Kinetic: The First Alliance Ch. 01 Pt. 01bykineticalliance©
Farewell Days of My Youth
Despite his best efforts, Alex couldn't shake the pounding headache that abruptly started an hour ago. Usually, sitting on his favorite couch watching old game shows with his grandfather put him at peace, but it didn't offer any letup from the pain that night. Alex had always been cautious about taking pills of any kind, but the pain was steadily increasing. The flashing lights from the screen felt unbearably intense, and all the applauding was like a power tool drilling through his mind. He glanced at the tempting bottle of aspirin on the small TV dinner table to his left but decided against it. It was getting late anyway, so he decided to go to bed and sleep it off, hoping he would feel better in the morning.
"Grandpa, I've got a killer headache, so I'm fista' go to bed. Okay?"
"Want me to call a doctor?" As usual, his grandfather was overly cautious at the slightest sign of trouble.
"What? No, I'm fine," Alex responded.
"Of course you are." He smiled slightly. Alex's grandfather instinctively looked at the framed picture of Alex's late father above the mantle and told Alex for the hundredth time how much he resembled his father in both appearance and demeanor. Alex thought it was a bit eerie, almost as if looking at his future self in that frame. With his fair skin, blue eyes bright enough to pierce someone's very soul, yet hair so jet-black that light would never be able to escape from its void, Alex was undeniably his father's son. They even smiled the same way.
"Just like your old man, trying to tough it out," he said, but before Alex could even open his mouth to respond to the comment, his grandfather looked up with tired eyes, and smiled.
"Sir?" Alexander replied.
"Nothing, goodnight, son," he added.
Alex gave a sliver of a smile back. "Goodnight, Grandpa." Alex nervously paced to his bathroom, hoping not to fall over from being so nauseous. He leaned over his sink, wanting to wash the day away. He cupped his hands under the faucet and splashed the lukewarm water across his face; it offered only a split second of relief before his headache began thrashing around in his skull again. He took a look in the bathroom mirror and stared at his reflection. His grandfather's remark once again forced him to think of his parents, who had died when he was just an infant. Since then, he had been raised by his grandfather, a decorated and retired police sergeant with more than thirty years of experience on the force. Alex had so much anger inside of him and no one to direct it at. He was proud of his parents but angry at them for not being there. With no one to blame, he once again buried his resentment deep inside and dragged his feet down the hall toward his room.
He reached for the door handle with apprehension. Maybe tonight will be different, he thought to himself. He slowly turned the handle and went in his room without incident, thankful that at least one thing went his way that day. Upon entering his room, he took off his shirt, revealing his toned body—a body he'd acquired from years and years of running track in middle school and high school. Behind him was a wall dedicated to his accomplishments in the sport, everything from ribbons to two-foot-tall trophies was on display.
Alex traced the frame of his bed with his hand before lying down; he wasn't sure if he could climb in without missing the mattress from being too disoriented. He crawled into bed with his laptop in hand; it had become routine for him to plug in his headphones and fall asleep to the songs in his music library. He reached over to plug in the charger but instead watched as it sparked and shorted out upon contact with the outlet.
Son of a ..., he thought to himself and prayed the battery would last long enough for him to fall sleep. He tried his best to settle in bed and scrolled through the thousands of songs he had illegally downloaded. Alex was confident the worst was over, but he hadn't even gotten past the H section of his playlist before two drops of blood splattered on his keyboard. Puzzled, he wiped his nose and stared at the streak of blood running from the end of his wrist to the tip of his finger.
"Seriously? It's official ... I'm cursed," he said to himself. Alex gripped his head in agony. For some reason, his headache was getting much worse. Alex finally gave in and turned to his nightstand to get an aspirin. He popped the pill in his mouth, but not even a minute after swallowing, he saw the silhouette of a figure behind his adjacent window's curtain. Alex was startled out of bed. He took a couple steps back and again grabbed his head, wanting to literally rip the throbbing torment from his scalp. He squinted his eyes and looked up, but he couldn't make out who the figure was behind his slightly transparent curtain.
"Who the hell is there? Get out of my room!" demanded Alex as he frantically looked around for a weapon. He picked up his aluminum baseball bat and pointed it at the figure.
"Drop your bludgeon immediately! I am not here to harm you. I came to help you, human," the mysterious voice said.
"Screw you...I'm not dropping a thing," he nervously responded.
"Screw me you say?" The figure took a step forward.
"Look, I'm not afraid to use this." Alex tightened the grip around his bat's handle and inched over to the wall. He was close enough to his light switch to flick it on. The figure stepped out into the light and revealed itself. Alex couldn't believe his eyes. The thing in front of him stood up straight with perfect posture and had amber-colored skin with black tribal markings that circulated and flowed in steady motion throughout the surface of its body and face. Sleek, battle-scarred armor covered most of its body, and perfectly placed cryptic medals that signified to Alex this creature had seen many battles were attached to its sleeves.
It proudly walked over closer to Alex and sternly said,
"You would dare raise a hand to me? I could leave your planet to die right now."
But the words were all a blur to him. Alex couldn't get over its appearance. It had the curvatures of a woman, but her eyes had pitch-black corneas and white pupils—the opposite of human eyes. However, the real distinction was that they were sideways cat's-eyes, which reminded him of the frogs his science teacher had forced him to dissect in middle school. He gauged her to be about six feet tall and noticed that she had thin black tendrils on her head instead of hair, which she had tied back. Her armor radiated its own dazzling light and was mostly royal blue with white accents and silver-colored plating. Her pants were white with a blue stripe that ran up her thigh and accentuated her curves.
"I ... you—" Alex dropped the bat and gasped for air. He backed himself up against the wall as he prayed for the power to phase through, but the best he could do was look around for something to grab on to so he wouldn't fall down from the shock. He was either looking at the best Halloween costume he had ever seen, or there was a real-life alien in front of him.
"I have not the time nor patience for this, so listen well. I am known as Shyra, from the distant world called Kalryn." With speed faster than Alex could react to, she closed the gap between them and grabbed his forearm. "I have come here to prepare your race to fight. Now let us go." Her skin was clammy but warm, not like anything he had felt before.
"Whoa, what? You're hurting my arm; let go of me," Alex said.
"Either your race is slow to learn or unable to grasp the concept of total annihilation, but if we do not act right now, trust me when I say you will perish. Zenakuu means to kill you off, but it still may be possible to save your kind," Shyra said.
"Zen-a-what? How do you even—" Alex started, but his ability to form complex sentences escaped him at that moment.
"Do I look to be in a gaming mood?" She let go of his arm and let out a deep and frustrated sigh. Negotiations clearly were not her strong suit. "I know you are scared, human, but we have not the time. This is your life from now on, like it or not. Now we must go and prepare for training."
"I'm not going anywhere with you. Just stay back okay?" Alex couldn't find his bearings.
"What did you say to me? Did you not hear what I said?"
"Oh. No, I heard you. Now it's your turn to hear me. That is the best damn cosplay I have ever seen, but if you don't get out of my room, I'm calling the cops."
"Why you insolent little— to die for your planet in the line of duty is a great honor!"
Die? He thought to himself. He was nowhere near ready to die. "Granp—" Alex tried to scream, but the creature threw her hand over his mouth to muffle his cry before he could finish.
"I sincerely hope it is not always going to be like this with you," Shyra removed her hand from his mouth. "Allow me to show you why I am here." Shyra approached Alex like someone meeting a dog for the first time. Hesitant, her hand slowly got closer to Alex's forehead. Alex began to sweat, frozen in place from fear. He clamped his eyes shut as he prepared for his end, but he only felt her slightly coarse skin on his forehead. In an instant, a flash of light blinded his vision, but he was okay. Much to his relief, the alien was gone.
"That's it. I'm never taking aspirin again." He got up from bed to see if his grandfather was still awake. Even he would love a crazy hallucination like that, but it was too quiet. Alex slowly walked down the steps and saw the TV was blown and smoking.
"Grandpa Henry?" he cautiously said, but there was no answer. On the last step, Alex could see his grandfather's head sticking up from the couch.
Must already be asleep, he thought as he walked over to wake him. "Grandpa, you're not gonna believe the dre—" but when Alex finally stood in front of him, he was mortified by what he saw. His grandfather had been stabbed and cleaved open, and as if having been carved like a turkey wasn't enough, there was a single bullet hole centered on his forehead.
"Oh my God ... Grandpa, what the hell is this?" Alex felt powerless and paralyzed. His grandfather was dead because he hadn't been there for him. Alex heard the back door to his house slam and immediately looked up. The murderer was still close.
Alex clenched his fist and went off running to the door. He saw only a darkened figure run out toward the street. Alex stayed in pursuit but couldn't make out who it was. He quickly made it to the streets, but his neighborhood looked different. Fires were scattered sporadically across the area, and row after row of two-story houses had been partially blown up, the streets laid to ruins. He ran forward not knowing if the trail of destruction was the right path but praying he would get answers at its end. His heart pounded out of his chest, faster than it ever had before. Tremors of crippling fear ran down his spine, but his legs would not stop moving.
The image of his gutted grandfather was all the drive he needed. He persisted halfway down the street when suddenly an ear-shattering whistling stopped him in his tracks. He looked up again and watched as a small black orb with a fire-lit tail descended to the ground. On impact, the orb exploded. A loud crack went off in the distance, and a mushroom cloud emanated from its location. Alex was distraught; it looked as if World War III had started without him knowing it. The light from the explosion faded the night sky, blotting out any stars from sight. The only things visible were the dozens of gigantic black mother ships, the likes of which he'd never seen. In seconds, the blast brought a shockwave and blinding light that vaporized Alex in seconds. He snapped back to reality in a cold sweat, gasping for air, unsure of what was real or fake. The process left him debilitated, as all his senses felt like they were on fire.
"What ... the hell was that? Where was I? What did you do to me?" Alex stammered.
"Calm down. I showed but a glimpse of what fate will befall your planet if you do not take action now. Earth is very large yet very insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it is the only world you have ever known. Am I correct? Your people have not gotten past your own galaxy, yes?" she inquired.
It was all just a vision; his grandfather was still alive. Alex gritted his teeth in unfiltered rage.
"I'll kill you!" Alex said in a fit of blinding rage. He raised his hand to strike, but she flicked her wrist and slammed Alex to the ground. He landed with a thud, and immediately got the wind knocked out of him.
"Enough. You are a hundred years too early to be challenging me. I am not your enemy, human. The Zenakuu did far worse to my world, and unlike yours, we actually stood a chance. Understand I am here to help you."
"If you want to help me, get out of my room and never come back. I cannot help you."
"If you want to save your family, you have no choice."
Thinking that he might still be hallucinating, Alex rubbed his eyes and reached for a nearby doorknob.
"So, why me?" he asked. "Am I like the one or something?"
"No, I am afraid you are not that special. You just happened to be the most inclined for this type of battle."
"I see. Well, that's cool," Alex said in a sly fashion.
The creature noticed his attempt to escape and telekinetically locked the door shut. "Your planet is being threatened. I believe you have the ability to save it. Now tell me, will you?"
"Look, all this is really too much. I won't tell anyone I saw you, so please just go," Alex stammered.
"I cannot. You are a very unique young—I suppose—man? I do not know when your species reaches adulthood, but regardless, you are meant to stop the greatest evil that has come to pass in both your history and ours."
"I can't. Even if anything you say is true, I can't just leave. I start college in the spring," Alex answered.
Seeing that the conversation wasn't going anywhere she paused momentarily. "That device over there seems to run on electricity. Hand it to me."
Alex was dubious of her intentions, but he didn't feel like he was in a position to argue. She cut the computer's charging cord in half with a snap of her fingers, and Alex's eyes widened. "I had to work hard for that computer!" he shouted.
"Stop being such an infant. You are technologically a millennium behind schedule anyway." She took his hands in hers and put them over the ends of the cord. "Now make it work."
"How?" Alex asked her.
Her eyes locked on his. "My ship's scanners detected a strong reading for electrokinesis from this residence. Now fix the cord."
"This is a waste of time. I don't even know what that is. You've got the wrong person," he said.
"Do not"—her tone dropped to a threatening modulation—"waste my time, earthling."