Cole mentioned pancakes, the door did its whooshing trick again, and everything started spinning. A tremendous pressure was suddenly in the center of my forehead as vivid images began streaming like a television set in my mind. Running through an alien wilderness trying to find someone who is missing. The sound of yelling. A feeling of extreme urgency followed by a red and white sign. Water’s edge and a spinning shape. Something dangerous. My stomach began churning uncontrollably. Must stay away from the mouth of whatever this is. Overwhelming power that warps everything around it. Have to get out of here right now. The impact of the floor brings a sudden and painful end to the profound immersion followed by blackness. I wake up in the lounge with a splitting headache and surrounded by monsters.
“Are you OK? Sounds like you had another blackout,” asked Dr. Sophia as she elbowed her way past the giant owlman.
“Everything hurts. So I guess at this point my condition is unchanged,” I replied trying to laugh but that hurt too much. “It was some kind of message in my mind. I hope it wasn’t the future.”
She went on to explain to me that Jerry had picked up an SOS transmission from a nearby human outpost called Trevia 7 exactly when I was passing out. Repeating the visions for them proved every bit as unpleasant as the first time. The nausea I had experienced was unlike anything I could ever remember encountering. It didn’t take long for a room full of people to start looking at me like I had two heads. Can’t say that I blame them. I don’t know what is happening to me either and the whole thing is starting to get pretty strange. Thankfully, Zap-Zap, as always, is right on time. Coffee interrupts the uncomfortable silence as another damn fine cup of coffee floats towards my hand. There was that green shimmer again. Whoever programmed that coffee robot was a genius.
“We need to get you up and going pretty quickly. We’re not far from Trevia 7 and if those visions are accurate we are going to need you,” stated the voice of Cole who must be behind me.
“I’ll be alright. Just keep going. I’m good at that. Zap-Zap will have me up and moving in no time.”
Well, I was wrong about that. Zap-Zap’s coffee knocked me out completely and I woke up in a snug fitting leather seat that was shaking. Somebody at least had the common sense to strap me in. What they forgot was something to bite down on. Walt and Steve are strapped in across the room from me and they seem to be having a good time watching me squirm. There were a few moments of extreme turbulence and then it was smooth sailing the rest of the way down. We are in a large round polished metal room straight out of the 1950’s. Cole is sitting off to my right in front of a bank of blinking lights and curved rectangular windows. He must be flying this thing. The sky rushing past the windows has a cool green tint to it and the clouds are whispy with a slight glow.
“This is your captain, we have reached our first departure point, air quality here is exceptional, I want to thank you for flying Diagonal22 Airlines,” said Cole over the intercom. Steve unbuckled himself, got up and walked to the edge of the room where a door opened in the side of the craft. There was no sound of rushing wind or any noticeable change in cabin pressure. A force field maybe? Or witchcraft? The giant gray owlman put on a set of glowing red goggles which fit snugly on his face and then he jumped out into the alien sky. Something about those goggles bothered me but it was hard to focus with things happening so quickly. A few minutes later Walt jumped out of the same door only this time I could see terrain outside. Lush greenery that reminds me a lot of Earth. Shortly after that I felt the craft land.
“Whatever you do, make sure to stay close to me so you don’t get lost, and keep your eye out for anything peculiar. I didn’t pick up any signs of life which is puzzling because someone had to send that distress signal. Walt and Steve haven’t reported seeing anyone either. Do not touch the exterior of the ship or you’ll wind up back in Med-Bay,” Cole said tensely as he slung one of the fancy new assault rifles over his back.
A small ramp had extended from the bottom of the door which we used to exit the craft. The landscape was absolutely beautiful. It was like Earth, only greener and wilder looking. A place that has never experienced deforestation or excess human consumption. We had landed on top of a hill overlooking a small lake with a cluster of gleaming metal buildings around it. The air was cool and damp and a mist hung in the air below us. I turned around to look at the ship and was stunned to see a gleaming chrome flying saucer sitting just above the ground. What an impossible sight. The lower portion of the craft shimmered with a faint purple and blue glow that moved like an aurora over the surface. It looked like a movie prop.
“What in the…..” I began to stammer.
“We found it in the hanger of an abandoned military freighter right before Walt and Steve found us. It was the craziest thing and unlike anything else in the hanger. I just thought it looked cool but it wound up being exactly what we needed. Handles like a high-speed fighter craft and is armed to the teeth with energy weapons. Some of those are even invisible. There is also some sort of cloaking mechanism which makes this thing impossible to see unless it’s right on top of you and it’s powered by water,” replied Cole who looked like a kid in a candy store.
“Why does it look like a 1950’s movie prop?”
“I don’t know. We could find no record of anything like it. Most of it is very similar to human technology but parts of it are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. Looked like it was brand new off the showroom floor when we found it. Not a speck of dust on it, that bothered me for a while,” responded Cole who looked puzzled before turning to head down the hill.
As we got a short distance from the saucer it just vanished like somebody turned off a switch. A little chill shot through me when it happened. No shortage of crazy around here right now. The air had an almost sweet smell to it. Once we got further down the hill something started feeling off. No birdsongs, no wildlife, no insects, just a deafening eery silence. I started to feel slightly disoriented like we were standing on top of an invisible merry-go-round. It would be easy to get lost in a place like this. We exited the trees near the encampment of buildings by the water’s edge. More silence and the disorienting feeling is getting stronger.
“Do you feel that?” I asked Cole.
“Yep, something off about this place,” he replied.
The door on the nearest building was wide open and not a soul to be seen anywhere. I briefly catch sight of Steve perched on a giant tree on the other side of the lake. Inside the door is a modest but futuristic looking living quarters. There is a blinking red led on top of a communication console in the corner of the room. This must be where the distress signal came from but there are no signs of who sent it. The silence is deafening as we continue to search the other buildings with similar results. Whoever was here is not here now. As we exit the building I catch sight of something on the roof of one of the buildings we just searched. It’s someone boot hanging over the edge of the roof.
“What in the hell, that was not there a minute ago,” exclaimed Cole.
We quickly make our way onto the roof via an access ladder on the side of the building. The boot is attached to a person who is laying face down and wearing some sort of official looking jumpsuit. Cole kneels down to take a pulse and the body starts jerking like it’s having a seizure. We roll the body over on it’s back and the person looks likes a male scientist of some sort. His body is jerking violently as we try to hold him down. He suddenly takes a deep breath, sits straight up, and begins gasping for air. We were unable to hold him down as he did this with tremendous force. It took some time but we managed to get him down thanks to Walt who came out of the forest long enough to help us.
“Tell me you saw what happened Steve,” said Cole tersely over the comm channel.
“Nope, I didn’t see anything and I was watching the area the whole time. It was like I turned my head for a second and he just fell out of the sky right before you came out the door. Something strange is going on here,” replied Steve who sounded more than a little concerned.