Read Pit Bulls vs Aliens Online

Authors: Neal Wooten

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BOOK: Pit Bulls vs Aliens
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Thomas laughed so hard he almost fell out of the chair. “She got you there.”

“Touché,” Dr. McNair said. “Please continue.”

Sally ran a finger along the dotted line on the paper. “This young whale, and several others we monitor, has begun migrating along the currents. These are highly unusual patterns. And it’s not just that.”

Thomas and Dr. McNair were paying close attention.

“In the last few years, there have been many reports of ocean mammals acting very odd, even attacking divers. This is not their usual behavior.”

“Why?” Thomas asked.

She shrugged. “We just don’t know.”

“They are mammals as you say,” Dr. McNair said, “so why would any mammal do this? Why would land mammals do this?”

Sally looked at Thomas as if afraid to answer. “Well, there’s only one reason we know of. This is how mammals act if there’s a very dangerous or foreign predator around. Some dogs have attacked their own masters when bears or other large predators come within their vicinity.”

Thomas sat back and smiled. “I knew it. I’m telling you; it’s aliens.”

Dr. McNair looked at Sally. “Is that what you’re saying?”

“No. I never even considered that.”

“But now?” Thomas asked.

“No, not even now,” Sally snapped.

“Boy, you sure are pretty when you’re angry,” Thomas said with a grin. “Do you have a boyfriend?”

“Can we please stick to the matter at hand?” Sally asked.

Thomas continued to push it. “We can make this the matter at hand.”

“I don’t have a boyfriend,” Sally said, giving in. “I don’t need or want one either. I don’t have time. And even if I did, it wouldn’t be a wacko who believes in the bogeyman.”

“I like a feisty woman,” Thomas said.

“Dr. McNair, please, a little help here.”

Dr. McNair had been taking the opportunity of them sparring over boyfriend-girlfriend stuff to finish his meal. He threw the empty bag in the trash and looked again at the map. “You make some fine points, Ms. Xie. If global warming was being caused by the atmosphere getting hotter, it should heat the water according to certain variables. As for whales traveling the Gulf Stream, I’m afraid that’s out of my territory.”

“Maybe they’re just lost,” Thomas offered. “I mean, whales aren’t very bright, are they?”

Sally almost went off on him until she noticed the devious smile and realized he was baiting her.

“Wait,” Dr. McNair said, holding the first map, the one with the dotted current lines and measurements of water temps. “What’s this line? Is it an error on the photo?”

Sally and Thomas leaned in. Not far off the westernmost point of North Africa was a very faint shadow.

“I’m sure that’s just a printing error,” Sally said.

Dr. McNair started punching the keys on his computer. “Let’s get a current satellite view.” He played with the mouse and keyboard until he got what he wanted. He looked up at them both. “You’re not going to believe this.”

Both of them jumped out of their seats and walked around behind him, one on each side. They stared at the large computer screen in awe. There was the same faint line.

“It’s probably just a reef,” Sally said.

“Visible from space?” Dr. McNair asked.

“Maybe a whale,” Thomas said.

Dr. McNair put two fingers on the lines at the bottom of the map that marked the length in miles, then on the mystery line. “Yep, could be a whale, if whales grow to a hundred miles long.”

Thomas leaned a little closer. “It looks like the outline of a spaceship to me.”

Sally scoffed.

Dr. McNair smiled as he realized the opportunity for an expedition had finally presented itself. “Whatever it is, we need to find out. Who’s up for a field trip?”

Sally nodded.

“You want me to go too?” Thomas asked.

Dr. McNair leaned back in his chair and stared up at him. “You’re the only alien expert we have.”

Thomas smiled. “I’m in. Who’s buying?”

“The Climatology Department can pick up the bill, even though this is more your area, Ms. Xie,” Dr. McNair said.

“Why don’t we have the coast guard or someone go by there?” Sally asked.

“Not a chance,” Dr. McNair said. “Okay, Thomas and I will go without you.”

“No, no,” Sally said. “I’m in.”

“Great,” Thomas said. Then he looked at Sally. “But just remember, this is a professional investigation. No funny stuff.”

“Are you sure you want to take the class clown?” Sally asked.

“Of course, I’m sure,” Dr. McNair said.

“Thank you, Stephen.” Thomas sat back with his chest sticking out in pride.

“Because if we really find aliens,” Dr. McNair said, “I want someone expendable to sacrifice so we can get away.”

Chapter Nine

“Why didn’t we get a launch confirmation?” General Nickerson huffed as he leaned over the airman’s shoulder, his frustration actually seeming to raise the temperature in the tomb of electronic devices, the control room at NORAD. He was a large man, over 240 pounds, and stood over six feet tall. He was a daunting figure by all standards, especially to those of lower rank, but this situation was making him even more intimidating.

Airman Rodriguez squirmed a little uncomfortably in his seat. He didn’t answer. He kept staring at the screen as if the answer might appear, but the screen took the Fifth Amendment.

Every controller in the room sat up straighter while they stared at their own screens as if hoping to aid the airman’s lack of an answer. But it turned into a library as you could even hear the general’s breathing.

“What’s the target?” the general asked.

The airman punched a few buttons, and the left big screen in the front of the huge room filled with the world map outline. “Central America, sir. It looks like the inbound will hit Panama. There are six total.”

The general stared at the big screen and rubbed his chin. His large frame breathed heavily, making the three stars on each shoulder rise and fall. Perspiration began to form on his bald head. “Panama? Who would want to bomb Panama?”

“Maybe they’re going after the canal,” another airman said.

“Good God . . . why?” The general stared at the airman to let him know it wasn’t a rhetorical question. “And who? If they wanted to take out the canal, surely there are easier ways. Heck, just fill a ship with explosives. There are a million ways to accomplish that without using long-range missiles.”

“Sir,” Airman Rodriguez said, “I don’t believe they are missiles. They’re moving too fast and they are much larger than any weapon I’m aware of.”

“Do we have a visual?” the general asked.

One of the civilian operatives spoke up. “General, we have an AWACS in the gulf. They can get us a long-distance shot.”

“Do it.” The general walked toward the front and waited. After several seconds he looked back at the operative, who appeared to be getting a little nervous.

“It’s coming through now, sir.”

The second screen filled with a cloudless blue void as the general adjusted his glasses and squinted. There they were: six tiny black lines that seemed to be stationary. With no reference other than the sky, they looked like tiny scratches on the screen.

“You’re right,” the general said. “Those aren’t missiles. So what the heck are they?”

The airman with the canal idea spoke again. “Maybe they’re meteorites.”

The general turned and looked at the young soldier as if he were impaired in some way. “Meteorites? Falling in formation? And what, they have been hurtling at Earth visible to our radar for years and we just missed them? Is that what you’re telling me, son? And if they’re meteorites, where’s the fire? Why aren’t they burning up in our atmosphere?”

No one had an answer.

“But it’s certain they didn’t fly here through the air,” the general said. “So that leaves only one place they could have come from—space. Contact NASA and see what they know.”

Everyone worked feverishly trying to provide some answers, or at least make it look as if they were searching. NORAD had been established in 1958 as a joint effort between the governments of the United States and Canada with the simple mission of providing warning and defense from surprise attacks over North America. And even though the objects were not heading for North America, there was no guarantee that others would not appear over the sovereign area. In all that time, never had there been an attack to warn people about—not once.

A man in a black suit and tie entered the room. “General, the president and vice president have been moved to PEOC. All of the information you’re tracking here will be sent to that new location.”

The general looked confused. “The Presidential Emergency Operations Center? I thought that was for nuclear attack. Do you guys at NSA know what’s going on?”

“No, sir. We do not.”

“Tell me what you do know,” the general said.

The man looked around the room as if wondering if he should divulge classified information. He leaned in and whispered. “Sir, we’ve heard from Russia and the United Kingdom. They’re as stumped as we are. But they verified that no missiles have left Europe, Asia, or the Middle East.”

The general didn’t respond. He already knew that it wasn’t missiles. He didn’t want to know what the incoming objects were not; he wanted to know what they were.

The man in the black suit excused himself and left the room.

Another person spoke up. “General, NASA says all space is clear above the objects. In fact, they say there is nothing visible anywhere in space other than the space station and known satellites.”

The general started pacing back and forth. He didn’t know what was happening or what they should be doing. He looked around the room at the people stationed in front of monitors and could tell by their demeanor that they were as lost as he. He wondered if it was only a test but doubted the government would go to such measures. “How long before impact?” the general asked.

“Four minutes, thirty seconds, sir,” Airman Rodriguez answered.

“That’s fast. Get me a satellite visual,” General Nickerson commanded.

The third screen illuminated with a live aerial view of Panama. Everyone stopped what they were doing to stare at the large monitor.

The general walked even closer to the screen. “Zoom in.”

The image popped forward several times until only the northern part of Panama occupied the entire screen. Slowly it began to focus on the new view. With each blink of the image, it became more and more clear. As the pixels reached their limit, the scene was quite visible. Above the coastlines of Panama, starting just north of the canal, were six circles, brown dots along the coastline, three on each side of the country. But what were they?

The general turned away from the screen. “Get me the president.”

Several minutes passed as they got President Patterson on the phone, whereupon the general explained the situation.

“But you’re sure they’re not missiles, General?” the president asked.

“We don’t believe so, Mr. President. But we have no clue what they are. I wanted to ask if you could contact the president of Panama and find out what they know, and see if they can get us some pictures from the ground.”

“I’ll see what I can do.”

After the general hung up the phone, he looked again to Airman Rodriguez. “Show me where all our ships and subs are.”

The airman punched a few buttons and the screen displayed red images for subs and blue images for ships on the outline map.

The general just stood there and scratched his chin.

“Sir, we have impact,” said Airman Rodriguez.

“Can the AWACS get closer to try to get us a better image?” the general asked.

Before anyone could answer, another person in the room spoke. “General, we have images from ground level. A Panama news crew is at the top middle projectile.”

Everyone stared at the fourth screen. As the video came into focus, the crew could see the objects were in fact huge columns, which had literally been driven into the sands just off the coastlines of Panama in the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, like tent spikes might be driven into the ground. They were approximately twenty feet in diameter and towered high above the water into the sky. The sheer mass was an awesome sight to behold. They seemed to be made of stone, or possibly an unknown metal. The designs were intricate with carvings, or perhaps a type of writing, and the top of each column had a huge smooth white area at least twenty feet in length itself.

The general walked forward and leaned against the guardrail separating the monitors from the front wall, his hands clenched like vices as the blood rushed from the knuckles. He looked down and breathed heavily, thinking about the day he had been assigned to this post. He had been angry, had felt betrayed even, thinking this was the army’s way of telling him he was no longer of use. He would spend the remainder of a long career staring at computer screens and getting excited whenever a weather balloon set off an alarm and was yet to be identified. After all, nothing ever happened here. Nothing ever had. Many times he had considered it might be time to hang up his stars.

“Sir?” a soldier sitting in front of another monitor said, bringing the general back to reality.

When the general looked around, the soldier simply nodded to the screen. The general turned and noticed the news crew had waded out into the water about waist deep and were using a small hammer to try to take a sample of the object. The general laughed. “Sure, why not? This thing just came from space, sped through our atmosphere without so much as losing any mass, so why not go out there and whack on it?”

“We’re getting a feed from another news crew,” Airman Rodriguez said. ”General, you need to see this.”

The general reacted by turning to the fifth and last screen to the right. The new footage came into view. “What am I looking at here? They’re filming the sky?”

“Look at the distortion, sir.”

The general backed up to see if it would help him make out the image. He saw it. A large round area of the sky was blurry, as if he were looking through an old window. “What is that?” the general asked. He turned to look at the airman.

“I don’t know, sir, but it’s getting larger.”

BOOK: Pit Bulls vs Aliens
12.75Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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