Sarah ran after Claira as they left their school to meet the bus that afternoon.
"Hey, wait for me.., I've got a lot of school work to catch up on this weekend." Annette said running up behind them.
"Hurry up then, the bus is about to go." Claira said climbing aboard.
"Well, excuse me, Miss Vincent." She said sarcastically then jumped on and found a seat away from them.
Claira looked back as the bus neared their home.
"We better be going." She said getting up.
"Shall I tell Annette? She seems busy with her course work." Sarah said looking back.
"She knows where we live, let her walk back." She said jumping off.
They watched the bus pull away and they run up the lane.
"Coming up to the farmhouse?"
"Sure." Sarah said following.
They soon walked in and started to run amok.
David returned home with Steve and they walked in.
"I can see what they've been up to again." David said moving to the living room.
"I can't understand what three kids can get up to in a few hours."
David looked around. "Erm Steve, two. Claira and Sarah." He said looking at him.
"Annette? Annette? Kids, where the hell is Annette?" He said looking at them.
Sarah turned to Claira.
"Why don't you tell him, you orchestrated it and you are the oldest." Sarah said ducking out.
"Thanks cus thanks a lot!"
"Claira!" David now shouted.
"She didn't get off the bus at our stop."
"What?" Steve said panicking
"You mean you didn't tell her your stop was coming up?" David said looking at her.
"Well." She said looking down.
"I'm calling the police." Steve said grabbing the phone in the kitchen.
"She was busy with all her course work, Uncle David." Sarah said going to him.
"Don't cover for her Sarah, your as much an accomplis as Claira, here."
"We'll rendezvous with the police at school. The bus must have returned there." David said grabbing his keys.
"Dad." Claira said stepping forward.
He looked back.
"Don't even think it. When and if we get back with Annette you two are for the high jump."
"You're grounded, the both of you for a month!" Steve said moving forward.
"A month, but Uncle Steve…!"
"Do you want me to double it?" David said stepping forward.
Claira stepped back and they watched them leave.
"See Claira…? You don't win, you never do with them." Sarah said jumping on to the sofa.
Claira noticed the flashlight.
"It's going to be dark soon."
"Great. They'll never find her."
"Maybe, maybe not. Come on!"
"We know the stops the bus made after the lane. If we cut across dad's field we can make it to the intersection before our parents."
"Why bother? The police have been alerted, they'll pick her up stuck down a storm drain or something, back in town."
"What if they don't? Then we'll have to answer more questions Sarah and I don't want that at the moment. When my dad offered to double my grounding, I, I don't want to even think about it. Come on." She said grabbing the torch and running out round the back of the farmhouse and into the field. Sarah stayed with her all the way.
The children ran down to the main road and looked around.
"She's not here."
"Don't you think that I can see that? Look, split up, we can cover more ground that way."
"Oh no, I'm staying with the guilty party…"
"You've got your mobile, haven't you?
"Alright, we'll time ourselves. Ten minutes from now we'll phone and report our positions, yes?"
"Claira, I don't know, I…"
"Look, it's one long road. No cars ever come down here. You go that way, I'll go this ten minutes, that's all."
They split up.
Claira headed towards the school grounds and soon found Annette's course work. She looked around.
"Annette? Annette? Are you around here?"
She was now pushed to the floor. She stared straight up at Annette looking down.
"You stupid human, what the hell do you think you were playing at?"
She smiled then stood up and brushed herself down.
"Annette, your alright."
"No thanks to you. What happened Claira? Did your guilt get the better of you?"
"No, I… Dad's going to ground me. I just don't…" She said moving away as her phone started to ring. "Sarah!" She said looking at the readout.
Annette now grabbed it and threw it into the bushes.
"Annette, what are you playing at?"
"Don't tell her where we are, not just yet, I…" She now looked back and walked away.
Claira watched her.
"Annette? Our parents are going to be out here any minute. Maybe Sarah has run in to them already." She said grabbing the phone from the bushes.
Annette carried on walking past the school.
Claira looked back to the main road then slowly followed her in to the field.
"Annette, this isn't the way home. We have to follow the road for a while longer."
"I know, but, while I was out here alone, I noticed something."
Claira stared at her.
They carried on walking.
A large house could now be seen through the trees.
"Hey, this is that new construction that the towns been talking about. I can't see what the commotion was all about. It's just a house…"
Annette looked at her.
"It's not just a house."
"It's what my dad was talking about. He said that they'd re-group. Think up different ways of getting to you. I've seen them Claira, it exists."
Claira stared at her as a truck went past them and up to the courtyard.
They watched the driver get out as they recognised that he was an alien. Annette looked at Claira as her face dropped.
"What, what is it?" Claira asked looking on.
"It must be a new regeneration centre but on a big scale."
"Big scale? This is my home town, they can't...."
"We can Claira!" She said looking at her.
Claira now looked at her then pushed her away and ran off.
"Claira, Claira wait!" Annette said following her.
They ran back to the main road just as the police arrived with David and Steve in tow.
"Alright, that's enough!" A policeman said grabbing them.
"Kids!" David said jumping out.
Claira still struggled with the policeman. David now grabbed her.
"Now, that's enough!"
She stared at him then fainted.
Annette looked at her then Steve who was standing with Sarah by his side.
Claira awoke the next morning in her bedroom. She jumped up and looked around. David slowly walked into the room with a glass of water.
"Well, this is an improvement." He said handing her the glass and watching her sip from it.
"What time is it?"
"Just gone ten." He said checking his watch. "I thought that you deserved a lie in." He said then watched her.
She now looked around.
"Probably still in bed."
"At uncle Steve's?"
"Well, of course. You wanna tell me about last night?"
She nodded violently as she gulped back the water.
"Alright, I'm listening." He said watching her.
She now looked away.
"Well?" He said waiting patiently.
"You might take it the wrong way. Maybe if Annette, no, she'd be all for it…"
"Claira, I might take what the wrong way? You found Annette last night, I thank you for that and I'm sure so does your Uncle, but it still doesn't make up for the fact that you left her alone for over an hour. Do you know that anything could have happened to her?"
"But, what if something had happened to the both of us? Even cousin Sarah?"
He looked at her.
"Go on." He said folding his arms.
"Now it really is too close for comfort. That construction site is full of them. Annette is probably having a field day now with Uncle Steve, I bet."
"The construction site? What about it?"
"They've bought the land, dad. The aliens that Annette's father was talking about. We were there last night and they were moving all the tubes in. We saw, we saw them dad, alien families, like my mum and dad." She said starting to cry.
David held her while trying to understand what she was talking about.
Steve ventured up to the house that afternoon alone. David was in the kitchen talking with the bureau.
"Yeah, alright, yes he's here now, I'll tell him." He said putting the receiver back on the wall.
"Tell me what?" He said lighting up a fag and sitting down on the stool.
David moved round the kitchen to the sink and grabbed the kettle.
"You guessed that was the bureau?"
"At three in the afternoon? Oh yes. So, what does old ferret face want now?"
He turned round and moved to the stove and lit it.
"Your help." He said then turned back facing him.
"In regards to…?"
David moved out of the kitchen making sure that Steve watched him go.
"Oh, I get it. The fifty questions time. Where did I first have my alien encounter, when, what was it like?" He said taking another drag on his fag.
"Now your beginning to sound like Claira."
"It rubs off on you, it's called being a Vincent, or haven't you noticed that yet?"
"Try the phrase being a parent and you might just be closer the mark."
Steve looked at him just as the kettles whistle blew.
"What is this, time out here?" He said jumping up and stubbing out his cigarette.
"Sit down!" He said then ran into the kitchen to take the kettle off the stove.
Steve stared at him.
"Do you want a cup?"
"No! I want to know what the hell is going on or I'm walking out of here…"
David made two cups of tea and handed one to Steve. He now sat down.
"Has Annette talked to you this morning?"
"Not really. Why? What's Annette got to do with this?"
"Last night when Claira was with her… you know that construction site off Mount Pleasant Road…?"
"Hmm." He said finally taking a sip of the liquid inside his cup.
"It's an alien stronghold."
He stopped and looked at him.
"In town? In our town?" He said laughing.
"It's true Uncle Steve." Claira said behind him.
"Claira! I told you to get some rest!" David said moving out to her.
"But, Uncle Steve should know. Annette wasn't going to tell him, she's one of them."
"And you think I'm not, ha, Claira?" Steve said looking on.
"No! Yes! I mean, Uncle Steve, their not like you, your… Their here to, to…" She looked at David for moral support.
He now held her.
"Go back to your room. I'm dealing with this."
He now kissed her. "Please."
She looked at him, then Steve then back to David and nodded. They watched her go back to her room.
David now moved back to the kitchen.
"Can I come back with you to the cottage? I have to get Annette's side of this."
"If she wants to help you."
"Hopefully with an alien presence there, she will."
They looked at each other.
Annette was looking out of her bedroom window that faced the lane to the farmhouse. She watched the two adults approach the cottage and walk in.
"Kids?" Steve said calling out for them.
Sarah ran into Annette's room.
"That's dad. I think he wants to see us."
"Obviously. He's brought your Uncle David with him."
Sarah looked at her then ran out. Annette slowly followed and moved down the stairs.
Steve and David watched her.
"Annette, darling erm, do you want to come into the living room. Your Uncle and I want to speak to you."
"He's not my Uncle and you're not my father!" Annette said sarcastically.
"Well, if that's your attitude maybe Claira was right and we do have an alien stronghold on our doorstep." David said staring at her.
Annette looked at him.
"Annette? Are you going to answer him?" Steve said watching her.
"Why should I? We're coming for you. My dad warned you. It's already happening, what do I care? You may have silenced him, even me, but you'll never silence our resolve, our resolve to take over this planet." She said then ran back upstairs.
"What? Dad, what's she talking about?" Sarah said moving round to face them.
Steve grabbed Sarah and held her while looking at David.
"You don't have to be. It's been inbred in her. There's nothing you or I can do to change that."
"Maybe not, but we have to do something about that house."
David looked at him and agreed.
"Would you come with me to the bureau?"
"Why? What's happening there that we can't sort out here?"
David looked up the stairs.
"Look, can we carry on this conversation along the lane, I don't want miss tunnel vision listening."
He looked at him. "Alright, I guess I can understand how you feel. Sarah, you better stay here and try to keep Annette happy."
"Ha! That's easier said than done, daddy…."
"I know, I know, just do your best." He said kissing her then they went out.
Annette watched them head back down the lane. Steve looked back at her watching.
David managed to persuade Steve to go in to town and talk with the bureau about there plans to deal with the aliens.
"Annette said that these are a new strain of aliens, yes?"
"Yes, with a new purpose. They have an inbred manner that at first is dormant, they slip into life's society, as a family, everyday normal human drives and behaviour, but with one goal, to destroy the real humans around them."
"How could that be achieved so quickly?"
"Well, it doesn't have to be done quickly. They have learnt from past experience that the environment would have to be changed for them to live on Earth. They just 'clean' their area and move on, a bit like locusts." David said looking at Ed.
Ed now looked at Steve.
Steve now looked away.
"Look, I didn't plan this, you know. In case you didn't catch it last time, these aliens are a new strain. They are not like me, they've been chemically altered, they are more desperate and more deadly than you could ever imagine. If you let them get the footing that they want, that they might even get, you may as well…" He stopped and looked at David watching him. "You may as well go up to them waving a white flag and hand them over the keys to the Earth on a silver platter!"
David now turned away.
"I just want to know whether we're taking a gamble with you Steven because we are sending you in there with one of those new strains. Shall we just give up right now?" Ed said looking at him.
"Well, that's up to you." He said looking away.
David looked at Ed.
"I trust him enough to go ahead with it. I think that he can handle Annette." David said getting up and going to the drinks cabernet to pour out a scotch.
Ed watched him.
"The last time Steve handled her was because her damn father died. This is not on the same scale as that and if there is one alien that recognises him…."
Steve jumped up.
"It's your call."
"Yes, it is. We'll contact you on the bureau's decision."
Steve looked at him then David who now put his glass down and went out. Steve followed as they now went to the toilet.
"I can't believe that this all hangs on the damn bureau! We could easily handle this…"
"Didn't you just hear anything he said? My god, you are like a younger version of me. Yes, maybe if I was like you I would be out there now dealing with this all on my own, but the believers might be able to handle this differently. We might even get some back up, isn't that something to think about?"
"Back up? The army is in Iraq in case you hadn't noticed the news lately, bro…!" He said looking at him. "What? You think the bureau might have an army all of there own? Now who's thinking like a child?"
David grabbed him and put him to the wall.
"Go ahead. You've always wanted to do it. Make you feel better, make you feel more like a man, ha?" Steve said fighting for the words mulling around in his head at that stage.
The door now opened and Ed walked in.
"When you two children have quite finished, the bureau has come to a decision." He said then went out.
David now let Steve go and watched him straighten himself up. They now walked back in to the office and sat down watching each other.
"Steve, you have permission to enter the alien stronghold and undermine their operations as much as you can. We will give you any assistance that you need once you have find out any information that you can about their plans. If Annette puts you in any danger, you do realise that we cannot help you."
Steve was still looking at David then looked at Ed.
"I understand, sir."
"Alright, I'll leave it to you to work out a plan on how to get in there. David, I expect you to work with your brother on this one, hopefully where it won't mean knocking your two heads together."
David now looked at him.
They were soon driving home. They did not speak to each other as David now pulled in to the lane.
"You can drop me off here. I'm going to check on the kids."
David pulled over and watched him get out and run into the cottage. He now drove back to the farmhouse and walked in grabbing a bottle of scotch.
Claira was in the living room watching him.
"How did it go with the bureau?"
He looked at her then grabbed a glass.
"Fine." He said then poured out the drink for himself.
She now got up and moved in to the kitchen watching him swallow the brown liquid.
"A-ha." She said now sitting down on the stool.
"Don't you have homework or something?"
"Finished." She said leaning over the worktop still watching him.
He now grabbed the bottle and walked out to the living room.
The phone now rang and Claira quickly picked it up.
"Sarah, hey, how are you doing?"
David looked at her.
Claira now looked at him.
"A full bottle of scotch, hurh? Dad? No, erm, sober as far as I can see." She said staring at the bottle in his hand.
David carried on drinking.
Claira now finished her conversation with Sarah and walked back to David slumped in his chair. She sat down by his feet and moved in between them.
"Cousin Sarah says that Uncle Steve is getting plastered back at the cottage."
"Is he? Well, what's that got to do with me?"
"Nothing, it's just that, well, so it would seem is my father at the moment and I was wondering if it had anything to with the bureau or that alien stronghold down the road?"
He now stood up.
"Claira, just leave it, will you."
"I can see that it has. What did they decide?
He looked down to Claira at his feet then looked at the scotch bottle and moved back to the kitchen.
"The bureau has given your Uncle permission to enter the stronghold…."
"Great!" Claira said jumping up and following him.
He turned back.
"Not so great when you hear who is going in with him."
Claira waited for him to reply then turned away as she realised whom he meant.
"Annette Powell." She said playing with the patterns in the worktop.
"Yes." He said pouring out another glass.
She grabbed a glass and put it next to his. She looked up to see him staring at her.
"Okay, so you're not that drunk." She said pushing the glass away.
Claira jumped off her stool and moved away.
"She's going to turn Uncle Steve in the minute they walk in there, you do know that, don't you, dad?"
"Oh, I know that child."
"Well, why…? Alright, she's an alien, but she is that new strain dad, Uncle Steve can't take a gamble like that, he'd be mad to even consider it."
"Don't you think that this is what I've been trying to get through to him all morning? He wont have any of it."
"But, he hasn't had time to make any progress with Annette yet. This stronghold has come as a shock to all of us, especially me because…." She looked down.
He put his glass down and went to her.
"I know that it's on our doorstep. But, that's how they get to you. If we don't nip this in the bud now they'll have this town along with our state before long."
"We can't trust Annette."
"No, we can't, but we trust Steve, don't we?" He said looking down.
Claira looked up and nodded.
David now held her.
The next day Claira walked down the lane to Sarah's house and knocked on the door. Annette opened it and stared at her.
"Oh, it's you."
"Well, what do you want Claira, it's not a school day, is it?"
"No, you know that, Annette…."
Claira followed Annette into the living room and watched Steve walk out holding his head.
"Kids? Oh, hello darling." He said moving to kiss Claira.
"Uncle Steve, how much scotch did you drink last night?" She said smelling his breath.
A cough now came from the kitchen as Sarah waved an empty bottle in front of her.
Steve focused in on her.
"Hey, now that was half full when I started on it yesterday."
"Half empty, don't you mean, Uncle Steve?"
Steve watched Claira head into the kitchen.
"What are you doing here at this time of the morning anyway, Claira? What's the matter with that excuse for a brother of mine? Has he surfaced yet from his pit?"
Claira looked at him trying to move towards her.
"I didn't hang around to find out. Suffice to say that I didn't let him get drunk as much as you did last night."
"I am not drunk! Just a little…"
"A little hung over this morning, drinking does that to you." She said looking at Sarah who now laughed.
"Hey, are you making fun of an alien that… hey, Claira's right, you do look like death Steve…" Annette said facing him.
"Oh, thank you. Okay, time out here. Right, Sarah, Annette, your rooms now, Claira!"
"Yes, Uncle Steve?" She said running to him.
He stared at her.
David walked into the kitchen that morning and made a light breakfast. He now looked at it sitting on the table then pushed it away and grabbed the morning paper.
The door now opened and Claira walked in.
"Well, where the hell have you been this morning?" He said staring at her as Steve walked in propping up the door.
Claira looked back as David folded up the paper and jumped up grabbing his uneaten breakfast.
"Grub, brilliant!" She said snatching the plate from him and running into the living room leaving David to stare at Steve.
Steve now closed the door behind him.
"You, you erm, got any coffee?"
"Black and loads of it." He said sitting down and held his head.
David watched him and grabbed a cup.
"I don't know whether I should throw this at you. Did Claira go and get you?"
"If she did, it didn't work. I decided to come up here all on my own." He said taking the cup from him "Thanks, bro."
David now sat down again.
"Claira was right, you didn't get as drunk as me last night."
"Well, I guess I wear it better."
He looked at the bottle behind him.
"Done in half a bottle, that's good enough. Next time we don't drink alone."
"If there is a next time."
"Hey, there'll always be a next time."
They looked at one another.
"Are we brothers again?" Steve said holding out his hand.
David stared at it then shook his hands.
"Great, now we can get started on that alien stronghold." Claira said now walking in and putting the plate into the sink then turned round to watch them.
David looked at her then Steve.
He looked at him and nodded.
"Have you talked to her, yet?"
"No. But, I don't think it will take her long to realise that what has been planned will most certainly include her."
"I guess that it's best if you talk to her alone, ha?"
"Oh yes. The less interaction from humans the better for Annette."
"Hey dad, we can collect Sarah and go shopping."
"Shopping? Claira, I'm not made of money, you know."
"Have you got a better idea on how to keep a nine and seven year old happy for the whole day?"
"Here, take my wallet. I seem to be made of money at the moment." Steve said handing David his wallet.
Claira stared at it.
"Erm, do you think that's it dad? Why we're having so many problems getting rid of these aliens, because they're made of money?"
David stared at her.
"Hey, what are you implying?" Steve said grabbing her.
"Dad, dad help!"
"No, sorry. I think that you've asked for this alien attack."
David watched Steve playing with Claira.
David collected Sarah and they drove off to the mall.
Steve walked into the cottage to find Annette reading.
"You've already missed them."
"Your niece and daughter. David Vincent just collected them. I think that they said something about the mall." She said turning the page to her comic.
"I'm not interested in Claira and Sarah at the moment. I'm here to talk to you, really."
She looked at him.
"Is that so? And pray, what would that be about?"
He sat down next to her.
"That alien stronghold…."
"The bureau has asked us to deal with it."
"Us? You mean, the Vincent's?"
"I mean, you and me."
"Deal with it in what way? I have no interest in what goes on there. As far as I am concerned Steve, they could take over this town, Claira, David and that brat of a daughter of yours just like that. I'd gladly join them, if it was at all possible."
"Maybe we could join them."
"You are the next generation. The parents that are being trained to look after these kids are just normal everyday aliens. I am a normal everyday alien." He said moving forward.
Annette now jumped up.
"Why not? Annette, look at the possibilities that it opens up. We could find out everything for the next five years."
"Yeah, before destroying them!"
"Well, of course. You don't want them on our doorstep, do you?"
Annette stared at him.
"I want the humans to die. My father died because…."
"Because of an error in his alien lung capacity and a poor landing…"
Annette now went for him.
Steve pushed her away.
"That is enough Annette!"
"I will never help you. I will never help the bureau!"
He looked away.
"Your not one bit interested in the next stage of our attack?"
She stared at him.
"You know that I wait with baited breath, but we, we severed our ties with our kind, Steve. I don't know what I can do to…"
"Yes you do."
She looked down and nodded then noticed the ring on her finger and took it off.
"Being, the next generation, I, I don't need this as much as you." She said closing her hand fully then flexing her hand in front of him.
"Maybe you don't need the ring as much, but you need to survive here on Earth and I can help you do that child, if you'd let me. I know that we can work together Annette, as a family."
He held out his hand as Annette now took it and squeezed it. Steve now pulled her into him and held her.
He looked down at her.
"I think we're ready."
She looked up at him watching his every move.
David returned with the children that evening and moved into Steve's kitchen. Steve appeared first moving out cautiously to them.
"Oh hi… erm, how did it go?"
"Alright, I think."
"Look, I can't be one hundred percent here, bro…"
"Of course not, I mean your dealing with an alien here, aren't you?" Claira now said looking at him.
"Hey, Claira, when I ask for your criticism then you can go to the head of the class, in this instance, but out, ha?"
Claira stared at him.
"Easy, okay." David said stepping in. "Carry on, Steve."
"I'm pretty sure that I can handle her. She's young, she still needs someone to look up to and as I am an alien, I hope that it will be me."
"Or she might just run down the main hallway as you arrive and the whole area will go just a nice shade of red, with your body going…"
"I'm touched by your concern."
"Claira, if you can't keep this civil then you can go home right now."
"Annette can not be trusted, period!"
"Thanks a lot, fake cousin!" Annette said crossing her arms as she appeared from behind Steve.
"Hey, what's she mean by fake cousin?" Sarah asked looking on.
Claira stared at Annette then dodged past the adults and out of the cottage.
"Claira!" David said after her.
"Serious problem!" Annette said touching her head as her little finger now showed.
David grabbed her hand and made her look at it.
"You were saying."
Annette now let go of him and moved in to Steve's side.
David looked at her then at Steve.
"She must have gone up to the farmhouse."
"Don't bet on it."
"I'll get the car."
"No! Don't even think it. Just leave her to me."
"Hey, whatever you say, bro."
David now went out and jumped into his car as he drove along the lane and onto the main road into town.
Claira made it to town and looked around the area leading to the construction site where the alien house was taking shape.
David pulled off the road as he noticed her. He jumped out and quickly ran after her. Claira made it to the entrance as he grabbed her and pushed her into the bushes.
"What do you think your doing out here? Is this going to prove anything?"
"To me, yes."
"If you go in there now, say if you win in getting them to give up this place, what would it have accomplished?"
"The fact that I got them away from our home. That they will never win."
"You wont do any good, Claira, believe me. Steve has a way that can get us the information we need and destroy them from the heart of their operations. You go in there now with your holy than though attitude and you wont be walking out again at the end. Do you want that?"
She looked at him then pulled away as she punched the air.
David now grabbed her and pulled her to the car. He got in and drove home.
The next morning David sat in his car around the corner to the entrance as he watched the truck pull up to the gates.
"Kids, there's the truck."
"Dad?" Sarah said sitting forward from the back seat.
"He's probably in the back with Annette."
Claira now looked at the truck as it was accepted in.
"Alright, now it's up to Steve." He said starting up his car and pulling away.
Claira stared at the truck as he drove back down the main road out of town.
The truck now pulled up in front of the main entrance and the owner moved around the it to the back and opened it up.
"Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to your new home for the twenty first centuary. If you would like to follow me, I will get you all checked in and you can head straight to your rooms to prepare."
Steve jumped out and helped Annette to the ground.
"Prepare for what?" Steve asked looking at him.
The man looked at him.
"Prepare for your new life here on Earth."
Steve watched him go in then slowly followed.
"Seems perfectly natural to me. I'd be glad to have a room all to myself." Annette said following.
Steve looked down.
They were soon taken to their rooms and Steve looked around.
"It's styled into a hotel appearance. En suite, double bed."
Annette now walked in.
"Take a look at the brochure… crèche, children's play area. Bags me for that!"
"Yeah, crèche sound like your age group."
Annette looked up from the brochure.
"No silly, the play area, look at this. Now this is what we really came here for."
Steve looked at her.
"Fun? You call living on Earth fun?"
"No, well, yeah, I guess."
"Have you taken a look who's out there lately Annette? The competition? And all your interested in is a damn play area."
Annette now got scared and ran off to her room.
Steve moved to the window and looked out to watch the truck pulling away and the owner now looking up to watch him. Steve quickly moved away.
Steve decided to take a look around and heard the owner talking to a few other alien guests.
"The whole estate is modelled on a typical American hotel establishment. We have found that when we land and we disperse into our surroundings that we usually end up in establishments like this one. We believe that now we have off spring that eventually, after slipping into the everyday mundane human existence that is around us, we would then go out and find suitable buildings for us to survive in on a more permanent basis. In this world we live to keep our children happy and mould them into their new society so that eventually they will take over from us and be another step closer to taking over this planet."
Steve watched him then turned away.
"Excuse me, Mr Norton…" The owner said moving up to him.
Steve turned back as he reached him.
"Erm, we have a slight problem with your identity papers, I hope that you wouldn't mind,"
"Wouldn't mind, what?"
The owner led him to an office.
Steve watched him move round the table and grab a file.
"I just wanted to know what ship you and your daughter, Annette, isn't it?"
"Yes, that's correct."
"You see, we have no documents on you. I know that lately we've had to deal with the believers in this area so, some of the landings have been kept quiet, but I just have nothing on you."
Steve reached into his jacket pocket.
"I lazored these off last night. Will these do?" He said handing him an envelope.
The owner quickly took the papers out and read them.
"Oh yes, excellent copies. We will have no trouble getting passports and birth certificates for the two of you."
"Thank you." He said getting up.
"When did you land here, Mr Norton, erm, Steve?"
He faced him.
"A lifetime ago." He said trying to raise a laugh.
"Annette, she's one of our new generation… I landed here three nights ago when my daughter was still a seed. To me, I have been here my daughters lifetime."
The owner watched him leave then grabbed the phone beside him.
Steve looked around the hotel again and found the regeneration tubes then a computer room behind it. He moved in to it and pressed a few buttons.
"Okay, lets see what we've got."
A list of objectives was now displayed. He quickly downloaded them onto David's computer back at the farmhouse.
"That's Steve!" David said jumping up.
"He doesn't waste time." Claira said following.
David watched the screen then grabbed the phone.
"Claira, take a copy of this. I'm calling the bureau."
Claira pressed the print button as the printer whizzed in to life.
Steve made sure the download was complete then moved back out to the main area. Annette had already made friends with the other new generation kids and ran down the corridor towards him.
"Fascinating, aren't they? They have captured the youth of today so well, don't you think?" The owner said then followed them down.
Steve stared at them then moved back to his room.
Late that evening another truck pulled in with some heavy lifting gear. Steve watched from his window as the other aliens led a machine in through the main door.
"What's going on?" Annette said moving in close to him.
He spun round and grabbed her.
"What the… Annette, you should be in bed."
"There are all noises around here. Everything's so new. What is that thing?"
"I'm not sure yet. I haven't seen anything like it before." He said then realised the truck was now gone. "Come on, let's get you to bed." Steve said leading her through to her room.
That night Steve ventured down to the computer room again and checked on the new piece of hardware. Steve noticed some more spores ready for incubation but these looked very different.
The light now went on in the outer room. Steve tried to find a back exit but he was stuck in the room. He hid behind the panel as the owner walked in with another alien.
"We have to get these spores activated as soon as possible. I want them ready to leave with the next shipment."
"These are the new design spores with their assignments already planted inside their subconscious, yes?"
"Right. With the in bred children that we already have here, these children will not need alien parents to guide them through childhood and beyond. They could easily be adopted by unknowing humans and only at a certain time will their true charactor and beliefs finally take over and they will carry on our work."
"Excellent. I want you to expedite matters."
"At once sir." The owner said pressing the controls on the consul.
Steve now looked at the spores beginning to grow.
Once everything had quietened down Steve headed back to his room and grabbed his mobile phone and called David.
An alarm now sounded in the owner's office.
"Someone is using an illegal cell phone. I want all rooms to tie in, now."
"David, you have to listen to me. You have to get word to the bureau,"
"Why? What's going on?"
Just then the alarms went off. Annette came running in.
"What's happening? Hey, who are you calling?"
"I think they've spotted my cell phone transmissions. David, there is another generation being planned. Self in bred awareness. David, these kids don't need aliens to help them survive on Earth. They can live with humans!"
Annette now grabbed the phone from Steve just as the owner burst through the door.
"Dad, how do you get this stupid things to work? I can't get a proper signal… oh, erm, hi."
"Can I have that please Miss Norton?"
"Hurh, who's? Oh, erm, me. You want my cell phone, erm, alright."
The owner looked at the phone.
"These are not allowed on the premises. Haven't your read your handbook?"
"No. Erm, we've been busy." Steve said now stepping forward.
The owner looked at him.
"We have very sensitive equipment within this building. These cell phones could interfere with that equipment."
"Excuse me, but I didn't see the sign hospital above the door when we arrived yesterday." Steve said looking at him.
"What are you doing with a cell phone here? They are not issued until you are ready to leave the stronghold."
"Annette picked it up while we were waiting for the truck. Can we have it back please? I'll make sure that she doesn't use it again."
"No…! I will keep this until you leave. You will all be issued with your own phones when it is necessary for you to have them."
"Hey, but that's mine…" Annette said trying to grab it from him.
Steve now pulled her back.
"We better do as they say darling. We have a lot to learn here, yet."
Annette watched him take the phone and walk out.
"What the hell is going on around here?" She said turning back to look at Steve.
"More than originally thought. I just hope that my brother understands." He said moving to the window.
"He's going to check the phone. It has David's number on it."
He looked at her.
"I know. It wont take them long now to realise something is going on."
"Well, what are you planning to do? Why on earth did you call David for?"
"Those new spores. Their self in bred aliens. They don't need to be brought up on Earth by other aliens… humans could easily adopt them without them knowing of their secret agenda…." He said turning away in some kind of disgust.
Annette stared at him.
"Wow, having actual human parents. Do you know dad, that's a dream come true. I wish…"
"No you don't, no-one could ever possible wish for something like that. I have to do something about it."
"I have to. With those spores on earth, Annette, they could be ready within the week. They could be all over the country by the spring. Do you think that we could cope on that level?"
"Who wants to cope? It's what we've been waiting for." Annette said as her eyes lit up.
"Oh, please!" He said pushing her back into her bedroom.
David went to the bureau with the news that Steve had given him.
"We have no way of getting any message to your brother?
"No! He said that he might have been found out when the phone went dead."
"Well, do we expect the worst and raid the place tonight or do we sit tight and pray that Steve can get a message out to us by the morning." Ed said looking at him.
"It's obvious that now the phone has been discovered that they'll watch him like a hawk from now on. We have to give him the chance to deal with the spores before they leave the site."
Ed looked at his planner.
"Alright, we'll wait for a signal. But, if nothing is heard from your brother by noon tomorrow the place will be raided and the bureau will take no prisoners."
David looked at him and slowly nodded.
The next day Steve and Annette went down for breakfast and noticed the alien activity around.
"Someone has certainly caused a stir." Annette said looking around.
"That someone might be me. Just sit down darling and eat your breakfast."
As they ate their breakfast a few men walked up to the owner and pulled him away.
"I wonder what that's about."
Annette looked at him.
"I think that the sooner we get out of here the better."
"Now who's getting scared?"
"Well, it's that home away from home feeling. When your not home, you miss it but, this place…"
"Home is just down the road, darling."
"Yeah, but I can't exactly walk out of here and go home, can I?"
Steve looked at her.
"I don't know. At this moment in time I wouldn't mind trying."
"But the spores, what?"
The owner now walked back in.
After breakfast Steve, with Annette in tow decided to walk past the regeneration room that housed the computer room and the spore's chamber. The area was now guarded so they walked straight past.
"Well that's great, say if I want to regenerate sometime today. Do I have to ask their permission now?" Annette said loudly down the corridor.
"Of course not Miss Norton, you just let the front desk know where you are going and my men would gladly let you in." The owner said moving up behind them.
"Great." She said quietly then looked down.
"This area is restricted though, so if you wouldn't mind…"
"Oh erm, not at all." Steve said pushing Annette on.
They carried on walking to the play area.
"You are seriously not trusted anymore, dad."
"Thank you." He said looking back. "Not trusted by my own people. I must be human after all."
"I'm getting like my brother, sad thought, I know but, Annette, I have to get back into that spores room and stop the cycle."
"Why? Do you know what it would be like to have perfect aliens with human parents? Now, Claira had it reversed, hey even Sarah has it, a well, an alien for a father, not perfect, but hey, who's complaining?"
Steve stared at her.
"And you're the next generation?" He said shaking his head.
"Hey, I have to be taught, conditioned for this planet. Those spores do not, their perfect, in every detail. A dream come true, heaven sent. Imagine that."
"I am." He said looking back.
Steve and Annette walked back some hours later to see a set of cases being moved out.
"What's this, failed off spring?" Steve said raising a smile.
"No, a new incubation centre has been opened in the area. We are sending this over as a test sample." The owner said looking on.
"Test sample? There not ready yet, then?"
"No, but they soon will be."
Steve watched the owner leave.
They went back to their room and Steve went to the window and watched the van pull away.
"While the cats away…"
"Hey Annette, fancy a regeneration?"
"Well, I guess my batteries are a little flat, yeah."
They moved down to the main desk.
"We're just going for a regeneration."
"Okay Mr Norton." The receptionist said pressing the button.
They walked in to the room. Annette got ready to enter a tube.
"You know what, I might go for the deluxe regeneration today, darling…"
Steve moved towards the computer room.
"I'm sorry Mr Norton but that area is out of bounds."
"But, I want to up the radiation in the tube. It gives a better energy ratio if you put the computer into high gear."
"I think that my men can work that out for you."
"Erm, yes, alright."
Steve moved back to the tube.
"What's going on? What are you talking about, deluxe…?"
"When they open the tube close your eyes and keep your head down."
"Do as I say."
Steve moved to the tube as it opened. The radiation shot out and temporarily blinded the other aliens.
Steve now grabbed one of them and took his gun. He now shot at them and watched them turn red.
Annette now looked up.
"What, what are you doing? You killed them."
"Stay here and guard the room. I've got to get in there." Steve said handing her the gun and running into the spore's chamber.
Annette looked at the outline of the aliens that Steve had just killed. She now started to move into the chamber and towards Steve trying to get to the spores.
"Stay where you are, Mr Vincent…"
He looked back.
"Annette, stop playing around and keep guard, will you?"
"You killed those aliens."
"Yeah, and if we would have gone into those radiation tubes they would have killed us too."
"You don't know that. They are part of us."
He looked at her.
"Haven't you felt it yet? Annette, your not one of them, you maybe the new generation, but you are not one of them. You're a Vincent, just like me."
Annette now pointed the gun at him.
"I am here to destroy all humans. I have been made that way."
"You're an alien, that can still make a choice. Annette, the choice you have to make is whether you want to live or die. I chose to live, what do you want?"
She still continued to point the gun at him.
"You really want to live with them. I've shown you the new world we can live in darling. As a family."
"Step away from the chamber."
"Annette, listen to me…"
She now opened fire as Steve dived for cover.
The whole place now went up and Steve dragged Annette out of the room.
"The place is going to blow, come on."
"What have I done?"
"You chose to live, what else could you have done. Now, stop feeling sorry for yourself, it doesn't last long anyway and come on."
They ran out of the building to be met by the owner pointing a gun at them.
"That's far enough Mr Vincent…"
"It's too late. The spores are all dead."
"Not all of them. Our new site has dozens now taking shape ready to fight another day. You could never destroy us all." The owner now turned the gun on himself and disappeared in a flame of red.
"Lets get out of here." He said running out of the grounds to be met by David driving towards them.
The place now exploded.
"Mission accomplished?" David said looking on.
"You could say so, yes. All thanks to my daughter, here."
David looked at him.
"Seriously. She destroyed the spores and her dream, but I've given her a new dream." He said kissing her.
Annette hugged him as everyone looked on.
"You could say that it was dad who planted the seed."