The Bright Side.

Peter Smith has just found out he has a month left to live due to a lethal brain tumour.
He has also just found out that in less than a month, the human race will become extinct and that he has been chosen to be one of six humans to survive the approaching apocalypse. And who has saved him? E.I.P.F, the Earth Inhabitant Protection Front, a group of intergalactic environmentalists who want to save just one species.
And so, whilst also keeping his deadly secret from the aliens, Peter embarks on a quest to rally the chosen survivors, whilst avoiding Government Agents, the secret services, Satanists, Velociraptors, and a manic depressive Tyrannosaurus .

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16. Chapter 16

 If there was one thing Peter hated more than people, it was optimism.

Ever since he was a child, he had learnt never to expect the best of things. He remembered when he was eight years old, his dad had taken him to the circus; even at that age he knew that he hated the circus, it was a miserable attempt to make pathetic people laugh at even more pathetic people throw custard pies at one another. The only good thing he thought would come of it, was meeting one of the clowns and getting a balloon at the end.

The clown had turned out to be a drunk and had thrown up on his dad's shoes, and the string holding the balloon had snapped, allowing the red blot float away into the oblivion of the sky.

Optimism from then on had been Peter's sworn enemy, one thing he didn't understand about Kurt and Lars. The pair were facing the apocalypse and had six humans to deal with whilst trying to integrate them into life in space, yet they went about it with a smile constantly glued to their lips. It drove Peter mad. And for some reason, they constantly consulted him, as if he knew what was going on in the minds of his fellow survivors!

Martha was impossible to talk to without causing her to hate you for yet another reason. Samson was an idiot who was still moping about his beloved comic books. Vladimir just hadn't spoken to any one since arriving on the ship, Peter would be greatly surprised if he could actually talk any English at all. And the newest member of the team, Miss Chang, well, the difficulty with her had been so obvious Peter was surprised it wasn't painted to her face in bright red ink. Yet, Kurt and Lars didn't notice any of these difficulties. They just smiled and carried on. And they still had no idea about his impending death. Two weeks now, one week after the world was to be roasted to a bitter crisp floating through space.

Peter sat at one end of the long table with Kurt and Lars sat at the other end, both smiling. Again.

“Well?” the human asked.

“Well, Peter,” Kurt said, his smile tweaking at the corners ever so slightly. “we'd like to speak to you about something.”

Oh god, Peter thought panicking, They've actually checked up on my medical reports and discovered I'm not as healthy as they'd like. Oh well, back to miserable old earth. He opened his mouth to admit everything, when Lars interposed. “Mark,” the smiles flickered with disdain for a moment, “has already arranged for the next survivor.”

“The sixth.” Kurt said with a bigger grin.

“Indeed.” Lars said, staring at his partner bitterly, “The sixth, and the last.”

“And?” Peter asked, relaxing into his chair. He knew what was coming, another trip in the damned teleport he knew. How he hated that damned thing. “Well,” Kurt said nervously, “she may be a tiny bit difficult.”

“In what way?” Peter asked, his eyes narrowing to distrusting slits. The two aliens fidgeted nervously, they had never got used to Peter's glares. It was something about the human they were scared about. “Well, erm, she is very interested in what we are doing.”

“Oh?”

“We'd like you to come with us -”

“Here we go.” Peter murmured.

“- and explain things to her.” Kurt said.

Peter rolled his eyes, he had no idea why he was helping, why would he want to help five people, whom he undoubtedly hate, survive the end of the world? Surely, someone like him, should be doing everything in his power to make sure no one survived on earth, leaving him to chuckle in the cosy spaceship, the last chuckle he'd have as the tumour ate away the last of his life.

But he always agreed, maybe it was the idiotic optimism of the two Collopians in front of him that made his knees buckle. So, with a sigh of self loathing, and every other thing loathing, he nodded. “All right.” he said wearily, damn he had another head ache, “Who is she?”

 

Emilia Crosswood, part time clairvoyant, member of a not-Satanist Satanist group, and general socio-path, stared at herself in the small mirror she had managed to argue into her possession. It was true, Colonel Rogers certainly could pull in the crowds. It was heaving out there, positively thronging with hungry reporters, all ready and wild for a news story they could get their dirty teeth into. She arranged her hair for the sixth time, but it was perfect. Having Reginald on the cards as well had even pulled in a make up team. A make up team for crying out loud! Things were serious now, very serious. The other idiots had no idea what they were doing, what they were about to do wouldn't draw Peter Smith out of the woodwork, but she certainly hoped it would make his life a bit more difficult. It was a nuisance, but she hadn't had a premonition for the past week, that meant, she was in the dark as to what his progress was.

She just had to hope he hadn't got all six survivors yet. She sighed and checked her hair again. Myrtle popped her head round the doorway, even she had managed to look half decent. She turned her wide eyes on Emilia, “Ready?” she asked.

Emilia stared at her reflection one last time, reflected on the anarchy she was about to unleash, and smiled. “Ready.”

 

Anna Lacey, high flying government agent, general stuck up bitch, and overly ripe for a promotion, flushed the toilet and stepped out of the cubicle.

She rearranged her short, smart grey skirt and approached the sink. Well, Hank had certainly done it now. Losing those aliens, when they had been within arm's length, was the final nail in his coffin. The President couldn't have been less pleased if he was told his grandmother had died.

Mr Seamus could say goodbye to being boss of Are 52 now. Even though they had only over a week left to survive, Anna was sure she would take over. She deserved it of course.

That meant it would be up to her to find out why the aliens were taking people, it annoyed her so much. She knew it had to be something simple, not as simple as merely anal probing, though, they wouldn't be so open about things like that. The impending apocalypse and the disappearance of five humans had something to do with one another, if only she knew why. But she resolved not to stay ignorant for long.

Lacey turned the taps off, then approached the dryer, she slapped it on and was then lost in the pleasant daydreams of bigger offices and firing that fool Hargraves. She could almost smile. As the dryer died to silence, something else took hold of Anna's ears, something so much less expected. Voices.

Men's voices. In the ladies toilets. And they were familiar.

“Where the hell have you landed us this time?” one voice, petulant and English asked.

“It would seem that we are in a toilet cubicle.” a second voice responded, she recognised that with a faint chill. “I can see that!” the Englishman snapped, “But has it escaped your notice, that it was not designed for three people!”

“Maybe we should relocate to a larger space?” the third voice confirmed Anna's worst fears. The Aliens were here! They were invading!

As the three men appeared out of the cubicle, red faced and irritated, Lacey had her gun firmly aimed at Peter's head. He stared down the barrel and gulped. “Hello?” he said nervously.

“I want to know exactly who you are and what you want with earth.” Anna demanded.

“If I may interject?” Lars said stepping in front of Peter, totally ignoring the gun Anna held in her hands. The woman frowned at him, “Are you Anna Lacey?”

She nodded mutely, this seemed to please the two Mormon disguised aliens. They beamed happily, as if they had just accomplished some difficult task. “Now answer my question!”

“Ah, of course, forgive my colleague,” Kurt said, stepping once again in front of Lars, now the barrel of the gun was brushing against his cheap suit. “my name is Kurt, my friend is Lars, and the initial gentleman is Peter Smith.”

“He's from England!” Lars offered with a smile.

“Yeah, I'd gathered that,” Anna said with a frown, these two certainly didn't seem like the vanguard of a hostile army about to destroy the earth, “so what has he got to do with the end of the world?”

“You mean you hadn't guessed?” Lars asked, adopting a dull frown, one usually adopted by toddlers when meeting the potty for the first time. The two aliens turned to Peter, who merely shrugged, “She's human,” he stated, “they're stupid.”

“Well Miss Lacey,” Kurt said, “we represent the Earth Inhabitants Protection Front.”

“You're an environmental group?” she said in disbelief, the gun was slowly being lowered, only from the shock of what Anna was hearing. “Correct!” Lars said happily, “And the reason we have been travelling to this planet so frequently before the end of the world, is because we are collecting a brave band of humans who will leave to colonise a new world!”

“That's why you've been coming here?”

The two aliens nodded eagerly, even Peter nodded grimly. “And why are you telling me this?” realisation crept up with the suggestive grins of the E.I.P.F members. “I've been chosen to survive?” she gasped. Another bout of happy nods. “The sixth!” Kurt gasped.

“The last!” Lars exclaimed.

“Lucky you.” Peter said sourly.

“Why'd you bring him along?” Anna asked, pointing her gun at Peter.

“In case you tried to drag us off for interrogation.” Kurt explained.

“We thought his presence might put you off.” Lars added.

These people obviously knew nothing about government agents, their scruples had never left the box. Nothing would have stopped her, except for the dumbfounded shock at seeing the aliens in the ladies toilets. “What now?” she asked.

“Now?” Kurt said with a happy smile, “Now we return to the ship and we prepare for travel!” Kurt held out his hand as Lars took hold of Peter's shoulder.

This was it, Anna thought, I can get them, I can shoot the English idiot in the leg, and cart the other two to the closest interrogation room, there was even a panic button in the toilets, all she had to do was hit it and these aliens would be in quarantine within the half hour.

But she didn't.

Why should she?

So the aliens weren't part of the end of the world? So what, who was even sure the world would end, there were so many predictions and none of them had come true, what makes this one so different. No, she knew what she'd do. With these idiots help, she would finally have access to a teleport. This was her big chance, the chance for her well overdue promotion. She took the hand, there was nothing, not even a blip of light. They simply vanished.

There was an urgent knocking on the toilet door, followed by the nervous voice of Jack Hargraves. “Erm, Anna?” he said nervously, “There's something going on in England, Anna? They're telling the world about the apocalypse! Anna? Are you in there? Anna? Anna?”

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