A/N: Hey guys! I've been itching to do a next-gen fic for Falling Skies, sort of explore what would happen after Earth is reclaimed. This story is set seventeen years after the invasion ended. Now, seventeen years later, humanity has done its best to rebuild (and is still in the process of doing so). Therefore, technological process is only just approaching what it was before the invasion began. Hal is now married to Maggie (aw!) and they have two kids. And this story will also bring BACK a character of mine, Alexandra Carter, who I introduced in the story 'Keep Your Eyes Open.' Don't worry, there aren't any major spoilers in here regarding that storyline but the important thing is, she's married to Ben. The story also brings back all of our favorites but it will revolve around the two children of Hal and Maggie and the only son of Ben and Alexandra. I plan to tell a (hopefully) good and realistic story and put a unique spin on what I think would happen once this whole alien ordeal ends. Do me a favor and read/review for me? Special shoutout to WhisperMaw who encouraged me to post this.
PS: This is told in first person. Each chapter will be told from a different perspective (usually one of the three major characters).
Chapter 1: Rebecca Mason
I stood at the top of the banister, peering down over the sides, observing the exchange going on below me. It was late, well past midnight, and I had been lying in bed listening to music when I heard the doorbell ring. I don't know what made me do it—I hadn't eavesdropped on my parents' conversations since I was six—but I felt compelled to find out who was calling at our house this late at night.
I saw my parents at the door, my dad's dark-haired head opening up and my mom standing just behind him. A woman, blonde like Mom, stepped inside and I could feel the atmosphere shift. Mom let out a gasp and stepped back, Dad stepping in front of her as if to shield her from something.
"Hello Hal, Maggie," the visitor greeted. There was a strange bulge on the back of her neck along with a pulsating, orange glow.
"What are you doing here?" Mom asked, stepping out from behind Dad. She was using the tone she used on me and my brother when she was especially mad.
"I'm just delivering a message," the stranger replied scathingly.
"Get out," Dad was talking now, his voice hard. "Or I'll call the police."
I couldn't see from my position but somehow I got the sense that the stranger was sneering at my parents. "You invited me in. And what I'm about to say affects you, Maggie, your children." Everything froze. "Are you going to let me speak now, Hal?" the woman resumed.
"What the hell do you want, Karen?" Dad snarled.
"Just thought you should know: my masters are coming back. Some of them are already here."
"What are you talking about?"
"Did you really think that they would just leave? After all the trouble it took to get over here in the first place?" A chill ran up my spine as I crouched down, peeking out through the bars of the banister. They were talking about The War.
I didn't know much about the War, aside from what they taught us in school. Basically, a group of aliens invaded Earth and attempted to eradicate humans from existence. We fought back and won. Or at least that's what it seemed like until right now. I knew my parents had both fought in the War. I knew my Uncle Ben and my Uncle Matt had, too, as did Granddad and Grandma and my dad's biological mother until she died. There were countless others, too. I knew that the aliens captured and put harnesses on kids to enslave them. My Uncle Ben was a victim of that and he still had the spikes in his back to prove it.
I'm sure my little brother Gabe knows more, he's obsessed with this kind of stuff, but aside from a few stories Uncle Ben told us, I know next-to-nothing else. Mom and Dad don't like to talk about it much. In fact, it's almost like they're ashamed. The War ended seventeen years ago, a year before I was born. It never really affected me. But now, this stranger named Karen was saying they were coming back?
"Who are you kidding, Hal?" she asked. "My masters invested too much in this invasion to just give up. They're bringing reinforcements and everyone is going to be wiped out this time. No more chances."
"So why did you come here?" my dad gritted out.
"Because. They have Matt."
"That's what they sent me here to tell you. You want your little brother back? You're going to have to come get him. Better hurry, they won't keep him alive forever."
"You bitch!" I was shocked to see my dad almost hit the woman. Mom had to drag him backwards and for a moment the strange guest looked up and I swear she saw me. She fixed her eerily lifeless blue eyes right on me, a half-smile curling on her lips. And then she left without another word. I ducked back into the shadows and listened to my parents' conversation downstairs.
"I'm going after him, Maggie. Just wait here and…"
"No, Hal," Mom said gently.
"What do you mean no?" There were shuffling sounds, like he was putting on his coat.
"Don't you see? It's a trap! They want you to go looking for your brother, they want you to walk right into their hands!"
"Why would they do that?"
"They have a long memory, Hal. Your family caused them ridiculous amounts of grief. You don't think they want revenge?"
"He's my brother, Maggie! I'm not leaving him to die!"
"That's not what I'm suggesting! But if you go out there by yourself looking for him, you're going to end up dead! Just…sit tight. We'll call some people, get a group together, and then we'll go looking for Matt. There's strength in numbers. Besides, if the Overlords really are coming back for round two, we'll need some organization."
I could tell this was eating Dad up inside, even without seeing his face or reaction. Family's always been so important to him, I guess because he lost so much of it in the War. Those aliens were holding his brother hostage. Those aliens were holding my Uncle Matt hostage. And they were trying to bait out my dad so they could kill him too. The phone rang and I jumped, nearly screaming out and giving away my position. I paused, waited as Mom spoke to whoever was on the other end, and then hung up.
"I knew it," she muttered.
"That was Anne." Grandma?
"What did she say?"
"Your dad's missing. Karen showed up at their door earlier today and told them the aliens had Matt. He went looking for him, she couldn't stop him. And now he's missing. Do you see why we have to wait?"
"They have my dad and my brother. Do you see why we can't?"
"Hal, you're not thinking straight!" Mom's voice was rising now. "You can't go out there all by yourself, they'll only get you too!"
"I'm going to find them, Maggie."
"No! You're staying, even if I have to lock you in a room myself." The voices were nearing the stairs now and I darted back into my room before I could get caught.
My head was spinning. Those…things…had kidnapped my uncle and now they might have taken Granddad too? And Dad was powerless to do anything because they were just going to hunt him down and kill him if he went searching for them. I don't know why the thought hit me, but once it was in my head it continued to grow, continued to make sense. If Dad couldn't go looking for them, maybe I could. Or at least me and my brother. And I had an idea as to who else could help us.
"Gabe!" I shook my brother awake. He rolled over and groaned groggily. "Gabe, wake up!"
"Rebecca? What the hell, it's three AM!"
"I know! Get up! We have to go!"
"Go where?" he huffed moodily, rolling over. "The only place I'm going is back to sleep."
I growled softly. He may be fifteen but sometimes he's such a child. "Gabe, it's important! I was listening to Mom and Dad talking…"
"Eavesdropping again?" he mumbled and I could imagine him rolling his eyes in the dark.
"It's important," I reiterated. "Uncle Matt and Granddad are missing. Kidnapped, maybe."
Gabe shot up in the dark, dark eyes suddenly wide and shining. "They're what?" he asked in disbelief.
"Some woman showed up at the door earlier," I whispered urgently. "And she told them that the aliens are coming back. She said they had Uncle Matt and then Grandma called and said Granddad went to look for him and that he was missing…" I trailed off as Gabe started laughing. "What's so funny?"
"You are," he said. "You must have been dreaming or something, sis. I think you're losing it." He lay back down.
"Stop being such a prick!" I shook him again. "I'm serious!" He gave a loud fake snore. "Gabe! Think about it! You're such a dork about the War just think! Why would the aliens leave if they spent so much time and effort trying to make us submit? They're bringing reinforcements! Some of them are already here! And they're trying to bait out people like Dad and Granddad so that they can kill them and get them out of the way!"
Gabe rolled over to face me again and I could see interest in his eyes now. "You're serious?" he asked, slowly sitting up again.
I nodded earnestly.
"If this is a joke, I swear I'll kill you…"
"It's not a joke," I insisted.
Gabe shook his head like he didn't want to believe it. "If you're serious then we are all screwed, Rebecca. You have any idea what those aliens were capable of?"
I snorted. "You're the War geek."
"They have bombs that can wipe out entire cities. They have creatures that literally eat people apart from the inside out. And they have machines that can disintegrate people to dust! We wouldn't stand a chance out there…"
"Of course we would, genius! Look at what Dad and Mom did." I'll admit, most of our knowledge of what our parents did came from Uncle Ben. I've always envied our cousin Jimmy, his only son, to some extent. Jimmy knows all of his dad's war stories. On top of that, he seems to have some of his dad's abilities too, like the harness screwed with his DNA or something. He can hear pretty far and lift pretty heavy things. Granted, not as much as Uncle Ben can, but it's still something. And that's why we'd need his help, too. "Mom already talked about organizing resistance again but Uncle Matt might not have that kind of time. We need to get going tonight."
"How are we going to get there, Rebecca?" Gabe asked. "And how are we going to find him?"
"Easy," I replied. For a super-smart kid he sure doesn't think very creatively. "I can drive…"
I was interrupted by a snort. "You just got your permit and suddenly you're Mario Andretti?"
Gabe shook his head. "Never mind. The point is, you can hardly drive a car and even if you could, how would we find Uncle Matt? The aliens could be holding him anywhere."
"We'll need Jimmy," I replied. "They can't be keeping him too far away since they want Dad to find him. And Jimmy can hear better their communication frequencies so hopefully he'd be able to pick up where they are." That was the beauty of the war stories. While Gabe was studying history and technology, I was studying battle strategy. "They aren't looking for people like us, which makes it easier."
"You're crazy," Gabe shook his head.
"So are you in?"
There was a long pause but I knew what he'd say before he even said it. "I'm in."
A/N: Okay, so that's your 'teaser.' If you like it, review! I thought it plausible that the aliens would trick us into thinking they were leaving so we'd let our guards down. In any event, this is really just a 'set-up' chapter. The story will cover two points-of-view: that of the kids and that of the original (surviving) members of the 2nd Mass as they prepare for the worst and search for the missing kids. So you think it's worthy of pursuing? I wanna hear it from YOU! You know what that means…
Next chapter appearances by…Ben, Anne, Dai, Anthony, Lourdes, and of course Hal and Maggie. And more drama with the kids as they rope their cousin Jimmy into all of this. But none of this can happen without readership!