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Authors: Brent Ayscough

The Visitor

BOOK: The Visitor
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Tasked by the Federation of Planets to determine if Earthlings present a threat as they venture into space, Tak, an alien anthropologist, leaves her starship orbiting Earth and takes a shuttle to Kansas. Intending to study humans in the United States--as she has learned no Earth language but English--she is detected while descending through the atmosphere and only evades capture by fleeing to Europe, where she lands in Poland. There, she meets an international arms merchant, Baron Von Limbach, who becomes her guide. She studies “typical” human behavior by accompanying the baron as he fulfills his latest assignment--to get the Dalai Lama back into Tibet. His method of halting the communist takeover of Tibet is to create a race-specific Ebola that will only attack Han Chinese, giving Tak a prime example of how barbaric humans can be. However, the CIA and US military are aware of Tak’s presence on Earth and are determined to capture her. And if she is unable to complete her mission and return to her starship--her captain will destroy every living thing on Earth.

KUDOS FOR
THE VISITOR

In
The Visitor
by Brent Ayscough, Tak is an alien anthropologist, who comes to Earth to determine if we pose a threat to the universe as we venture out into space. She lands in Poland, and the first person she meets is an arms dealer--just the example she needs to convince her that we are a peace loving race. Yeah, right! He quickly figures out that she is not from Earth and agrees to be her guide as she studies human behavior. Tak accompanies him as he fulfills his latest mission: getting the Dali Lama back into Tibet by killing all the Han Chinese with Ebola. The book is somewhat technical and while there were some terms I didn’t understand, the context made it clear what they meant. I also learned a lot about Ebola that I didn’t know before. I thought both Tak and Baron (the arms dealer) were delightful characters. The story also has a strong plot with plenty twists and turns to keep you turning pages. ~
Taylor Jones, Reviewer

The Visitor
by Brent Ayscough tells the story of an alien sent to Earth to determine how much trouble we Earthlings will cause when we go into space and interact with the rest of the universe. It is not a new plot idea by any means, but Ayscough gives it a fresh perspective by telling most of the story from the alien’s point of view. While the military and the CIA do come into play, the main focus is on how the alien sees Earth and its natives as she accompanies her guide Baron Von Limbach, an international arms dealer, as he goes about his business. While science fiction isn’t really my genre, I found I quite enjoyed The Visitor. The story is told from several points of view and it also takes you to a lot different places I have never been to. I imagine the author has, though, as his descriptions are vivid and detailed. All in all, a fascinating book. ~
Regan Murphy, Reviewer

THE VISITOR

BRENT AYSCOUGH

A Black Opal Books Publication

Copyright © 2015 by Brent Asycough

Cover Design by Chris Buchinsky

All cover art copyright © 2015

All Rights Reserved

EBOOK ISBN: 978-1-626942-34-9

 

EXCERPT

The more Tak learned about Earthlings, the more she questioned the mission
...

“Now, the girls,” Baron said, carving out the palate from inside the head of the sheep and passing it to them. “This will make you more diligent and hard working. I have hipbones here for the elder men, as honored guests,” he said and served them ceremoniously to the senior men. “Who are the daughters-in-law? They get the breast.” He passed the pieces to them. “Who are the married women?” He passed the neck bones to them and one to Tak. “The boys?” They got the kidneys and heart to grow into a man more rapidly. “Who are the sons-in-law?” Once identified, they got the breastbone. “Now, are there any pregnant women?” Baron looked about until one identified herself. “You get this vertebra. Now here are the brains, but not for children. It will make them weak-willed.” Baron put servings of brains on plates, with that warning, as some of the women passed them to others beside the children. “Here’s an elbow and an ulnar bone. Anyone can have this, except an unmarried woman or young girl, as it will make her left on the shelf with no husband.” Baron passed the elbow toward someone who wanted it. When he completed his performance, all done as though he was born Kazakh, he sat down. The rest did not touch their food until Baron, the most honored guest, began to eat.

“Only a true Kazakh would know such things,” Dr. Dorogomilov complemented.

“Common knowledge,” Baron said in an understatement.

The head of the sheep on the table was facing Tak and it was not just a little distracting. Completely horrified, she tried a bit of a few things to be polite. Then she looked at Baron, who chuckled at her shock, enjoying the effect it was having on her.

When no one was listening, she said to him, “Am I actually asked to consider letting these people go into space?”

CHAPTER 1

The shuttle doors of the starship opened, and a dark gray, twenty-five-foot-long shuttle exited. Tak looked at the glowing stars and then studied the blue planet ahead as she began her descent. Numbers appeared on the shuttle screen, notifying her of relevant information affecting her intended descent. She choose to descend without power, just gliding, so as not to so as not to draw attention from the planet’s defense systems.

In the quiet of space, she pondered whether she’d made the right decision in choosing the language called English. But one language was enough to learn for this mission--or was it? Some of the languages picked up by the starship seemed so difficult to learn. Transmissions were intercepted from major airport towers all over the planet, and they all spoke English. The place called Russia launched more satellites than any other country, but she had been unable to intercept any transmissions from countries where Russian was spoken, except for a few less-developed adjacent countries. A large number of countries spoke Spanish, but there was no detectable space activity from them.

The place called America seemed to be the best choice, given its satellite activity and advanced technology. Its language was also found to be spoken in a number of other countries around the planet, called England, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, and much of India. And English had been made so much more pleasurable to learn, as she could watch the intercepted movies. The most interesting ones came from America and were in English. So right or wrong, English had been her choice. And she would land in the middle of that country, in a place called Kansas. This was her first assignment alone and she was determined to do her very best.

As she descended through the atmosphere, the outside temperature began to rise. The blackness of space was being replaced below by bluish stratosphere. Descending by gliding so as to create as little heat signature as possible, the shuttle passed through one hundred sixty thousand feet, downward, soon to be pushed in an easterly direction over the surface of the planet by the natural direction of the prevailing winds. All things seemed to be in order.

BONG! A loud warning sounded, and then she heard, “Radar is being received from the surface.”

She focused intently on her monitor.

***

On the ground below, Colonel Burkett led a group of four visitors from the Department of Defense and four more from primary contractors whose system was being tested. They were now in a situation room with many monitors and technicians.

“This is our newest and best in terms of detecting a missile attack from above. As you know, in the cold war we were pointing long range missiles at Russia. Now we are anticipating terrorist attacks, such as from a short-range missile, known to NATO as a SCUD missile. They can be launched from relatively nearby against one of our allies. So we have created an advanced system that looks up from the ground and also down from satellites with the latest technology to detect any such missile. We have focused our newest and most sensitive antenna on the areas where a missile launch might be suspected. In this test case, it’s over the White Sands testing area. The system will detect a decoy SCUD missile, simulating an attack from a hostile source who could get their hands on such a weapon. In just a short time, the launch will occur.”

He looked at his watch and then glanced at the monitors. “There’s the launch! The SCUD has been launched from a mobile base, a flatbed truck, much the same as expected in a real situation, except that the truck is remotely controlled, for reasons you will soon understand. This simulation demonstrates what we would do if we suspected such an attack. In this scenario, we put our special 747 airborne laser in the air. In order to take out the mobile base, we bring in a plane. In this case, we will scramble an F-22, which we are now doing from Nellis Air Force Base. The F-22 is equipped with netcentric avionics and will automatically have the location of the launch vehicle displayed for the pilot and locked in from all the sources working together.

“The SCUD you see on the monitors is tracked by the new Space Based Infrared System. The monitor on the left shows what the Geosynchronous Earth Orbit Satellites see. The monitor next to it shows what the Highly Elliptical Orbit Satellites see, and the next one what the Low Earth Orbit satellites see. They are all linked together by the new system. The monitor on the far right is from an older system called the Ground-Based, Electro-Optical, Deep Space Surveillance System.

“Flying over the simulated theater is our special Boeing 747-400F freighter, equipped with our high-energy Chemical Oxygen Iodine Lasers, or COIL, capable of shooting down the SCUD. The huge amount of chemical it takes to fire the big laser several times from the air requires a 747. When we fire one from the ground we have several truckloads of chemical on hand for multiple shots. These impressive lasers actually use the chemical for energy, not like the simple lab ones you may have seen. But the problem in shooting from the ground is in hitting anything. It takes so much chemical that we can’t fire it for very long, and we can’t rapid fire it like a machine gun. It has to be pumped up with more chemical for the next shot. Firing from the airborne 747, which can be at forty thousand feet or higher, has improved the accuracy many times over, as you will soon hopefully witness.

“Now that the launch has been detected, you can see the 747 changing its course to intersect the SCUD’s trajectory as plotted by our new computers.”

“Will the laser completely disintegrate the SCUD?” one observer asked.

“No. It’ll be badly damaged and largely burnt up, but there will be falling debris. But not to worry--it won’t fall on us. The area is some distance away. Some of the area is in use by ranchers, but we have cleared them out from what we’ve named the ‘call-up’ area of our test range here at White Sands. The range is three-thousand-two-hundred square miles, and the call-up area adds two-thousand-five-hundred square miles to it when in use. We have an arrangement with the ranchers whereby we can call on them and evacuate them for up to twelve hours a few times a year for tests, for which they are paid a yearly payment and travel expenses.”

Burkett continued, “The SCUD will reach one-hundred-twenty-five-thousand feet, traveling from the north to the south end of the range, and then descend. It is nearly at the maximum altitude now. There! You can now see the big image of the 747 on the side of same screen moving in on the SCUD’s trajectory. We have the captain of the 747 on the loudspeaker.”

“White Sands, Captain Gleason here. The weapon is ready, and we are now within range of the SCUD. Optimal range will be in twenty seconds.”

Burkett had put on a headset with an extended cord so he could talk to the pilot and remain standing before the monitors to show the group of important people what was going on.

The computer signaled that the 747 was within range.

“Fire!” Burkett shouted to Gleason, raising his voice to add excitement to the event.

The laser light flashed on the monitors as it hit the SCUD. It lit up brightly on numerous screens.

“It’s a success!” Burkett announced loudly and proudly, hoping to raise some enthusiasm and continued funding among the group for the expensive project. “See the glowing SCUD. We just detected and shot a SCUD missile into oblivion in a flawless test, using the new satellites and the airborne laser!”

A sigh of relief could be heard in the situation room from the staff who had been apprehensive that something would go wrong with the test.

“Very impressive,” Walters from the Department of Defense complimented, attempting to be polite but trying not to show emotion, so as to remain objective about the test.

“Now,” Burkett continued. “The F-22 we scrambled should be close to attacking the mobile launch base from which the SCUD missile was launched, and we can switch some of the monitors to the satellite view of the mobile platform. Then netcentric will set the F-22’s computers on target.”

The monitors now showed the radio-controlled flatbed truck bouncing along in the desert, simulating terrorists trying to escape. A white missile fuel trail jutted out from the front of the F-22, racing down to the flatbed truck and blowing it to kingdom come.

“Good work, Captain Duncan.” Burkett said to the F-22 pilot.

He then took off his headset to address any questions the Department of Defense observers might have and gave them all a great big smile.

Ms. Davis from the Department of Defense looked around at one of the other numerous monitors, off to the side of the one they had all been viewing. “What’s that?”

Burkett turned to the screen she was looking at. It was a screen that had been monitoring the high altitude trajectory of the SCUD earlier. Just entering the top of the monitor was a very small object. It had just a hint of a glow, barely visible, but it was the only thing on the dark screen other than the smoldering remains of SCUD missile, well below it.

Burkett put his headset back on, switching frequencies. “Move all available antennas onto that object!”

Adjustments were made to the direction of the moveable antennas of the new system, as well as the older, ground-based optical system. The object enlarged in size from a tiny spot to a larger one as the technicians changed the ratio of the field of view to magnify it. All watched, wondering what the little glow was.

“It’s farther up than the SCUD missile that we just melted,” Burkett said. “It’s at one hundred fifty seven thousand feet. The SCUD did not go above one hundred twenty five thousand feet, and the hit with the laser wouldn’t have caused any exploding debris to ascend like that. It might be what’s left of an old satellite. Its descent is slow, much like a free-falling object.”

“But aren’t debris from satellites all monitored by our radar antenna and plotted at NORAD?” one of the group asked.

“They’re supposed to be,” Burkett said. “And, they’re usually going around the globe very fast. So if it was, it would normally fall into the atmosphere at a much higher velocity horizontally.”

“Could it be a real missile?” the same person asked. His question turned several heads in momentary reaction to what might be a real threat.

“That seems so unlikely,” Burkett answered while shaking his head. “It reflects very little light. Any missile launch would be detected, and NORAD would have picked it up. It must be debris broken off a satellite, probably a Russian. But I’ll contact NORAD.” He switched the frequency on his radio hooked up to his headset and ordered, “Get me NORAD.”

The switchboard operator put him through on a direct military line to the North American Aerospace Defense Command Center, known as NORAD, one thousand seven hundred feet below the surface of the Earth, deep in the formidable natural granite fortress in Cheyenne Mountain, Colorado. “NORAD, Major Hight speaking.”

“This is Colonel Burkett at White Sands.”

“Good morning, Colonel,” Hight said, as he knew the colonel.

The contact was put over the loudspeakers in the situation room, so as not to make it appear to the distinguished guests from the Department of Defense that anything was being hidden, and all in the room had high security clearances.

“We have been monitoring your decoy SCUD launch and the laser shot,” Hight said. “Nice work!”

“Thanks, it went well. But we may have something else here. We have detected a small object coming down from space, right over the test area. Do you have it?”

“No, not that I’m aware of. Let me get an update. Can you stand by?”

“Sure.”

Hight called to Lieutenant Hawkins by headset across the room, where men and women were watching iridescent monitors. “Lieutenant Hawkins, do you have anything on your infrared in the vicinity of space in the same general area as the White Sands test?”

“Only the F-22,” Hawkins reported. Then he said, “Wait! There is something very small and very slow, descending through one hundred fifty five thousand feet.”

Hight went back to Burkett. “Yes, now we have it. It gives off only a tiny signature, like a stealth vehicle. It’s not burning any visible fuel exhaust.”

Hawkins ran the position into his special computer for a statistical analysis. He then said to Hight, “It does not match up to anything orbiting in the database.”

BOOK: The Visitor
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