Read Essence: The E.S.T. Org. Online
Authors: William Fernandez
“Knock, knock. We’re home!”
“Hey, why are you pasty white?” Isa asks Willy.
“It’s happened,” Willy replies.
“What? What’s happened?” Isa asks.
“There are thousands of them. The cloning, it’s starting.”
“What do you mean?” Isa asks.
Willy tells them about Z’s call. “Thousands of clones are now ready.”
“Oh no! Already?! But how can we stop so many?” Nicky asks.
“Z told me he’d call us tomorrow with more information.”
“Okay guys, so I guess we sit around and wait for his call to see what we do next,” Isa responds.
Just before bed, they do some more fight training and work on their morphing.
But what they wake up to the next morning is something they never expected to see. It’s all over the news. The world felt like it had stopped.
The reporter on the TV announces, “We have the latest pictures of the small contingent of aliens. Four green aliens, approximately four feet tall, appear to shake hands with the president. They have met with government officials and have promised peace. Also, they have agreed to share many of their advanced technologies. Ladies and gentlemen, we are no longer alone.”
The three sit in stunned silence for what feels like hours.
“But they weren’t even in their true forms. They looked like the little green aliens from a bad fifties Sci-fi film,” Nicky notes.
Willy agrees. “They’re all about deception; who knows what they’re up to.”
The ringing phone breaks the silence.
Willy answers, “Yeah Z, we just saw the news. Okay we’ll be there. In the garage … yeah, okay.”
“Well, what did he say?” Isa asks Willy.
“He said we’ll be driven to the church. You know, I just realized we’ve never looked in the garage.”
“But we’re not sixteen yet. What if we get pulled over?” Isa asks.
“No need, this one drives itself,” Willy smiles.
“Oh, so the ghost driver will get the ticket, gotcha,” Isa says.
The three enter the garage.
Nicky shakes his head in disbelief and puts his hand on his forehead, “Oh no … another black Prius.”
“Don’t worry, this one is friendly. Get in,” says Willy.
The interior of the car is far from stock. This is an alien craft camouflaged as a Prius. The interior seems to be made out of the same Plexiglas like material they encountered before, making the car transparent when looking out. They could see all around them, as if they were floating in mid-air. Floating Chreé language and images surround the interior of the wall, just like the room they freed their parents from. Finishing off the interior are four, black, leather like captain chairs, with more floating images just above the arm rests.
“Welcome,” a pleasant voice comes from the car. “Your destination has been preprogrammed. Will there be a genre of music you would like to select?”
“Rock!” Isa yells out.
begins blaring. “Nice! AC/DC.” The car backs out and drives them to the church.
When they enter the church, Z is already waiting.
“Good to see you Z,” Willy says.
“Likewise, my young friends,” Z says. “As was shared with the three of you previously, our protocol does not allow for classified information to be shared with those outside of their own organization. As I am part of the E.S.T. organization, it is against our laws for any Chreé from Overwatch to share information with us. However, there are some brave brethren allies sympathetic to our cause within Overwatch who risk their freedom to provide us with intelligence. Yet, we did not have any forewarning that this was being planned. This contrived outing of sorts has shaken many of us, but it seems they feared exposure, specifically from you three.”
“So they ousted themselves because they feared we would? It doesn’t make sense. And why did they disguise their true forms? And what’s their next move?” Willy asks visibly shaken.
“Many questions, but I am sorry, I do not know the answers. Information is now much more difficult to acquire. In time perhaps I can answer them, but the more pressing matter for now is your clones.”
“So how can we possibly stop them?” Nicky asks.
“It will be the most difficult undertaking you have embarked upon thus far, but please remember why you all survived when so many did not. You never give up. I will let you know of any further changes.”
With that Z, Nicky, Willy, and Isa leave the church unsure of their next move.
They are back in the safe house. After a few hours Nicky is bored, and when Nicky’s bored, his curiosity takes over.
“So, let’s say they force a merge with The President. How do they make people believe he’s The President? Wouldn’t someone be able to tell? I mean the whole world watches The President,” Nicky asks.
Willy answers, “Well, Z told me unlike us, they’ve mastered accessing the memories and knowledge of whoever they merge with emulating their personalities, sense of humor, and even idiosyncrasies. No one can tell it’s not them, even those closest to them.”
“Idiosyncrasies; they are the unique way we behave,” Isa tells Nicky.
“I knew that! Anyway so … just a single touch can capture a soul? And what about us? Could they capture our souls?” Nicky asks.
“Yeah, just one touch is all they need, but they can only do it to one soul at a time. Z doesn’t think it can be done to us since we were merged with Chreé.”
“Cool. That’s a relief. Still, I don’t see how we can stop them. They’ve been executing their plan for centuries,” Nicky says.
“I don’t think they expected us. We’re more powerful than they imagined. I’m sure they’re going to want us out of the way eventually,” Isa says.
“You’re right …” Nicky agrees.
Nicky, Isa, and Willy start back with their daily routine of training, playing X-Box, swimming, and watching TV. But after a few minutes Nicky grows restless. “Okay, I’m bored.”
Nicky turns on the television to catch the latest news.
The anchorman delivered the following report, “The alien visitors have stated they would study and should have a cure for cancer within months …”
Nicky quickly turns off the TV. “We’re in trouble. These guys are going to be loved.”
“We need a miracle,” Willy states.
The phone rings.
“Let’s hope it’s our miracle,” Isa says.
It’s the call they’ve been waiting for. Z finally gives them the location of the cloning facility.
Just before they get in the car, Isa tells Willy and Nicky, “I’m proud of you guys, I think we make a cool little family.” They all smile.
“Now, in the words of my father, let’s go kick some ass,” Nicky tells them as they all high five.
The car drives them to a secluded location in the desert. Suddenly, the car begins to levitate. The exterior transforms. It looks exactly like the ship they had encountered earlier, shiny, black, and oblong.
“Okay, even I’ll admit it this is pretty awesome,” Willy says.
“No autopilot guys. I’m flying this thing. Remember, I’m an expert on the Xbox, I have many hours on a flight sim. This thing can’t be that hard,” Nicky tells his comrades.
He ‘grabs’ a holographic flight control wheel and flies them straight into the desert floor.
“Are we still alive?” Isa asks slowly opening her eyes.
“I think so … nice, yeah just like the Xbox,” Willy smirks.
“Hold on. I got this,” Nicky tells them confidently.
“No! We’ll stick with autopilot!” Willy yells in protest.
A holographic image appears in the center of the ship and shows their route.
“That looks like Russia,” Isa says as she looks at the holographic image.
“Shall I navigate to the waypoint?” the ship asks.
“Yes,” Willy answers.
The alien ship takes off vertically at about a forty-five degree angle. When they are just above the clouds, the speed begins to increase and suddenly the three are thrown back into their seats.
They cannot believe the unnerving silence. They expected loud rockets like the spacecraft and aircraft they know. But, the alien ship is not propelled by rockets. No human has ever traveled this fast. They are moving at twice the speed of the space shuttle.
They arrive in eastern Russia relatively close to Alaska in less than half an hour. The three see an expansive valley with green, rolling, grassy mountains and a sparkling river. The ship touches down near the river.
“That was the most intense thing ever!” Nicky yells.
“We have to do that again, but only after I throw up,” Isa says holding her hand to her mouth.
“Please travel to this location.” The ship interrupts them. The holographic image shows them where the entrance is. It was about ten miles northeast of their location, past the river at the bottom of a mountain.
The three step out, adapt, and cautiously race towards the facility.
They arrive a few seconds later. Like many of the things the Chreé have built, this facility is underground.
“I sense our clones. Many of them are guarding the facility. Z told me on the call that he was able to modify the cloning process without being detected. These clones should not be able to sense us like the first six,” noted Isa.
“Really? When were you going to tell us this?” Willy asks Isa.
“Sorry, in all the excitement I forgot,” Isa apologizes.
“Okay, well, that will give us a tactical advantage,” Willy says.
“Yeah, and we’ll need any advantage we can get,” Nicky agrees.
They huddle behind a large rock just outside the facility.
“Careful, guys. Even when adapting to our surroundings, they may be able to make us out because of their enhanced sight,” Isa warns them.
“Isa, could you sense where some of them are? Maybe we could find a way in,” Willy says.
“I sense a large group; follow me.” They follow Isa. “Here, just below us. It must be where they’re being cloned.”
“Let me give it a shot.” Nicky manifests his claws and starts to dig.
“Wait. Slow down. We don’t want them to hear us,” Willy warns.
After a few minutes, Nicky reaches the outer wall.
“This has to be several feet of concrete. If we break in, our stealthy entrance will be compromised,” Willy says.
“Wait a minute … we look just like all of them. So why not just walk in? You told us Z says he modified the cloning process so they can’t sense us,” Nicky suggests.
“I agree. It’s worth a shot, but where’s the front door?” Isa asks.
“I have an idea. We spoke about our unique abilities. You know what bears do best, besides eat? They smell. I would guess the strongest smells will come from the entrance. Just follow my nose.” Although they have a sense of smell vastly superior to any earthly organism, Nicky’s is far more acute because of his merger with a grizzly bear. Nicky begins sniffing for the entrance.
“Smell? This isn’t going to work,” Willy says skeptically.
“Trust me, my little Chuck Norris.” Nicky starts walking. Nicky leads them to what he believes to be the entrance.
“This has to be it,” Nicky declares.
“I doubt it,” Willy responds.
They look for a way in until the surface opens and a door lifts vertically from the ground. An Isa and Willy clone walk out. The three quickly enter.
“I told you I’d find it,” Nicky smirks at Willy.
“Even if their senses are nowhere as sensitive as ours, they may eventually figure out who we are,” Isa states.
“Yeah, let’s destroy this place and get the hell out of here, as quickly as possible,” Willy declares.
They begin to casually walk down a hall.
“I see. As usual the Chreé have the best interior decorators money can buy. Can one of them not merge with Martha Stewart?” Nicky laughs. The other two don’t find him as quite funny as he finds himself.
A clone of Nicky approaches the kids.
“Careful. When he smells us, he may be able to tell we’re not one of them,” Isa warns them.
Nicky decides to have a conversation with him. “Hey! Um … Sorry me, I mean clone, I mean, ahh … forget it.” Nicky punches him in the jaw and knocks him out. “Ha! I just knocked myself out … literally.”
A strange deep, almost robotic, voice comes through telepathically; it’s a Watcher.
“What has transpired?” The Watcher inquires in the Chreé language.**
“Our brethren was not following protocol. He was neutralized for disposal,” Willy tells the Watcher in a monotone voice.**
“Acknowledged,” the Watcher responds.**
“Phew! I overheard a guard say something like that once,” says Willy relieved. “We have to find and take out the Watchers first. Isa, can you sense them?”
Isa closes her eyes. “Yeah, I sense them, follow me.”
They try to walk inconspicuously through miles of white corridors to a small door.
“Here … we have to be fast, or they’ll alert everyone,” Isa warns them.
“I’ll take the door. Ready, go!” exclaims Willy.
With one kick, the door explodes open. There are five startled Watchers standing inside. The three immediately take all five of them out.
“Do you sense any others?” Willy asks Isa.
“No. That’s all of them.”
“Now let’s find where they make these things,” Willy says.
Willy closes his eyes and concentrates on his enhanced hearing. He has the most sensitive of the three, a trait from the grey wolf. “The most intense sounds are coming from down this hall. Follow me.”
They arrive at large double doors minutes later.
“Wow! Bigger white doors!” Nicky grins. They open the doors and are stunned.
The three kids stare at rows of thousands of clones, all of them immersed in see-through basins full of a blue, gelatinous-like substance.
“Man, this is so weird. It’s like a bunch of us sleeping naked in Jell-O,” Nicky observes.
“Remember guys … they‘ll be used to enslave us all. We have to do this!” Isa reminds them.
A clone enters the room. He is wearing what looks like a clear, plastic suit over his dark, blue coveralls. The same coveralls they are all wearing. “Why are you not in ‘decam’?” he asks.
“Uh … decam? Oh yeah sorry we were just about to …”
“Order of termination for disobedience. Leave now and dispose of yourselves in the termination room.”
“Yeah, okay. We’ll get right on that.” As Willy kicks the clone in the head, he slips on some of the blue, gelatinous liquid that leaked onto the floor from one of the basins. He just grazes him barely knocking him down.
“The traitors are here!” The clone sends this message telepathically to all of the clones near him. “Sense them brethren; they are in the birthing room.”**
“Hurry!” Willy yells, but it’s too late. The giant doors open and dozens of clones start pouring in.
“Oh crap!” Nicky yells. “Wow, that is a lot of sexy … the ones that look like me anyway.”
“Oh, shut up!” Isa yells.
“We have an advantage. We can telepathically link, so we can tell who’s who once the fight starts. They’ll be confused,” Willy says.
Suddenly, a gunshot is fired. They all hear the bang. Isa is hit in the leg. She doesn’t even realize it. Just like the body attacks a foreign bacteria or virus, her body almost instantaneously heals itself and dissolves the bullet.
Isa looks down, «I think I was shot! But I don’t feel anything! I was shot. There’s a hole in my coverall. Whatever the Chreé did to us seems to be working.»
More shots are fired, but now the three are expecting them. The three kids begin to concentrate on the warrior and animal spirits that are now a part of them. Willy runs towards them slashing and biting anyone near him. Nicky starts killing any clone in his path.
After a few minutes of battling, Isa kills the last few with her bow and arrow.
«That was too easy. Hurry before more clones get here!» Isa yells. Using her manifested bow and arrow, she quickly starts destroying the alien machines around them. Her arrows travel faster than bullets.
The Plexiglas like machines around the perimeter and many of the basins are on fire, explosions erupt everywhere. Technology developed over hundreds of years is destroyed in seconds.
The double doors slide open again.
«More clones! There must be hundreds of them!» Willy shouts.
The battle is fierce, bloody, and chaotic. It is close quarter fighting. Wave after wave of clones pour in. Bodies lie everywhere in pools of blood. Sounds of screams, grunts, bone crunching, and the unmistakable and disturbing thuds of bodies impacting the walls and floor are deafening. The reverberations can be heard throughout the miles of corridors.
«There are only about ten left near the entrance!» Isa yells with as much energy as she could muster.
Nicky limps up to them. Using his sonic weapon, he growls and blows them back towards the wall. All of them fall unconscious.
An eerie silence surrounds the beaten warriors. Thousands of clones now lay motionless in this enormous room. It is a gory scene. Isa, Willy, and Nicky are bloody and badly injured. Their bodies are almost overwhelmed by all of their injuries.
“We have to get out now!” Willy yells through the pain.
They try to run out quickly, but their wounds prevent their bodies from healing as they normally would. Exhausted, they began to slowly head towards the exit.