Saturday, April 16, 2011

Green Slime: Earth War Part 2

 Gen. Thompson was indeed correct.  Fragments of space station Gamma 3 fell to Earth all over the globe.  One section of debris happened to land near Paks nuclear power plant in Hungary.  Others ran aground in New York’s Hudson Valley, Ratcliffe, UK, and Grovers Mill, New Jersey, just to name a few.  Like bird droppings they came down, in clumps and in single pellets.  Given human society’s ever increasing demand for electrical current, much of the wreckage touchdown near power plants.
    And on much of it clung droplets of that tenacious survivor of open space, green slime.

    The scent of roses diffused through the third floor corridor of SPACOM’s Giggitty Glen apartments.  Jack Rankin had bought three of the flowers inside a floral shop in the mall and augmented them with a few more he had found after rooting through the store’s dumpster.  With a deep breath and a shot of Banaca to the mouth, he knocked on the door to what was once the home of Vince Elliot and Lisa Benson.
    With a sharp pull the door swung open.  Lisa was standing there, her eyes puffed and red.  Her mouth turned further downward as she saw Jack standing there.  Then her eyes narrowed.  Undaunted, Jack held out the flowers to her as an offering.
    “Thought we could talk,” he said.
    Lisa clenched her hand around the edge of the door and propelled it forward with great force.  Before the wooden rectangle slammed shut, Jack caught a glimpse of someone sitting in the apartment.   He appeared to be a large man of African descent in a SPACOM cadet uniform.  Then the door closed and Jack was left alone in the hallway with his flowers.
    Or at least he was until a Japanese officer of SPACOM came barreling down the hallway.  The young-faced woman came to a stop in front of Rankin and reported that his presence was requested by General Thompson at Command and Control.  Rankin tossed the roses over his shoulder and sent them to the floor.  He then followed the Japanese girl’s round-ripple ass all the way down the corridor and out into the open.

    Jack Rankin walked the approach to SPACOM C&C.  The area had dim lighting and metallic, clanking sounds rang out then echoed into oblivion.  Every time he made the walk, the same noises reverberated.  Jack always wondered what they were, but the question was invariably forgotten once his eyes came into contact with all the shiny things in the command room.
    Thompson had been waiting for him.  As soon as he saw Rankin enter, he rushed down the stairs from the mezzanine level and guided the man over to in front of the massive viewscreen.
    “All due respect, General.  Whatever you brought me here for better not suck,” Rankin said.
    After a directive wave of Thompson’s hand, the viewscreen transitioned to a blurry, black and white photograph of a circular shape in an onyx but star-dotted void.  It took on what Rankin saw as the color of Cookies and Cream ice cream, only with the colors reversed.  Thompson informed him that what they were looking at was an object that space sensors had recently detected entering the solar system.
“Another flippin’ asteroid?” Rankin groaned.
    “It’s not shaped like one,” Thompson said.  “Plus, the thing’s slowing down.  That makes it a spaceship of undetermined origin.  Seems we’re looking at a first contact situation here, Rankin.  But I’ll be go to hell if I know what we’re faced with.”
    “Yeah, back to what I said about ‘not sucking’...”


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