Snapping Larry and Mac out of their shock proved more difficult than we thought. Neither wanted to believe what they had just seen, not that I blamed them. I couldn’t.
Hell. I didn’t even want to believe it. Yet, there it was.
I knew that the problem was bigger than the four of us. It was probably bigger than all those we might find to ally ourselves to. This was because none of us had been in the military.
I had grown up in one of those religions that now flocked to the aliens in the belief that they were God returning to reclaim what was his. They had taught, until I had long since left, that we were to be pacifists. We were not to fight the “world’s” wars. We were to be witness to them and against the world itself.
We were taught a lot of bull shit. Including a running to a ‘place of safety’. A sort of religious hiding place where we would wait out the war of ‘Armageddon’–the war to end all wars. Looking back, it was all a bunch of lies based on misinterpretations meant to make a description of an internal battle into a physical event.
Now, man had lost that war. Both inwardly and outwardly. They had accepted an illusion for the truth and were about to pay for it.
Still, those of us fighting to free humanity would have need of just such a place. Some place the aliens could not find. Some place they could not survive.
But we would have to invent a way for us to survive. After all, even I knew that we would not be able to survive anything the aliens could not survive without some sort of personal life support. Yet, none of us were scientifically or imaginatively persuaded enough to dream up anything that elaborate.
“Lar,” I stated, “can you check the local university to see if the professors in the science department are still free?”
“Sh-sure, man,” He nodded, “why?”
“We need a system to get messages through to all within the science community who have still not been rounded up by the aliens,” I began, “we need to gahter them together into our own group.”
“Why?” He inquired, still clueless as to what we were really doing.
“we sure as hell can’t make personal life support systems ourselves,” I gave him a sideways look, “we need science for that. technology is a part of science.”
“Oh,” he replied dumbly, “I see.”
“Git started, man,” I implored him, “we don’t have time to waste!”
he scrambled to his feet shakily and went to complete the task I had sent him to do.
“Mac,” I shook my other friend out of his stupor, “Your cousin still in the service?”
“Yup,” he nodded.
“Go call him,” I responded, “tell him to gather all the military he can. We’ll need all we can get.”
“Right away,” he jumped up and disappeared.
“Now what?” Billy inquired.
“Now,” I smiled grimly, “we wait.”
“How would we get an S.O.S message out without the aliens picking up on it?” I inquired, looking at the astronomer who sat across from me.
“We don’t,” he shook his head, “at least, not with our current technology. It was, after all, a message that brought them. they will likely pick up anything we send from this point on.”
“Can we encrypt in such a way that it would sound like gibberish or somethin’?” I pressed.
“Sure,” he averred, “but it might seem that way to any we might want help from as well.”
“Is there any way to make the alien communication ship go down just long enough to get a single message through?” I asked.
“Possibly,” he nodded, “if someone could get close enough to it for a short time, just long enough to slip one message through, without getting caught.”
“True,” I frowned, “that is a problem. getting close enough without being discovered and captured.”
“Would an EMP work?” Mac inquired.
“It might,” he nodded, “if we had one.”
“We have the remnants of the military headed our way with vehicles and weapons,” Mac responded, “not sure how well our weapons will work on the aliens, though.”
“bullets might wound them,” he admitted, “and even kill them, but that is still unknown.”
“Do they have any kind of body armor?” I queried.
“The soldiers seem to have a light armor,” he stated, “though how effective it is is not known.”
“So,” Larry sat back presumptuously, “Jeff’s theory about finding a place where they cannot survive as a sort of place of safety is the only sure fire way of defeating them.”
“yes,” he replied, “and no. As far as a base is concerned, it is the only true way to stay safe, the idea of finding some place inhospitable. The only problem is that it would also be the end of us as well–unless we were to design a cross between armor and individual life support to counter the effect of our eventual base.”
“Pressure suits with oxygen filtration,” I smirked, “combined with impervious armor.”
“Precisely,” he grinned, “but we neither have the materials nor the manpower to design, let along build, such a thing.”
“So,” I looked away, “we return to the question of getting an S.O.S. out.”
“Yes,” he admitted, “we return to that question.” He paused for a few minutes, as if in thought. “We’ll attempt the EMP idea first. If it fails, we will search for another way.”
“you think they are immune to Earth’s viruses?” I looked up, an idea forming in my mind.
“There’s no telling what kind of viruses they have been exposed to,” he began, “but I am quite sure that they have not been exposed to those of our planet. We can always try a viral attack at some point. Good thinking.” He slapped my back. “I’ll make a scientist out of you yet.”
“One step at a time, Doc,” I grinned sheepishly, “one step at a time.”