Authors: Adam Moon
(Rise of the Super Soldiers)
Apex 2 copyright © Adam Moon
All rights reserved
If you haven't read the first installment, you can find it here:
Table of Contents:
Jack Peterson started to feel faint. That could mean only one thing: he was about to phase out again. He sat down on his bed and held his breath, hoping against all odds that he wouldn’t vanish.
His mom was downstairs making dinner. With any luck, he’d teleport away and then manage to get back before she noticed he was gone. The last thing he wanted to do was to
further upset her. The poor woman had been through enough already.
flickered; the walls of his room shimmered like a distorted wave before his eyes. He felt the power rise up in him, against his will, and then he disappeared.
He felt the heat first and said, “Dammit, not the desert again.” He couldn’t be sure which desert he
was in, but this one was different than the last few he’d materialized in.
He looked around but there was nothing but sand and brown vegetation, clinging on for a meager survival, as far as the eye could see. He sat down on his butt and waited to regain his energy so he could teleport back. His powers had been out of control for a month now. He was just glad he hadn’t appeared in the middle of the ocean again, or in outer space.
He thought he’d be able to rein in his powers as time passed but they had grown too quickly over the weeks since the Grey aliens had attacked Earth.
The Good Aliens
Admiral Liktar asked his first mate, “How long until the Greys reach Earth?”
“My scouts tell me they’ll be there sooner than we thought.”
“Do the Earthlings stand a chance?”
“Of course not. The Greys they defeated were led by an imbecile. This time, General Shaylo himself has been dispatched to eradicate them.”
The admiral shook his head sadly. “Once he wipes them out, he’ll come for us next. We have to hope that the genetically modified Earthlings can put up a fight or we’re doomed along with them.”
“There’s always a punchers chance. They beat the odds last time. They might just do it again.”
The admiral locked his first mate in a stare. “You know they owe their lives to you, right? Your ingenuity saved the Earth from the first Grey attack.”
This time the first mate shook his head sadly. “All I did was alter the disbursement method for the genetic modifier. Instead of empowering their entire planet by a little, we enhanced a few individuals by a lot. It was a gamble that I wasn’t even sure would pay off. I’m a little surprised those few survived it.”
“Well they did and they put up a hell of a fight.”
“I just hope they have plenty of fight left in them because they’re going to need it. Shaylo has never been defeated.”
“If nothing else, the humans bought us some time to beef up our defenses. We should be thankful for that.”
“It won’t matter now that Shaylo’s coming. Our defenses stand no chance against him.”
“I fear you’re right about that. Is there time to launch another modifier into
Earth’s atmosphere? If we could create additional superhumans, they’d stand a better chance.”
“We launched two already but they went off course and fell into their oceans. We detonated
them anyway but the modifier doesn’t disburse well through water, so I think it was a waste of time. The effects will be negligible at best.”
“Send another one then.”
“If I do, then it’ll have to be the last. The Greys are too close to Earth now and I’d hate to get caught interfering. They might just decide to wipe us out first.”
“Understood. Set the disbursement as you did before. Concentrate it so as to affect a few individuals.”
“It’s a long shot. The odds of it landing safely and then being discovered now that the population is so depleted, are slim.”
“It worked before, and a long shot is better than the alternative.”
“I’ll get right to it, sir.”
Shaylo put his boots up on the console and yawned. To his first mate he said, “Give me an update, now.”
With a quavering voice, his first mate said, “We’ll be at our destination soon. The troops are ready for action.”
The first mate was on the General’s shit-list lately. He had no idea why, but it didn’t bode well for him. He’d be lucky to survive through the mission.
General waved him off with a flick of his wrist so the first mate did his best to remain as inconspicuous as possible.
Shaylo smiled wickedly at his retreating first mate. He loved putting his men on edge. Fear had always been his greatest motivator. The first mate might prove instrumental in gearing the men for the coming fight. If he executed him at the right moment, he’d instill fear in the rest and they’d fight to the death rather than face his wrath.
Then again, the people they were going up against were puny, so he probably didn’t need to get the men too worked up. How those Earthlings had defeated the first wave still confused him, but the first Commander sent to Earth was an imbecile so he wasn’t ruling out negligence as a reason for the unlikely defeat. But something about the mission had him on edge. He had no intel about the enemy and that always worried him.
Jack got his energy back just as the heat became unbearable. He stood up and took a deep breath. He could only hope he hadn’t been gone so long that he was missed.
He jammed his eyes shut and concentrated. He opened them when he saw the brightness diminish behind his eyelids. He was back in his room again. The clock said he was only gone about an hour.
He drank three glasses of cold water, washed the salty sweat off of his skin in the shower, changed clothes, and then walked downstairs for some dinner. What he saw on the TV in the kitchen made him want to puke.
Someone from town had snitched on him and Melanie. Someone had leaked their story with video footage as confirmation. They had superpowers and now the world knew.
The footage was shaky, like it came from a cell phone
camera, but it was clear enough. It showed Jack using his abilities on a stampeding group of alien dinosaur-like monsters. There was no doubt that he had powers from what the video showed.
His mom saw him standing there, mouth agape, and wrapped him up in a hug. She said, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll weather whatever media storm comes our way.”
“What if the government tries to quarantine me again?”
“Do you think they’d be so stupid?”
She was right. It would be a mistake for them to try and bully him. It hadn’t worked out well for them last time. But this time they knew what they were up against whereas they didn’t have that privilege before. Plus, he wasn’t so sure they weren’t actually stupid.
His cell phone chirped. He knew who it was before he answered.
Melanie was sobbing. “Someone ratted us all out. They’ll send troops in again. Why won’t they just let us live our lives?”
“It’ll be okay. And if things get out of
control, we can handle it.”
She snorted. “I didn’t think about that. But we won’t kill them, right?”
“Of course not. First we’ll try and reason with them and if that doesn’t work, we’ll persuade them through intimidation to leave us alone.”
A news reporter came on the TV as soon as the crappy cell phone footage was done playing. She said, “We can not disclose names because these individuals are
apparently under age, but we are close to securing interviews with each person involved. We may very well owe these remarkable young heroes our very lives.”
She was referring to the fact that the video footage was shot the same day that the alien invasion was thwarted. And she was right. Jack had
destroyed the alien mother ship and then the alien ground troops immediately gave themselves up.
Jack hung up on Melanie when a
strange number appeared on his phone. He answered it.
A man on the other end said jovially, “Hello, this is David with Fox news. Can I speak to Jack
“This is Jack.” He thought about lying, but he was too curious to see where this would go.
“We’d like to set up an interview with you today or tomorrow.”
“Okay then. I’m sending a crew out to you now. What’s your address?”
Jack told him.
“They’ll be there in a little over an hour.”
“It’s alright, son. They’re professionals. They’ll treat you well. I promise.”
His mom had overheard the conversation because she’d been leaning her head against his for the entire call.
When he hung up she said, “Dammit. This house is a disaster. Help me clean it up.”
“We can probably just clean up whichever room we’ll be taping in, right?”
She nodded. “I’ll tidy up the living room. You go and clean up. Put on some nicer clothes too.”
“Mom, I think your priorities are all skewed. We don’t need to worry about the news crew. We need to worry about the military men who will end up seeing
“But if you sell yourself well enough, they’ll be hesitant to take you in.”
If the public loves you, the military will have a very bright spotlight on them. They’ll think twice about taking you against your will.”
He knew she was full of crap. She was just excited about her boy getting on the news. In
Ault, Colorado, things like that never happened. But she might be right too. For all he knew, a military chopper could already be heading his way, after seeing the camera footage the news had just shown. But they’d have a hard time abducting him with all of those camera crews around.
He took another shower just in case he had any residual sweat from his hour in the desert, and then he put on his only button down shirt, which he tucked into his nicest jeans. Ault was a tiny town of dirt farmers. There was little need for formal wear.
He took a look in the mirror. His newfound muscles strained against his shirtsleeves. He looked pretty sharp, albeit exhausted. His eyes were ringed with black circles and the sunburn he’d acquired in the desert was starting to set in.
His cell chirped again. He wasn’t surprised to find out it was Melanie and he wasn’t too surprise when she told him she was about to be interviewed too. She was excited about it. He wished he could muster the same enthusiasm.