Wired for War A Novel Online - J.D. Gallagher

Planet: Ashlulu

‘Why do you make fun of Humans? It better not be because you think they have such a high rate of illegal immigrants. I hate to break it to you, but we didn’t exactly land on this planet lawfully. Your great-grandfather flew in on a Variable Far-range Interplanetary Hyper-Cruiser before fighting the natives in 2150. Yes, that’s right, honey, we’re illegal immigrants too.’

‘The natives being the very cultured Basilisks.’

‘They were here before us,’ Aola retorted as she brushed her blonde hair out of her face and stared into the dark jungle.

‘Oh, yes,’ Narobi said shaking his head in disbelief, ‘this would be the semi-material, bovine race. They had a single eye. They were tripedial. They could discharge sticky fluid from their bodies to trap and ensnare others, or to make webs. They were a race of hunters. They were mutating quickly. Their society was split by gender - males and females were separate cultures. They disliked wearing clothing. Their government was a confederacy. They were the fallen remnants of a once-mighty empire...they were animals, and if they had pissed off and left us alone we wouldn’t have had to blast their furry behinds from the face of the planet.’

‘So when you don’t understand something, you attack it, when it fights backs, you wage a war until an entire species becomes extinct?’

‘Finally,’ Narobi muttered as he walked through the dense jungle on the southern most points of the planet Ashlulu. ‘Somebody understands me.’

‘You know if they met someone like you when they first made contact I wouldn’t blame them for attacking.’

‘I got something,’ Narobi said as he stared into the screen of his Securicon, a small flat device strapped to the back of his hand.

‘Stats?’

‘Oh-oh.’

‘What is it?’

‘We should probably report back.’

‘Tell me what it is,’ Aola hissed angrily.

‘Up ahead, five hundred yards, crash site, we got a device, large, signals. This is a craft, but it isn’t going anywhere. It's as good as dead. It has eleven human occupants. All dead-‘

‘So what are you moaning about,’ Aola said.

‘All deceased except for three. I got heart beats, blood pressure, body-heat and...something that is being logged as classified.’

‘No way.’

‘Yes. We report back to base. The guys at the border will pick them up.’

‘No. Let’s check out the crash site first.’

‘We have orders.’

‘And we have weapons,’ Aola said lifting her gun up. ‘They are alive, Narobi. You know what this means?’

‘That we must arrest and detain them for Border Control.’

‘That we have a chance to see The Blueprints.’

‘No. We return. We report. Border Control takes it from there. We do not have orders to chase and apprehend.’

‘But we do have orders to assess the crash site.’

For a moment, Narobi looked blank. He was eighteen years old, and this was his first year on Detail Duty. Aola pounced on the indecision she saw in his brown eyes, where the full moon and its much smaller sister moon hung on the night, sky reflected in his pupils. ‘We must follow orders.’

Before Narobi could answer, Aola was running through the crash site. He raised his gun and flipped a switch on the side. A blue light shot out and lit up the jungle as he chased after Aola.

Aola reached inside the pocket on the side of her right leg and removed a small neat triangular mask which she slipped over her face. It hissed and sucked at her flesh before becoming securely attached to her face, covering both her nose and mouth. She walked through the green gas hanging on the night air.

As she stared at the triangular metallic craft sitting lopsided in the middle of a small but fast flowing stream, Narobi ran up beside her.

‘How did fourteen people fit into that?’ Aola whispered.

‘They are human. They will do anything.’

Aola walked into the stream and towards the craft. Plumes of smoke rose up into the night air. She looked over her shoulder. Narobi had his gun raised as he covered her. He gave a quick nod before she reached down and pressed an orange triangular button which was flashing intermittently.

Nothing happened.

‘Bust,’ Aola said. ‘This thing is all but destroyed. Some kind of craft. Very crude...but it did the job...almost. Looks like it sustained damage upon entering our atmosphere.’

‘Try opening it,’ Narobi said, and now he was genuinely curious.

‘I thought you didn’t want to see what The Blueprints looked like.’

‘I never said that. It would be interesting and nobody else is here.’

Aola reached down, and her fingers touched the hot metallic of the craft before she pulled