From Outer Space

An alien who doesn't know she's an alien. A human race falling apart at the seams, years from extinction. Wounded and alone, Louisa starts to wonder why she is the only one of her brethren not to be 'activated' - to learn of their heritage and help with the next stage of the Invasion. They landed and pretended to be human and now they have destroyed countless civilisations.

But Louisa can't help but wonder, is she better like this? Better pretending to be an ordinary human girl.

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1. Chapter One

                   C H A P T E R   O N E
Please don't. I stare at the woman in front of me, at the grey streaks in her hair and at the way her eyes never leave my face. She has suffered through this invasion and bears her scars proudly. She has survived by knowing danger, knowing how to avoid it and I can sense that she sees something when she looks at me.
 
'What is it?' Jack asks from beside me, leaning against the rotting wooden support of the hut as casually as he can. He fools no-one and I look away before my expression will give me away.
 
The woman taps her foot against the hard, barren ground and I can sense her anger, a tangible feeling in the air.
 
'This is a sanctuary, one of the last safe places for the human race. And you show up broken and bleeding, a Hansel and Gretel trail leading them here. They may find us due to the actions of idiots such as yourselves.'
 
I stare at her, at the silent fury on her face and I am glad she doesn't know the truth. That she can't feel what I can, know what I am beginning to sense. There is something different about me, though I cannot sense what it may be. I feel alone, among these people.
 
Jack runs his fingers through his hair, 'For that I am sorry. We made a mistake-'
 
She interrupts him of course, the gatekeeper of this place. 'A mistake that could have killed us all.'
 
He shakes his head. 'A mistake, nonetheless and one not as serious as you might insinuate. We must all do what we can to survive and you cannot begrudge your fellow man survival.'
 
Surprisingly, it is this which finally makes her see that we do not mean any harm. Taking a pair of cracked spectacles from her pocket, she places them on the bridge of her nose with the concentration of someone carrying out the most important task of their life. Then, she turns to me.
 
'I will not begrudge survival. Not to mankind,' there is something strange about the way she looks at us, that makes shivers run down my spine. She seems so cruel this woman, the way she will not hesitate to throw us to the dogs makes me uneasy, but still I can see that she only means well. The survival of this place is the most important thing to her, more important than any individual and I could never blame her for that.
 
She sighs and starts to walk away. 'Follow me,' she says, a hint of resignation colouring her words.
 
I walk beside Jack in silence, unable to say a word to him. I cannot tell him what I fear, I cannot even make him guess because I know how it will make him feel. It could make him hate me and I would never - could never- blame him for that.
 
We are lead into a small hut, with the door slammed behind us. A man, unnoticed before, stands in front of the door. We are trapped. I survey the room, trying to find another exit that might just save us. There is something about these people that I do not like.
 
'Now, of course we just need to make sure that it is safe to admit you into the compound.'
The woman no longer looks angry, but instead self-satisfied with her arms folded tightly and a thin smile on her face.
 
I look over at Jack, who is smiling right back at her as if nothing is wrong at all. As if this is the perfect situation to be in. I don't feel it though. There is something wrong here.
 
She reaches into her pocket and pulls out two thin copper circles. 'We've found that these creatures are sensitive to electromagnetic signals.'
 
Aah. And here it is, the truth concealed within something so innocent looking. Now I can know whether all of my worst fears are true or whether I am simply being stupid and mistaking my amnesia for something altogether the more sinister.
 
'Here. Take one. We'll be back in a few hours.' She doesn't hold them out to use though, but presses them to our arms and - taking a roll of tape from her pocket- tapes them down. Then she turns to us once more, as if remembering something more important than anything else.
'The guard will wait outside.'
 
I can't help but worry that this will show me something that I know I will struggle to admit - or show me that I am going mad.
 
The look on Jack's face is so calm and when he sees me looking over at him he just smiles. 'We'll be in there soon, Louisa - not long now.'
'Yeah.'
 
Tapping my foot against the ground, I wonder what the purpose of those little circles could be. It doesn't make any sense, that something so small could determine whether someone is - in humanity's eyes - a monster.
 
 Then I see it there, on the other side of the room, sitting there inconspicuously. A generator, beginning to whir. Of course they took down all the power, those alien creatures, when they came here. Damaged the chance to fight. Yet this woman had to have some kind of solar powered contraption.
 
I stare at it in anticipation, wondering what could possibly happen next. The whirring is so quiet that if I wasn't waiting for it, I could never have noticed. How very clever.
'What do you think is meant to happen?' Jack asks, looking around the room curiously. He obviously hasn't noticed the noise coming from the generator, which seems to be growing ever louder.
 
A sudden pain shoots through my head, like fire in my veins. Knowing that they will be watching outside, I grip the sides of my chair and grit my teeth. They can't know about this, cannot sense that there is something strange going on inside this room which mustn't be used very often.
 
The generator seems to grow louder, louder still. Jack's voice in the distance is hard to hear, almost impossible in fact. He sounds as if he is speaking from the other end of a tunnel, shouting something to me from far, far away.
 
There is a noise breaking through the darkness and then suddenly I am on the floor, convulsing wildly. I can hear Jack screaming next to me but even his voice feels too distant, too far away to matter. It is nothing next to this, the pain and the confusion of what can’t be real.
Is it the generator, am I-


I scream, shaking as I clutch hold of Jack’s arm. ‘Help me, help... h-h-elp me.’
I can barely even speak and I know that he at least cares, even if this isn’t going to allay his most dangerous fears, but rather confirm them.


‘What is it, what’s wrong?’ Oh Jack, you should be able to tell. If you were that stupid then you wouldn’t have survived the invasion. No, I’m the stupid one - I’m the one who thought that this would never happen, managed to convince myself that I’m normal.


The door opens before I can even try and answer and that awful woman is standing in front of us again, a satisfied smile playing on her lips. ‘I thought so. On your feet.’


I try, I do try but somehow my legs won’t carry me. Behind me, I hear the unmistakable sound of a gun being loaded.


‘Pl-e-as-’ My plea is cut short.


‘I wonder if aliens even bleed,’ she says, managing to laugh as she hauls me up and pins me against the wall; surprisingly strong for her frail frame. I close my eyes, sure not to dare to look towards Jack. I don’t need to see his reaction to this, it would be too cruel. It would make this worse.


The pain grows, then suddenly subsides when she rips the tape from my arm without ceremony and places the incongruous circle into her pocket. ‘There now, now you can tell me who sent you here.’


I stagger backwards, falling against the wall in exhaustion and shock. ‘I don’t know what you mean.’


Of course I do, I am starting to realise what all this meant. The way I lay awake in the camps while Jack sleeps, staring up at the stars and feeling a strange wistfulness. But I have forgotten, I do not know as they know what those stars are like. I am human in all but name, all but body, but thinking like one isn’t enough to become one.


‘You have infiltrated us, congratulations. Now before I shoot you, I’d like to know who sent you here.’ Her voice is cold and I can’t bear to look at the gun. Instead, I force myself to stare at the shock in Jack’s face. But instead of  anger, he simply looks disappointed. There is something else there too, is it... fear?


He can’t be scared of me, not after the last few months. Running through the abandoned cities with only each other for company, whispering all our secrets, sharing all our food. Still, now I am just another monster to him.

‘I didn’t.... No-one sent me here. I didn’t know.’ My voice is little more than a whisper and I wish that I could make it clearer, this was not the life I thought I had. No, this was not what I ever expected.

‘Aah, an alien who didn’t know. How quaint, expecting me to believe you didn’t hear the order - didn’t change in that moment into a heartless piece of shit!’ She is becoming crazed, her finger previously resting lightly on the trigger starting to itch.

When they were ‘activated’ I was not. When sons and daughters killed their parents then ran out into the night, I was not one of them. I did not destroy humanity. I thought I was part of it.
‘You know what a gun is,’ she pressed down on the trigger and as if in slow motion I can see the bullet speeding towards me.  When it hits there is a sudden burst of pain in my shoulder and I can’t stop myelf from crying out.


‘I’ve never shot an alien before. Didn’t think their blood would actually be green,’ her snarling voice sounds as if it is coming from far away, reaching out to me from the other side of a deep abyss.
‘Take them to a cell.’


I can feel someone holding on to me, footsteps and then-
Nothing.

 

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