Zalon Kingdom
The Invaders Arrive

Genre: Sci-Fi
Available Formats: eBook and Paperback
Author: Raymond Pairan
5-Star Book Review of Zalon Kingdom


This was a natural world that shunned the alien who could never fathom its pure fresh elegant beauty. Humankind alone was able to rejoice in the gifts of a world rich in color and natural pageant. Not one instant on any other world could compare to this special place on this nondescript planet so very far from the clustered luminosity of the densely packed center of the galaxy. The landing of our spacecraft out in some remote prairie expanse in the western United States facilitated the release of my brethren into the wilds of this fresh host filled world. The news reports being televised around the clock on the image projection screen downstairs in my ex-host's living space indicated that our invasion was progressing nicely. They had footage of our spacecraft incinerating whole squadrons of primitive attack aircraft that had been called out to defend their backward planet against what they termed - the enemy. No sooner would they bring up reinforcements to be sacrificed on the front lines of battles extending across the planet and others already far enough along in their transformation would fire on their former native compatriots. Cataloging the rise and inevitable decline of yet another offshoot of our genetically impure species was a task for our many Anthropologists who traveled across the universe piecing our various experiences on thousands of living spaces. They simply would not admit defeat and accept their fate. What was most troubling was the technology employed in their sleekest fighter; for its agility and precision munitions targeting must have been designed with help from a more advance species. Was Earth a member of the Zalon Kingdom?

Table of Contents

Chapter 1

Many more dreams keep pushing passed my consciousness to the point of strangling what little reality rests between my now bulging eyes. No amount of aspirin has been able to relieve my pain that has accumulated over many days. Just when I think that my pain is abating to a manageable throb it comes rushing back in sharp agonizing jolts. Delirium is now my constant companion; never more than a minute spent in blessed normalcy until the visions invade.

These visions are not average pictures or glimpses of some future life or that of terrestrial participants staging some crossing into the tangible world; no, these visions are unworldly views on some equally out of this world environment. With each unearthly terrifying scene that is shot into my brain comes an equally frightening transformation. Not knowing or wanting to confirm whether my human state is being subjugated by a more powerful off world entity I just allow this power to engulf me hoping that it is just some passing phase.

My transformation or transmutation becomes more acute over time. Realizing that this must be something completely abnormal I’ve started to seek out mirrors frequently throughout the day. No outward physical signs are visible other than my bulging eyes that only resemble someone whose sleep has been interrupted for many weeks.

Orange yellowish holes are pushing up through my skin but only on my legs, which are easily hid in this, coldest of winters. With the appearance of these sores my urge to add more sugar to my coffee has become so intense that I’ve started carrying in my pocket this zip lock bag of sugar. Where I used to only add about two teaspoons to my below average coffee cup my desire for pure sugar has eclipsed the enjoyment of my morning coffee so I now scoop half a cup of sugar into the cup. My hand shakes uncontrollably in my thinning fingers that hold this coffee syrup to my fully expanded mouth. Gulping greedily I practically choke on the gooey mixture. But afterwards a feeling of intense energy washes over my sweat covered body.

It’s been approximately one week since I’d started experiencing these terrifying visions of a place not recognizable at first but somehow now less terrifying than originally believed. They seem to be conveying a new improved meaning indistinguishable in my prior form. For now the changes in my body are becoming so profound that I dare not leave my home. My hair is now gone, my face resembles some sort of yellow large saucer eyed insect, with a small holed mouth, and my former nose having rotted off being replaced by this almost invisible slit that expands and contracts as I breathe.

What is inconceivable is the fact that I’m not frightened by my new appearance but accept it as part of who I’ve become – this unknown creature that has carried with it a mind that is now devouring my thoughts.

Finally, the merge is complete. I’m no longer plagued by having to share a skull with a primate brain that was clearly losing its primitive fight for survival – it has been vanquished. This drooling beast of imperfection that endeavored to live longer than any other host no longer tarnishes my memories of my world. This process is always the most soiling part of the parasitic experience because moving into a new host through some exposed opening to the brain momentarily overpowers the senses with their insignificant life experiences - until they can be eliminated.

The landing of our spacecraft out in some remote prairie expanse in the western United States facilitated the release of my brethren into the wilds of this fresh host filled world. We crawled out of our canisters slithering in all directions. Some of us were more fortunate at finding hosts early on than others who expended precious stores of energy futilely traveling great distances without striking upon a victim.

I on the other hand had been fortuitous in wiggling up the steps of a farmhouse belonging to a solitary farmer named Jerry Vaughn. Moving through the crack in the floor and the baseboard of the front door silently creeping along in between a small forest of fabric my destination was assured. Feeling the warmth ever so barely being emitted down the stairs I slowly made my way to Jerry’s room on the second floor. This time the opening under this interior door was enormous allowing me to glide into the bedroom. Lying on the bed in a peaceful sleep oblivious to everything other than his dreams laid Jerry. Carefully grabbing hold of the bed sheets I gathered all my strength and vaulted up to an opening surrounded by a fleshy protuberance. From this point forward my survival was guaranteed upon entering the species in this path closest to his brain. Once eating into the cerebral cortex I injected the juice that would eventually jellify his brain converting his genetic makeup into mine – all was ready, it proceeded nicely given that my recall of these past events is superb....

Chapter 2

Flashes of brilliant orange-yellow vibrating bursts filled the night sky. President Justin Cruz was proving to be a resilient determined leader in the face of certain annihilation. Determined to die before releasing his nation into the hands of his enemy he was throwing every asset he could muster at our military; we were extending the stay of our military force way past our original estimates. He was a steely, wily, worthy adversary that deserved our respect for standing his ground without waver and lack of conviction. We’d never confronted such a passionately fearless species; these primates were truly of exceptional character even if grounded in illusion from time to time. A few of our planetary sociologists even believed that the ability of human beings to escape from the unrelenting demands of reality into their sub-conscious allowed them to cope better over the long haul than any other species. It was this vast store of steadfast coping that was now impinging upon our speedy mass planetary implantation.

Ewock-Tu was therefore skeptical that they’d be able to subdue the humans by defeating their military. There was nothing ordinary about this planetary implantation, only problems that kept popping out of the ether. For one, why was it so difficult to instill a feeling of fear and hopelessness in this species; they surely must realize that they were doomed. Most species that had their brains liquefied, at some point or another understood that their fate was sealed and just gave up – not these feisty off shoots of apes. In fact, they were becoming more of a nuisance with each one of their planetary days that clicked off into history. Once they’d broken out of their psychologically induced “everything will be just fine” emotional firewall some hidden furry was released that would not allow them to accept mass death at the hands of alien intruders. Granted, we’d hadn’t vaporized their entire military forces that had organized themselves into a single planetary alliance but they most certainly must have comprehended that they were not only out “gunned” but also no match against our technological phalanx. Regardless, they engaged us on the battlefield losing 98% of their forces even when they attempted what must be admitted to be ingenious tactical maneuvers. All was for naught, for our best military minds concluded that they had at best only a few more weeks (a week constituted the elapse of seven of their planetary days) before all that remained of their primitive military ‘machine’ would become many detached elemental atoms. These were atoms that would have been freed from their molecular bonds during vaporization by our weapons, which used energies many times that of an average star.

Reports were coming in from all the sectors under our control about ongoing insurgency. This was not the sporadic unorganized insurgency typical of our past eradication campaigns but the highly orchestrated attacks by individuals destined for the “Extermination Centers”.

In truth what we face was not the typical but an odd anomaly that would not lie down quietly for any intruder or destroyer of futures regardless of our massive unrelenting firepower. So what we risked was the very stock we had to conserve in order to allow those Tuoks who face years (sorry for the use of this time but I’ve been here to long) of painful agonizing near death another chance in the rejuvenated body shell of a claimed host.

After writing this far too lengthy report of what amounted to a lack of progress; a report destined for Tuok high command on his home world of Yoron, Ewock sat back in his sling recounting with vivid clarity all these events that left him with a feeling of foreboding. There was absolutely no way of subduing these unruly turbulent individuals that made up the core of this highly adaptable species. They were far to cunning and never used the same tactics in any recognizable pattern; in fact there was no pattern to their violent spasms of hate exploding in a most unpredictable way, or at any time in the most inconceivable locations.

Ewock felt that eventually they would take a maximum number of body shells at a minimum cost in primate lives but this assessment was only based upon his faith in past statistics compiled over millions of years of planetary implantations. Surely, this current planetary implantation on such a nondescript, primitive and helpless world wouldn’t be the exception to this rule. There was just one nagging concern that kept tugging harder at Ewock’s impeccable logic – this was the first and only primate species they’d ever encountered yet alone implanted....

Chapter 3

Reaching her son’s Audubon camp resting in the woods off of a dirt road Sue jammed her jeep into park. She ran to the rustic wood door shoving it open so hard that it pounded against the adjoining wall. All eyes looked in her direction as she rushed into the room scanning the floor in all directions. They’d been playing a game that involved picking the right picture of bird from a stack that they held in their hands when the instructor provided a description. The cards were now lying on the floor under the still hands that had released them in a startled response to Sue’s entry. Spotting John just about ten feet from her she grabbed his hand quickly without responding to the queries flying from all directions. She simply said while the door was closing behind her “We’re out of time.” Moving the automatic weapon and cartridges from the passenger’s seat she told John “Quickly, get in sit down, and buckle up we’re heading for our cabin.”

Starting up the jeep Sue pushed the shifter into reverse and then into drive. Stepping on the gas her jeep caused a cloud of dust to cover their exit down the road. John looked back in what he knew to be a last glimpse at the idyllic camp molded close to the base of the mountain; for he had been drilled in just such an eventuality – an emergency. Sue glancing over at her son while intently focusing on the swerving road that went higher up into the mountains told John that “they needed to get to their cabin because for the time being it wasn’t safe to return home. For now just sit tight.” Not knowing what to think of their speedy get away from camp John realized that his mother always had everything under complete control; she was his solid rock of reassurance.

He’d never felt the need to be frightened for his mother was that amazing person seldom merged from compassion, love, honesty, decency, strength, resolve, and bravery. Realizing that they had a good hour to go before they reached the cabin John settled back into his seat and looked down at the city below getting smaller with every turn up through the mountain pass. Looking out at the peaks of mountains that were almost level with the road, covered in blankets of snow, John felt comforted by their familiarity. The cabin was their retreat from an outside world. John had come to expect the jeep fully packed for two weeks rolling up to the curb on his last day at school. Summer vacations had become very special times when mother and son hunted, watched for different species of birds, and sat in front of a campfire on the still cold nights; talking endlessly about things whose importance was fleeting if not nonexistent. It was simply a time for them to forget the bustle of a world too preoccupied “with pursuits of the purse” as his mother would say when asked why people always rushed from here to there. John realized that this stay away from civilization would probably last much longer than a mere two weeks.

Sue was so preoccupied in scaling the mountain pass on this ribbon of asphalt that she completely lost track of time. She only realized how far they’d come when she reached their first major landmark; a ski lift area on the Continental Divide – the halfway point. Up here the snow never melted and there was always a chance that an avalanche might bury the road until a road crew once again plowed open this connection back to civilization. Knowing full well that they might be up in these mountains for quite some time enduring untold number of winter snowfalls she felt confident that whatever scouting party was sent up in these mountains would probably arrive from the sky not the land. Even if an army could be transported through this formidable wilderness across snow that would eventually cover your kneecaps she felt there would be scant justification to do so with seemingly no more than bears, moose, and assorted lower creatures present.

Being a professional soldier at heart and by training Sue was constantly thinking about all the angles, probabilities, possibilities, and any other slant that could safeguard or justify this or that decision. But at this moment, this very instant in time, on a continually shifting ‘floor’ of time she was relieved that all her planning for a national emergency seemed to have meticulously covered all the details. She was conscious that each day would infuse new challenges that could conceivably expose a weak spot in her defenses; stealth, and cunning aimed at cheating the odds. Therefore she kept her well-trained mind in overdrive – always on the lookout, always observing, and ready to react in a split second. Being ready for the unexpected without caving into emotional trauma was the hallmark of her expert military experience; Sue was always ready to be decisive in her response to perceived danger.

The jeep passed their landmark the sentinel that was the dividing line between all that was civilized and the tough unforgiving natural wilderness that would be their home for an untold number of years. Glancing at the ski lift as they passed it’s now motionless wheels holding a steel cable with small seats dangling still in the windless air Sue noted how their stability all that they’d known was now slipping away. There was no stopping the tear that had disrupted their relatively stable path toward the predictable; the granite walls that held up a glide path toward gradual progress had been blown to smithereens. No comforting constants would remain after a few more weeks of bombardment and genetic genocide by an enemy intent upon liquidating all traces of humankind. This ski lift would remain in her thoughts from this day forward....

Chapter 4

“Justin wake up! Get on the floor now!” Bullets could be heard crashing through windows interspersed with the sound of screams; they were echoes of voices coming from down the block in the quietest early morning hours. He remembered flopping half asleep to the safest part of the house. The sound of pop, pop, and pop broke the silence that was being trampled by more sounds of scarred waking neighbors. The gangs were once again fighting their turf battles mostly waged by the Bloods and Crips whose members were blacks that had subdivided the city of Los Angeles into territories that were being targeted by the then new Hispanic gangs like the Pomona 12th Street.

With his father and friends all involved in gangland activities that included murder, rape, drugs, and gun running Justin still harbored vivid memories of a childhood imbued with unrelenting pain. When his father and mother died in a home invasion by the Crips who were seeking revenge for a murder of one of their own Justin hid under the bed viewing the execution style killing of his parents.

A tough thug of a boy at nine Justin was placed in foster care being fortunate to be released to foster parents that took an interest that eventually became love for this very special boy. Still having severe sharp pains in his left shoulder after being shot at close range by a drug crazed gang member consulting with his father before his death; Justin had become no stranger to survival. Early in the morning at 4 a.m. his foster mother would wake him to wrap a heat pad around his shoulder. With the heat radiating its soothing warmth into the sharp dagger thrusts coming from his arthritic joints in this damaged area he would work with his mother on his homework till about 7:15, get a bath and then high tail it for school with no time to spare.

Even though he was out of Pomona and now residing in a lower middle class neighborhood far from the gang-plagued streets of L.A. he still attended schools that required the daily use of fists. On some occasions tough delinquents outside school would harass Justin because he was the dedicated learner among a population of students who had no ambition of ever moving past the hamburger jobs they now held down. These fights became so frequent that the bruises on his face and body never had a chance to heal. Justin still wore a reminder of these days of constant trial by fire on his face. From his right eye down to his jaw line was a deeply crevassed scar carved by a young man outside his High School who refrained from fists advancing to the use of a knife. Coming home covered in blood that had gushed from this open wound all over his shirt he remembers his foster father’s reaction was to grab a towel from the bathroom closet and hand it to Justin. The next thing he recalled was that he was looking up at a bright light with many masked faces in white frocks and gloved hands sewing his face back together....

Chapter 5

Screams could be heard from all across the once thriving metropolis. Denver was a city under siege with Tuok forces in the thousands swarming through the suburbs, and downtown rounding up anyone deemed suitable for their grotesque transformation process. The U.S. Army and Colorado state National Guard units were fighting desperately to save the remaining population from these alien parasites bent upon exterminating the entire population by liquefying their brains before transforming them into sore covered yellow blobs.

At least these fiends could be killed with a standard bullet from an M16 with no more casualties being inflicted on the U.S. forces than occurred with earthly conflicts. But that calculus was only successful in close urban hot zones when the U.S. soldiers were widely dispersed throughout the conflict area. When arrayed in battle formation in open areas against the enemy they became sitting ducks ready to be plucked off by what were now being called “Star Rays”. It was a weapon that seemed to build up plasma energy in a swirling ball that was held by what looked like a huge satellite dish until it was expelled into a brilliant yellow beam that bounced off of small concave bottomed triangular hovering craft. Those unfortunate to be anywhere in the vicinity of these beams when they bounced off the bottom of these craft and came slicing across the terrain covering quarter mile swaths realized that they should just say their prayers to whomever they prayed and promptly kiss their collective asses goodbye.

These invaders from beyond the confines of human morality, justice, societal standards, and beliefs didn’t abide by any Geneva Conventions, and were rumored to have no emotions. They would just as easily kill children promptly with a single slice through the skull using a red beam from a weapon (attached to their arm like protrusions) as any others deemed not fit for their horror filled implantation camps. Their objectives were rudimentary not being clouded by moral imperatives like mercy, and compassion.

They were simple creatures that follow an overriding instinct to penetrate their hosts and create more of their kind. Granted, they were a technologically advanced species that had haunted the cosmos for billions of years in search of weak fringe young civilizations that hadn’t yet moved into space. For that is what parasites rely upon: hosts that have either been weakened or are easily penetrated without much resistance. In this respect they were no different than their lower species parasites, distant relatives that crawled or squirmed around in petri dishes on planet Earth. The Tuok lived off of the weak or inadequately protected. They were prospectors looking for easy pickings among a universe that was consisted mostly of space fairing advanced societies. Counting on the fact that they’d be left to perpetuate their species in this most distasteful way simply because they destroyed primitive races led them to believe that calls for inhibiting their spread coming from fringe elements in more advanced breeder species would continue to be ignored....

Chapter 6

Blessed is the bubble’s that grow and wither in a symphony of movement within the primordial soup of acidic creation. No other crawling organisms will compete with the Tuok for they will be the divine beginning of a precious parasite – a reasoning offspring that has led to their preeminent position on Yoron. Recognizing the superiority of parasites over all other creatures the Horders (a breeder species) freely gave themselves to the Tuok. Discussion of this righteous position must never disregard the preeminent slot reserved to the Tuok among the makers handiwork. To acquiesce to the demands of an intelligent transformer of primitively woven breeder inferiority is the accepted position of those not pure beyond reproach, those not parasitic. These are the words of the Supreme User of all hosts. – The Book of Tuok 10 A.S.U.

Harvon Zabon was a student of “The Book of Tuok” learning every blessed verse long before the other recently transformed poddlings. Rigid in his unwavering belief that no other truth mattered he never questioned his precious place in a universe devoid of advanced parasites but one – the Tuok. For he and his kind were unique in a sterile firmament bursting with tidy breeders possessing a singular value, duty, and meaning for their existence, to be hosts for Tuok poddlings. The poddlings were the slithering, wiggling, crawling offspring that when ready to emerge would peek their little heads out from the puss filled breeding sores that covered all ripe yellow Tuok female bodies. In a blessed union of male and female the leaky skin of the Tuok would seed each new generation of poddlings destined for entry into inferior breeder hosts.

Such was the way of the Tuok, enshrined in all the rituals of their costly procreation process; costly in that it destroyed to create, resulting in a net zero race of beings indoctrinated into believing in their ordained superiority. Tuok morality was anti-morality like anti-matter the reflection of a polar opposite alike in every detail but dislocated from the unified view of morality held by the breeders. For Harvon was zealously devout to the divine difference between the chosen Tuok and the breeders – for his was a sulfuric spring unsullied by impurities gushing forth in birth. Economy of resources had driven them to expire the fire from breeders in exchange for the transformed likenesses of the Supreme User himself visible in every newly transformed.

Tuok philosophy, sociology, government, and relations were a rarity in their complete divergence from core foundational beliefs commonly shared by most breeders. They’d always moved in the periphery outside generally accepted norms looking in but never questioning their right to take, because regardless of the consequences their self-centeredness was hardwired directly into their being. They could no more change than a mineral could will itself to alter its molecular structure. Theirs was a constant in a universe hesitant even to acknowledge their devious actions out in the dark reaches far removed from the populated galactic sectors....

Chapter 7

Two years had elapsed since their arrival at the cabin but they swiftly molded into the harmony of a passionate natural setting. Springs were a pageantry of green sprouting plants, and color adorned flowers carpeting patches of lush ground as nature expressed an unbounded happiness. Summer was the most enchanting of the seasons given the promise that it conveyed of better times in a landscape thriving with life. Fall’s leaves gently dropping on a cooler browner ground was the expressive season; it’s moves were slower more refined, a time for reflection in the gradually darkening days that mostly evoked a summing up of what had passed across the mind from the prior seasons. But it was winter the hard season, the uncompromising season, the rough unforgiving cleansing demon that would scour the weak away making room for those younger or stronger. The mountains snow peaked year round would spread wind carried flakes deeper into the winter months on a cold wind blowing down hard from the surrounding summits.

John lay wheezing on his bed in the cabin barely aware that his mother had been sitting by his bed all night. Over a week ago Sue ran frantically to John in a clearing after he’d fallen limp; that was the start of her journey to her final loss. Reaching his trembling body Sue took her coat off wrapping her son up in its soft cottony inside. His forehead was full of sweat drops that were forming from smaller to larger rolling streaks. They’d been out most of the day just scouting the area close to their cabin. This was something they’d done infrequently turning it into a special outing; more of a day hike. Unknown to Sue at the time John had touched a tree a few days ago contracting a virus; just a tiny strand that hung barely alive for the mere six hours allotted to it until it found it’s host to infect. A few headaches and minor chills had come and gone over the days that followed. Fleeting signals unnoticed in an otherwise healthy boy that wouldn’t have concerned most parents given that the symptoms were usually gone the next day.

Tears welled up in Sue’s eyes as she sat rocking back and forth over John; he was everything that gave her life meaning; she’d lost, they’d lost everything and everyone except each other. They were a team mother and son making an intolerable solitude from a mean cruel world not just bearable but an adventure, a special time for both to get to know each other better. Let the tangled mess outside their oasis of simple living get twisted in more knots for they had each other. With the passage of the months and the dropping away of a year, then another, they moved out to the more distant illusion that reality would leave them alone. As Sue held John’s hand tightly she now knew that her logic, her training, her steady wash of conscious untainted actions had been tainted with the continuity of the familiar, the routine. It was never, should never have become an adventure, she shouldn’t have strayed from the slowly throbbing awareness of constant danger....

Chapter 8

Walking listlessly a battered man stepped over debris some of it no larger than a coffee can other pieces twice the size of cars, they may have even been cars at one time but now resembled gigantic lumps of coal fused into this littered landscape reaching to the horizon. Wreckage of a civilization blasted to unrecognizable chunks of melted metal. No trees, grass, or any other green vegetation remained just brown, gray, and of course black; mostly black. This much destruction could only have been made by a Star Ray projecting its orange – yellow beam in a wide swath across the ground in all directions. The surface dirt had even been melted as if it had been liquid lava.

Shifting his gaze head on to the hot sun the man’s face carried an image of the steel character that drove this survivor of blistering devastation onward. Pain was the grimace that stabbed sharp jabs in this face of intelligence, compassion, and determination. A scar from an earlier battle with life ran from his eye clear to his jaw. This was the face of a man acquainted with fighting, using his wits, and maintaining his cool under pressure. His eyes betrayed the fortitude of a leader but a leader who no longer had any followers. If they remained there whereabouts could never be reveled for the death camps awaited – no these remainders like the leftovers in a messy division problem were scattered in forests across the continent.

His recollection of events had become fragmentary glimpses in a nightmare he was forced to relive every night. The years had not faded the inevitable fall of a military to an imminently superior invading force. This man carried an indomitable optimism that could never be extinguished even immersed in the most insurmountable odds. He just never acknowledged defeat; the word defeat just wasn’t in his vocabulary. So his trek across this scorched, twisted landscape continued. His feet just kept moving mechanically like a robot’s jerky uncertain steps. His footfalls were carefully placed to avoid jutting sharp shards of glass, metal, any of a number of the incalculable rubble of the losing side. Former President Cruz of the now defeated United States of America would never admit defeat. They would put him in his grave before he’d admit defeat to any enemy that believed they could so easily destroy his spirit or the leather determination of this nation of fighters.

Justin had fought this enemy with every military asset at his disposal sending about fifty percent of their war triangles to earthly graves. The Tuok sustained heavy losses against a host population that they’d initially considered a push over like all the rest of the primitive hosts they’d crushed in the past. President Cruz hit them hard with punches coming from the left then the right, and jabs up the middle; he was unrelenting for nine punishing years. Any average, normal, complacent, lobbyist bound President of the past would have only lasted for at most two years. Even now with every soldier, tank, F-22, F-35, special opps ordinance, basically every piece of hardware blown to bits to protect the citizens of this great nation he still believed that no amount of power could extinguish the flame of freedom from this his country....

Chapter 9

Sliding silently in the vacuum of space was an armada of two thousand Tuok war triangles heading towards some nondescript insignificant planet on one of the outer spirals of the Milky Way galaxy. Arriving in the targeted solar system they advanced towards Earth with the Sun blazing bright yellow behind them. These huge black harbingers of destruction and death having emerged from the depths of an evil playing itself out on a primitive, basically defenseless planet were about to end all governmental resistance to Tuok rule; the hosts on this defiant rock would bend on bent knees.

After losing fifty percent of his forces in the last five years to the United States of America the only government left standing, Harvon Zabon was going to wipe out this last annoying strain of military resistance once and for all. He was tired of looking weak back home on Yoron were he’d become the laughing stock of the entire upper crust of the military establishment. General Ewock-Tu was at wits end in his dealings with Harvon. The general threatened to replace Harvon and demote him if he couldn’t secure the harvest of these unruly primate hosts. It was downright degrading to Harvon to have such a primitive breeder species wipe out so many of his red war triangles with not fusion powered minimally advanced technology but with fossil fuel fighters of all things – it was downright embarrassing. Not able to locate where these pesky humans were clandestinely building this fossil fuel fighter called the F-22 Harvon was forced to sit in his sling and listen to reports presented in holographic tubes that repeatedly showed Tuok red war triangles being split into hundreds of fractured pieces by these agile craft.

All that was going to end tomorrow in one final battle that would pit an overwhelming number of the most advanced war triangles the Tuok could field against these troublesome pests – terror would finally fill the hearts of these damn uncooperative hosts when they saw the power conveyed against them.

To make matters worse destructive rebels named after some hairy fanged creature called a Mountain Lion plagued Harvon. They were spreading havoc across large swaths of the North American continent. Destroying outposts, raiding weapons depots, and blowing up Extermination Centers after freeing the human hosts not yet harvested by patiently waiting poddlings....

Chapter 10

Jangling chains could be heard punctuating the steady wind blowing dry across the tumbleweed. Typical to all suppressors of happiness and parasitic bleeders of life the chain more polished and refined than its primitive forerunners was still the preferential form of bondage. On the desert south of where Albuquerque once stood were some of the remnants of humanity. The Tuok dreading the very idea if not the more unsavory reality of having to track down their host prey in this dry, barren, and mountainous terrain had sent drones out to locate any primates that were running loose.

Infinitely confident, the Tuok engaged in behaviors that verged on idiocy. If it weren’t for the fact that they had at their command copious amounts of power exercised through their machines they’d be a trivial species. Originality would never feverishly cry for release; they could never comprehend any deviation from the status quo; the static encrusted stagnation that was their sanctuary.

Their plans, contingencies, and procedures dealt with every eventuality or finely engrained continuity for no out of the box thinking was acceptable within Tuok society. Any disruption of their tortured unwrinkled continuity based universe wrought disbelief in these linear thinkers who were unable to comprehend a nuanced perturbed world. The Mountain Lions evaded drones, and generally ran amok in what should have been the undisturbed domain of this technologically advanced parasite. They accomplished this by training their freedom fighters to reason unconventionally. Every recruit was taught to think around the corners and break free from thought gumming coagulating conformity. Complete freedom of thought unconstrained by any preconceptions or prejudices distorted the fine lines of dormant reasoning applied by the Tuok. Anything out of the ordinary was exceedingly disquieting to the Tuok; they could only fall back to their corner and cuddle their security blanket of processes. A perfect example of this ingrained attitude was exhibited when the Tuok continually denied that they had a problem with losing fifty percent of their red war triangles until nine long years had elapsed.

Freedom fighters, escapees, and others just trying to survive stealthily in the backwoods learned quickly to deviate from anything approaching standard behavior; away went the props that supported any form of standardization. It became every citizen’s duty to spice things up, disrupt the flow of continuity expected by the Tuok. Human beings fell back to their erratic primate origins of wrapping a core of rationality in seemingly irrational ways....

Chapter 11

Desert in all directions pushed down by a bold blue sky that shoved the dense brown soil into a crushing flatness of gently dilating hills: this was the center of all power within the Milky Way galaxy. Not power dreamed of in times of dilution but power based upon an elegant intelligence that rested in quiet reflection; a power that if inflamed by injustice wouldn’t hesitate to rip entire atmospheres into space. It was a respected power because it was never used to advance its personal gain. Peace, tranquility, justice, equity, and serenity were the hallmarks of this civilization. No pain escaped the purview of these masters of a realm extending into billions of star systems. They were connected into any disturbance no matter where it originated by intelligence service agents that blended in with local populations throughout the galaxy.

This nondescript desert planet was the seat of civilization, the core of every governmental concept, the dry crisp air breathed by those seeking justice from the unjust: the misfits, the tyrants, and the evil that soiled worlds from time to time. It was rumored that their resolve to meet injustice, acts of aggression on the defenseless, and bolts of energy erupting from those hell-bent on conquest stemmed from their spiritual requirement to care for others no matter their species, appearance, technological standing, or any other differentiating factor.

Gently landing on a pad reaching to the capital city Beya on the military base of Qoun were reinforcements readying for war. The Qoun base had been laid out no more than a hundred years ago after an attack by a race of crescent eyed bugs that’d laid waste to seventy-five percent of the planet. After that sneak attack the democratically elected legislative body made funds available to build the Qoun base. Never again would the Zalon home world be forced to cower defenseless awaiting a fleet that was light years distant....

Chapter 12

The land was a drab brown with rocks and boulders strewn about in certain places as if some intelligence wanted to break up the rolling hilled monotony. From a temperature standpoint this planet was either very hot or mildly cool. During the daytime the heat would accumulate in the dry air under a canopy of dark blue sky punctuated by two stars. One of those stars was an average yellow sun positioned a reasonable distance from the planet to provide heat but not blistering oppressive heat. The other star had long since before recorded history been a cold blue ball that hugged its yellow brother from sunrise to sunset. Aside from the color found in the blue sky, the brown almost sandy dirt of the soil, the darker blue of the cold star, and the yellow of their average star: the Zalon world was devoid of color.

Divilon the Zalon home world was a quiet place with gentle winds, no severe climactic events, and no wild temperature swings, a perfect climate for a race of lizards. An established fact for eons, the Zalon species was said to have originated from a primitive lizard called the Cral that had crawled along in the dirt; on mostly rock, billions of years ago. According to the scientists who were still digging up Cral and their later descendants, the Cral were about four feet in length with a larger brain cavity than their primitive relatives. At some point (according to these Zalon scientists) the Cral’s brain gradually became more intellectually sophisticated and profoundly more curious than any other life crawling about at the time. Seeking to quench their curiosity the Cral evolved ever so slowing into a species branch called the Grog. Over many more billions of years the Grog gradually started standing upright so that they could more readily survey their surroundings. While bipedalism was being mastered nature adapted the Grog to their new condition by gradually giving them the ability to discern distances.

All the characteristics necessary for the evolution of a highly intelligent species fell into place; the only ingredient remaining was a liberal sprinkling of time to give the brain the evolutionary space to expand its computational and creative abilities. After many more billions of years the Grog finally evolved into the Zalon species family. Given that non-dynamic planetary environments spread out evolutionary timelines because external stimuli are typically negligible, Zalon’s over billions of years of evolution had acquired few of the characteristics of their lizard ancestors....

Chapter 13

One hundred years ago as a quiet night was passing through its typically uneventful hours the three moons Xio, Gioz, and Nilo were just beginning to recede behind the horizon when up from around them appeared the roughhewn triangles of “The Bugs”. They’d come from a planetary system on the fringes of the Milky Way out closest to the human planet Earth. Better known by its Ri Lnye location of Alqi – Slqi ACJ in a region of space famous for its lawlessness the planet of these gray crescent-eyed swarms was called Eriuy meaning swamp village in the Zalon tongue. Not much had been known about the Bugs prior to their unprovoked attack. Swarming out from there hiding place behind the Zalon moons they came in such numbers as to overwhelm the numerically inadequate Zalon defenders.

Vaporization particles covered swath after swath of homes, businesses, community centers, military bases, and when it was all finished the only thing that remained were grieving survivors. These survivors were simply blessed or cursed depending upon their perspective. Blessed to breathe another breath, but cursed to inhale the caustic air filled with burned ash raining down from up high. It covered any exposed surface in the remnants of civilization, sprinkling the ash with the lighter dust of their loved ones – such was an unprepared society. Pain filled the eyes of those walking listlessly from here to there for weeks on end in shock. The pain threshold of Zalon society had been crossed; only ten percent of the population remained. Far too many people had become the victims of an aggression that new no limit.

A few months after the destruction the undeniable logic of those who preached that Zalon society was finished spread like wildfire. At the time it was so very easy to recognize the ordained path to oblivion walking towards it with head lowered in dejection. Never truly ascertaining why the “Bugs” came to destroy another sentient species other than they were suffering from some ancient need to swarm: the survivors were left to bury the dead in mass graves and wait. The nearest fleet of Zalon war saucers was clear on the other side of the galaxy and spread very thin in all sectors of their expansive kingdom. It took about two months for the Zalon fleet to reach Divilon and when they arrived they were shocked to find the surface of their entire planet ripped and pounded into dust. The capital Beya lay with its back broken – a wasteland of blackened pieces littered over a hundred-mile expanse. Both the King and Prime Minister were dead. Tears filled every eye for all that was beautiful was gone the dull planet called out mockingly at those who thought they could create a pleasurable view in a cold universe....

Chapter 14

Prince Valoron now King Valoron (a Zalons life expectancy is over five hundred years) remembered being very concerned twenty years ago after being told of the Tuok penetration of the Milky Way galaxy. Having heard firsthand the intelligence briefings from Zalon agents stationed in the Andromeda galaxy (home of the Tuok) his initial reaction was pity at a god who’d burden a creature with such a staggering load just to procreate. Not soon thereafter his pity was transformed into horror at the number of species that had ceased to exist at the hands of these Takers called Tuok.

The late Prime Minister Reako never a deep thinker was quick to react to intelligence reports that indicated the supreme parasite had crossed into the peripheral space of the Zalon Kingdom. “Blast them back to the Andromeda galaxy – that should be our response!” was typical of the prickly out bursts forth coming from an agitated Prime Minister Reako.

Grinning ever so imperceptibly King Valoron spoke in a patient soft voice “Mr. Prime Minister we definitely have the power to force our will upon any species in this entire universe but would that represent a just act simply because it is the most direct route?”

“Your Highness I sincerely don’t suggest that we use our power indiscriminately but in this case these demons mean to destroy entire races – extinction would be the sword they’d carry.”....

Chapter 15

General Corzal selected a Lieutenant General with an extensive background in dealing with the peripheral worlds out beyond the central core of the kingdom. After reviewing several candidates for this very important mission General Corzal was most impressed with General Xion’s comprehensive experience under various difficult situations both militarily and diplomatically. He was not a shining star in the Zalon military but someone who’d been overlooked on numerous occasions simply because he’d engaged in heated debates with his superiors. Not refraining from expressively voicing his opinion General Corzal believed this trait was the prerequisite of any leader; the ability to stand up in the face of unanimous opinion. General Corzal also felt General Xion possessed the mark of character, unblemished by the softness of taking the easy road in the achievement of one’s objectives. For this mission what was needed was not a straight-line thinker but a leader who could think around the corners. He needed a leader that didn’t just chose a stratagem based upon how easy it was to implement and achieve but ultimately how effective it was at transitioning to the end game desired state of affairs. Never selecting his soldiers based simply upon popularity General Corzal was that rare leader who could see through the flash of position hunters by reaching deep down into their soul. His interview process was said to be a grueling intellectual duel that he’d never lost. Those who’d been interviewed for important missions or position advancement were said to be so exhausted at the end of the process that most just collapsed. The Zalon people firmly believed that competence in any occupation was the preeminent criteria for advancement; all else was fluff.

Prime Minister Pala impressed upon General Corzal the delicate political nature of engaging the Tuok without firing the first shot. In fact, even though Section 1a of The Milky Way Galactic Law did give the Zalon military the right to vaporize the “… [Perpetrators] forces on the planet where the atrocities occurred” Prime Minister Pala felt that the case for using deadly force against the Tuok would be strengthened if the Zalon strike force first gave the Tuok an ultimatum; a clear unequivocal ultimatum that would allow the Tuok no wiggle room – “This is General […] of the Zalon Kingdom you are in violation of Section 1a of The Milky Way Galactic Law. You have forty-eight hours to vacate this planet after which any Tuok forces, representatives, and associates will be vaporized.” The Zalon strike force commander was to give the Tuok forces an additional ten minutes to vacate Earth space after the expiration of the forty-eight hour deadline and then fire their Uio rays across the bows of the Tuok war triangles if they failed to leave. If the Tuok forces continued to disobey the directive to vacate Earth space the Zalon strike force commander was to issue an ultimatum that the Tuok must leave the Milky Way galaxy and the Zalon Kingdom immediately and must never return. If after patiently waiting an additional ten minutes the Tuok still held their positions the commander of the Zalon military force was instructed to blast these damn parasites clear across the universe. Prime Minister Pala wanted every trace of the Tuok invasion force wiped clean from the area in order to send a clear message that the Zalon Kingdom would forcefully defend the rights of its citizens even the “primitives” to live lives free from oppression ....

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