Tonight's Episode - Sound of Music
The crowd rose screaming and cheering as the guitarist played the last few chords and the drummer thumped his drums. The song reached its climax to a huge wall of noise and when the band stopped playing all you could hear was the deafening sound of the crowd whooping its approval. Street Fighting Men had quickly become the biggest rock group on the music scene since their formation two years earlier. This had been another hugely successful concert, played to a capacity crowd in the Hancock Arena, usually home to the Chicago Machine American football team.
Behind the scenes the crew were getting ready to dismantle the stage set.
"Ok you guys, lets get moving," said Pete Shears the stage manager.
"We need to get loaded up and out of here by midnight".
Two crewmen were busy unplugging a huge set of amps and carefully unravelling the coil of electrical wires and sockets.
"Hey man, be careful with the gear," Tony Dickson said to one of the new crew hands "This stuff costs a hell of a lot of dollars"
The band members were making their way back stage, weaving through the mass of speakers, wires, cables and rigging.
"Watch out!" yelled Dickson
The new stagehand had shoved too hard on a speaker and it came toppling over crashing to the floor. As it fell it clipped the shoulder of Charlie Perrin who slumped to the floor in agony. The falling speaker had also smashed on top of one of the stagehands.
Bright red he glowed fizzed then vanished into the air! In the ensuing chaos of the dimly lit area back stage, the men stood stunned.ACT I
Newspaper reports of an accident after a rock concert and reports of a vanishing, glowing man. Written off as a bizarre publicity stunt or the drug fuelled mistaken haze of a rock n roll lifestyle. For David Vincent, the news is not of bizarre publicity or drugs but of possible evidence of the presence of The Invader.
David Vincent drove his blue Ford Mustang into the parking lot of Hancock Arena surveying the scene. It was two days since the incident after the concert and the crew had been delayed in packing up. The police as a matter of course had looked into the events but found nothing untoward. Due to the injury to the drummer the rest of the tour had been postponed so the crew were in no hurry to hit the road.
"Can I help you mister?" the security officer asked David Vincent.
"I'm just having a look around" he replied.
"Well there isn't much to see unless you like football stadiums and it is the off season so you wont see any players" the security man remarked.
"I'm more a fan of the band rather than the football fan" said Vincent "Actually I work for a music magazine.."
"Another reporter eh?" said the security man, looking unimpressed.
"I'm more interested in the behind the scenes" Vincent replied "Writing an article about the crew that makes a tour like this happen. Plenty of press on the band themselves but none on the background people."
The security man rubbed his chin. " I suppose you want to have a look around"
"If that's alright," Vincent said.
"Ok mister, don't take too long now as they have had reporters up to here" the security man raised his hand level with the top of his head.
David Vincent made his way past the assorted trucks and into the back entrance of the stadium. Most of the gear was packed away except for a few amps, speakers and a small part of the stage set. Tony Dickson was stood smoking a cigarette and glancing at the front page of a newspaper.
"Hey man, what you doing back here?" he asked Vincent.
"I work for Treble Clef music magazine," Vincent stated as he walked over to Dickson. "My name is Vincent."
"Never heard of it." Dickson replied. "Damn reporters making me out to be some pot head crank" he continued in a rather irritated tone.
"Yes, I have read the papers" said Vincent "Look I was hoping to do a feature on the people behind these tours, our readers like to know more than just about the band themselves."
"Well there is no more tour until Charlie and his broken arm are better" mused Dickson. "By the way, the name's Tony Dickson, the assistant tour manager."
A couple of crew members ambled past them, drinking ice-cold cola to cool themselves in the July sun.
"You should have been a couple of days ago Mr Vincent, you would have seen the full workings behind the scenes." Continued Dickson. "Not much of a story for you now, most of the crew has been put on hiatus. No point in paying them to do nothing is there?"
Pete Wood the tour manager walked briskly towards them. "Tony, I want the rest of the gear moved out tonight. Have the trucks taken to the yard."
"Sure thing Pete." Replied Dickson,
With that Pete Wood walked off even more briskly than he had approached them.
"Got a lot on his mind." Dickson said to Vincent. "Not even time for introduction. Listen, I gotta get the men to pack up and move on out. I will be glad to get out of here, what with the accident and other things."
"You mean the glowing man." Vincent enquired.
"Got it in one mister." Replied Dickson. "I know what I saw. They think I must have been high on pot or mistaken or something but I was not. That man was under the speaker, he glowed red then vanished."
Vincent kept his emotions in check while he listened.
Dickson continued "Anyway, keep that off the record man. I don't want anymore crazy stories."
Vincent shook him by the hand and made his way back to the parking lot. He had to stop suddenly as one of the trucks rumbled past. He noticed the driver and his arm resting on the door with the window open. He then noticed the crooked finger on his hand as his arm tapped away on the outside of the truck door.
From one of the stadium doorways a crew member raised the white disc to his mouth and spoke into it. "David Vincent has been here looking round."ACT II The phone rang in the office of Edgar Scoville. "David, what have you found?" "There are definitely aliens working on the tour crew." David replied. "David, we have done some checking on this band. They are not alien, although the music is alien to me." Edgar replied in a slightly jokey manner with the last comment. "Probably not your kind of music Edgar." David countered back smiling. "Thing is what are the aliens doing on a rock n roll tour?"
Edgar shook his head. "David it is strange I agree but we need to find out what they are doing. I understand this is or was a nationwide tour, they could be using it is some sort of cover."
David lit up a cigarette.
Edgar continued. "We looked on the map of the country like you suggested. This band has played eight concerts so far. We have now confirmed that there has been saucer activity in the vicinity of each concert location. Question now is where do the aliens fit into all this?"
David stubbed out his cigarette and took a gulp of his drink. He was sat on the bed of his hotel room.
"Edgar, I saw one of the drivers of the truck was an alien. They have packed up all their gear and have holed up at some motel outside of town. I managed to follow them to see where they went. I also spoke to one of the tour managers; he says he definitely saw an alien burn up. The press are not buying it and think he must have been high or something."
"Go on David." Edgar said.
"Why are aliens working on the tour? It could be something to do with music or the records or something about the concert."
Edgar pursed his lips. "David do you think you could check out the trucks at the motel? See if there any clues you can find."
"I can have a look around tonight," said David.
"Be careful." Replied Edgar.
With that the two men hung up. David took a huge swig of his drink and lit another cigarette.
Pete Wood was sat in his motel room. The TV was on at a low volume showing some old spaghetti western. Pete Wood though paid no attention to the cowboys holding off a bunch of Indians out in some unknown mountainous region. He was certainly paying attention to the two other men in the room with him. Not that you could easily tell of course, but the two men were in fact aliens. Mr Gardiner and Hank Grayshon were the names they were using. Gardiner was a senior alien and was not very happy (if the aliens could ever feel an emotion such as happiness).
"Now Mr Wood, recent events are what you may describe as rather unsatisfactory" began Mr Gardiner.
Pete Wood nervously smoked a cigarette and wiped his brow. He was feeling extremely uneasy about the whole situation he had gotten himself into.
"You are aware of how important our schedule is. You are also aware of what the consequences are if our plans do not run smoothly."
Pete Wood gulped and took a long drag of his cigarette. "Yes I know but with no drummer and Charlie out of action there are no more shows."
Mr Gardiner looked sternly at Pete Wood. "I believe the expression is the show must go on. And go on it must."
Pete Wood glanced at the other alien who was sat in a chair opposite coolly spinning the barrel on his revolver complete with silencer on the end.
"Wwwhat can I do…" he stuttered.
"You are the tour manager Mr Wood, so you need to do just that and manage. I need you to have the band play the next tour date, whatever it takes. The concert on Friday must go ahead in Washington."
"Okay, I will speak with the rest of the band and somehow get them to play." Wood replied.
"See that you do." Mr Gardiner said in a stern tone. "We have invested a lot of money in our project. We have also invested money in you. Your gambling and drug habit costs a fortune and you would not wish to end up as a former tour manager now eh?"
Mr Gardiner stared coldly at Pete Wood whose mouth was very dry all of a sudden and he turned quite pale.
"It is very simple. Get that Washington concert up and running. The consequences for you and your wife would be very tragic."
In his mind Pete Wood screamed at the mess he was in. $70,000 dollar gambling debt to some serious wise guys. Wise guys that also supplied him with coke. The kind of people who would take you out if they felt like it. Sure, he was tour manager for a famous band but that counts for nothing. The press would love a bit of scandal. The wise guys would love a bit of killing. The aliens had him under the thumb for sure. They could take him out just like that. His wife too, they had threatened to kill her if he did not cooperate.ACT III
David had been sat in the motel parking lot for about two hours. Apart from the usual couples and lone businessmen he had seen nothing untoward. Several trucks from the Street Fighting Men entourage were parked in a yard behind some trees. He looked at his watch, 10.27 pm and all was quiet. A man walked along the dusty sidewalk. David peered through the dimly lit area and recognised him as the alien truck driver. He watched as he knocked on the door of room number 3 and entered. David got out of his car, eyes surveying to make sure the coast was clear. Quickly and silently he made his way to the edge of the motel buildings. He then ducked around the front and through some bushes. Counting the windows he inched his way to the rear of motel room number 3.
Peering through the glass he could see three men. Mr Gardiner, Hank Grayshon and Burt Webber the truck driver were in conversation.
"All the trucks are locked and secure I trust." Gardiner said.
"Yes sir they are." Answered Webber.
"We had reports that David Vincent was snooping around the stadium." Gardiner continued. "Make sure nothing compromises our mission, if Vincent turns up then you know what to do."
"Yes of course sir I understand." Webber replied.
Webber then made his way out of the room and went back to his own room further along.
Outside room number 3 David moved away from his spying position and back around into the parking lot. Still pretty quiet out here. David moved through a small gap in a fence and slid alongside one of the trucks. The cargo door was locked with a large padlock. He moved to the next truck and also found there was no way into it to investigate further. Footsteps made him freeze. He stooped down and crawled under the truck. Two sets of feet appeared and they stopped and opened up one of the cab doors.
"I hear the project is actually going to be on schedule now." One of the voices said.
"Yeah, the pre-testing has been a success, Washington will be the real thing." The other voice replied. "The sonic weapon will destroy their defences and they wont know what hit them."
Underneath the truck David inwardly cursed as his left foot trod on a stick that made a loud cracking sound.
"What was that?" one of the aliens asked.
David rolled out of the other side. The two aliens had ducked to look under the truck. One of them then ran to the front of the truck. David punched him in the face causing the alien to hit the floor. His comrade rushed round and David tried to punch him also. The alien blocked his right cross and hit David in the stomach. The other alien started to get up. David avoided another punch and kicked out at the alien. One was now behind David and he held him in a full nelson. The other alien produced the glowing white disc and moved into to kill David. David kicked the alien who was holding him in his shin which caused him to loosen his grip. The other alien tried to grapple with David but in doing so dropped the disc. David brought his fist down hard on the alien's neck and he slumped to the floor. He fizzed and glowed red and then died. The alien with the smashed shin was still in pain on the floor. David grabbed him by his shirt collar.
"Ok, talk" David menaced.
"Never." The alien said.
"Maybe my gun will loosen your tongue." David countered. "What is the sonic weapon?"
The alien laughed. "You will find out soon enough."
"Maybe you will like to talk to the police." David continued "On your feet and don't make a sound."
The alien resisted. "Kill me now then. I will not tell you, the police or anybody anything. I will disintegrate myself before we even get to your car."
"Just move over to the parking lot," David pointed with his gun in the direction of his blue Ford Mustang.
In a flash the alien reached in his pocket and placed the pill in his mouth. David knew that in seconds the alien would disintegrate and he would indeed have learnt nothing further. He decided that now would probably be a good time to get out of there before the other aliens discovered their comrades were missing.
Back at his hotel room David telephoned Edgar Scoville.
"Edgar, it looks as though the aliens have some sort of sonic weapon and somehow it fits in with the band and their concerts."
"Hmmm, they must be planning something and it appears it will happen during the concert. According to the papers though the tour is postponed because of an injury to the groups drummer." Edgar replied.
"I know." Said David. "I overheard them talking about moving on to Washington and that it is there where they are going to use whatever this weapon is."
"Ok David, I am going to send Bill Crowley to you. He is one of the chief engineers at Scoville Electronics." Edgar continued.
The time was 12 noon; David was in his hotel room drinking a cup of coffee. He had the television on and was catching up on the morning news. In entertainment news there was an exclusive that despite an accident in Chicago, the Street Fighting Men would play their next tour date in Washington as planned. A replacement drummer had been brought in and the group were keen to keep the tour on track and play for the fans. David watched the broadcast with great interest. His interest was broken by the sound of his hotel phone ringing.
"Mr Vincent?" a voice said.
"Yes." David said.
"This is Tony Dickson, Mr Vincent." The voice sounded agitated.
"Hello Tony, what can I do for you?" David asked.
"Have you read the papers or seen the news this morning?" Dickson said. "Can we meet, I need to talk with you?"
"Sure thing." David replied "Where and when?"
"There is a bar in town called The Helter Skelter, meet me inside in two hours." Dickson answered.
David hung up and sat in a chair pondering what this could be about. Could it be a trap? Tony Dickson was not an alien though. He lit a cigarette. Well in two hours time he would find out just what it was about.
David parked across the street from the bar. It looked reasonably smart from the outside. The street itself was fairly busy with people going about their business, a pretty normal day really. David walked across the street and entered the bar. Tony Dickson was already inside and was sat in one of the stalls towards the rear of the bar. The bar itself had about ten other people in it, drinking and chatting about this and that.
"Tony." David said extending his hand to shake.
"Thanks for coming." Dickson said motioning for them to sit down.
"Ok well im here, what's on your mind?" David asked.
Tony Dickson had the look of a man who was none too happy and also lacking in sleep.
"You heard the group are continuing with the tour?"
"Well IT goes on but ive been stood down. They got some new crew in and some new guy to play who I never heard of but he is great apparently. Take a holiday what with the Chicago incident. Something weird is going on man and I don't like it."
"And where do I fit into this?" David enquired.
"I checked something out. You aint no music reporter. You the guy that reckons aliens are trying to invade the Earth. Sounds crazy but some weird stuff is going on, so I don't know but things don't add up."
David lit a cigarette. "You saw someone burn up, that is how the aliens die on this planet. They glow red then burn up and leave a pile of ash. It does sound crazy but on the level it is true. These aliens have no pulse or heartbeat, some of them also have a mutated fourth finger."
"What exactly do these aliens want?" Dickson asked.
David informed him. "They want to take over The Earth and destroy every living thing and make it their world. It is as simple as that."
"It does sounds like you would need to be high on pot to believe it. I mean the whole thing does sound insane but I got to say too many strange things have happened. The reason I asked you to come was… well if your aliens are involved I would like to help you." Dickson stated.
"One of my associates is coming up today. We are going to catch a flight to Washington tonight." David informed Dickson. "I did some snooping around last night and discovered the aliens are planning to use some kind of weapon in Washington on Friday night."
"I will accompany you if that's okay" Dickson said. "Something aint right, me off the tour, a new crew, new drummer and the Chicago thing. I gotta know what the deal is."
"Meet me at my hotel at 6pm." David replied.
The two men departed from the bar. David drove his Mustang back to his hotel room. He needed to pack his things and meet with Bill Crowley. Back at his hotel he made a call to Edgar Scoville to fill him in on the latest news.ACT IV
David Vincent, Bill Crowley and Tony Dickson got a taxi from Washington Airport, their destination Thornton Heights. Edgar Scoville owned an apartment there. A block of luxury apartments, Edgar used this as his base when he had business meetings in the capitol. Upon arrival David paid the taxi driver the fare and the three men made their way into the building. At the reception desk the night porter was aware they were due and gave David the key to the apartment. The building was a ten storey one, and Edgar's apartment was the penthouse suite. The three men made their way to the lift and rode it to the top floor.
"Nice place." Mused David his eyes scanning the plush furniture and tasteful décor, "Edgar sure has good taste."
Bill Crowley had begun to open his travel case. Inside it contained a range of electrical equipment, frequency detectors and such associated gadgets.
"Now, Tony we need to get into the venue and see what we can find out." David began. "Bill has some equipment that might help us discover what they have planned."
Bill spoke up at this point. "I had a brain storming session with Edgar and some of the others yesterday. We know they have something called a sonic weapon. Our guess is that they are going to use the speaker system of the band during the concert to use it. Given that the band uses a heck of a lot of speakers this would be a good front to covertly do this. It must be inaudible and run alongside the actual music that is playing."
"We can at this point only speculate what the target is. It could be the White House however I overheard them talking about knocking out defences." David informed them.
"Anderson Air Base is only a few miles from the concert venue." Bill stated. "Maybe they are looking to destroy all the fighters, if that happened Washington would have no immediate air defence."
"It could be but we need to find something more concrete than guesses." Said David. "We need to find out more before the concert begins tomorrow night. If we don't then who knows what will happen."
"You people are pretty well organised." Dickson now spoke. "What about telling the police or the military?"
"We have been down that road before. Beings from another planet taking over the world is not an easy subject to tell people." David replied. "We need concrete evidence before anyone like that would listen."
"Ok so what is the plan then David?"
"I suggest we get down to the venue and see what we can find out." Said David.
"I have been to the arena before." Dickson said. "Done a tour for The Spiders last year. The trucks usually park up in a secured yard next to the arena ready for the day of the concert. Takes most of the day to set things up."
The three men made their way down in the lift to the underground car park. Edgar kept a 1965 Lincoln Continental for use when he was in town. David drove to their destination and parked up a block away from the yard where the tour trucks were located. Keeping to the shadows of the night, the three men moved carefully towards the parking yard. They could see six trucks parked behind a high-wire fence. Their eyes scanned the scene looking for any signs of movement.
"Do you think there are any guards?" Bill whispered.
"Cant see from here." David answered in a low tone.
"That fence must be 10 feet high." Bill replied.
"I think I can see a guard hut at the other side." Dickson suggested. "Yes look! There is a guard walking round."
"Just one night watchman by the look of it." Answered Bill.
"I have an idea!" David announced. "I'll pretend to be a guy drunk on his way home looking for a cab, staggering past and asking the guy to lend $5 dollars cos I drank all my money away!"
"Could be risky that David." Bill said concerned.
"We need a way to get past that guard and also see if there are anymore guards."
"Ok David." Bill said. "We will move in to help when you distract the guard."
David crouched and scooted to the far side of the street, then began to stagger back towards the guard hut. He walked humming a tuneless tune to himself while zig zagging in small steps. His approach alerted the guard who turned to see who was coming. David clicked his fingers in tune with his tuneless humming! Around the perimeter of the yard were some floodlights giving some light on proceedings. The street lighting was rather sparse along the road but there was just enough light for the guard to see some drunken man.
"Hey Mack, what's happenin'" David slurred. He was now level with the gate and the guards hut.
"Had a few too many drinks mister?" the guard replied.
"Yesh I have had many drinks but you can never have too many." David grinned at the man and swayed towards the gate. "You see my wife thinksh I have too many but what the hell she know bout it!"
"Hey buddy." The guard replied. "You best move it along now, get back to your wife."
David looked at him in that typical drunken stupor. "Mack, I shpent my last few dollars at the bar. You loan me $5 dollarsh get me a cab."
The guard raised his eyes at the drunken man. David leaned against the fence and told the guard he didn't feel too good. He then made as if he was going to move on and stumbled to the floor.
"Oh damn sssay, can you give me a hand, I aint feelin' real steady." David slurred.
The guard had had enough by now and he opened the gate and came to haul the drunken man to his feet. As he did so David held onto the man's wrist checking for a pulse. He did not feel one.
David pulled hard on the guards arm forcing him to fall forwards as he was off balance. David quickly smashed his fist on the back of his neck. The guard was now slumped unconscious on the floor. Bill and Tony had raced over as soon as David had started to attack the guard.
"Check his pulse Tony." David said.
"I can't feel a pulse." Tony replied. "I can't find a heartbeat either!"
The three men and the knocked out guard appeared to be the only ones at the yard. Nobody had come rushing out from anywhere else during David's interaction with the guard and the ensuing fight. They carried the guard into the hut and tied him up and gagged him. In the yard they looked at the trucks wondering what was inside them.
"All locked up by the look of it." David said dejectedly. "No windows to look inside of them either."
All six trucks had trailers attached to them and all had their tailgates padlocked shut tight. The three men pondered what to do next.
"We could check the guard hut, it's a long shot that the keys for these trucks will be inside there." David continued.
They checked the hut and alas, as they suspected there were no keys to the trucks. The only keys they did find were the ones to the compound and keys to a brown Ford Galaxie 500 that was parked at the very back of the yard which the trucks had obscured from view when they were outside.
"What about bringing the guard round?" suggested Bill. "We could make him talk and tell us what is inside the wagons."
"They rarely talk." David said. "Seen it many times, they would rather die than talk."
"If we break into the trucks, I mean break the padlocks obviously they will know that someone had tampered with them.." Tony said.
"The guard will tell them anyway" Bill spoke urgently. "What we going to do with him, he will come round at some point?"
"I don't know yet." David responded. "Look we probably can't hang around here too long. I say we check the trucks again. Look for any signs that one of them is perhaps special compared to the others."
The three men took two trucks each. There was nothing of huge interest in the cabs, so they each investigated their designated trailers. David found standard looking tailgates and padlocks; Bill found the same with the ones he checked over. Tony noticed one of the trailers had two padlocks at the bottom and also a padlocked metal bar across the middle. None of the other trailers had this extra level of security.
"Psst over here." Tony hissed.
David and Tony ran to the trailer that Tony was standing in front. He pointed out the extra heavy-duty padlocks and the extra tailgate security bar. This was definitely one trailer that the owner wanted to keep the contents safe and secure. They looked at the trailer each thinking about how they would gain access.
"Shooting the locks is going to be way too noisy." David told them. "We could try to force them open with a crowbar. There is one in the guards hut."
"Which ever way we do it the aliens will discover somebody has broken in or at least tried to." Bill opined.
"Don't make a move or you die!" a voice from behind suddenly told them.
The three men turned round to see Hank Grayshon and two others pointing revolvers at them. They had managed to creep up on them without being heard. "Hands in the air."
They put their hands up as the aliens motioned them to move towards the exit of the yard. Once at the exit one of the aliens waved down the street and a beige Ford panel van drove up and stopped at the assembled collection of humans and aliens.
Hank Grayshon spoke to the driver. "Take these three to the motel."
David, Bill and Tony at gun point climbed into the back of the van, inside two aliens pointed guns at them keeping guard of the prisoners. The van made its way back to the motel. The prisoners were being taken to the alien leader to be interrogated and quite likely to be murdered.
Inside the motel the three were made to sit in a line with their hands tied behind their backs. Each looked at the other people in the motel room, the alien leader known as Mr Gardiner, Hank Grayshon and Pete Wood, tour manager of the Street Fighting Men.
"Gentlemen, I hope you are enjoying our hospitality." Said Gardiner with a huge sense or irony.
"Pete…" Tony Dickson uttered.
"Yes Mr Dickson, Mr Wood is here as what you might say of his own accord." The leader continued. "Sadly for you, you don't appear to have taken up your holiday that he kindly sent you on."
David spoke up at this point. "What do you want? Why have you brought us here?"
"It is very simple. We want to know what you were doing tonight and who else knows about it?" the leader responded.
"Sightseeing." David replied sarcastically.
"Mr Vincent, you have no time for games or sarcasm." The leader retorted sinisterly.
The leader produced a spinning hypnotic prism for his pocket and moved it in front of Tony's face. His eyes were soon locked in a trance and the leader was able to extract the information he was seeking.
"So gentlemen, you are seeking to discover what our sonic weapon is all about. Well, seeing as you will never actually find out for yourselves I will put you in the picture."
"What do you mean?" asked Tony.
"He means we will die." David answered back.
Pete Wood throughout all this had sat nervously at the back of the room chain smoking. He never had envisaged the situation he now found himself in. Why had Tony not taken that holiday away? Why was he here with two other men now prisoners of the aliens and seemingly facing certain death?
"Mr Wood here." The alien leader pointed at him. "Kindly has been assisting us in our experiments. By way of using the concerts as a cover we have been able to do so undetected, a nice covert operation im sure you will agree!"
"Pete what the hell…." Tony began.
The leader interrupted. "You humans always have a price. Greed, money, narcotics, power, whatever vices you have."
Pete Wood said nothing. There was nothing he could think to say at this stage. In a way he had sold out but then the aliens had a hold over him in a couple of ways. Maybe he had not actually sold out but was being coerced into it? Thing is now he realised how lives were at stake. One of his colleagues and friends, future now looked bleak. Same for the other two men with him.
"Look, lets just get it over huh." David said.
"Ah Mr Vincent, we have quite a history with you don't we? Well this is going to be the last time you meddle in our affairs."
The leader stood in front of the three men tied to the chairs. He stood with his hands level with his midriff, palms spread open. "Gentlemen since you have been eager to learn of our plans I shall let you in on the secret."
Pete Wood wiped his brow and lit yet another cigarette and took a slug of his whiskey.
"The sonic weapon is an experimental weapon that transmits a high level frequency of sound that is capable of destroying designated targets. In simple terms it causes unstable vibrations on materials causing them to self combust." The leader explained.
"We needed a way to transmit this frequency and the best way to amplify it is through speaker systems such as you use for concerts."
"So that's what you are doing taking over the tour." Exclaimed Tony.
"Indeed. It will be fully operational tonight and our target is the entire Strategic Air Defence Force of the United States. They will have no idea why their planes blow up. In the confusion and without clues they will probably suspect the Russians or the Chinese. As you can see this will create international tensions and allow us to strike without resistance." The leader continued his explanations.
"It could start a nuclear war between nations." David offered.
"Would make our invasion and destruction of the human race far easier if the human race destroys itself." The leader responded. "And now it's time for your destruction!"
Hank Grayshon moved in front of Tony Dickson and aimed his gun at him. As he readied to pull the trigger Pete Wood hurled his whiskey bottle. The bottle smacked into the aliens arm and caused his arm to jerk. The bullet went clean through the arm of Tony who cried in pain. In a flash Pete Wood pulled a pistol out of his jacket pocket and fired at the alien who disintegrated glowing red.
The alien leader was completely taken by surprise as Pete Wood aimed his gun at him telling him to untie the three men or he would shoot him as well.
"Enough is enough." Pete said. "I can't do this anymore."
The alien leader snarled at Pete. "You fool."
"Untie them." Pete insisted.
Reluctantly the alien leader untied all of the men. Despite the odds looking stacked against him the leader was planning how he could regain the upper hand.
"Tony is going to need a doctor, it is a clean wound but he needs medical assistance." David said.
They wrapped some cloth around the wound to try and stop it bleeding. His shirt was bloody but he said he felt okay and that they needed to make plans for their next move.
"What we going to do with him?" Pete asked pointing to the alien leader.
"We keep him prisoner and turn him over to the police." David answered.
"Mr Vincent." The leader responded. "You are aware that we need to regenerate. I have less than an hour before, well you know what."
"Regenerate?" Tony asked.
"They need to regenerate to keep their human form. Otherwise they start to revert to their alien form and die as they cant survive here that way." David informed them.
"Pete, will you take Tony to a doctor? Me and Bill are going back to the compound to destroy the sonic weapon machine." David stated.
"What about him." Bill asked of the alien leader.
"We take him with us." David replied.
Pete Wood helped his friend into his car and drove off headed for a doctor to tend his wounded arm. David and Bill took the alien leader at gunpoint and used his car to make their way back to the compound. Bill drove and David kept guard of the alien in the backseat. When they were close Bill switched off the headlights and the rolled silently towards their destination. David tied the alien's hands behind his back and gagged him so that he could alert his fellow aliens. David locked the car and he and Bill made their way along the street to the compound.
"David look." Whispered Bill. "There are more guards, how we going to get in without being seen?"
They could both see at least four guards and they were armed. David and Bill were both carrying pistols and were contemplating odds of two on one. Inside the car the alien leader struggled forward. He could feel that he was beginning to morph into his own state. Inching forward he managed to lean over the front seat and lunged forward with his head. BAARRRRP! The leader in his final throws had managed to press the car horn. The intention was to warn the guards at the compound who would be on high alert at the noise.
David and Bill froze at the noise as two of the alien guards made their way out of the gate to investigate the sound. They had not seen the two men crouched down in a doorway. As they approached David decided it was time for action. He aimed his gun at one of the guards and fired. Bill fired at the other one and both guards fizzed and died in a glow of red. The gunfire alerted the other guards inside the compound who ran out guns blazing. Bullets whizzed above their heads as David and Bill raced for cover behind the car.
"Now what!" Bill asked.
Suddenly there was a screech of car tyres as a black Ford Galaxie came tearing down the road. It was moving at a rapid pace and heading straight for the two guards. They fired at the oncoming car but it kept on bearing down on them. A roar of engines and gunfire, lights dazzling as the car collided with the two aliens. On the car went and came to rest having smashed its way through the compound fence and its momentum halted by one of the truck cabs.
David and Bill ran to the wreckage scene. Inside the car was Pete Wood injured both by bullets and the impact of the crash.
"Tony is at a doctors." He gasped. "I came to help finish what should never have started."
This was the last thing he uttered as he slumped to the side.
"We should check the wagons." David said. "Find out what the weapon is inside. Then we can call the police. They must listen now if we have an alien weapon as proof."
The two moved to the trailer that had the extra security on it. David fired his gun and shot off the padlocks. Now all they had to do was open it and see exactly what was inside. David pulled the handle and the shutter tailgate rolled up. The two men could now see exactly what was in the trailer. They could make it a large electrical machine with computer screens and dials. They also saw that they were staring at the barrel of a disintegrator gun being aimed at them by an alien guard.
"Move back." He ordered.
David and Bill stepped away from the rear of the wagon as the alien guard jumped out, all the while aiming his gun at them.
"Take your guns out and place them on the floor next to you." The guard commanded. "Now kick them away nice and easy."
They did so and the pistols skidded along the ground.
"Your leader is dead." David informed the guard.
"There are others." The guard replied defiantly. "Now move over there. We took an extra precaution as the other trailers just contain the bands equipment."
David could hardly believe their bad luck that inside the trailer had been stationed a guard. He has not even considered anybody being inside.
"Listen, if you are going to kill us, do you mind if I have a last cigarette?" David enquired.
"As you wish since it will be your last." The guard coldly answered. "No funny business either."
David reached into his coat pocket. In the front pocket he had concealed another gun. He was making as if he was struggling to get his packet of cigarettes out but was in fact turning the gun inside his pocket and aiming at the guard. He knew this was a risky manoeuvre but it was their last resort. His finger pressed on the trigger twice. Two bullets zipped out striking the alien in the stomach.
The alien recoiled in agony as the bullets slammed into him. In his dying throws he spoke into his communicator disc.
"Mission compromised. Leave no trace…"
The alien collapsed to the floor, his body glowing red. As he did so he fired his disintegrator gun at the trailer containing the sonic weapon. Seconds later the alien fizzed away in a glow of red. The trailer disintegrated and vanished.
David and Bill stared dejectedly at the space where the trailer had stood previously both sighing with disappointment.
"Nothing more we can do here now." David said.
The two men made their way back to the car and headed back to Edgar Scoville's apartment.EPILOG
"How you feeling?" David asked Tony.
Tony had been transferred to the city hospital. He was sat up in his bed with his arm in a sling. He pointed to the newspaper lying on the table next to his bed.
"Quite a story on the front page!" Tony said.TOUR MANAGER PETE WOOD FOUND MURDERED
The front-page story headline news that the tour manager of the Street Fighting Men had been found dead in his car. Police were investigating the murder but as yet had no suspects or motive for the crime. The concert for that day and the rest of the tour had now been cancelled until further notice.
"Unfortunately the aliens destroyed the weapon they had. The other trailers just had concert equipment, so we have no proof the aliens ever where here. Pete came to help us after he dropped you off at the doctor." Said David.
"What are you going to do now David?"
"Go back home and relax I think." David smiled. "I have some friends of mine, a group of believers, they will need updating on what has happened here."
Tony nodded. "David, you can count me in as a believer also."
David thanked him for that. He shook Tony by his good arm and said, "So long, get better soon.
David walked out of the hospital room and down the corridor towards the exit. It was sunny outside and David reflected for a moment as he stood on the entrance steps. A battle against The Invader had been won, the war against The Invader would continue. Not so much a case of Street Fighting Men but more a case of Men Fighting Aliens.