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Author Topic: Extract from CHAPTER 1: Invasion Earth (Book 1 of Battle for the Solar System)  (Read 56 times)

SimonHall@TWZ

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Extact ... full chapter attached ...

THUD!  A massive sound this time.  Much closer.  And behind us.  Landing so close we felt the shock of impact as well as hearing the sound. Instinctively from our training we scattered and took cover, as if under artillery fire.  Turning from behind the trunk of one of the oak trees I saw, about three hundred yards down the road, a massive dust cloud was ballooning in the road.  Pieces of debris from the road fell to the ground about half-way between us and the cloud, bouncing of rooves and windows.  Slowly I could make out a distinct blue colour within the dust. 

CRASH! THUD!  This time an ear-shattering sound, and I turned to see the roof of our barracks suddenly collapsed with beams broken in all direction, tiles smashed all around, and flames licking the dry joists.  It looked as if it had been crushed by a giant rock from the sky.  Dust rose from the inside and an eerie blue glow could be seen through the now shattered windows. 

Sarge was decisive as ever, "Corporal Denham, take Section 2 down the road towards the cloud ahead. Keep in cover in case this is artillery of some form and watch out for that blue gas.”  Denham was up and had his soldiers moving off with him moving from wall, to hedge, to tree trunk.

Clarke continued, “Section 1 with me, face the barracks and keep to cover."  With that command our training cut in, giving temporary relief from the fear now building inside us. In a matter of seconds, our ten riflemen are in good position, rifles at the ready.

More crashes from inside the barracks and the blue colour is more obvious. As we wait there is also a definite but quite sound – a sucking sound as if inhaling deeply. 

Suddenly part of the walls either side of the main doorway start to crumble. Pointing and mortar began to crumble from the gaps between stones.  I glanced down the road to see the dust cloud starting to clear and deep within its blur the shape of a man was forming, but not a man.  It was larger and bulkier, and stood as tall as a nearby building. 

Sergeant Clarke was now looking puzzled, “this isn’t artillery and there is something in there.  Whatever comes out fire a volley on my command. Ready rifles.”

The wall of the barracks leaned outwards, wavered and with a sudden crash it fell forward creating a wave of dust that rolled over us.  A vague shape of a giant humanoid was visible through the dust.  "Fire!" 

The deafening blast of ten Martini-Henri rifles followed as ten 0.45" bullets explode from their barrels. My ears felt numb from the sound of the blasts and I could hear Sarge yell "Fire at will!" and the sounds of gunfire from behind us as Denham and his section opened fire.

I swear that I have never imagined such a thing as came at us from the wreckage of our barracks.  Two arms and legs it had - just like us - but little else did it have in common with us. 

CRYSTAL ALIEN with BG by Simon Hall, on Flickr

It stood more than 10 feet tall and its body had massive stocky proportions. It was thickset at the shoulders with no neck to speak of and a single giant glistening white eye in the centre of its forehead – rather like the cyclops I knew from an ancient Greek myth. Its body looked to be made from a red rock-like material with an indented surface, appearing almost as if little streams of black ink were running through red rocks.

The beast barely faltered its step as it smashed its way through brick and stone that would have required a dozen men and a battering ram to damage. The ground quaked as it moved steadily towards us, carrying half of our barracks door in one arm, and a hammer that was larger than me in its other hand.

Behind the beast a trail of blue smoke poured from its back, giving a sort of blue halo effect around its head.  I was reminded of the gold halos often used around angels in churches - but this was no angel.

The unearthly creature, at the same time terrifying and majestic, threw aside the remains the doorway and continued methodically towards us a little faster than walking pace.  Every few seconds a bullet struck it chipping away pieces of red and leaving patches of black showing, but its pace didn’t slow.

The ground shook with its every step, it was clearly very heavy indeed.  Three bullets hit almost at the same time and it was encouraging to see it stagger slightly from the impact.  For all its size, it clearly wasn't impervious to a bombardment of lead.   Another wave of bullets truck home and I could hear Sarge egging the boys on.

The creature reached down with its left hand and pulled a blue globe, a little smaller than a football, from its waist and threw it underarm towards us.  It rolled quickly towards the right hand of our firing line, my fellow soldiers unaware of it as they quickly opened, loaded and closed their breech rifles.  In its other hand the brute lifted its hammer and accelerated towards our line. 

Coming to my senses (I realized I had been stunned into inactivity), I yelled a warning: "look out for that blue globe."  I called just as the blue ball came to a stop close to the right hand of our line.  I ducked out of the way to the left and couldn't stop myself from dragging Sgt. Clarke and Hendie a little away. 

I recall seeing one of our privates, hearing my warning, look down at the blue globe just before it exploded.  I will never forget how he raised his eyebrows, as if amused by some trinket of a pretty present, before the blue flash consumed him. 

Searing heat knocked me to my knees.  Dazed I look up to see three of our soldiers on the ground and two staggering injured on their knees, scorched and bleeding.  Sarge was face down on the paving stones; Hendie was on his knees pointing the flag defiantly towards the beast.

The creature pushed on towards us. Now only about 10 paces away I could see two bright yellow spots shining underneath its single large white eye, looking like the stripes of native American Indian war paint. The creature veered left towards our wounded and prone comrades, clearly intent on finishing them off before dealing with the rest of us.

Reaching our stunned and wounded comrades, with a single sweep of its giant mace it smashed the two wounded privates into the air above us. I was startled by the feeling of warm blood hitting my face and was transfixed as their two crumpled frames crashed to the ground behind me.  Still in shock and expecting nothing but death to come soon, my eyes focused into the distance to see section 2 being similarly mauled by another of the giant beasts, this one wielding two of the horrible hammers.

I turn back in time to watch the beast crush the skulls of our three stunned soldiers one after another, just using its feet to do so. Three brief stamps and three lost comrades.  It turned towards me and its single white eye seemed to burn into me.  I felt a hand pulling my sleeve, Hendie was dragging me away while unloading his pistol, putting six bullets into the creature’s body.

As it came close to us our one remaining rifleman, Private Smith, fired a 0.45” straight into its chest at close range. The beast slowed and was showing several wounds where large chunks of its surface had been blown away by bullet strikes. 

10ft, 5ft ... I stood frozen with fear.  In a desperate act, I threw my drumsticks at the beast; for all the good that would do, I do know not.   Then Hendie was at my side wielding the standard like a spear and thrusting it into the creature’s body.  The tip bashed around the hard exterior but seemed to find a black weak spot and penetrated a little.

I see the giant mace swinging in a wide arc towards me and I freeze expecting the crushing impact and darkness. But instead I am suddenly tumbled to the ground.   Clarke has recovered and thrown himself at me pushing me out of the way of the deadly strike, but I can hear that Private Smith has not been so lucky. 

Clarke rolled off me and was back in his feet in instant.  The back of his tunic was torn, but his rifle and bayonet were up and at the ready.  "Hendie, aim for the black patches between the rock bits.  For Queen and country.  Let's take it down laddie!" 

With skill and speed defying his age, Clarke ducked under the swinging hammer, finds a black patch with his bayonet and pushed with all his strength.  Hendie found a similar gap and pushed the spear, which bent close to breaking before suddenly plunging its way deep into the creature.  The creature raised its head as if in pain but made no sound at all. 

The creature could not lift its club anymore - somehow, we had damaged it.  With a swing of its free hand it swept Sarge away and he flew ten paces off to the side rolled and lay still.  With a scream of "die you demon," I threw myself at the stock of Sarge's rifle, which was still hanging from its body, and drove it in to the full depth of its bayonet.

The creature stalled and started to shake - gently at first like shivering, but then so violently that I let go of the rifle and Hendie did same with the standard. The flag is beginning to burn from the heat.  The shivering within seconds became shaking and with a shudder the creature’s body begins to crumble, large chunks of red rock falling from its frame. Blue smoke spread in all direction from it, and it was then that the strange smell in the air registered with me, a smell rather like sour milk.  As we both rolled away, we watched its demise.  It crumbled down to a red and black dust within a cloud of blue.


« Last Edit: October 22, 2019, 10:48:17 AM by SimonHall@TWZ »