Title: The Raygin War
Author: Larry Gerovac
The Raygin War is a futuristic sci-fi story about an alien race that evolved from Carrion beetles. 25 years after first contact the aliens return with a fleet to invade human space. To stop the invasion the military puts all its hope into a single person. He’s an old school soldier who started his career as a ground pounder in the Sniper Corps. Mac has been involved in about every conflict the military has participated in. His skill as a sniper earned him the respect of every soldier who ever worked with him. He is a self taught killer. On the battlefield he has no equal. Whether it was killing the opponent in hand-to-hand combat, killing them with a weapon, or just plain old out maneuvering them Mac was the best the military had ever seen. When the Raygin war starts Mac is forced into a leadership role he wanted nothing to do with. Will Mac’s experience and talent be enough to neutralize the alien invasion? All is not what it seems. Read the Raygin War to see if the human race will survive and remain free.
Larry Gerovac was born in the shadows of the steel mills, oil refineries, and railroadyards of the Midwestern United States. He is a Navy Veteran and a first generation American. He writes in the genre of Science, Sci-fi, Fantasy, and Horror.
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All but the old mystic exited the medical facility. She turned and went back to the princess. Mahpee followed her. The ancient woman made motions in the air with her hands as she spoke in a voice so low he couldn’t make out any of the words. She turned so quick to face him his body jerked in a startled reflex.
She was inches from his face and staring at him with her blind eye. When Nahimana spoke, he could smell the spices on her breath. “See. Her wound already heals.”
He looked at the scar. She is right, its no longer red and irritated. It could be a coincidence.
“Even with what you have seen, grandson of Uzumati, you still doubt?
Can the hag read my mind?
The witch grinned as if she read his thoughts. “I have glimpsed into your future. Do you want to know what waits?” She cackled at him.
He felt his heart raced. He could feel the sweat oozing out of his palms. I don’t believe all this nonsense, but – if I don’t believe why am I nervous?
Not waiting for an answer Nahimana squinted at him. He swore she touched his soul with her stare. “In time, you will betray your daughter, and leave her heart broken. You, Chief Mahpee, will become the rider of the storm. Your fate is sealed.” The old mystic turned and walked out before he could ask a single question.
What the hell did she mean? He had never betrayed anyone in his life. He would rather choose death than to betray anyone, let alone his daughter. The hag spoke nonsense. I will become the rider of the storm? Mumbo jumbo. She wouldn’t even stay to answer questions. I never want to see her again.
Hopes of keeping a lid on his daughter’s unusual birth lasted less time than it took to get back to Nokomis. Word spread throughout the Nation his tiny daughter was the warrior born princess from the old prophesies. Later in the evening the Tellers showed up at the War Council. They warned of impending doom and gave Mahpee everything he requested. For better or worse, it looked like they would be a major part of his life.
The People’s Nation broadcast pictures of the aliens and vids of the attack. A few videos from the fight were also shown in all their gruesomeness. The old war drums beat across Nokomis to let the People’s Nation know they were at war.
The young lieutenant’s eyes darted across the screen. Her hands trembled while she manipulated the gains to paint the best picture on the scanner. “Captain, I have an unknown target at the edge of scanner range.”
“Are you sure it’s not an electronic ghost?” The captain knew each new ship has electrical or mechanical problems to work out on her maiden voyage. The Nomad would be no different.
“We’ve run several diagnostics, sir. Everything is running at peak performance.”
“Okay Lieutenant Muween. Lets see if it’s a bug or a real ship. Navigation, come left heading 300alpha15.”
“Aye sir. Left heading 300alpha15.”
The colonist ship’s computer locked out the new singularity drive. The ion propulsion engine activated. The Nomad started a slow turn left and ascended 15 degrees. Unless you were on the bridge, you wouldn’t realize the ship had made a turn to the left and changed its inclination. When the ship acquired the new heading, the ion propulsion engine shut down. The singularity drive started with a loud pop. Each pop represented a jump of several light years.
If it was a glitch inside the scanner, the captain figured, it would stay on the screen in the same spot. He waited for the report. At least the singularity drive was living up to its reputation. The new drive would deliver the next great step in human expansion. Picture space as a balloon. Stick your index fingers on opposite sides of the balloon and push your fingers together. The depressed area created by your fingers is a gravity well. A ship travels the small gap from finger to finger. Release the pressure on the balloon. Wham, you travel from point to point faster than light can make the same trip.
“It’s gone captain,” said Lieutenant Muween.
This was not good news. This trip should have been an easy run. Deliver the colonists to Rayne. Help get them situated, and return home to Adalin for the next assignment. “Thank you Lieutenant Muween. Let me know if you see anything at all on the scanner.”
Grasping what the captain was about to ask her she said, “I can’t captain. The aliens are killing us. I can’t think straight, I’m too scared.”
“We’re all scared lieutenant. If these walking bugs come to the bridge, you may be able to save a few of us if you can communicate with them.”
The lieutenant looked around the bridge and realized the captain was right. Everyone looked scared. She took a deep breath, exhaled. “I’ll try.”
“Walk me through what you’re thinking lieutenant.”
“Well, since they attacked us, and they shot unarmed colonists, I’d call them an aggressive species. I’m sure they have a strong sense of survival. Most bugs do. Avoid eye contact. If they evolved from insects, we have nothing in common communication wise. Many bugs use chemical scents to communicate. Some can make noises with their bodies, but nothing like what we are used to. The lieutenant’s eyes went white as she thought about what she learned in school. “Many bugs are omnivorous, captain. What if they see us as food?”
Sparks started flying from the heavy security barrier on the bridge. The massive door began to melt like ice on a hot day. The crew watched in fear.
“Everyone, stay seated. Keep your eyes on me, or Lieutenant Muween. Whatever you do, do not stare at the aliens. Security, put your weapons on the floor.”
The door melted and made a molten mess on the floor. An alien in body armor stepped forward followed by two companions. Their job seemed to be to secure the bridge. One stood on the liquefied metal as if unconcerned. The alien armor design appeared to be stronger than human armor.
The captain hoped the lieutenant could keep her composure. The aliens were butt ugly. They had long antennae hanging forward over their heads. Their arms and legs ended in fingered claws. Instead of a neck they had a thorax followed by a hard-shelled abdomen. Hissing noises were coming from the bodies of a couple aliens on the bridge. Six more entered, followed by an alien with a red decal on its body armor. He appeared to be the leader.
The alien with the red decal reached up and removed a partial helmet, exposing two large black eyes. It moved its two maxillary palp appendages, designed to help cram food into its big mouth. The creature walked up to Lieutenant Muween and stood inches from her face. She breathed in, trying to calm her nerves. The smell emitted by the bug leader was like thousands of sweet flowers. It was too much for the lieutenant’s olfactory senses. She turned her head and vomited.
Mac positioned himself before the troops and said, “Everyone relax! Let me give you a few insights and rules. First off, call me Mac. You will find colonist duty to be informal by military standards. Unlike many of you, I chose this assignment. You military ground pounders forced to be here, life sucks and you got a shitty billet. Don’t whine to me about it. Next, as long as we aren’t in a firefight and the lieutenant gives you an order like, get me coffee, bring me a pen, or order this part, do it. If we are in a firefight and he tells you to do something, don’t do it. Tell him he has to go through me.”
“By a show of hands, how many of you are conscripts.” Out of 60 troops, fourteen held up their hands. This didn’t surprise him. Young fleet soldiers all wanted to see action, not watch plants grow while on colonist duty. The military filled in with conscripts when they didn’t have enough regulars. Most conscripts would become Third platoon and get special attention. “How many of you have been in action?” Half the troops raised their hands. Mac shook his head. “I mean real action. Where you had to shoot at an enemy because they were trying to kill you. Show me those hands again.” This time, ten people held up their hands.
Mac looked at all ten experienced troopers. “Tinker, is that you.”
“Yeah Mac, it’s me.”
“Well ain’t that the shits.”
Mac smiled. “How’d you wind up here?”
“I volunteered when I found out you were here.”
Mac used a hand signal telling Tinker to not say a word. “Did everyone hear what he said? Now there’s someone who knows how to suck up. Come see me after this training session. You troops with experience, I’ll be expecting lots of help from you. For now, put on one of the backpacks by the door and follow me.”
Mahpee didn’t understand why the Raygin shield failed, but it couldn’t have happened at a better time. With one ion thruster still working, the big ship was trying to maneuver to Rayne. Ships that gigantic weren’t made to land on a planet. Without its shield the ship would come apart as soon as it hit the ground. Mahpee reached over and activated the graviton tracker. He took over fire control. This freed Bodaway to concentrate on maneuvering his ship for a clear shot.
The Wasp dodged a large hunk of nozzle floating in space. On the screen, Mahpee could see tons of metal floating off in every direction. Perfect, he thought. At first, we will blend in with the debris field. It might buy us an extra second or two. The graviton tracking system confirmed the cloaked ship hadn’t moved. Mahpee fired.
The Wasp’s crew watched on the view screen. The laser hit the invisible target. The cloak fluttered and disappeared leaving the ship for all to see. Mahpee had never viewed such an elegant ship. It was sleek, grey-purple in color, and it looked like a bird in flight with two small stability wings. Did the Raygin have unknown allies?
Mahpee fired the laser again and hit the now uncloaked ship but not before it launched an energy weapon at the Wasp. The sleek ship became engulfed in a flash, as the Wasp’s plasma canon hit home. The beautiful alien ship and its occupants dissolved into space dust.
The golden energy fired from the alien ship took the shape of three small rings. They behaved like a spring, collapsing in on itself over and over. It gained speed with every recoil. The Wasp turned toward the planet to evade the energy rings. The rings turned and closed in on them.
“Brace for impact,” said Bodaway.
The computer diverted every bit of energy, including life support, to the shields. The rings hit the Wasp, and spread over her entire surface. The shields held, but shorted out as the energy faded. Life support turned back on. Mahpee let out a sigh of relief.
As the damaged Raygin ship attempted to land on Rayne it fired a weakened bank of lasers at the Wasp. It was a last ditch effort, as the big ship sunk into the atmosphere.
A couple lasers rocked the unshielded Wasp. Mahpee couldn’t believe they weren’t vaporized.