- Action Adventure
- Science Fiction
He forgot sometimes how utterly quiet space was.
Granted he was usually surrounded by the sound of the engines of his jet, the low hum of the electronics of the control panel, the chatter of his team. Even the thup thup thup of his pulse weapons as they deployed in battle.
But waiting, hanging in the black of space, cloaked and in position in the shadow of the moon; made the quiet seeming like a living, breathing thing. He checked over his control panels again. The last few minutes before mission deployment were always a mix of emotions.
As a veteran fighter pilot and soldier, he’d long learned how to compartmentalize, how to get his head in the game. There was no time for nerves, unless it served to give him an edge and boost his hyper-adrenaline. Today was no different, no matter how high the stakes were.
In T-minus two minutes. Both the lunar laser array and the orbital defense system were going to put on a fireworks show for the ages. The big brains down at Area 51 had calculated the sneak attack down to the millisecond and it was near torture to hang, cloaked and radio silent, in the dark, dead of space.
T Minus one minute. He could hear Lt. Rain Lao sniffing quietly over her comms. He felt for her, having to sit and watch her uncle sacrifice himself in order to fire the array manually. General Adams had earlier arranged for her to chat briefly with Jiang but in these last few moments, the moon base seemed so close and yet so far away all at once.
He’d already left orbit by the time his mother had landed in Nevada and it twisted in his chest that he might die having missed her by mere minutes. He was comforted by the thought of Patricia at her side. His two favourite ladies would take care of each other to the end, one way or another.
He could see the ODS powering up, pulsing blue like a string of lights around the earth, the lunar laser array shining a beautiful blue green colour that Dylan had yet to see replicated anywhere else on earth. He toggled his comms, the agreed upon non-verbal signal to his team to ready themselves.
The alien harvester ship loomed in the distance, blocking out distance stars with its massive bulk like a gaping, ravenous maw of hell. It was the kind of shadow that swallowed you whole and he shivered as he stared at its jagged edges, spiked turrets and wet looking bio-organic hull. It was a wretched thing, stuff of nightmares and the putridly obscene. A fell beast, crouched and salivating over its prey.
It was the abyss that looked back into you and he had to grasp at his chest where one of his father dog tags hung next to his own. His mother had given them to him one years ago and he’d held them close to his heart ever since. She had the other on a chain around her neck and the never took it off. It gave him strength which, he had to admit, he needed a good dose of right then.
T minus ten seconds. He checked the positions of his squad, the cloaked drones and the score of unmanned cannon fodder that they hoped would provide enough of a distraction. Once the hole was punched through their shields and the drill destroyed, Legacy Squad had only a handful of minutes to get onboard the ship and begin phase two of the Hail Mary.
T Minus Zero. The sky lit up and stayed lit for long, blinding moments.
Jasmine stood at the back of the room aghast, hands over her open mouth as she stared at the screens that dominated the far wall. Patricia had a hand against her back and it seemed to be the only thing keeping her from falling to her knees.
The battle seemed like something out of some kind of video game. It looked unreal and for each small pop of explosion, her heart skipped in her chest. Had that been Dylan? One of the other brave pilots of Legacy Squad? One of the many unmanned Drones?
Not knowing from minute to minute was slowly driving her mad. Only Patricia’s calm demeanor gave her some solace. The woman was patched into the communication hub and would know the second Dylan’s signal went offline.
The first part of the Hail Mary had gone to plan, the Lunar Array and the suped-up ODS satellites had lit up the sky for long seconds, punching through the harvester’s shields and damaging their main drill system. Watching jagged debris explode out into the vacuum of space had sent a cheer through the room and she’d heard Patty hiss a near silent ‘yes’ next to her.
They’d lost the ODS after that in a chain of explosions that interspersed through the massive ‘dog fight’ that she’d been forewarned of. They’d managed to protect a couple of privately owned communications satellites, allowing them a limited view of the harvester and the fight unfolding around it as well as some communications with the outside.
Most others had either been damaged in the chain of explosions or shut down by EMP pulses. Still, David had muttered that some communication was definitely better than none and it had all she’d been able to do but nodded sympathetically.
“They’re inside.” Patricia murmured, eyes glued to the tablet in her hand. “We lost half of the bomb drones and two of the squad but both Dylan and Jake made it through.”
Jasmine took a deep, calming breath. It was cold comfort. There was still a strong chance that her baby boy would die up there. She brought her hands down to clasp around her neck. This was an eerie déjà vu from when both David and Steve had been thought killed on the mothership twenty years ago. It had felt awful then and felt the same even now.
“What happens now?”
Patricia hummed. “According to Ally as well our Alien Whisperer Squad, the alien queen will try to make earth fall in a smaller ship. When she comes we’ll be waiting for her. While that’s happening, Dylan and the others will be attacking the Harvester ship from within, using the same computer virus/bomb attack David used twenty years ago.”
“That’s really going to work a second time?” Jasmine looked at her skeptically. “Wouldn’t they see that coming?”
“We don’t think so.” The brunette indicated to one of the large screens nearby. “When the invasion was thwarted twenty years ago, the mother ship had been blown up before they even realized what had happened. There was no time to send out a signal to the other ships about the virus. It may have been twenty years but we are talking about an invasive species that has no real natural predators themselves. They haven’t had cause to evolve beyond what they already have.”
She gave the doctor a small, ruthless grin. “Besides, David and Doctor Okun were able to splice in some new code provided by Ally that really packs a punch. Those bastards won’t know what hit them. Again.”
Jasmine nodded, feeling a bit better as she gave a smirk in return. “Good.”
“How are things looking John?”
President Elizabeth Lanford came to stand beside her Chief of Staff, John Sebastian Bayers. She was wearing a set of survival gear for quick evacuation and there was an aide hovering nearby trying to finish securing her body armor. She was make up free and her hair was pulled back and tucked under a black FBI baseball cap. He was dressed similarly, standing on the raised platform and looking down unto the command centre below.
“Our remaining satellites are failing more and more frequently so we’ve been communicating through old Morse code once more. So far we know that Phase 1 of Hail Mary is a success. We’ve managed to stop the ship just passed the moon. Phase 2 will be going into effect shortly.”
“That’s good, isn’t it?” she took in his solemn expression. “That’s what we were going for.”
“We’ve stopped it yes but it has a lot more gravity than we calculated.” He turned toward her, gesturing toward the grainy picture. “The moon by itself is powerful enough to regulate our tides and a lot of other things on the planet. Not only did this thing do a serious graze by of our moon, knocking it from its orbit by a few miles. It also is adding its own gravitational pull to the mix.”
He shook his head sadly. “Even though it’s not the kind of damage we would have experienced if the ship had actually landed, we’re still looking at massive tidal waves on almost every coastal area on the planet.”
Elizabeth closed her eyes briefly, swallowing her horror and sorrow before taking a breath and reopening them. “And the evacuations? Do you think they were enough?”
John shook his head. “They are as good as we could possibly hope for. Thankfully, we had enough of a warning and the bunkers under all our major cities are sealed and equipped with oxygen reserves. We have people working on a time frame for the waters to recede and a plan for digging down to the bunker entrances if need be,”
“Still, a lot of people are going to die.” She said softly.
“A lot of people were always going to die Liz.” He put a hand on her elbow. “At least we gave them warning, prepared safe havens and have a solid plan in place to kick these slimy fuckers out of the Milky Way. I say we’ve done the goddamn best we could, Madam President.”
She turned to him, her eyes full of both fear and determination and he was reminded once again why he’d taken this job when she’d asked him too. He’d said it before and he would say it again – She was the best he’d ever served and he’d live and die to protect her.
“We need to get you to the secure P.O.D. If the mother ship sends an attack this way, we need you as secure as you can be.”
“Isn’t the bunker safe enough to …” She frowned.
An aide ran up, pale and shaking.
“Sir, Ma’am. They’ve taken out NORAD. Again.”
John pinched the bridge of his nose as the president cursed hotly under her breath. Elizabeth all but growled.
“Alert all of the other priority bunkers to begin the Hermit Crab Protocol. I want them all locked down tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season in less than ten minutes.
‘Yes Ma’am.” The aide all but tripped over themselves to obey.
“In all honesty Liz, as far as I’m concerned there’s nowhere on this goddamned on this planet is safe enough for you right now.” John huffed a mirthless laugh and turned back to his friend and President. “But if that bitch wants at you, she’s going to have work fucking hard for it.”
Elizabeth struggled between wanting to stay in the main bunker or let herself be shuttled to the secure P.O.D. On one hand, as leader, she wanted to stand with her people and fight. On the other hand, it was her duty not to disrespect the service and sacrifice of the people sworn and dedicated to protect her.
“Ok let’s do it.” Finally she nodded and exhaled sharply, taking a long look over the controlled chaos of the command centre. She turned and met John’s determined gaze with her own. “Take me to the P.O.D.”
“You don’t have to do this you know.” Patricia leaned against the locker in the empty changing room, her gloved hands fisted tightly in her flight suit. Her eyes were downcast and her mouth tight and frowning. “There are at least a dozen volunteers willing to step up. Including me.”
Thomas gave her a thin smile, zipping up his own flight suit and rolling his shoulders so that it fight him comfortably. It had been years since he’d worn one of these and it felt comfortingly familiar. He pulled on his own gloves before running a hand over his shaved head and beard.
“We’ve had this conversation before, you know it has to be me.” He shrugged, “Hey, at least I told you before instead of just running off like an asshole right?. No more secrets remember? Me and you. Together. ”
“I know, I know. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.” His daughter groaned, her head thunking against the metal door behind her. “I really hate being rational about this. I know that you’re a grown man and I’m grateful that we got to talk it all out but part of me just wants to wrap you in bubble wrap and stick you in one of the alien containment pods until this all over.”
Thomas made a face. “Thanks for not doing that, by the way.”
“I hate those fucking aliens.” She pushed off the locker and walked into his arms, sagging against him as he brought his arms up around her. “You were supposed to dance at my wedding.”
Thomas’ lip curled as he pulled back a bit to face her. “It’s not going to be to that Morrison boy is it?”
Patricia gaped. “Dad. What the fuck? What problem do you and Dylan have with Jake? He’s a perfectly acceptable guy.”
“Honey, I don’t want you to settle for someone who is perfectly acceptable. I want you find someone who is perfect. For you.” Thomas screwed up his face in discontent. “Besides, Jake is a nice enough guy but he’d kind of… flat. Like there’s no substance behind him. He’s just…. “
Patricia sighed. “He’s a ken doll.”
“Yeah. Pretty much.” He gave her a sympathetic look. “You deserve so much better.”
She looked down at her watch before looking back up at her father. “Don’t think I didn’t recognize you changing the subject but I’ll let it go because we’re wheels up in two minutes.”
She pulled him close once again, this time holding tight enough to hurt. “I love you dad. You’re the best man I’ve ever known.”
When she pulled away, both of their eyes were shiny with unshed tears. “Go give that bitch hell and kick those fuckers right out of our galaxy.”
Thomas nodded and cupped her cheeks in his hands, kissing her forehead as he couldn’t bring himself to speak. He placed an arm around her shoulders and they began walking towards the main hanger where the space tug filled with fusion bombs was waiting its pilot.
He’d known as soon as the plan had been laid out that he would be the one to make the sacrifice play. He was right when he’d told his daughter before that there were so many reasons for it to have been him. Sure, she’d screamed and argued and cried but in the end she’d respected his choice and made some kind of peace with it.
At least she’d be flying escort, her jet fitted with one hell of a bastardized, thrown together combination of the infamous Okun laser and one of the weapons from the Ally’s transport ship. Patricia had lovingly named it the ‘Mother Fucker’ much to David’s dismay and Brakish’s delight and couldn’t wait to use it in the battle ahead.
He regretted not sticking around to dance at her wedding as it were, but there was nothing in the world that he wouldn’t do for his little girl. She was his world and he’d lay down his life for hers in a heartbeat.
Not because he was some big damn hero. Not because he was the former president of the United States. Not just because he loved his planet and hated the alien invaders.
It was because he was a father. He was a dad to a wonderful young woman who had her whole life ahead of her. Part of him had died the day her mother had passed and he’d fought valiantly against the emptiness inside for twenty long years.
Legacy was planting seeds in a garden that one never got to see. It was doing the work so that those who came after would reap. It was flying a bomb into the belly of the beast and saving the world so that his daughter could even have that wedding one day.
It was his duty and his lasting gift of love.
They walked into the hanger where the others were waiting, the ships looming behind them like a date with destiny. Taking a deep breath, he squeezed his daughter’s shoulder and gave her a smile that was surprisingly steady and infinitely fond.
“You ready, Munchkin?”
Her brown eyes were bright and full of roiling emotion but she nodded resolutely.
“Yeah Pops. I’m ready.”
David watched as the ships grew smaller and smaller in the bright cloudless sky. Ally’s transport ship was leading the way, acting as the bait in their bait and switch plan. Just behind it, cloaked and loaded with fusion bombs, Thomas piloted Jake’s space tug. After him came Patricia and the rest of the fighters, ready to defend the tug and deploy the shield generators so that the resulting explosion did not blow a hole in the world.
“We have reports coming in of massive tidal waves along all the costs of the world.“ Dikembe’s deep voice came from beside him and David looked across to see him carefully examining his new hybrif rifle. “Some of them reaching as far as one hundred miles inland.”
David hummed, glancing down at his tablet. “The harvester’s gravity plus the shift in the moons orbit is wreaking havoc over the oceans but that’s going to be the least of our problems if this plan doesn’t work.”
He looked towards the other man. “Has Ally been secured?”
Dikembe nodded, “They’ve been placed in the containment chamber and the nullifiers have all been turned on. The only signal for the mother ship to hone in on is the decoy transport. We’ve reinforced all the doors and hallways around the chamber so that if the aliens do make it passed us, they will have a difficult time getting to them.”
David nodded. “Thank you for bringing a couple squads of your men to provide extra protection. Our people don’t have much in the way of experience when it comes to alien ground skirmishes. Now that we’ve sent out only shield out on the Hail Mary, we are especially vulnerable.”
The warlord gave him a small incline of the head in acknowledgement.
“I have also assigned a small party to the containment chamber with Dembe and Catherine.” He gave David a glance out of the corners of his eyes. “Doctor Okun tried to enter the chamber and activate Ally more than once out of curiosity.”
“That man. For a genius he can be an idiot.” David gave a deep sigh. “What happened?”
Dikembe chuckled softly, his lip twitched in the smallest of smiles.
“My niece … persuaded him to rethink his actions.”
David choked on a laugh, his shoulder shaking as he ducked his head. “Please tell me there’s video footage of that.”
The other man’s smile grew into a predatory grin.
“Of course there is. I will have Dembe email it to you.”
“Thank. You’re the coolest warlord I’ve ever met.”
Dikembe tilted his head as he looked at the white man who lived to surprise him constantly.
“Thank you, my friend.”
David blinked at him in surprise before flushing.
“You’re very welcome.”
“I didn’t become an air force pilot so that I could slog through hot and sticky alien swamps.” Dylan grunted as he waded through the stagnant smelling water at the bottom of the main Hive Ship hanger. “That’s what Navy Seals are for. They love that shit.”
He curled his nose at the stench, trying not to think too hard about what was soaking into his boots and pants at that moment. He’d been wading through this god awful shit for too goddamn long, ever since they’d had to bail from their jets.
They’d made it inside of the ship, losing contact with earth seconds later. Seems that the aliens had a few more tricks up their sleeves that even Ally had thought. Their jets and the unmanned drones as dropped like stones, forcing the pilots to bail and watch helplessly as their planes fell and sunk halfway into some kind of weird organic sludge that covered most of the bottom of the hanger.
Interspersed between the sludge pools were swamps of indeterminate size populated with eight foot high ‘swamp reeds’. At least they looked like reeds and didn’t seem to be able to come alive and grab them like tentacles, thank fuck. They’d proved to be excellent cover, for both the earth pilots and the alien ground troops that they’d been engaging in guerilla warfare with.
He checked his weapon and glanced over at both Jake and Rain. They were also crouched in the nasty water, determined looks on both their faces. The other pilots were spread out nearby, spread out enough just in case the aliens had heat tracking technology.
They’d managed to thin out the ground troops and needed to reach the hangers if they wanted any chance of getting out of there alive. He’d already delivered the super virus before bailing and just needed to set off some kind of explosion to disorient the ship so that they could make their escape.
According to the plan, Phase 2 of the Hail Mary would be happening right about then and if this ship retreated as planned, they needed to be away from it and heading back to earth.
He glanced over at Rain, signaling her to take point. She had the sharpest eyes and was the quickest and most accurate shot of them all in these dim, dank conditions. Added bonus was that her fury at the aliens who’d caused her uncle’s death had made her a tiny, ruthless killing machine.
There were alarms wailing in the distance and the ship shuddered, throwing them all off their feet and into the dark water. Dylan hissed a string of curses as he stood himself up, scowling as he was more than half soaked in the foul swamp ooze. He cut a withering glare at a grinning and equally wet Morrison and sharply gave him the finger.
“Fuck you, Ken Doll.” He grouched as Rain’s soft whistle called them forward.
They all converged near a ridge, peeking over it to see the large landing pad with alien space crafts lined up neatly and oh so temptingly. He snapped out his hand and grabbed Morrison before he could sling himself over the edge of the platform, yanking him down so that they were face to face.
“What the fuck are you doing lieutenant?”
The blond frowned. “I was going to distract them all while you guys took the ships.”
Dylan blinked and gave that idea some thought before nodding.
“Ok. Morrison. You go act a fool for these jerks. Rain, Dytona, Richards, you provide cover fire and take down anything that comes for Morrison. Lamar, Hutchings, Hakmura. You’re with me. Two pilots to a plane. Whoever is wings up first, I need you to target the downed bombers. They didn’t explode on impact that means their bombs must still be intact and since we can’t trigger them remotely, we’re going to have to do it with weapons fire. Everyone clear?”
He got a series of nods and yes sirs before turning to a stunned looking Morrison.
“Well,” he gestured at the platform, “This was your idea. Get to it. We’ll cover you.”
The blond lieutenant gave a heavy sigh and slung himself up and over the edge without another word. Dylan watched as he successfully distracted the alien overseers before signaling the rest of them up and over. Getting to the planes and firing them up was almost too easy, the technology really hadn’t changed at all in the two decades.
He heard when Rain confirmed picking up Morrison and caught the first of the drone explosions out of the corners of his eyes. Seconds after that he was in the midst of a second epic dog fight. Ships swarmed all around and he had trouble telling friend for foe. All he could do was instruct his people to get the fuck out of there and head for earth.
This wasn’t a fight that they could win by the numbers. All they could do now was hope that Phase 2 took out the queen and made the alien armies retreat.
‘You fucking bitch.”
Patricia screamed at the gigantic queen as she emerged from the wreckage of her downed ship. The shield had contained the blast successfully and alien ship now lay in a pile of burning slag. Unfortunately, the alien didn’t die in the explosion and that made the young pilot inordinately furious.
Her father’s sacrifice was still playing on repeat in her mind and she’d be damned if some alien skank made his death seem worthless. She yelled as one of the long tentacles lashed out, ripping of the tip of her wing and sending her spiraling downwards in a controlled dive.
She curse a blue streak in frustration and rage as she manhandled the bucking controls, putting the plane down roughly on the pack desert ground. Fortunately, the queen had been injured in the explosion and was slowly making her way towards the empty decoy transport ship. Patricia popped the cockpit of the jet and stared after them, her mind racing.
“Uncle David.” She yelled over her radio, jumping from the jet and sprinting around it to the underbelly. “Get the decoy ship to circle back towards me.”
“We’re a little busy right now Patty.” The sound of gunfire came over the radio. “Are you sure that you want the queen coming for you? She’s huge as fuck.”
Patricia bared her teeth in a cruel parody of a smile. “Oh. I’ve something special for her alright.”
“Patricia.” His voice held doubt.
“Just do it goddammit.” She grunted as she stripped wires away from their panel. “Right fucking now.”
The radio went silent, only static coming through and all she could hear was her own grunts as she worked feverishly. Soon enough, she began hear the distinctive whine of the decoy ship and the thud thud thud of the alien queen.
She quickly climbed up unto the ship’s wing, dragging her cargo and setting it against the body of the jet for support. It was like something out of crappy B-movie. Hand wavy science cobbled together with spit and spite. Even though it looked like a piece of shit, she had complete and utter faith in her cumbersome contraption.
Doctor Okun may have been a hair’s breadth away from insane but sometimes the man’s crazy genius was just what the world needed. And with the added tech provided by Ally, his famous Okun’s Laser was just the thing needed to fuck up the alien queen’s day.
Patricia looked into the distance, seeing the ship coming closer and closer, the glossy dark silhouette of the queen hobbling behind it, stark against the bright blue sky.
“Come on you cunt.” Patricia growled, taking careful aim at where the centre mass of the gigantic head piece bobbed. “Come and get some.”
The seconds ticked by and she steadied her breathing and calmed her racing heart. She would only get one shot at this. One chance. The ship grew steadily closer and the queen followed right behind like a dog with a juicy bone. Patricia braced herself against the plane and cranked up the laser, its power coils whining and glowing as she prepped the firing mechanism.
The ship was almost to her now, blocking her sight from the queen when suddenly, it veered away and up, leaving her target front and centre in her scope. The large alien faltered and looked up at the decoy, roaring with rage. Patricia didn’t waste another second, pulling the trigger.
“Say hello to the mother fucker, you hellish bitch.”
The laser was white hot and she yelped as it shuddered in her hands. The beam was thick and burnt the very air as it hit and punched through the queen’s face, melting a huge hole right through the middle of her massive head piece.
The laser shook, sending the beam burning a weird zig zag pattern into the exo-skeleton’s armor, leaving a cauterized and smoking hole in the alien material that she could see the blue sky through.
Patricia shoved the laser away with a grunt and ran to the end of the wing, jumping off and landing with a roll. She scrambled to her feet, sprinting away as fast as she could from the jet as the laser started to whine in earnest.
Suddenly the decoy ship swooped down before her, its bay doors open and she dove in, rolling at hitting the wall as it snapped its doors shut and vaulted straight up. She screamed, her stomach rolling from the g-force and her limbs heavy like lead against the cool floor.
There was a distant thump of the laser exploding below and she barely had time to grin in utter satisfaction when black flowers bloomed across her vision and she blacked out.
Miguel had the baby in his lap, shaking his knee up and down so as the keep the bebé from fussing too loudly. Alicia had hardly gotten any sleep in the past two days and she was currently sacked out on the bed, Marisol curled up next to her. Joseph was outside at the small fold out table, fiddling with the radio to see if he could make the signal any stronger.
When word had come in of the potential Tsunamis, they’d forgone the desert and instead headed for the mountains. Miguel had heard of a great little hidden spot perfect for stargazing from a friend years ago and thanked the heavens that he’d had the man mark its route down on a map for him. It had probably saved their lives.
They’d all seen the light show on the horizon, seen the black shape of the alien ship, the small specks of the alien fighters that looked like flies on rotting fruit. Alicia had been crying on an off, gathering her children into her arms and shaking. Josef hadn’t been much better. He’d been trying to contact his family in southern California with no success.
The bebé hiccupped and he turned him around to settle him on his chest, patting his back gently. Troy appeared at his side seconds later with a sippy cup of water, handing it over without a word and settling unto the small couch.
He was dressed in a pair of cut-off jeans and a ratty vest that he’d snagged from Miguel’s closet. He’d only packed for a night and the rest of his gear was in the hotel they’d never had time to reach. He leaned in, resting his head against Miguel’s shoulder and sighing deeply. Neither of them spoke. There was nothing really to say.
The baby gurgled and they both watched as he drank his water, his wide and guileless eyes staring back at them. Troy reached over and took the kid’s hand, smiling as the baby gripped his finger tightly.
“Don’t you worry niñito. Everything is gonna be buena. You’ll see.” His voice turned watery as he kissed the baby’s tiny hand. “You’ve got La Familia and that’s all you’ll ever need.”
Miguel felt his own eyes tearing up at the words and he made himself nod in agreement and kiss the baby on the forehead. Then he turned and did the same for his younger brother.
Jake blinked at the sight before him. His ‘girl friend’ patricia was hugging Captain Dubrow-Hiller and crying, her arms around his neck and her legs around his waist, stink and all. She had run to him as soon as they’d gotten off the stolen alien ships, ignoring Jake almost completely.
Jake still didn’t know how to feel about that. It had hurt yes, but not as much as he’d imagined it would. The thing was, the captain seemed to be hugging her back just as tightly, making no move to let go anytime soon.
He wasn’t sure how he felt about that either.
He stared at them for a few minutes more than slumped.
A small hand patted his back and he turned to see Rain Lao watching them as well, a half empty bottle of water in her hand.
“Took you long enough, Gweilo.” She shrugged and drained the water. “We were all wondering when you were going to catch a clue.”
He made a face at her. “You’ve only been here like two days. What the hell?”
She quirked an eyebrow at him in a mix of disbelief and pity. “Exactly. One and a half days actually. So that should tell you something.”
He turned back to the others, seeing that Jasmine Dubrow- Hiller had joined them in the three way hug. Though the woman was making a disgusted face at Dylan’s condition and the two younger people were laughing and heading back to the compound.
“Okay then. Damn.” He blew out a loud breath. “Guess I’m single again.”
He turned towards the Chinese pilot and gave her a smile.
“Don’t even think about it white boy.” She scoffed openly and loudly. “I’m sure a pretty ken doll like you will find someone else to warm his bed soon enough.”
“You did just help save the planet after all.” She turned back and gave him a shit eating grin. “You’ll be buried in pussy in no time.”
He watched her walk away, surprised at her course language because she’d seemed so quiet on the lunar base. But then again, he had only known her for one and a half days, technically.
Then he thought about her parting words and a smile crept across his face. He did just help save the world. He whooped loudly and chased after her. He was a pretty likeable guy. Nice face and good body. Shit. He would be able to land almost any girl on the planet with those laurels.
After he took a shower first of course. He stunk like alien swamp.
ONE YEAR LATER
Thomas Whitmore Memorial Park
“And finally, I would like to present this Presidential Medal of Freedom, awarded posthumously to Former President Thomas Whitmore for his especially meritorious contribution to the safety and security of the planet earth and his efforts towards world peace.”
Elizabeth’s voice was as clear as a bell over the large gathering as they cheered, her smile wide and bright on the large screens that towered behind her.
“Accepting this award on his behalf is his daughter, Doctor Patricia Whitmore, a hero of our planet in her own right.”
Patricia stepped forward confidently and collected the medal and a heartfelt hug from the president. Even though she’d been forewarned that her father was going to be honoured, it still made her choke up in the moment.
She was still gripping the medal case as the ceremonies finally ended and she found herself in the arms of Constance Spano-Levinson. Her perfume smelt like home and Patricia clung to her as they were guided to a private space.
“I’ve got you Munchkin.” Connie soothed, holding the brunette as she cried quietly. “He would have been so proud of you. He would have tossed the medal in with the rest of the pile though. You know he hated getting those things. In fact, when he was still president, he hated even giving them out. It was only because he knew how important they were to the people receiving them that he put so much effort into it.”
Patricia chuckled wetly, accepting the handkerchief that Connie had mostly likely gotten from Zaydeh Julius. It smelled like tobacco and tiger balm.
“I miss him so much.” She whispered and Connie pulled her closer, resting her cheek on top of the brunette’s hair.
“Me too honey, me too.”
They sat like that for a while, long enough for Patricia to get a hold of herself once more. Connie got her some water and she drank half the bottle before sitting back with a sigh.
“Well, that sucked balls.”
Connie snorted a laugh inelegantly. “Grief makes fools of us all.”
Patricia gave her a side glance. “I thought that was love.”
The older woman shrugged. “Could be both.”
The young woman let her head fall back unto the plush couch.
“Shit, we still have the after parties to go too. Fuuuuuuck.” She turned her head towards her aunt with a pitiable frown. “Do we really have to?”
Connie’s gaze was completely unsympathetic. “Munchkin, if I have to suffer through Julius telling his story about how he ended up with a school bus full of kids in its entirety again, so do you. Now up.”
Patricia barked a laugh and pushed herself to her feet.
“We can’t let you suffer alone can’t we? How come you haven’t roped David in to suffer with you?”
Connie rolled her eyes and absently fixed Patricia’s hair.
“Poor David has been getting bombarded with emails and photos about how much like grandkids the children are and how sad it is that Julius will never know what true grand-parenting truly feels like. It’s been like chapter after verse of the Book of Lamentations.”
She shook her head ruefully. “Poor David doesn’t even know what to do with himself these days. People talk about the guilt of the Jewish mother. They should try facing the guilt of the Jewish grandfather.”
Patricia was laughing so hard that she had to sit right back down again.
Legacy Memorial Park
Dylan found her amongst the stones, wearing her black knights t-shirt and sweatpants. Her college hoodie was half way off her shoulders and her hair was in a bun that was one breeze way from falling apart.
The sun was creeping over the stones as it tipped her fly away hair in gold light. She face was clear of makeup and there were tiny little freckled that dusted along the bridge of her nose. She looked loose and comfortable and so fucking beautiful that he almost tripped.
“Hey,” he managed, flushing at how lame that word seemed after he’d said it. She smiled at him and his face heated. Be cool, man his brain screamed at him as he walked, Where is that famous Hiller swagger that had panties dropping all over the world brother? Where’s that guy, for pete’s sake?
“I brought Dunkin’ Donuts.” He said instead, lifting the white paper bag.”
“Awesome.“ She made grabby hands at the bag and the two coffees he was holding in his other hand in a little tray. “Gloria isn’t set to re-open for another six months and I sure do love me a glazed dough boy.”
They devoured the donuts and coffee soon enough and leaned against each other as the sun rises and transforms the memorial. There are new names now, added to the old ones. Most of them are carved into a separate memorial built for that purpose but there were a few that had been allowed to be carved here. Her father was one, his name carved next to his wife’s and Dylan’s father on the main obelisk at the centre of the maze. She’d been there for the revealing ceremony, another pomp and circumstance that Thomas would have barely tolerated on his behalf.
She leaned her head against Dylan’s shoulder and he automatically put his arm around her.
“So… um…” he hesitated and she glance up at him in concern.
His face was flushed and he couldn’t seem to look at her. she watch him sputter uncomfortably at her for a few minutes well before she realized what was happening.
“Wait a minute…” she held up a hand that had him snapping his mouth shut with a click. “Is that the Infamous Ladies Man Hiller Game I’ve been hearing so much about? You mumbled adorably until the girl takes pity on you and kisses you?”
She laughed as he sputtered indignantly. “Hey, I have game. I have great game. Ladies love me. ”
She gave him a half lidded look. “That didn’t look like much to me. Maybe they just pity you, lover boy.”
He was just about to wax poetic about his legendary skill when a hand reached out and jerked him forward. She tasted so good, like sugar glaze and strong coffee and he slid a hand behind her head and deepened the kiss. When they finally broke apart, they were both breathing hard. She grinned, her brown eyes dancing with delight and looking a bit dazed.
“Next time, don’t talk. Just lead with the kiss because, woof.”
“Ma’am yes ma’am.” He grinned back at her and leaned back in before she could reply. They both moaned into it, hands pulling each other closer.
“Fuck, I’ve been wanting to do that for a year.” Patricia gasped as they parted, her skin flushed and his lips kiss bruised a swollen. The freckles on her face seemed pale now against the pink flush of her skin and he couldn’t help but press light kisses along their path. Her breath hitched and she sought his mouth again, climbing unto his lap and straddling him.
“Sorry it took me so long to get my head out of my ass.” He mumbled against her mouth, his hands sneaking under her old t-shirt and seeking skin. “I’ve been such a fool.”
“Yeah. Pretty much. Ever since you stepped off that alien jet, sticking to high heaven.” She laughed against his cheek, the soft puffs of breath tickling along his jaw. “I was fucking gone.”
He tilted his head in disbelief. “Really?”
She gave him a weird look. “You did see how I ran right passed the man I’d been seeing for about two years and came straight to you right? Even Ken caught a clue within a few minutes.”
He quirked an eyebrow. “You mean Jake right?”
“Jake. Ken. Doesn’t matter to me anymore.” She shrugged. “And don’t change the subject. How did you not know? Everyone knew.”
“So sue me. I’m dense. It’s a thing. Sad but true.” He huffed. “But I’m here now. It took me a while but I’m here. I’m sorry.”
“Good, it’s about time the hero gets the damsel.” She ducked in to kiss him again, moaning as his hands snaked higher up her back.
“Wait, wait, wait.” He pulled away with a frown. “I’m the damsel in this situation, aren’t I?”
She gave him a sly smile. “What do you think, Soldier?”
He blinked at her for a moment then shrugged. “Meh, I don’t mind. As long as there’s sex involved.”
She threw her head back and laughed, the sound echoing through the stone pathways. Above them, the sun was climbing in the clear blue sky, painting the world gold and chasing away the lingering chill of night.
It was a brand new day.
And that’s it. I hope that I have done this story justice. I tried to hit all of my pet peeves with this movie because it fucking sucked. I’ve re-watched this movie so many times while writing this and will never fucking watch it again. It made me so fucking mad because I love the first one so much.
Anyway, all gripes aside. I love these characters and would have loved to do scenes for them all but I wanted to make impactful choices. This story is helped if you’ve seen the movies but I tried to make it stand by itself as well. I hope that I was successful.