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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6. chapter 6

 

Humanity is a very imaginative race of beings. A primitive group of monkeys had the ability to look up into the sky, see the wondrous, dazzling tableau of billions of stars and think to themselves: 'Nah. We're completely alone and must have been made by some misogynistic old guy in seven days!' and then spend the the rest of their existence warring with every other Tom, Dick and Harry who wishes to believe in something else.

The Collopians did not have this sort of imagination. Instead, they had studied the Human race and had attempted to imitate these ideals. And, being unimaginative, did not resign themselves to believing in higher beings who only reveal themselves a burning foliage, but instead as well founded ideals that the humans had created quite innocently.

“How dare they desecrate our side of the ship!” Kurt snarled as he and Lars strode down the white washed walls, Peter hurried after them, struggling to keep up. Fury burst off of them like solar flares. “Who?” he asked breathlessly, the stumbled back. Lars and Kurt's glares were like daggers to the heart. “Nodders!” they hissed.

After several minutes of furious, silent striding. The two aliens halted. They had arrived in a huge amphitheatre like room. The walls curved inwards, giving the impression of being a huge beach ball. Several other suited Collopians stood at the doorway smouldering like Kurt and Lars. At the other end of the hall were some all together much different Collopians. They all wore white suits with brown spots splattered erratically over their clothes. Their heads also bobbed continuously. They were all rolling up their sleeves mid nod. “We shall deal with this” Kurt murmured to one black suited Collopian. He nodded to Lars and Peter, reluctantly, the human followed the two aliens, as they crossed the hall. Peter could tell he was entering a centuries old bitter feud, the only problem was, no one seemed to be holding any weapons. That made the whole situation worse, it was a formal war. Two head bobbing Collopians approached Kurt and Lars. Scornful glances rested on Peter, punctuated by the continuous nodding. “Is this him?” one asked, his voice wobbling.

“It is” Lars said.

“Was he appropriately chosen?” The second Nodder asked.

“In our eyes, yes” Kurt said.

“Untruthful heretic!” the Nodders screeched, the call was picked up by the Nodders behind them. “Only the Dog can choose who will survive! Oh yes!”

“Oh yes!” the call echoed through the hall. Kurt and Lars bristled with anger.

“We had agreed that we shall follow the law of the book. We followed the written law and allowed our fingers to do the walking”

“The Nodding Dog is the only truth!” the Nodders preached.

“The Yellow Fingers show us the right way!”

“Lies!”

“Oh yeah?”

“Oh yes!”

“You Kirxacilly idiotic misanthropes!”

“You heinously backwards tribe of Horkrogs!”

Briggswills!”

Jonfermeisters!”

“Hang on! Hang on!” The two factions of Collopians fell silent and stared at Peter. He stepped closer, “Let me get this straight” he pointed to Kurt and Lars, who hastily let go of the Nodding Collopian's collar and dabbed at his bleeding lip. “You worship the Yellow pages?”

“That is correct” Lars stated, tucking in his dishevelled shirt. “Our fingers will walk towards the truth!”

“Ha!” blasted a Nodder, safely tucked away in the crowd.

“And you,” Peter continued, turning to the Nodders, “Follow a Nodding Dog?”

“He nods on our plight!” The chief Nodder explained, nursing a black eye.

“What about God?”

There was a blank embarrassed silence. One Nodder raised his hand slowly. “Who?” he asked meekly. “So god doesn't exist?” Peter asked.

The Collopians stared at one another, then at the ceiling, they had heard a lot about this god character and if he did exist, they most certainly did not want to get on his bad side. “So far” Lars said slowly, “We have seen no evidence to say he does exist”

“But neither have we seen evidence to suggest he doesn't!” a Nodder said quickly, the stories were very graphic. Bolts of lightning could still occur in a space if a god was really committed. “Okay” Peter said, rubbing his eyes. “So, your nodding dog -”

“Oh yes!”

“And the Yellow pages, both decide which humans survive the apocalypse?”

“But only the Dog nods towards the truth!”

“Lies!”

“How many humans are meant to survive?” Peter asked loudly.

“Ah” Kurt said stepping forward, “We have calculated, that in order to decrease the possibilities of incest in later generations, for now three of each sex shall be chosen!”

“Okay” Peter said slowly, his brain racing through possible excuses, a religious war was not what he needed now. Especially not for some bloody nodding dog and a phone book. “Why not, just choose three from each religion?”

The various Collopians stared at one another, they had spent years fighting over the truth, now someone suggested working together? One of the walking finger worshippers raised his hand gingerly. “Can we still fight in our spare time?”

There was a murmuring of assent among the ranks of Collopians, Peter sighed. “Yeah sure” he said, “Knock one another out!”

The various Collopians cheered, then slowly resumed their own tasks. The Nodders to the West of the ship, the Fingers to the East. No one knew what resided in the North and South, nor did they wish to find out. Gradually, only Peter, Kurt and Lars were left with the Nodder leader. He stared coldly at Kurt and Lars. “Peter” Lars said, “This is the Chief acolyte of the heretic order of the Nodding dog, Mark.”

“Mark?” Peter asked.

“My official title” The Nodder explained, “Taken only to interact with humans. My full name is Markxcyhpwogncials the third”

Peter reflected on the severe lack of vowels, then shook his head. “I'll stick with Mark” he explained.

“Wise choice son of a backwards religion” Mark stated nodding. “Now, we must prepare to welcome the next chosen one, only this chosen one is truly chosen because she was smiled on by the Nodding dog!”

“You have another one already?” Kurt exclaimed.

“Well” Mark said shrugging. Giving the impression his head would fall off at any moment. “No time like the present.”

 

“So what are you trying to say?” Hank asked slowly.

Dr Robert West sighed wearily. Having been born in Wisconsin, then being educated at Harvard, West was used to dealing with people intellectually inferior to himself. But Mr Hank Seamus was something else entirely. His IQ, Dr West presumed, was on par with a spoon.

For the past hour and a half he had been trying to explain to the head of Area 52 his theory of teleportation. Now he feared he was going to have to simplify it. “What I mean Mr Seamus” he said slowly, adopting the tone of voice reserved for six year olds who still had trouble with the two times tables. “Is that teleportation is practically impossible”

Hank scratched his temple and pushed his hat back. “Why?”

Dr West whimpered, an hour and a half! He had even used a power point. “Imagine sir,” he said slowly, “That your driving in your car”

“Why?”

“Don't ask questions. Just listen. Now, as you're driving you're getting hit by bugs and dirt and other tiny things”

“Okay?”

“Now, when you are teleported, your molecules are broken down and moved somewhere else. Now, whilst on that journey -”

“I could get hit by bugs?”

“Metaphorically yes” Dr West said happily, “You could end up with more molecules than when you started. Or less!”

Hank stared at the table, lost in thought. “But” he said, “The aliens can do it!”

“Yes sir” Dr West said, rubbing his eyes, “But their technology is far more advanced than our own”

“What?” Seamus roared, he glared at the other agents around his table. “Since when?”

“Since they placed a spaceship in our orbit without us detecting it” West muttered, what he didn't add was that the only reason they discovered the ship in the first place was because a ten year old had found it with his telescope, and thinking it was a new star, had contacted his nearest observation tower and had requested it be named Egbert. Seamus glared at the accumulated agents as Dr West sat down. “Well?” Hank asked placing a tooth pick into his mouth. “We can't teleport up to the bastards? What about blowing them up?” he was quite excited about that plan, he had even got the nuclear launch codes ready. Anna Lacey sighed, “No sir” she said testily, “We can't blow them up.”

“Why not?”

“Because sir” she said, “We know nothing about these aliens, they are already capable of interstellar travel, they most probably have advanced shielding. Our nuclear missiles won't even dent them”

“Why don't we just talk to them?” one luckless agent asked. His two immediate neighbours shuffled away. Hank's glare seemed to burn the air. “Talk to them?” he growled, there was a soft crunch as the tooth pick was bitten in two. “Why in the blazes of Merry Hell would we want to talk to them?”

“Well,” the suicidal agent said trembling, “They might be friendly”

“Friendly?” The screech almost took Hank's hat off. His eyes bulged in horror. “They abducted someone!”

“Maybe he went voluntarily?” the man now had about as many friends as a house on fire. No one would even make eye contact as his eyes darted around for aid. Hank gave him a withering glance and opened his mouth, promising a brash, idiotic insult that would have destroyed the man, fortunately at this moment Jack Hargraves cleared his throat. All eyes turned on him, someone interrupting Hank Seamus? This would be much more entertaining. “What?” Seamus snarled, pushing his hat back.

“Err” Hargraves said nervously, “Well, erm, we've registered another energy spike”

“What?”

“Another teleportation?” Lacey asked shocked, annoyed at the fact someone knew before she did.

“Yes” Hargraves stated, his eyes darting in terror from Seamus to Lacey.

“Well?” Seamus asked, spitting out his tooth pick, “Where?”

Hargraves glanced at the readouts he had just been handed, then gulped. He looked up at Seamus's bloated, expectant features. “Err” he said, licking his dry lips, “You're not going to like this”

 

This is how governments on Earth worked. The order of Icarus would meet on a Saturday evening, and in their five hour slots, would elect several trustworthy politicians. These men and occasionally women, would then be put into small, but influential posts in each government. Then, those men and women would find a suitable idiot who was easy to control and likeable to the public, this idiot they would then helpfully place at the head of the government, whilst making sure that the order of Icarus was pleased with each decision made. If, however, the Order was not happy with decisions made, the leader would find himself losing popularity very quickly and they would very soon lose their post as leader of the country. Then, a new gullible fool would come to power, one who was a lot less independent than their predecessor, once people started thinking for themselves all hell broke out. Fortunately, Edward Potter was not an independent thinker. Not only did he have the mindset of a sheep, he also looked like one. With his mop of white tousled hair and his large doleful eyes, shielded by thick rimmed glasses. The Prime Minister of Great Britain stared meekly at Sir Hubert Chesterfield. “So” the Prime minister said, taking off his glasses and cleaning them slightly, “Run that past me again if you could old chap” Potter was incredibly confused, not only had this man swept into his office without either an appointment nor an invitation, but also his staff were treating him as if he owned the place. Usually it took Potter quarter of an hour to get his secretaries attention to get even a cup of tea. But here he was serving up a pot of brewed tea with a complimentary plate of ginger biscuits. Potter usually didn't even get a rich tea. Chesterfield rolled his eyes and placed his cup on his saucer with a tiny clink, “Well Mr Potter” the spy said politely, his voice dripping with stereotypical politeness, “The slight issue myself and my colleagues are finding quite troublesome is the UFO currently inhabiting our atmosphere”

Mr Potter blinked blankly, he could just about cope with a request from the Minister of travel to rebuild the A12, but this was something else entirely. You could almost hear his brain changing gear. “UFO?” he asked.

“Yes”

“As in aliens?”

“That is exactly what I mean Mr Potter” Chesterfield said pleasantly, taking another ginger biscuit, “Thank the lord Britain has a man like you in charge”

“What, exactly, do these aliens want with this man you told me about?” Potter asked, his eyes staring forlornly at the plate of biscuits as Chesterfield swiped the last Custard Cream. “At the moment Prime minister” The spy stated, spraying Potter with a tirade of crumbs, “We do not know. What we do know is that it will be horrible and unholy”

“Horrible and unholy?” Edward Potter had been raised by two very strict Roman Catholic parents. He knew all about Horrible and Unholy things. He shuddered as the memories flooded back. “Well” he murmured, “We can't have that-”

“It also might entail the end of the world” the comment was thrown in so carelessly Potter almost missed it. But he hadn't. He had caught it and was struggling to hold on to it, the idea was flapping and flailing like a fish out of water. “End of the world?” he had also discovered the fish had teeth. “Of course we can't be entirely sure” Chesterfield said shrugging. “Something to do with a prophecy made hundreds of years ago”

“What does the prophecy say exactly?” the prime minister asked cautiously.

“It says -” the spy was cut off by a sudden loud beeping, The man grimaced and reached into his jacket pocket, removing a black mobile phone. He held it up to his ear, “Chesterfield here” he rolled his eyes at the prime minister, the universal language of 'I don't really want to be taking this phone call but I have to, you can quite clearly see I don't enjoy it can't you? And where are the biscuits?', suddenly, Sir Hubert Chesterfield's eyes gleamed gluttonously, “Is he indeed? Well, thank you very much Mr Hargraves. Once again your assistance has been invaluable. Yes, of course I shall inform you immediately of any new progress. Good day Mr Hargraves” with a triumphant smile Chesterfield replaced the phone into his pocket. “Was it good news?” Potter asked cautiously.

“Oh yes” the spy said rising, he dusted the biscuit crumbs from his front and smiled at the prime minister. “You must excuse me Prime minister, but duty calls.” he then rotated on his heel and headed for the door. “One moment!” Potter exclaimed desperately, “What about this prophecy?”

“Oh really prime minister” Chesterfield said, “Surely everyone knows it?” he then vanished through the door way.

 

In fact, not everyone did know it. The Order of Icarus made sure of that. In the early 1780's, a local baker's daughter named Esmerelda Wickham was berry picking in the local woods, when she unfortunately met a member of the Earth Inhabitants Protection Front, who helpfully informed her of the impending apocalypse. The child hurried home and, as any loving daughter would do, immediately told her father of the event. Most unusually, the father was horrified that the child had personally made contact with the devil and was preaching his heretic views. The child was burned as a witch with several members of the Order of Icarus watching. The father was then taken aside by one of the members and they politely explained to him the benefits of never mentioning what his daughter had told him and to forget he ever had a daughter. However, the order had become very worried. And so, they had made their own preparations for this prophecy, after all, who were they to say the girl had encountered a devil? What if she had in fact encountered an angel? Highly unlikely as it was, the order nevertheless strove to make sure the prophecy was never fulfilled. One of the first things they did was re-write the prophecy. After all, who would check up on it?  

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