Iapetus Saves Albuquerque

Chapter Six

By Douglas E. Gogerty

Dr. Plate watched as, what he thought was a sand storm, raged towards the center of Santa Fe. It towered over the low buildings of this New Mexico City. It would occasionally stray from the road and smash a building as it continued on its path towards the city's more densely packed spaces.

Dr. Plate felt relatively safe; thus, he followed the storm from a distance down the road. The storm did not travel quickly, so he could keep up. It was such an odd storm that his scientific curiosity urged him to study it. To him, it still looked more like some sort of creature than a storm.

He thought it was odd that it lingered at the mall. It seemed to relish the smashing of the various mall buildings. As the merchandise flew in various directions, Dr. Plate thought that the mall had everything.

Apart from the sound of buildings crumbling, there was no sound of a train that was often reported from storms of this magnitude. It was when he was noting how quiet the storm was when he heard the planes coming.

He thought it odd that several F-16 fighters would be flying towards the storm. Even more odd was when the first wave from the New Mexico Air National Guard 150th Fighter Wing fired missiles at the storm. As he imagined, the missiles passed right through the sand, impacted with the rubble, and exploded.

To his astonishment, the storm let out some sort of sound. It looked as if the storm decided it was finished with the mall, and now it was going to go after the planes. The storm totally engrossed his thoughts, and he did not notice the military Humvee drive up. Captain Daniel Cheever jumped out of the vehicle.

"What the -- er -- uh -- what are you doing here citizen?" asked the military captain attempting to contain himself.

"I'm just watching the storm," replied Dr. Plate.

"Storm? What are you talking about?"

"What am I talking about? Can't you see that storm over there?"

"Mister, the entire town has been evacuated because of that alien monster over there," replied Captain Cheever pointing at the rampaging monster.

"Monster? Oh, that explains a lot."

"Yes, it is some sort of Saturn Sand monster."

"Where did you hear that?" asked the astonished Dr. Plate.

"They broadcasted it all over the news. Those meteors from the other night were parts of this creature."

"Cool!" replied Dr. Plate with wide-eyed enthusiasm continuing to watch the monster battle with the jet fighters.

"They gathered themselves up with a bunch of available sand, and created that monster that just destroyed Sante Fe Place."

Dr. Plate's imagination took over and he contemplated things for a bit. Captain Cheever stared at him the entire time, but Dr. Plate continued to watch the rampaging monster. He glanced at Captain Cheever watching him. He could not think of anything to say in response. Eventually said, "But Saturn?"

"Get in you..." began the Captain. "Citizen, you are in grave danger. Please come with me."

"And miss the first extra-terrestrial being interacting with humans? Not a chance."

"That was not a ..."

Before the Captain could finish his sentence one of the F-16's exploded and rained debris down over the area. Dr. Plate realized that he was really in danger, and jumped aboard the military vehicle.

The Sletfernian Sand Monster continued to take swipes at the circling fighter planes. The planes continued to fire their weapons at the monster in an attempt to destroy it or find some sort of weak spot. However, it was mostly sand, and the missiles and bullets passed right through.

Captain Cheever was not certain what to do with his new passenger. While he was considering his options, the planes flew away. The monster began moving northwest, and destroying buildings along the road.

The monster had not gotten far when some tanks rolled up. They fired their rounds, and moved away from the center of town. Like the munitions before, they passed right through the monster, impacted on something, and exploded. The buildings around the monster were being greatly punished.

However, the monster turned from the center of town and followed the tanks. The buildings along the road paid for the new route, but this could save the more densely packed areas towards the center of town.

Round after round of shells were fired at the monster while Captain Cheever contemplated his next action. However, before he decided on any action, Dr. Plate interrupted his train of thought and asked, "Did you see that?"

"See what?" the captain replied.

"There are a set of dark ovoid objects that move out of the way when the bullets pass through the sand monster."

"Shells."

"Okay, when the *shells* get near the monster, they push the meteroids out of the way. It they target..."

"Enough!" ordered the captain as he drove away from the monster.

"But..."

"Are you seriously trying to tell the military how to do their business?"

"No, but..."

"That's right -- no buts! Those men have their orders. They clearly know more about the monster than you do because you thought it was a storm just 10 minutes ago."

"I know; however..."

"Listen citizen, I'm just here to get you safely out of the city."

"I am Dr. Philadelphia Plate. I am an astronomy professor from New Mexico State University."

"Nice to meet you Dr. Plate," replied Captain Cheever curtly. "Now please keep quiet so I can think of the best way to get you to safety."

"Captain Cheever, do you read? Over," interrupted the radio.

"Cheever here. Over," he replied into the radio.

"Please report to Home Base Echo. Over."

"I have a civilian with me, please advise. Over."

"Generals orders are to report immediately. Over."

"Roger. Over and out."

"Over and out."

"I guess you're going to have to come with me," stated Captain Cheever to Dr. Plate. "Some sort of major emergency must have arisen that requires my personal attention."

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Douglas Gogerty published on August 24, 2008 9:54 PM.

"Raid on the Island of the Dead" - Chapter 2 was the previous entry in this blog.

"Raid on the Island of the Dead" - Chapter 3 is the next entry in this blog.

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