This story was written in February 2007 in response to the Twenty Minutes with Jason Trask challenge at the Lois and Clark Fanfic Message Boards.


Mary stood in the doorway to the dining room with her hands on her hips. The children were sitting quietly at the table behind her with their hands in their laps.

"Jason, dinner's getting cold."

He shook his head and waved her away. The space shuttle Prometheus was about to be launched. Why any human would want to leave Earth behind for the cold depths of space was beyond him. There were other beings out there, monstrous beings, and they were looking for a way to conquer this planet. This space station would give them ideas.

Forty-five seconds.

He was in complete agreement with whoever had sabotaged the Messenger launch a few days before. People had died, but war had casualties. And, make no mistake, this was a war. There were horrible things out there, very possibly already on this planet, that wanted our home.

Thirty-five seconds.

But this launch was going forward as scheduled. These colonists were going against the will of God and the laws of mankind. Humans had not been intended to live in space. They needed to stay right here on terra firma where men like him could protect them from the awful creatures from outside the thermosphere.

"Due to a mechanical failure, we have suspended countdown at twenty-nine seconds. We will advise."

He smiled. Maybe they weren't going to get off the ground after all. Someone with good sense had found a way to stop them. He wished he had been the one to think of it, whatever it was.

He watched the TV intently. Nothing happened for several minutes and with each passing moment his grin grew bigger. This was it; it was over. If they didn't get off the ground tonight, they wouldn't get another launch window. And that terrible foothold into the far reaches of space wouldn't be gained.

Those beasts weren't coming here, no sir. And if they did, they would have to deal with him.

"Jason, the children are hungry…" He waved her away again. Couldn't she see that this was important?

Wait a minute, what was that? The shuttle was lifting off the ground, but the rockets hadn't been fired again. What the hell?

He leapt out of the recliner and knelt on the floor in front of the TV. Was that a man holding up the shuttle, lifting it into the air?

It certainly looked like a man. But men, humans, couldn't fly.

It was an alien.

They were here. All his years of searching, all the evidence he had gathered, had suddenly born fruit right in front of his eyes.

There was an alien on his planet. He'd been waiting his whole life for this moment. No one knew these bastards like he did. He needed to get down there right away.

The front door slammed behind him with enough force to shake the house. Mary Trask put a hand to her head and sighed. She turned to the children and pasted a weak smile on her face.

"Eat, darlings. Your father had to go out."