Horror and Thriller Science Fiction posted January 13, 2010


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A corps, alert to inhibiting alien subversion.

Immigration Control

by Allezw2

Roxford Street On Ramp
Interstate 05 North
2100 PST

Accelerating up the ramp, hands on the levers, he readied himself for the two-handed shift to the next set of ratios. The hitchhiker, dressed in a soaked and clinging, hooded sweatshirt and jeans, was suddenly caught in the lights through the rain. He saw the upraised arm with the thumb up.

There was a moment's hesitation, then an affirmative feeling of warmth. He set the warning blinkers on. Pulling off the road, he coasted to a stop thirty feet from the bedraggled soul looking up at him. Setting the brakes, the blast of exhaust air galvanized the individual. Running toward the truck, the hitchhiker disappeared from the driver’s view before the door came open and his sodden passenger slipped onto the seat and closed the door.

The driver flipped on the cab’s interior light and saw a small individual dripping water all over the seat.
Strings of long, wet hair fell over the face. That was distasteful, but he stilled his annoyance.

“Thanks for stopping, sir.” Her voice startled him. Glancing at her, he saw her pushing the hair from her face and behind an ear.

Flipping off the light and the emergency flashers, he signaled his return to the traffic lane and began rowing his gearboxes up to speed.

“Be glad I’m a gypsy," he said. "No company truck would’ve stopped.”

“I know. I was hoping you would let me ride with you.”

“Blazes kid, what are you doing out in this weather?”

“I’m no kid, mister. I’m headed north. How far can I go with you?”

Intent on his driving, he said,“I’m due in Oakland by 9:00 tomorrow morning, so I’m balling the jack.”

“Mind if I ride along then?”

“No. But, you’re sopping wet. Go in back and pull a towel out to dry off. If you want to, there’re some dry clothes in the closet you can wear. Put your clothes on the extra hangers and set them over the cab heater to dry.“

“It’s okay.”

“Lady, you’re dripping all over my cab. At least go get a towel to sit on. Best if you'll take off those wet clothes and at least wring’em out.”

She glanced at him, his face aglow from the dash lights. He was fixed on the road ahead, periodically glancing at the instruments and the mirrors as he drove slightly over the posted maximum speed. He was aware she slipped off the seat and went into the sleeper.

“The light switch is on the right side as you enter.”

“Okay.” There was a pause before he heard her sudden gasp abruptly cut off.

The thrashing about lasted a few seconds and it was quiet again.

I did well?
Hoping to hear its praise, he waited.

Oh, very well indeed.

The disdainful words slammed into his consciousness, and he quailed, recognizing her voice.
Something wrapped around his neck and he had a sensation of fire burning his skin where it touched.

Not the
guardian
, it's her.

“You!”

“Expecting your friend? Forget it. If you would live, you'll follow my directions. I'll not harm you so long as you do nothing foolish.” An electric shock hit him hard enough to blur his vision before he recovered.

"That burning and the shock are my warnings to you. I have a critic and the council's sanction to use it. I know what you are thinking, and I will take action if I need to. Do you understand?

"Yes."

"Good. Just keep driving the way you are. We’ll take old State 99 at the interchange, so you have some time.” She settled into the seat, curled up sideways and faced him. He felt her watching him. Feeling the collar tight around his throat, he knew what it meant. Hearing the woman’s voice still left him confused. How did she survive the trap? 

Two hours later, he approached the I 05/S 99 junction and made the transition to State 99.

“Exit to the right, 1.1 miles after mile marker KC 108.2."

KC 112.84 came into view soon after. Slowing, he began counting the miles.

“Turn there,” she said.

A narrow two-lane road exited from the main highway. Slowing more, he shifted the transmissions to match the reduced speed, and swung well to the left. He made the turn carefully, keeping the long trailer’s wheels on the pavement.

“Continue for 6.3 miles. It'll be a right turn.”

He nodded. He tried to keep from thinking of the emergency system that would shunt the refrigeration unit into the defrost mode to warm his passengers in the trailer. Perhaps they might escape.

Don’t!

Her voice was there in his head. Now he felt terror. His chance for reward was gone, possibly his chance for survival, too. Could he jump out and crash the truck to escape? He glanced about seeing only the quiet farm country all around.

“Slow here and turn onto the drive.”

Once again, he carefully maneuvered the long trailer onto a narrow roadway.

“Slowly now, drive into the building ahead of us.” The doors, with two men on each half, swung open. He drove slowly past them and into the large warehouse. They closed immediately after he was inside.

“Stop here.” Overhead lights flared into daylight brightness, blinding him for a moment. Air hissed as he set the parking brakes.

“Shut it down and get out. Careful, you can’t escape.”

She followed him and he saw her jump down immediately after he climbed off the last step. He stood still, seeing the others hurrying toward them from all directions. They were all armed with Rykers, either the hand-held or the more powerful rifles. He knew either would fire a superheated plasma slug deadly to anything it touched.

Is she alone? The only one of the People?

They both recognized the Councilor.

Yes, Councilor. She is under Critic control.

The others?

The Distrans are still in deep sleep. I had to disable his controller, their guardian, when it attacked me. Its body is alive and bound in suspension.

The driver saw an Elder walk toward them and stop a few meters away. His eyes glittered and the driver had to look down, unable to face his superior.

Decant her and hold the human for reconstitution.


She nodded. As you direct.

From her day pack she lifted out the cannister. The top cover dilated open.

“You know the drill, Sister. Do it now.”

What will . . . .

“Use his speech. The others will be busy cleaning up this mess you brought to us. They don’t need to hear your sniveling now. What will happen to you? You need to ask? After an evaluation, it is either rehabilitation or the cull for you. What possessed you to cooperate with these blood drinking parasites? They mean our destruction and those others on this world?”

“They promised me power and privilege.”

“You’re a fool, but that is not my purview. Enter, now.”

The human stood still as a vari-colored film swirled about and began to form over his face. It built in depth until she held the cannister to it. A pseudo-pod extended and slipped into the cannister followed by the rest of the creature. Once it was contained within the retention field, the opening irised closed, sealing it inside.

Clear the area.

Slipping the cannister into her pack, she ran toward the waiting California Highway Patrol GMCs. She climbed into one with the host beside her.  The three vehicles hurried down the road to the highway and stopped.

Looking back they saw the warehouse shimmer in the dark before it glowed. An instant later, the scene was normal.
The building remained as before, unchanged. A single yard light illuminated the area. All was quiet.

“Well, that’s another one on its way to hell fire.” The officer glanced at her. “Where’d it come from?” He pulled out onto the roadway heading south. The others went north.

“Mexico,” she said. “There seems to be a colony somewhere in Jalisco. That’s a bit of the information I gleaned from their guardian before I immobilized her. It indicated there were more to be readied soon. We'll know the rest quickly enough.”

“Its a lucky thing you found them," he said.”

"It wasn’t luck.
You didn't know, but I tracked them far enough to also know their guardian was gravid and needed food soon. That’s why I offered myself. I didn’t know about the Sister helping them at first, though. The guardian shielded her well within the host.”

"That takedown, though, real nice, super clean."

She nodded. “Thanks. I hoped to avoid losing anyone. I never dreamed I'd find her there, though.”

He agreed. "That's the unnerving part. You have to wonder if there are others.”

The CHP-Delano dispatcher’s UHF alert interrupted them. It reported an accident southbound on I 05. He responded with his present location twenty miles north of it.

“Duty calls. I can still drop you and the host off by your flitter.”

“Thanks.”

A little farther down the road, he stopped to let them exit the vehicle.

Luck to you, Sister, with care.


May the All-Knowing Presence be with you, Brother.

Taking the host’s hand, she lead him toward the field as the vehicle sped away, the flashing lights disappearing rapidly into the distance.

Disassociated, the two of them rose to the hovering flitter, invisible in the dark sky.  



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Another episode in the saga of the PEOPLE, Introduced in the previous posting, "Impulse".
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