Before time there was the Cube. We know not where it comes from, only that it holds the power to create worlds and fill them with life. This is how our race was born.
For a time we lived in harmony, but like all great power some wanted it for good, others for evil. And so began the war; a war that ravaged our planet until it was consumed by death and the Cube was lost to the far reaches of space. We scattered across the galaxy hoping to find it and rebuild our home; searching every star, every world. And just when all hope seemed lost message of new discoveries drew us to an unknown planet called Earth.
But we were already too late.
Modern Day Qatar
Twenty-three year old Lieutenant Briley Andrews was seated in a chopper with her comrades in arms. Her first tour was almost finished and then she would be able to return home ,sort of. In truth she would be going to see her sister Susanna who was married and had three little girls. Briley and Susana's parents had died in a car crash three months before she joined up. The guys in her squad had become a kind of surrogate family to her, if not a multiracial and very annoying one. Take now for instance.
"Oh, god. Five months of this," Jose Figuero, moaned as he leaned against a wall. "I can't wait to get a taste of home. A plate of my momma's alligator etouffee." Briley wrinkled her nose at the person sitting across from her who happened to be her red headed cousin Carter Jackson. Alligator just said nasty.
"Kay Amos," she muttered and Carter snickered, catching the reference to an old country song that featured a man named Amos Moses who hunted alligators.
"You've been talkin' 'bout barbecued 'gators and crickets for the last two weeks," Chief Master Sergeant Robert Epps said from his position sitting across from Fig. "I'm never going to your momma's house Fig; I promise." Briley and some of the others snickered at the offended look on Fig's face as the Hispanic man glared at them.
"But Bobby," Fig protested, ignoring the irritated look on Epps' face when he used the hated nickname. "Bobby 'gators are known to have the most succulent meat."
"Again with the eww factor Fig," Briley spoke up and Carter laughed before Fig glared at both of them. This was quickly becoming a running gag between Fig and Epps with their team leader, Captain William Lennox looking majorly zoned out.
"I understand," Epps replied, rolling his eyes, but Fig was already off on a tangent in Spanish. Briley had taken two years of Spanish in high school but no class could prepare anyone for Fig's rapid fire Spanish that came out of nowhere half the time. A chorus of voices spoke up telling Fig that they didn't speak Spanish, Briley's voice joining theirs, but Fig kept going until Captain Lennox pulled himself out of his stupor to speak up.
"English please. English," he said, sounding tired and exasperated. "I mean how many times do we...We don't speak Spanish." This was a relatively normal occurrence. Fig would drift into Spanish and Captain Lennox would reprimand him.
"Why you gotta ruin it for me?" Fig said, razzing the captain now. "That's my heritage." As if to prove his point Fig went off in Spanish again causing Lennox to sigh.
"Go with the Spanish," Lennox said tiredly. "Whatever."
Fig continued rambling on in Spanish for a few moments before Briley got fed up and snapped, "Callate." He silenced with a roll of his eyes and for a moment there was peace and quiet in the chopper.
That was when Donnely, Carter and Briley's other cousin present, spoke up. "Hey you guys remember the perfect weekend? The Sox at Fenway?"
Briley wrinkled her nose and said, "Soxs at Fenway, eww." There were some snickers as she razzed her cousin. "Try the Cardinals at Busch Stadium." There was more laughter as Donnely waved her off and kept going.
"Cold hot dog and a flat beer. Perfect day," he said wistfully. "What about you Bri? Does the Sox hater have a perfect day?"
"Anywhere away from you guys," Briley teased to moans and laughter as they ragged her. "What about you Captain? Do you have a perfect day?"
"I just want to hold my baby girl for the first time," Lennox said and the men instantly turned to tease him only to trail off when they were met with Briley's glare. They landed not long after that and Epps was the first one off the chopper, instantly challenging all the guys around to a basketball game.
"If any of you ladies are feeling lucky meet me at the court," Epps hollered and some of the men got up to join him.
"Hey," Briley yelled after him. "I take offense to that." There were some snickers as she parted from her squad and headed for her tent. She and a woman named Amanda Cross were the only women in camp and shared a tent. Amanda was on patrol so now Briley had a few moments to herself. She slipped into the portable canvas home and came out with a notebook that had a hard dark blue marbled cover and an envelope.
Carefully she unfolded the clean sheet of paper inside the envelope and pulled the cap off her pen, holding it almost delicately between her teeth. She considered for a moment and then began to write.
How have you been? I've been well but I'm tiring of the warm weather. I long for rain or, better yet, snow. Donnely or Carter or even Kinsey would say I'm crazy but it's the truth. I have also resolved never to eat alligator. Fig has been talking about eating gators all week and it's driving me insane. Other than that I'm as stable mentally as one can be in a situation like this. I'll be glad to see you soon. Please pass my warm wishes on to Mark and the terrible threesome.
Reading over what she had written Briley nodded in satisfaction and folded the paper carefully, slipping it into the envelope and sealing it. She placed the envelope next to her and carefully opened the dark blue notebook, turning to the correct page. The notebook was a prayer journal that Susanna had given to her just before she had been deployed. It had a bible verse at the top of each page and room for Briley to write down her thoughts and fears. The heading for the day was Ask, Seek, and Knock. Briley smiled as she glanced at one of her favorite verses. "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."-Matthew 7:7-8
She wrote in her careful script until she could fit nothing more on the page. Then she closed her journal and stood, scooping up the letter and sticking the pen in her pocket. She walked carefully to where she knew the mail truck would be waiting, mindful of the setting sun and the people dashing around her. That was when the first sign of something wrong came. That came in the form of a helicopter that suddenly shifted into a giant robot. "No way," Briley gasped, staring at the thing. There was six seconds of complete silence before the shouting started. The explosions followed not long after that.
That was when all hell broke loose. Explosions rained down everywhere as Briley simply dropped the prayer journal and letter and ran, shielding her head with her hands. Captain Lennox and Mahfouz, a native boy the captain had befriended came hurtling past her and Briley followed them. They were joined by Epps moments later who was yelling something about how the thing had "bombed the antenna farm." Briley felt an insane urge to giggle The urge passed moments later as she, Epps, Lennox, Mahfouz, Donnely, Fig, Carter, and the massive Burke dove for cover as more explosions rang out around them. The rest of the night passed in a blur of color, sound, and terror. The only thing Briley knew in the morning was that they were dazed but still alive.
Author's Note: Ok, so this is only the second story in which I've followed an existing story line only to modify it with OCs (The other being Fated which I'm sure was my best work) so hopefully this will go well enough. I own nothing but Briley, Carter, Susanna, and Kinsey