“All of your paperwork has been filed, Sir. Is that it for today?” asked Allison, standing in the doorway of General Lancaster’s office. Wearing her typical daily uniform, consisting of a pretty chocolate colored dress with white polka dots and a pair of comfy flat shoes, Allison made a picturesque secretary.
The older man smiled at the woman as he rose from his chair to exit the office and rest his arm around her shoulder. “That I am. How about blessing an old man to dinner?”
“Why do you even ask anymore, Daddy? We always have dinner on the weekend!” Allison replied with a grin. She considered herself very lucky. Desk Secretary to a retired General, in the largest city on Mars was a great career – and it helped that she could always give the sad-daughter face whenever she wanted extra days off. She was loving Marelsou. Though she had just been here for a few months after her college graduation, she didn’t think she wanted to go back to Earth. The colonies were blossoming in to fantastic and exciting new cultures – Allison was thrilled to be a part of it.
SOMETIME AFTER DINNER
“Then your mother said ‘If you’re going to bring the entire unit home, next time CALL first.’ I was in the doghouse for months.” General Lancaster and his daughter were riding down the streets of Marelsou on their way home. The sun was on it’s way to setting and the had been pleasant. Allison was preparing to reply when….
BOOM. It sounded like an explosion! A large gust of wind seemed to jostle their vehicle for a moment when CRASH a mangled piece of metal smashed on to the road in front of them. General Lancaster made a sharp turn, the wheels screeching against the road as they nearly tilted before slamming to a rough stop in the side of a concrete building.
Allison came back to consciousness with her father shaking her. As she slowly moved to climb out, he was bullying her in to some sort of vest and giving her a bag to sling over her shoulder. “What just happened…?” she questioned. As her vision was less blurry, it didn’t even look like the streets of Marelsou anymore. There was chaos everywhere! People were running and screaming, buildings were on fire. There was terrible sounds of crunching metal.
Suddenly something came stomping around the corner of the big piece of metal debris lying in the road. Huge, covered in scales with glistening and a nasty look. Allison recognized it as one of those Scalies that had been reported attacking other Mars colonies! Her father had pulled out a gun, something huge, and fired! Her ears were still covered when he grabbed her by the arm and they were running. She didn’t think he was even allowed to have guns like that, where had he been hiding it..?!
As they ran, there was more damages. More scalies! The pair retreated down to the subway tunnels, where they stopped at what must have been a storage or supply room. General Lancaster ushered her inside.
“I need you to stay down here. Allison! Listen, this is important. Stay in here. I will be right back with help. If I’m not back by morning, use the radio. It’s in the bag. Do you understand me?”
Allison barely knew what was going on, let alone being able to understand. Finally she nodded. “Y-yeah. Stay here. …you promise you’ll be right back?”
“I’ll be back.”
No sleep. No rest. Just that deep seated feeling of fear. He hadn’t returned yet, and he promised he would. Allison had dug out the radio from the bag he left her. There were tons of things in it. Little supplies, food, even some small guns and ammunition. Had he always stashed this stuff in his jeep in case of an emergency? Wasn’t it illegal for civilians, even retired Generals…? For now it didn’t matter!
She pressed the radio buttons and started speaking.
“H-hello…? This is Allison Lancaster. General Allen Lancaster’s daughter. Something has happened in Marelsou. Scalies are invading the city. I don’t know where my father went, he said he would be back with help… Is there someone there? Marelsou is under attack and we need help!”
Hours. Hours and hours. Allison had sat hidden in the small storage room down in the subway for ages. She hadn’t received a reply on the radio. She was worried he message hadn’t even gone through. Worse, her father hadn’t returned either. Lifting a hand, she peered at her wristwatch for what must have been the millionth time. It was just a little bit after 3pm. The subway had been dead silent hours now. None of the trains had gone by the entire time. Was the entire city under attack..?
Allison decided she couldn’t take the waiting any longer! Stiffly, she rose from where she was sitting. Grimacing at the way her body protested, and forcing feeling back in to her limbs. She zipped up the bag her father had left her, but not without pulling out and loading one of the small hand guns. Pulling the bag up to drape over her head and shoulder, Allison moved to the door. She listened for a few minutes before she cracked it open. One small peek gave her reassurance that nothing was lurking outside.
The only sound in the subway now was her own footsteps. Quiet as s churchmouse, she stepped carefully. In her hands she aimed the gun, placing on foot in front of the other as she headed for the steps. There she stayed close to the wall, always glancing over her shoulder every few steps while she rose back up to the street.
For the middle of the afternoon, the streets of Marelsou was eerily empty. Debris laid scattered on the street. Huge chunks of buildings were crushing vehicles. Concrete, plaster and twisted metal in every direction. What really weirded her out was the lack of bodies. …had everyone managed to flee? Were they eaten up and swallowed? Allison decided she would hope for the best and be glad there wasn’t mangled people or scalies laying all over the streets.
Allison made her way down the streets as fast as her feet could take her. Carrying the bag with her was awkward, but she finally found herself back to where the jeep had crashed last night. It was still there, but now it was half smashed, lying on it’s side. There was blood…
No sign of her father. Allison reached up, about to see if she could use her wait to tilt it back over and get it working when she gave a startled pause.
Turning around slowly, she nearly screamed. There was a scalie! He was sniffing in the air, looking around and searching… until his head turned, his sights set on her. Suddenly, he was running forward! With a choked cry, she brought her gun up and fired! Several shots went off until she emptied it, and even then she was still pulling the trigger! The scalie was still running until he finally dropped, hitting the ground with a loud THUMP and a pool of blood starting to collect beneath him.
Allison sunk to the ground. …that had been close..!