Author’s Note: Hello, dear readers. Thank you for continuing to share in my journey of writing a new science fiction novel. This week’s chapter picks up the continue conversation in the med bay between Roman, Max and Sam. Decisions are made and a new mission is started. If you are new to this story, you can read all 15 previous chapters online. Please keep in mind that this is a work in process and that the first draft is being shared as it is written. Please be gentle in regard to any mistakes or inconsistencies. Let’s jump in.
The Plax war had been going on for years. Though I couldn’t remember most of those years, it seemed impossible to me that not one Plax had been captured in all that time. Our side had suffered lots of casualties. There was no way that we couldn’t have caused at least some casualties on the other side.
Sam confirmed that I was partially right. We had blasted their ships out of the air. We had destroyed their large mechanical monsters. I made a mental note that I would ask later what she meant by that. We had bombed locations that we thought they were using as a base or staging area. Through all the fighting, not one place had even been captured. Not a single corpse had ever been found. Worse still, no human had clearly ever seen a Plax.
“That’s impossible!” I couldn’t control myself. “Utterly impossible!”
“Have you seen one?” Max was all business.
“In the other bunker we saw one!”
“Really?” Max crossed her arms and sat back in her chair. “Tell me, General, what did you see?”
I thought back and felt a shudder trying to run through me. It had been very dark. We were in the other medical bay. Max had grabbed me and pulled me into a storage cabinet.
“They have glowing eyes,” I told her, feeling a little vindicated.
“And?” She was completely unmoved.
I thought hard but no other details seemed to be in my mind.
“I’ve got amnesia!” I finally blurted out. “But I am not the only soldier that has been fighting the Plax. How could it be that no one has ever seen one?”
“Think about what you remember.” Max wasn’t willing to give me an inch.
“It was too dark. I didn’t see anything but those four glowing eyes. Gold eyes.”
“And then what? The next thing I knew it was gone. I want to say it jumped to the ceiling.”
Max stood up with a smirk on her face. “And that, dear General, describes virtually every confrontation with the Plax.”
Sam was a little kinder to me. “They only attack when it is very dark. If there is power, they always disable the power before they attack. When the fighting is over, there is never anything left behind.”
“That’s impossible!” It was difficult but I got to my feet so I could pace the room. “There has to dead ones somewhere. Not everyone of the infernal creatures can possibly escape every time. They can’t be immortal.”
“No, if they were, they wouldn’t be here.” Max didn’t really direct her comment at anyone.
“And what does that mean?”
“There has to be a reason they are here,” Sam told me. “They wouldn’t have come to the planet and started a war for no reason. They are technologically far advanced over us. They could have easily have wiped us all out already if they only wanted the planet. But instead, they have taken the time to learn how to interact with and control us. There is something they need or want. We spell some solution to whatever problem they are facing.”
“That’s what he said.” I thought back to hiding in the brush with Peadar when we saw Gregg and Todd talking.
“That’s what who said?” I had inadvertently gotten Max’s attention.
“Gregg or Todd. I can’t remember which one said it. When Peadar and I were watching them, one of them said something about needing us.”
Max and Sam locked eyes.
“We have to go today,” Sam said. Max nodded in agreement.
Though neither one of them thought it was a good idea, I insisted that I go along on the mission. Max decided she would stay behind but insisted we take one of her burly nurses with us in case anyone, meaning me, needed medical attention. I didn’t object. Benjamin was a big, muscular man and didn’t look like he would have any trouble carrying me if the need arose.
The fourth member of our party was Menton. She was the only person that Max and Sam could agree upon that they both felt could not possibly be a Plax. I tried arguing with them that if there were any Plax amongst us we would likely all already be dead or prisoners, but the two of them talked on as if I wasn’t there. In the end, I found my way to one of the beds and took a nap.
“What’s the plan?” I asked. The four of us had cleared the section of the cave that was narrowest and the section we had to crawl through. The section we were in was wide enough that Sam and I could walk beside each other. Menton insisted on taking point and Benjamin had evidently been ordered to stay in the back. I decided it wasn’t worth arguing with him.
Sam glanced at Menton and then nodded slightly to Benjamin.
“Sam, seriously? If they can’t be trusted, then we are already done for.”
“Fine,” she was irritated with me but didn’t put up any fight. “We have a new potential weapon.”
“It’s not been tested yet.”
“That instills me with confidence.” I mumbled.
“Roman, if we didn’t have something new we wouldn’t even try. Or did you forget that we have never captured a Plax before?”
“I’m sorry.” I wasn’t really, but the words were out of my mouth before I thought about them.
She ignored my platitude and continued. “Ideally, it would be great if we could catch one alive. Since that has never happened, we’ll have to be satisfied with killing one and hope there is something we can bring back to Max.”
“That seems like a tall order for four people, especially since I am barely half a person right now.”
“We weren’t sure who we could trust,” she said. “But that doesn’t mean we will necessarily be alone.”
“No? How did I miss this part of the plan?”
She shot me a disapproving glance and another “I’m sorry” slipped out. She had me well trained.
“The thought process,” she was gritting her teeth as she spoke, “is that a small party might be able to get around easier without getting noticed. If we can surprised one that would be are best chance at success.”
“And if we can’t?”
“If we have to go all the way to the surface to find one, there are people we can contact to help us.”
“The surface?” I stopped walking. I had neither considered meeting up with the Plax in the cave nor venturing all the way to the surface to find one. “I didn’t think there was anyone on the surface.”
“Probably not many in the immediate area. Most everyone that was left went down with us when we found the first bunker. A few brave souls chose to stay above to serve as watchers and to keep tabs on any possible changes.”
“What if they are all…” I didn’t want to finish my sentence. “Gone?”
“I can’t imagine we are the only humans alive. It might take a little longer, but we can always contact another cell. Worst case scenario, we contact the Hyatt.”
“The Hyatt? I know I don’t remember much, but isn’t that an incredibly terrible idea?”
“It’s not my first choice, that’s for sure,” she said. “If what you said is true, we have to find out. No matter what it takes. The Hyatt may be a necessary evil to reaching our goal.”
I imagined men larger than Peadar taking us captive. The Hyatt was not an option I wanted to rely on.
“Come on,” she nodded ahead. “It’s still quite a distance to the other bunker so we need to keep moving. With only four of us, I would rather not sleep in the caves.”
“Agreed,” Benjamin chimed in from behind us. I had forgotten he was there.
“Very well,” I said, and we trudged on.
Author’s Note: That’s it for this week. New posts are uploaded every Tuesday, so be sure to check back next week. I would love to have your input. Please share your comments below or send a message through the contact page.