The blast was louder than Arlena had expected. Still, she was able to grip her gun tightly as she and her troop ran into the hole made by the homemade grenade. She saw Temon nod his head and with a determined step, she fell into position behind her commander. She took a deep breath as the first bullet was squeezed from the handgun she carried. She knew that getting emotional could get you killed and she wanted more than anything to live right now. They were so close. They knew what they were looking for was in this building. It was more than just the information from their informant or from the prisoner they had interrogated. It simply made sense. If they were looking for a flying saucer, what better place than Area 51? It all added up. Arlena snapped back to reality as she felt a bullet graze her left arm right above her elbow. The searing hot pain moved with lightning speed up her arm. She grunted with force to avoid crying out and quickly ran behind a wall. She could see her team pinned back against the outer wall. They were gaining control of the situation, but she could tell by the determined look of the soldiers and the garbled cries echoing from the radio that help was on the way and it would not be in favor of the rebels. If they were caught'”she shivered. There would be no trial. They would be shot on the spot and accused of breaking and entering'”or worse, terrorism. With Homeland Security now the largest government intelligence agency, even her contacts in the CIA wouldn’t be able to save them.
Temon caught her eye and motioned for her to try to make her way over to him. As one of the only women in the group and one of the smallest, Arlena was pretty agile and that made her the “go to” guy on many occasions. This was one of them. She looked out towards the soldiers and throwing caution to the wind, crouched and ran across the room, flinching as she heard the sickening thud of a bullet imbedding itself in a box a few inches from her head. She kept low to the ground and near to the wall as she made her way over. Suddenly, the lights overhead flickered off. She smiled. They were prepared for this even if the soldiers had no idea. She flicked a switch on her helmet and immediately a night vision screen flashed in front of her face. Now she could see perfectly. She found Temon and grabbed his hand. He turned towards her and pointed to a panel on the far wall behind the still shooting soldiers. Arlena sighed. She would have to make her way behind there without being caught and taking out the fuse box. She knew what is was, she had the building schematics in her pocket. If she were able to short out the fuse, it would close the outer metal door, cutting off any help the soldiers may get. Then they could get down to business and finish this.
Arlena crawled along the wall. One of the advantages of being black was that in the dark, well, you sorta blended in. She paused, assessing the layout and looking for a quick, bullet free path through the melee. She didn’t kill if she didn’t have to; after all, these guys were human just like her. Not like the beings they were guarding. Some didn’t even know what was in the two building connected by an underground pathway that was being monitored by her team for any movement. But she did. The first time they had taken her, she was 8 months pregnant. She was driving home from her job as a waitress when her car had simply died. No bang, just a slow sputter until it rolled to a stop. She got out of the car and popped the hood before the light had hit her. She’d passed out and woke on a hard metal table in the middle of a room. She’d known that her baby was gone. She simply knew. When they’d come into the room, she’d screamed at them to let her go, had begged them for her baby, but they’d ignored her and worked on her steadily, taking notes, measurements, samples of body fluids, tissues and cavities. By the time they were done, Arlena hadn’t been able to talk, her throat ravaged by the screaming. She’d awoken in a cornfield miles from where she was taken, bloodied and disoriented. The cops had said she was high on something and had probably killed her baby or sold it, but Arlena knew. She’d learned to keep her mouth closed until she was approached by Temon. He was the counselor for a group of people who had experienced alien abductions and he’d helped her. He’d also trained her and shown her the patterns. In the last 50 years, 90% of people reported missing were children and pregnant women. Many did not return. They weren’t that lucky.
Arlena spotted the fuse box and aimed carefully. She would only get one shot. She could hear the heavy boots of the reinforcements running toward the gunfire. Without thinking, she squeezed the trigger and smiled when the metal box exploded, shrapnel and sparks flying. She heard the groan of the heavy door followed by the ear splitting alarm. The once dark room was broken by the red lights of the alarm as the metal door plunged down. For a moment, the room was free of bullets and she could see the soldiers contemplating their fate. As if hearing her thoughts, Temon started to speak.
“We do not want to hurt you, but we will if you stand in our way. We do not want to fight you, but we will if you do not let us pass.” He threw his voice, so the soldiers were confused and they looked at each other as they tried to figure out the direction of the commands. Arlena smiled. Temon had picked up a few tricks while he was in the military and they had all helped them to survive. She and the others picked up on Temon’s message, repeating it again, adding to the confusion of the soldiers. As they looked around, weapons lowered slightly, Arlena and the others moved closer and closer, until the soldiers were surrounded. One by one the soldiers were disarmed and brought over to Temon where they were bound and gagged. Arlena moved them to a supply closet, quickly shutting the door and placing a chair under the doorknob for reinforcement.
Temon pointed to a door to the left. “That’s it. That leads to the next building. They must be hiding in there.” He consulted his map, nodded and shoved the battered piece of paper into his boot. They ran to the door, quickly opening and scanning. The flashing red emergency lights guided their way as they moved along the empty corridor towards the big building that housed the living and medical facilities for the beings that had crashed to earth in the 50s and caused the moniker ‘˜Area 51’. They stopped at another door and Arlena frowned. This door wasn’t on the schematics. She knew because she had memorized almost every square inch of the two buildings and this door was not on the map. She saw Temon’s frown and knew she was right. This door was not supposed to be here. Temon nodded to her again and she grasped the doorknob, surprised when it turned and the door opened. Suddenly, she was in a room bright with lights. A being sat in the room. Not a little green space man from a bad B movie. It looked more or less human. Two arms, two legs a torso and a head. It was a light tan color and although the head was larger than normal it wasn’t abnormally so.
“You’ve been seeking us a long time.” The being spoke suddenly, startling Arlena. She pointed her gun. “You are here,” she breathed. “Don’t move a muscle or I will blow a hole in you the size of Texas,” she said fiercely. She grabbed her radio. “Temon,” she called. She waited for a few seconds before trying again. “Temon, I have one of the beings.” No response. She shook the radio and tried again, “Temon!” she called loudly. “Temon, hello, anyone?” She heard a gurgle from the being.
“You’ve been looking a long time.” It said again.
“How do you know?” Arlena snapped, her hand growing tired, but still holding the shiny metal gun aimed at the being.
“I know more than you could ever imagine.” It walked over to Arlena and she instinctively took a step back as the being seemed to grow larger.
“What are you?” she asked.
The being paused, “we are you.”
Arlena shook her head, “no, what are you”.
The being held out a hand, its fingers almost translucent. “We are you. Your future selves. What you are destined to become as a human race.”
Arlena swallowed. “Why are you here? Why do you take us?”
The being gurgled again. “We take you because we must.”
“Don’t play games with me!” Arlena snapped again. “Do you forget who’s holding the gun?”
The being glided towards her again, backing her into a wall. “We are human but we are no longer able to breed. We take you to breed for us. We need you and your babies.”
Arlena felt a sickening twist in her stomach, her mouth tasted bitter and she felt the overwhelming need to vomit. “You took my baby.”
“You ripped my baby from my body and used it in experiments!”
Arlena felt the rage build and her finger tightened around the trigger. She ground her teeth together and cried out as the bullet forcefully exited the gun.
Arlena blinked and saw Temon in front of her. “Arlena.” He waved a hand to her attention. “Open the door. Let’s see what inside.” He grimaced. “I hate surprises. This room is not on the map.”