier, blades in hand, glowered and moved closer. He scanned the area, the tension in his shoulders relaxed and he entered the cabin. I released a tremulous breath. Across the river, I saw more houses hidden under the emerald forest.

I hurried back to the truck and found the squad gathered around a man kneeling, face down on the ground. Mari pulled his hair and looked in his eyes. He grabbed his jaw and applied a sheer amount of force. I recognized his features from the images we circulated. Tyro Hyma, leader of the arcans, appeared to be in a deep trance. He was unflinching to Mari’s aggression. Nothing seemed to scare him. He was a trained warrior and his patience was unwavering as Mari waved his gun in his face.

“Where did you find him?” I asked.

“The bastard was fishing down near his place.” Brie stood a distance away from the men and folded her arms. She was used to it, the abductions and the confrontations.

Mari trained the silenced pistol on his mouth. “You better talk.”

“I told you I don’t know anything…” Tyro spoke in a calm, low voice.

“The rest of your family knows about it.”

“What are you saying?”

“I can get to them.”

“You don’t need me then.”

“No.”

“You will be punished.”

“I’m sure. You can go.”

Tyro broke Mari’s teeth with one swing of his fist and he hurried for an escape beyond the trees. Blood flowed down his teeth. He watched with a sinister smile.

“We’ll deal with him later. I’ll feed him to the chrilics.” He wiped his mouth with a bandana. He made a signal and we trekked behind him. We marched to the open yard, it was exposed by the lamps around the cabin.

“Are you serious? What are we doing here?”

“Calm down, Lana, this one will answer.”

I frowned. “The man who lives here is Damien Hyma?”

“Yes.”

“Can we try someone else?”

“Why?”

“He’s a psycho…”

The door whipped open and Damien charged at us with his blades. We surrounded him and Mari sized him up, nodding.

“Yeah, he is.”

Damien stared at Mari’s glowing eyes and shrugged.

“What else can you do?” He turned to me. “You’re one of them. I saw you crawl around my house. Can you people get off my property? And out of the forest. I warned you.”

“After you give us the location of the nefelium mine.”

“Are you insane? The stuff will kill you. You’re undergoing some kind of metamorphosis. It damages your organs. Did you really think you could do all those things without compromising something?”

“Show us where you moved it.”

“It’s addictive.” Damien sheathed his blades. He pulled out a tiny test-tube and a cyan fluid tilted inside.

“Give it to me.” Mari wiggled his fingers.

“No, I can’t. This is the most dangerous substance here.”

“And we believe another mine is somewhere close. Now you’ll show us.”

Damien closed his eyes slowly. Mari snatched the tube out of his hand and shoved it in his pocket.

“Who told you about the nefelium?” Damien demanded.

“Confidential. We have important things to do,” Mari said.

The others raced through the woods. I glanced at the figure standing beside me. A cold finger traced the miniature object on my nape.

“Your friends are stupid. Leave while you can.”

“Why?”

“The chrilics, they’re crawling all over. Too many people are missing.”

“Where do they come from?” I muttered, searching his eyes.

“No one knows. I’m sure you know our army, the arcans. We’re trying to eliminate as many as possible but the situation has gotten out of hand. We’re keeping people out of the lowland forest and those idiots are walking straight into it.”

“We just want to help, Armor has been working this mission for more than sixteen months. We know what we we’re dealing with. I’m not sure about you.”

Damien shook his head.

His gaze shifted to my neck. “Please don’t mind if I do this…”

He leaned in and brushed the electron attached to my spine. I shifted to the side.

“What are you doing?”

“You might die today, clearly. And I’ve been wondering what this thing is…”

“It’s one of the most effective weapons developed by Armor. We operate like machines.”

“At what price? The stuff is dangerous.”

“Back off!” I snapped.

He tensed. I escaped his touch and rushed toward the gates.

“If you ever do that, I’ll break your fingers.”

His eyes darkened. I marched in a fit of outrage. Mari drove off when I joined the others in the back of the truck.

“Where’s Zach?” I complained. Brie shrugged.

“We had to leave him behind, a horde reached him. I doubt he survived.”

My mouth went dry.

“What? Why didn’t you save him?”

“It was too late,” Dyer muttered. He slouched in the corner, drinking from a bottle of whiskey. I hadn’t seen him in days and he looked a state. His eyes reddened at corners and his face had multiple scratches and bruises. He buried his head in his palms. The mood in the truck had changed drastically since they dropped off in Hyma.

“Jesus, I’m starting to think this is a suicide mission,” I muttered.

The truck swerved off the gravel onto asphalt.

“It is,” Dyer said. “Apparently these electrons are lethal.”

“So this thing is killing us.” Brie snatched it off and studied the object glimmering with cyan liquid inside.

“The researchers mentioned there’s a level of toxin in the nefelium. But we have one job and they’ll remove them soon. Without them, we have no defense from the chrilics.”

“I can’t do this…” I shrugged.

Dyer gave me a weak smile.

“Too late for that. We’re not leaving until there’s none left. We need a few more members in the squad to get rid of the present threat and then we’re done.”

Dyer had grown obsessed with alien slaughter. He hardly changed from his uniform and all his weapons remained attached to his body. The speaker made clipped screeches before Mari’s deep voice filled the back of the truck.

“Listen up, we have a horde straight ahead. Keep a safe distance. We cannot allow what happened to Zach to happen again.”

Brie cursed before snapping the electron secure on her nape.

“Might as well get it over with.”

The forest trees spilled with deformed creatures, some had settled for eating each other. Chrilic limbs littered the roadside. We entered the trees with our guns in hand. A deep croak locked my limbs and the drums in my chest resumed. When I checked over my shoulder, a glistening, rabid alien charged toward me on sturdy legs. Its wide-open mouth dripped with blood and sharpened teeth snapped in my face. I retreated, a surge of nausea crept up my chest. Damn, it’s so big and gross. Gunfire echoed in the trees. I shot it down and two others gaining in on me. I turned and sprinted across knee-high grass.

I was relieved to see nothing in pursuit. I froze near the road. Cassie waited next to a black ranger. My heart threatened to burst. I took heavy breaths in quick succession, hands on my knees and managed to stay on my feet running to the ranger. My breath caught when she took me in her arms. I was so startled, no words came when she held my gaze.

“God, I missed you,” she said with a breathtaking smile. She dropped the keys in my left hand.

“What am I still doing out here?” I climbed into the safety of the vehicle.

“You can always leave. I won’t say anything.”

“Are you leaving?”

“Maybe.”

“We’ll see.”

I was speeding to the west end of the mountain, taking time to calm my rattled nerves. Private residencies flashed in the woods. There was no sign of an alien.

“Where were you?”

“Those things laid eggs in the water. We closed the area around the wetland and poisoned it. Let’s hope it works.”

“Well, I’m glad you’re back. I…we need you.”

I found the lamplights of her driveway. Unfamiliar faces moved in and out of the house. Cassie paid more attention to my movements.

“They clean the house. I haven’t been here in a while.”

I felt my energy wearing thin. I was aware of her standing close beside me. When I turned, I found her watching me. The rapid, banging sound in my chest grew more violent and never ending. She locked the door when they were all gone.

“Show me what’s on your neck.”

I watched her trembling fingers reach for my nape. She removed the device and dropped it in a pouch. Paranoia kept me from settling down. My mind replayed the events that brought me to her place.

The afternoon sun was fierce and bearing down on the windscreen. A sunbeam spilled on the narrow route to the mountain. Cassie left in the early morning before I woke up. A dreadful feeling tightened my chest. My first instinct was to go to the forest and hunt. She’d be there with the others. The ranger was still parked in the driveway. I found the freeway and returned to a quiet neighborhood in Delair. I had fourteen minutes to walk to the military hideout. I strolled down a deserted street. A cool breeze tugged the tendrils of my loose hair. I gasped when I saw the person on the other side of the crossing. Cassie. She stood next to a traffic light and studied me from the distance. It freaked me out a little. She clutched a black and white helmet against her belly. After double-checking my appearance, I stepped on asphalt and took casual steps toward her. A truck carrying wood load hurtled out of nowhere. In the middle of the intersection, a horn blasted my hearing and I was motionless. The opposite distance stretched too far. I retreated in haste but the truck was a second away. I kept my erratic breathing under control. Tires screeched and my eyes closed.

I blinked and across the road, she had vanished. The collision was too fast to capture. An unseen force clutched on to my waist. My feet left the ground and landed on the starting point before I crossed. I tried to steady my trembling frame. I stared at the woman who had been across the road seconds before we dodged the truck. My mouth gaped open and I struggled to organize my train of thought. Cassie had her arms on my waist. I sighed, mesmerized by the flashes of color in her eyes. I wondered if I’d ever see a more beautiful person in my life. Instead of feeling angry that she had vanished without a word, I felt lightheaded and thrilled. The present threat became a distant memory. I knew if it wasn’t for her, I’d have left Armor long ago. I needed to be sure she was safe. Seeing her brought a wave of relief and more fear at the same time.

“Whoa, Lana, watch where you’re going.” She stared, her darkening eyes remarkably attractive and I fell in momentary bliss. Her fingers slowly invaded my hair. My skin tingled. She pulled me in for a slow, deep kiss. I gasped at the soft pressure of her tongue slipping in my mouth. The sound of vehicles faded. I inhaled sharply and retreated several steps.

“Are you okay?” she asked. Her breath caressed my cheek. I froze, unwilling to move away from her warm embrace.

“I’m fine,” I mumbled. She started to walk back in the other direction. I tugged her elbow and charged in her face. She remained indifferent and immovable. Images of a speeding truck filled my head and disappeared all too quickly.

“What just happened?” I demanded.

“I pulled you to safety in the nick of time. I guess you panicked and thought it already got you.”

“Don’t do that to me. I saw you. How did you that?”

“Look, now I understand. You were daydreaming while crossing the road but please just be careful.”

“Answer my question.”

“Let me take you wherever you were going?”

“No, I took the ranger. I’ll never forget what you did, you know that, right?”

“It’s all in your head. Can I go now?” she said tersely.

She studied my features before the edge of her lips twitched. Instead of a violent streak in her eyes, there was gentleness that caught me off-guard. She crossed the road until she reached a grassy area. I watched short, dark hair slide in the helmet. I noticed the electron on her back. Oh no. She mounted a black motorbike and the engine rumbled to life.

I found my usual spot in the parking lot. My feet paused near the same motorbike. She’s here. For a moment, I remained motionless. I left the bike on the side of the road and trampled up a gentle hill. A rush of frosty wind blew my hair. Trees adorned the verdant landscape below. A glittering river caught my eye far out into the valley. It was small enough to carry the bridge in a single span over it. Heavy, white fog swirled around the mountains ahead. Rushing waters brought me to a meditative state.

“Can we go to class before we’re late?” Kristi appeared next to me. “Let’s not upset Greta, she’s too sensitive.”

Greta leaned against the table and hugged a book when we shuffled in the meeting room with the rest. My heart lurched when I saw Cassie standing next to her. I regarded her with a guarded expression. Her hands crawled inside the leather jacket.

“We’re heading out,” Greta announced. “She’s back for the rest of the mission. We’re honored to have her talent in our long list of fine troopers.”

A huge sense of relief washed over me when she sauntered to the back row. I fidgeted with my pen and replayed the scene at the intersection on repeat. Greta’s red lips moved but I didn’t hear anything.

Cold fog dissipated in the morning. A gradually brightening sky on the horizon released a fiery sunrise. Sunshine filtered through towering treetops. Kristi constantly disturbed my meditative state with random comments. Cassie walked to her seat and unpacked her bag. I glanced over my shoulder and drifted in discomfort when I found her staring at me. She spent less than an hour on her file and the first one to leave at the end of class.

“Lana, can I see you?” Greta leaned against the front of the table. I waited for all the others to vacate the room before approaching her.

“You have been shortlisted for a camp near the beach. .”

“But I’m done. I don’t want to be part of Armor…”

“Soon we’ll send you to the Hyma residence. Cassie gave us a lead a few hours ago.”

“Are you serious? They’ll invade the main town?”

“We’re blocking them. But some penetrate, killing our soldiers. We’ll just wait and see.”

“I would never dream of entering that place.”

“That’s why I brought more trained guys. I did it for you to be quick about the mission.”

“I don’t know. I came here to resign. I told Mari.”

“Don’t think about it. Everything is thatched, Lana. People are dying. There’s no getting out of this one. Just show up.”

“Gotta run, we’ll discuss this further. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Bright sunlight glittered through lime green leaves. The drive to the café took less than six minutes. I had an opportunity to pretend as if I had a normal routine like everyone else at Chuck’s café. Cassie posed next to her motorbike. She wore a pair of skinny navy jeans and a leather jacket over a white blouse. Her eyes darkened under thick lashes. She scanned the area, looking for something. Her fingers clawed her thigh. When her gaze rested on me, she relaxed from a tense posture. My presence calmed her down somehow. I ignored her and entered the café.

The place started to fill up when the afternoon crowd flocked in. I grabbed coffee and a sandwich. Cassie waited at the open entrance. Her hand crept in her denim pocket, her hair tousled in the wind. She was unfazed by seeing me there. She produced the eletron in her palm.

“Good afternoon,” I said. “Why are you following me?”

She dropped her head and examined the device.

“I’m not here for food. We need to talk,” she said in a low voice.

“What’s the matter? Are you going to put that on and put your life in danger?”

Cassie looked around and led me to the parking lot.

“If I didn’t use this, you’d be dead.”

“I don’t care, don’t risk your life.”

“I’ll be around your house tonight.”

“That sounds comforting.”

“Or you can come over. It’s important.”

I burned under her speculative stare.

“Fine. At least order something so people don’t…” I pursed my lips.

She headed outside and crossed the road without checking any direction. I shook my head and stepped to the ranger. She made me suspicious of her sudden need to constantly watch over me.



Chapter Two: In the water

The night was quiet and windy. I drove at a slow speed home, searching the darkness. Crisp air played with loose tendrils of my hair. I walked past the driveway near the forest edge. Trees swayed in the breeze. There was motion behind a massive oak. A slim sword gleamed in the night.

“I’ll cut you open if you make a sound.” Brie materialized before me.

“What?” I choked at her words. “What did I do to you?”

“You’re turning against Mari. I think that’s wise. We can have the nefelium all to ourselves. I want you to join me.”

“What are you talking about? I thought you wanted out.”

“Do you know how powerful the substance will make us?”

“Get away from her,” Cassie demanded.

I retreated away from Brie and glared at her.

“She’s too fast. I didn’t know she’d be here tonight.”

“I’m sorry this happened to you,” Cassie said. “She’s targeting you and if you want us to get you out of it, just do everything I say.”

“Targeting me?”

“I need you to go inside. I’ll make sure to take her somewhere far from here.”

“And that’s supposed to make me feel better?”

Cassie shrugged and left me dumbfounded. I locked the front door. An agonizing minute passed before I could take deep breaths. I wanted to tear out a heart pounding painfully in my chest. I ran to the bedroom and shut the door. My decision to drop Armor had never been more justified.

The following night, the café flowed with late-night crowds. Music was mellow and chattering groups occupied the tables. Cassie walked in and searched the tables. She chose to sit at a corner table. Kristi must’ve spent over an hour with her and whenever I glanced at them, they seemed to be deep in conversation. The troopers filled the chairs. An endless number of people coming in and out kept me on edge. I rushed outside to take a break.

I returned to the ranger, taking in the emerald scene of the forest. I wondered what possessed me to take on such duties. Greta’s sandstone mansion emerged behind broad, stone pine trees. My mood improved the moment I saw the tall woman welcome me at the door. Her vest exposed porcelain skin complementing dark red hair. She wore a pair of skinny navy jeans and a jacket over a white vest. The outfit gave her an edgy look.

“Hey, come in.” She made way for me. I stood awkwardly next to the dining table. All the while, she peered at me from behind the kitchen counter. “You must be wondering what’s going on.”

“I want out, Greta, it’s simple.”

She glanced at me, hesitating before she approached me. Her green eyes studied my reaction. I followed her down a dim hallway and out the back door. The backyard brimmed with flower bushes. A pathway in between led to an open field.

“Don’t panic,” she said behind me. “Let’s take a walk.”

Her hand landed on my shoulder and I jumped.

“Why would I panic?”

“Don’t be so morbid. Cassie tells me you handled the revelation better than she expected.”

“Cassie?”

“Yes, the girl you seem to like.”

I flushed, the heat rising up my neck to my face. She guided me forward, acting admirably like the tentative teacher. The tallest trees stretched up steep slopes, a marvelous terrain creating an ambiance of peaceful surroundings. The treetops disappeared in heavy fog. Blind fate kept me from turning back and running toward the road.

“She’s been guarding you against Brie.”

I admired a scenic turquoise circle and sand covered with colossal rocks. Greta walked ahead. Her foot tracks sank in the wet sand.

“I used to work with her. She’s more obsessed about protecting you than anything else.” Greta shook her head. “We need both of you. Ever since the aliens arrived in this exact location, they’ve killed more than thirty people so far and we can’t stop them. You know those violent and suspicious news reports lately. Dead bodies, disappearances. We have to get more soldiers.”

“What’s wrong with Brie?”

“She’s disturbed. The missing barrels of nefelium. She’s behind it all. I’m sure she’s been eying you.”

“She came at me with a sword. I didn’t know how to act until Cassie showed up.”

“I know. They have a hideout where they have nefelium stored in large containers. We found it. I personally don’t care what they steal. We have an alien problem, the numbers and rate at which they reproduce, we may be looking at a possible apocalypse of this whole island. They ship everyone out and blow it up. For now, all we can do is prevent more bodies piling up.”

“Why does she want me?”

I observed Greta’s movements. She scanned the area and paused for long moments.

“To avoid getting herself in life-threatening situations. You’re meant to be a decoy. She knows the risk of being hunted by arcans. Brie is special, a woman of great, unparalleled abilities. She’s capable of carrying out this heist without the rest of Armor. When she’s done recruiting, she’ll have sufficient power to supersede us and increase the number of her victims.”

“But I’m not into debauchery. I’m useless to her, can’t she leave me alone?”

“No, she won’t. And we need to stop anyone from conspiring with her.”

“I don’t want any part of it, Greta. Keep me out of it.”

I clawed her forearm and she pulled away.

“It’s time for you to discover all the things you can do without that thing on your neck.”

“Is that why you brought me here?”

“So you know where to start looking. Cassie is close. She’s been tracking Brie for months. She’s out of hand.”

“How do you know so much about Armor?” I asked.

“I’m head of Armor. A few people know. I have ordered a hit on Brie and Mari. I don’t trust them.”

“Don’t do anything to them. I’ll deal with it. I can talk to Mari. Brie on the other hand…”

“She’s a lost cause. I already have a number of assassins on her tail. Don’t worry too much about her. Keep the electron off.”

“But I’m nothing without it.”

“It’s slowly draining the life out of your brain. Lose it.”

“I will. What would you do if you had it?”

“There was only one thing I’d do if I happened to use the nefelium.”

“What’s that?”

“Catch and incarcerate Brie. At least she’d keep her alive if she was sane. The others want her dead.”

“Don’t you think I’ll need it if I’m going to face her? She’s after me.”

“That electron is killing you, Lana. Take it off. We’ll come up with a strategy to corner her. She’s going to try to attack us anyway. Three against one, we’ll handle her. Right now, we have aliens to hunt.”

“How did Cassie find out about me?”

“When Brie discovered you for her purpose, Cassie kept an eye on your squad. She tracked you down.”

“I believe you.”



Chapter Three: Psycho

Two weeks passed without seeing Cassie and I couldn’t stop thinking about her. I had the first demonstration for the troopers scheduled over a few hours. I’d see her after the class was done. We trained the arcans of Hyma to use advanced guns on the hunt for aliens. Greta left me with one of the overzealous arcans who preferred to use a tribal saber. He brandished it while I assembled a sniper rifle. His squarish face was friendly. He concentrated, hunched with a slump in his shoulders and a mop of disheveled, brown hair.

“Is that a yes?” Jaden raised his eyebrows.

“What is a yes?” I asked.

“Would you like to go for lunch to celebrate a job well done?”

“Oh, uhm, sorry I can’t. I’ll use that time to search the other side of the river.”

“Are you allowed to do that alone?”

“No, but Brie is hunting for me and it’s always best to go alone when she’s involved.”

“No way, Greta said no solo trips. You wouldn’t be bold enough to go alone unless…” He pulled down the back of my vest and grunted. “Why haven’t you removed the electron?”

“I need it.”

“You were told to get rid of it. I’m telling Greta.”

I used all the force supplied by the nefelium coursing through my veins to restrict him from going past me. His giant chest clad in a bulletproof material shifted against my palm.

“No snitching. Just calm down, it will all be over soon and I’ll get rid of it.”

Cassie appeared at the door, her expression composed. Her gaze fixated on my hand pushing Jaden back. I admired her graceful appearance. She made a speedy recovery when Greta used nefelium to heal a stab wound. She was no longer limping. She glowered at Jaden.

“Can you excuse us? “she muttered.

“Hey! Good, you’re early. Let me leave you to it,” Jaden said.

“Why is he in such a hurry? Tell me if he’s bothering you.” Cassie smirked.

“He’s not. Where have you been?”

“Several calls, the most demanding near the south coast. I had to band with Greta and go for an unplanned mission again, people are calling all the time, even when there’s no alien around,” she said in a detached tone. “She told me you guys are done with the initiation. When were you going to tell me?”

“At the end of the day, I have to figure out if I really want to do this.”

She wandered the lounge, scanning the pictures hanged up.

“You don’t, I’m worried about you. I’m scared to see how you’ll handle it. I want you to drop the mission.” She gazed at the paintings.

“Of course, you’ll say that.”

“I mean it.”

“When you drop it, I will.”

“Are you ready to go?” she sighed.

“Are you taking me to the sacred cove?”

“Yes, Lana, you need to see one of the places where she keeps the containers that’s where we can find her, unless you want to do that another day.”

“Today is fine.”

She walked outside, expecting me to follow.

A giant man stepped before me. I saw him gripping my wrists and pushing it with great force.

“Get off!”

Everything went black. All I heard was my own heavy breathing and someone dragging my body in the backseat of a vehicle. Even with the electron charging my muscles, I was no match for the man clutching my upper arms. I opened my mouth but failed to speak, my heart pounding faster. The door slammed beside me. A warm hand covered mine.

“Let go of her,” Cassie threatened. Hearing her voice hardly made me relax a fraction.

“As you can see, today is not your day,” a deep voice resounded. “Let’s take a ride.”

“Whatever you want I’ll get it to you. Let us go.”

“No, I tell you what to do.”

“What do you want?” I pleaded.

“Oh, I think that’s pretty obvious.”

After what felt like two agonizing hours, the car stopped. Cassie tightened her grip on my hand. A few minutes later, doors opened and a barrel jammed on left my side. How did things get bad so fast? The blindfolds lifted. My eyes narrowed under intense sunlight. Someone shoved me forward. Cassie stayed next to me. She glared at the one with a gun on me. I was hardly shocked to see Mari in charge. He marched toward Cassie. He wore a cream shirt and brown trousers, his body tense.

They sat on sofas in the living area of a small, old house in what looked like the middle of nowhere outside the windows.

“Hey, what did you do to us?” Cassie fought against the restraint on her wrists.

The leader howled in laughter.

“No one’s going to hurt you. Keep your mouth shut. If you guys cooperate, you’ll leave without a scratch.”

“Whatever, just stay away from us.”

Two giants flanked me and pushed me to kneel before the leader. Cassie’s eyes widened. I failed to summon any powers with the electron in my pocket. I hyperventilated and started to panic when Cassie wasn’t close beside me.

“Listen here. I think it’s only fair to tell you that Brie has been looking for you.”

“Are you out of your mind? Let us go.”

“I think we have a common enemy and we have to work together. I understand why she wants it all to herself. There’s just too much at stake. I have everything we need to make it out without a trace.”

Cassie’s expression turned glacial. “That’s not going to happen.”

Mari’s gaze was wrathful. He directed his silver pistol to my head. “This is not the kind of drama I wanted to start. These aliens will kill everyone on the island. This mission is futile. Let’s take all we can from Armor and run.”

I had no clue things were going to escalate to a point where I might say my last words. And I had no last words. Shell-shocked into place, I replayed the events that led to that moment.

“Fine, I’ll listen.” I watched Mari’s grin widen.

“Brie wants me to join her. I know about her plans and I’m not risking my life dealing with her. She has this collection of nefelium. I don’t want to know how she got so much. I’m impressed and I want it. You’ll have to get some for me. You’ve already broken Armor codes, I’m instructed to take you out but I know your potential. If you refuse, I’ll have to do what I came here for...”

“You wouldn’t.”

“You know what we’re capable of doing.”

“I’ll get you what you want. There’s plenty. Let us go now,” Cassie protested.

“I knew you had some more. But I have to take Brie’s share first. And end her, that’s the only way we can own all the mines here and keep her from drawing attention to us. I’ll let you go when I see those containers right in front of me.”

“You’re going to pay for what you’re doing.”

“Not me.” His grin faded.

Mari signaled for his men to follow him outside. When we were alone, Cassie rushed over to kneel before me, her expression apologetic.

“I’m so sorry. I don’t know how they planned this…”

“Let’s find a way to get out of here.”

“I promise I’ll protect you.” She frowned. “What does she want with it?”

“She’s collecting nefelium to create more electrons. Imagine the power she’ll have with a small group. I guess the money offered by Armor wasn’t enough for her.”

Cassie placed her forefinger on her lips. “Getting out of here is worth the risk. Try not to panic. Follow my lead.”

I walked over to the window and peeped outside. My chest ignited. I turned to regard her.

“I don’t see anyone.”

“Come.”

My eyes picked a safe landing spot at the bottom. Her arm slid out of my grip and her body jerked down in the bushes. I descended the slope in a violent rush. I tumbled over bushes and knocked on pieces of wood. The weight of my falling body hit the trunk of a humongous tree. I sucked in a harsh breath. Blood trickled down my arm. When my eyesight cleared from a haze, I got on my feet and cursed, muscles stung and burned.

Cassie grabbed my hand and helped me up. I dusted my clothes and inhaled a deep breath.

“Well damn.”

I felt like bursting into tears. We trekked toward the main road for another twenty minutes. My damp, sweaty clothes stuck against my skin. I needed a shower, some food and a moment to come to terms with whatever was going on. A petrol station emerged in the distance. The ground blurred under the intense heat of the afternoon.

“How are we still alive?” I muttered.

“I won’t let anything happen to you.” Her tone was solid. She wanted to protect me but I had a strong feeling I was the reason she was going through the entire ordeal. After searching my pockets, I cursed aloud.

“They took our phones.”

“There’s a public phone on the wall near the entrance of that convenience store.”

I followed her to the phone booth. Two men came in sight, hooking an old van to a pick-up truck.

“I can’t believe what happened.”

I raked a hand through my curls. “I need to separate you from the situation.”

“What if they are coming after both of us?”

“Not if I can help it.”

“I’m so stupid. I shouldn’t have taken us to a secluded place.”

“Will you calm down? It’s not your fault.”

“We’re on the run because you couldn’t stick with the clean guys.”

“I had no idea until they had a gun to Tyro’s head.”

“Stress is building up and you’re not helping.”

“When we get back to Hyma, I think it would be better if you stay far away from the situation. I’ll get Greta to do this without you and you focus on staying safe. I won’t let anything happen to you.”

She was saying this for the hundredth time. I imagined it was the fear talking.

“Now you want to complicate things. She won’t stop coming after me.”

“I’ll track her down. She can’t be far.”

“And how long will that take?”

“I’m not sure.”

“What do you mean you’re not sure?” I snapped.

“I’m as confused and scared as you are. Can you at least give me a chance to think, please?”

“You’ll be in danger. I’ll sort this on my own. Just let me use the electron,” I raised my voice.

“You’re not going near them without me...” She frowned and pulled down the back of my shirt. “Why the hell do you still have this on you?”

“Let go of me.” I yanked her grip off the fabric.

My anger surfaced when I least expected it. Cassie seemed terrified of seeing me lose control. Despite her frightened state, her composure was undeterred. She called Greta, recounting what happened. Judging by an acid tone in her voice, Greta was getting a candid account of the kidnapping incident. She was also being ordered to action immediately. The thought of innocent people in danger was the most petrifying experience I ever went through and I believed the electron could make it easier for me to protect them. The day went from warm and sunny to cloudy within minutes.

“I need to get them to leave you alone.” She sounded more determined than ever. “They are messing with the wrong person.”

She dropped the phone hard, nearly cracking it into pieces. Her hands balled into fists. She glanced at the men discussing the faults of the van.

“Excuse me, where are we and how far are we from Pearlsburg?” Cassie asked.

“An hour,” the skinny one said. “This is Almada, remote town, nothin’ to ride out here. I suggest you get a lift or try one of the guesthouses not far from here, walking distance, then catch the bus heading to Hyma tomorrow morning.”

Cassie took out all the bills in her wallet and gave the man. “Here, sell me your phone.”

The skinny man hardly hesitated. He exchanged his tiny cell phone for the roll. “Safe travels.”

A giant, black van glided next to the station at the slowest speed. Cassie shook her head, a deep frown etching her forehead. She hardly managed to control her temper.

“Keep it quiet. If they ask, you never saw us here. Okay?”

The lanky man, now suspecting, nodded. “Okay.”

Mari and his three followers exited the van. They ganged up on the man we spoke to and they were bombarding him with questions and accusations.

“They are definitely following us,” Cassie whispered. The pounding sound of my erratic heartbeat buzzed through my head.

“Let’s go,” she instructed. We made our way through the woods. In fifteen minutes, we broke free into a yard with several houses. We entered a public lodge. Cassie spoke to the receptionist while I paced back and forth in the lobby, checking over my shoulder every chance. “Please don’t give anyone coming in here the information we just gave you. Consider this a discreet check-in.”

“Yes, we keep files confidential.” The lady behind the desk spoke with a questioning expression.

“How is this happening to us?” I muttered.

“I’ll get us out of this mess.”

Cassie rubbed her hands up and down my arms. We ascended to the third floor in the elevator. We stepped into an abandoned hallway and Cassie unlocked room 41. Exquisite finishes decorated the room. A massive maroon couch graced the center and one bed in the adjacent bedroom.

“Don’t think I’ll sleep tonight,” I said.

“Why?”

“It’s about that woman. I knew Brie had a violent streak, I just didn’t know she was capable of crime.”

I rubbed my temples.

“Are you still upset?” Cassie muttered.

“Traumatized.”

“For the record, my life has never been this crazy.

“I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but we’re screwed.”

“Greta will know what to do.”

She undressed while I mulled on the edge of the bed. I watched her wrap a towel around her chest. When she was done, I discarded my filthy clothing. She pushed me against the bed and kissed me gently. She started breathing hard as our breasts pressed together.

She leaned into me and our lips met. Her kisses traveled down my cheek to my jaw. Her fingers brushed my nape. She kissed my neck, and then her tongue slipped in my mouth. There was more pressure on my lips. I thought I’d go crazy. She pulled me into a hug. I held onto her for as long as she remained still.

“I missed you so much,” she admitted. Her lips brushed mine.

I escaped into the bathroom, breathless and flushed. I relished hot water except and stinging slashes. I spent more than thirteen minutes, drifting in and out of images that took place earlier on. I put on a bathrobe and dried my hair.

“Do you want me to cover the cuts?” she asked.

I sat on the bed. She pulled up my sleeve and applied gauze on my left elbow.

“There’s a lot on my mind,” I started. “I apologize if I seem overly frantic. I’ve never been tormented this way in my entire life. I’m infuriated. She deserves to be punished. But I have to keep a cool head.”

“It’s okay. We’ll fix it.”

My feet hurt and I thought my spine would fall off.

Cassie seemed preoccupied in the morning. She made several calls while I tried to finish off my cinnamon bun. After our memorable days together, I refused to think about Brie. She had a way of ruining everything.

A navy car purred in the driveway.

“Glad to see you guys,” Jayden said. “I thought you decided to run away together.”

I flushed and averted my gaze when Cassie smirked. She sat next to me in the back seat. And then she suddenly plunged in a somber mood.

“Please take us back to Hyma,” Cassie said.

“Sure.” Jayden smiled at me through the rear-view mirror. He drove like there was an emergency.

“I don’t mind if you want to leave me out of this,” I said. “I can always find a way to hide from her and let Greta focus on helping you.”

“You’re just saying that to make me feel better. I’m sorry you had to go through all this.”

“Another apology, c’mon...”

“Jayden can watch over you. I want to make sure you’ll be fine.”

“I’ll be fine,” I said. “Do I get to see you soon?”

“Yes.”

She was silent again. A straight open road gave me time to think. We reached my place within forty minutes. Cassie was unwilling to go separate ways. I didn’t want to leave her side either. We stepped in the house as the car disappeared. After a meal half-eaten, I called Kristi.

“Hi. Are you on your way?” Kristi said. “I have so many stations vacant, be quick.”

“Not even close, I need your patience. I’m with Cassie.”

“Are you all right? You sound a bit down.”

“Yes I am. I guess I’m tired.”

“Heavens, are you going to be okay?”

“Let me get done here and see what happens.”

“Okay, I’m sorry. Regroup and come back. The aliens never end, I’ll be expecting you,” she insisted.

“Thank you.”

“Call me soon,” she said, then hung up.





Chapter Four: Alien apocalypse

The next afternoon Jayden picked me up and dropped me off at the new place Greta organized as a hideout, the most incredible building I set foot in. It resembled something out of ancient times, immaculate Greek architecture with a stretching, verdant yard. The mansion had a regal appeal and much bigger than most of the neighbors. On the upper floor, there was a gold balustrade and a lush, cream carpet. I gazed out of the window at the far end of the hall. I admired the vast turquoise ocean. For a moment, I drifted off. I pinned more pictures on the wall. I fought the urge to call Cassie a few times. Her figure materialized at the bottom of the spiral staircase. She extended her arm and I didn’t hesitate to take her hand. I followed her to the ranger. She was speeding to the sacred cove.

“She moved all the containers here,” she said. “I discovered the hole while tailing her.”

“Then she can show up at any moment.”

Loud screams erupted from a gaping hole in the wall veiled by vines and shrubs. My first instinct was to run in.

“I need you to pull it together,” Cassie said, then she vanished inside and I panicked.

A loud crashing sound came behind me. A full-grown chrilic marched toward me. The ground vibrated. Oh crap. I flinched underneath its colossal weight.

Brie sauntered out of the cave, her gaze pinned on me. Mari came behind her shortly after. I looked back and forth at the monster facing me. Greta was suspended in a tree, hovering closer to the circle of dying waves. Tingles started at the base of my skull, deeper where the fluid in the electron reached, an everlasting throb banged louder as I encountered a chrilic up-close. It smelled like dead bodies. The sun blinded me when I came out of its shade. A blast split the creature in half. Greta shot it again and landed in front me, blocking me from Mari’s line of vision. Dyer appeared behind a bush. He pushed a heavy M16 rifle in my arms.

“Where have you been?”

“Long story.”

Brie approached us with a gleaming sword in her bloody right hand. Greta dropped a gas canister drifting in her direction. Instinct took over. I ran to cover Cassie. A thick whirlwind of smoke burned my nostrils. Greta wrapped a bandana around my nose. I guarded Mari’s movements.

When he recognized the weapon in my hand, he swiftly hurtled in the woods and disappeared in webbing shrubs. The fog came into contact with Brie’s legs. Cassie fired the gun shaking in her hands. I retreated further away from the toxic cloud. Brie turned her back to run in the opposite direction. But her upper body plunged on the grass. Her torso rapidly bloodied by bullets. I watched the rest of her squirm under the poison gas. Her screams were like a scratch with a bland knife to my hearing. I gasped when her eyes bulged and her head melted in a pungent, red fluid. The smell of hydrofluoric acid was replaced by boiling flesh. Within seconds, she stopped breathing.

“What have I done?” Greta paled white as a ghost.

“We had to do it,” Cassie muttered.

Cassie stared at me with a bewildered expression. Her fair complexion paled, too. I looked in her eyes. The same feelings that hit me the first time I saw her returned, a feeling of great adoration and a fear for her life.



Thank you for reading this science fiction short story. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave a review at your favorite retailer?

About the author:

Sam Magna is a science fiction, fantasy and romance author. She loves puppies, cooking and reading. The new author has a fantasy series in progress. Contact her to receive further details on the heatseeker series coming in 2019.

Feedback on Email: samu.kachiri@gmail.com

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Discover other titles by Sam Magna:

An end and a new friend

Dark Pluto

Guardians of Sleepless Nights

Jordan and the Secret Pack

The Painting in the Background



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