include_once("common_lab_header.php");
Excerpt for Chrilic Invasion 1 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


Chrilic Invasion

Sam Magna

Copyright Smashwords 2018 Sam Magna


Discover other titles by Sam Magna:

An end and a new friend

Dark Pluto

Guardians of Sleepless Nights

Jordan and the Secret Pack

The Painting in the Background


Table of Contents

Chapter One: Saneris Island

Chapter Two: Wilderness

Chapter Three: Onslaught

Chapter Four: Near death



Chapter One: Saneris Island

I ignored the biting cold and surveyed the landscape below a grand structure built in ancient times. I couldn’t see much through thick fog veiling the trees. Homes clustered down the side of the hill. Dyer had his back against a trunk and he scanned the valley. A black dome nestled on the brink of a mountaintop where Armor was set up to contain an alien invasion on Saneris Island. A private house converted to the perfect vantage point and hideout. I hurried down a flight of stairs and joined him near the cliff.

“I was on watch all night. No trace of them this side,” Dyer said.

“They move fast, last sighted lowland. Wanna see what the hype is about?” I asked.

“And risk our lives, sure.” He shrugged.

Through the heavy smoke, I saw the silhouette of a still giant. A chill rushed through my skin. I pointed at it and he followed my gaze. Dyer was a year older. At twenty, he was the youngest recruit until I started training. He grew a scruffy beard and a mop of curls. Oversized chrilics came in our direction in long strides. He kept his gun holster at his hip and his hand trembled reaching for it.

The creatures multiplied, once they discovered the taste of human flesh, death numbers rose in a single week. Four soldiers against thirteen giants and we had to contain them. We became subject to the bloodlust of an alien race in possession of the highest level of technological advancement. A spaceship resembling a cobalt truck container had landed on the platform behind the building.

A quick head count and Dyer discovered thirteen aliens settled for what I presumed was the first time in the history of human existence.

A black racecar parked in an enclosed yard. Dyer loaded a heavy load of weapons in the back. He accelerated to a high speed and we reached lowland where the forest cleared around a wetland. The border of the flood encroached by an overgrowth of grass. The locals called them chrilics and they were impatient when the Armor force sent to destroy them failed on countless occasions. Chrilics were hard to hunt but certainly not impossible to kill. They blended in with the forest. We were yet to capture the first one.

“It’s just standing there,” Dyer whispered.

“I don’t think it can see us.”

Chrilics swarmed the wetland. The closest one turned in our direction. The texture of its skin resembled dry, cracked clay. It rose to a staggering height. Large grey eyes popped out of a round, slimed head. Twelve feet tall monsters roamed aimlessly while we assembled our weapons. Bullets against claws the length of my forearm, we needed bigger guns. The water came up to their knees. A smoke layer crept up their thighs. I counted five, more lurked in the water bodies on the island.

My boots balanced on a slippery rock and it approached with a hunch. My chest pounded. Claws swiftly collided with my diaphragm and my ribs hit a rock. I hissed and grabbed my torso. Biting my bottom lip did nothing to ease the pain. I braved the agony and struggled to stand straight. It leaped in a projectile toward me. The gun vibrated in my hand. My heart pounded faster as the rounds tore through the rough surface of the monster. It lifted giant claws. I dodged every swing passing above my head. I fired in quick succession and the beast collapsed and face-planted in the mud.

“Hide!” Dyer instructed.

It took more than two bullets to drop a giant swaying too close and he was down to three monsters. I bolted in the opposite direction but it took one bound for the creature to land in front of me. I ducked when it reached for me. I swung a heavy sword, slashing through its chest. My mouth fell open when I withdrew the sword and it plunged in a lifeless mound. A pinkish fluid streamed down iridescent scales and painted the cracks etched on the monster.

“Three points for Lana.”

The unexpected compliment made me smile. His features creased in disgust.

“This is too much,” he muttered.

“Look on the bright side. We took down three.”

I couldn’t believe our luck. Nothing mattered more to me than the safety of my people.



Chapter Two: Wilderness

Dyer launched the racecar through a small forest. The engine blasted and swiftly made a U-turn to the main route meandering uphill. He saw an opportunity to shift to the third gear when the road cleared.

“Ever since we started tracking these things, they are more aggressive than before. Taking down numbers makes no difference.”

He checked his phone. “We have three. If Jeff and Cassie pull off their kills, we’ll be heroes. They’ll never forget our names on this island. The locals had no idea how to deal with them before we landed.”

“We may not have the capacity…”

“Lana, relax, no room for your pessimism now. We have bagged some bodies. Do you know how much we get just for a single beast delivered to Armor, the governments monitoring the situation? We are their lifeline and everyone is watching us.”

Dyer had always been a self-assured young man. I worried about his impulsiveness. Upgraded military vehicles lined the parking area in front of Armor headquarters. We entered the living room and found Cassie typing rapidly at her station. Shortly after announcing the mission, she had her blonde hair trimmed. The cut accentuated subtle features. A striking woman and I found myself simply admiring her athletic physique. As she came closer, my nerves spiraled out of control. I noticed her eyes were an olive shade under thick lashes. She had a demeanor about her that intimidated me. She regarded my condition.

“You look like you barely escaped with your life,” she said.

“I don’t know how we’ll find the rest,” I muttered.

“I found the lair.” Cassie met my intrusive gaze. “Not too far from the spaceship.”

“What did you see?” Dyer asked.

“A pit near the creek, they breed underground,” she said. “We have to pay them a visit and incinerate the newborns crawling there. Drone two captured the nest and there are probably hundreds of those things.”

Jeffrey barged in with an unusual weapon in his right arm. “Joel is a genius.”

“What is that?” Dyer was instantly entranced by the innovation. He took it from Jeffrey and held it like a precious baby.

“Crafted to perfection. These babies are not for the faint-hearted.” He turned to glance at me.

“Is it more powerful than the ones we’re using now?” I asked and he smirked.

“Can’t handle the pressure?”

“She can. We took down three.” Dyer folded his arms.

“Jeff doesn’t care. He doesn’t think I’ll last long.”

“I don’t mean to underestimate your abilities. But I can tell when one is not fit for the challenge.”

“Go to hell.”

“Easy.” Jeffrey aimed the scope at me, then dropped the gun with a smile. “We’ll have to put our differences aside, Lana.”

“I’ll give you guys time to eat and then we’re off.”

Cassie was indifferent to our little spats. She preferred to manipulate computer programs and drones. She unlocked the door with an ID card, she waited for me to walk ahead. We followed her to a military truck. She started the engine. I clipped my seatbelt when she raced too close to other vehicles.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“We’re allowed to cut through traffic. It’s urgent.”

She reached the single abandoned route heading to the spaceship site. A massive square print flattened the grass. NASA transported the foreign machine to a secret location. The forest grew thicker. Panic rattled my frame and the car speeding through dense wilderness. She swerved onto gravel, uneven terrain. The truck entered a small opening extending to a giant hole in the ground.



Chapter Three: Onslaught

“We go in, there’s no one else to save us, unless you want me to call the rest of the squad.”

“No backup.” Jeffrey kept his concentration on his phone screen. “Last time, we lost too many people, besides this job needs one person.”

Jeffrey patted the cylinder nestled between his legs.

“Are you gentle with her?” Cassie smiled at my puzzled look.

“Did you give it a name?” Jeffrey cocked his eyebrow.

“Maybe.”

Cassie laughed, a soft, delightful sound. She wasn’t bothered by the bewildered expression on my face. Dyer chuckled and shook his head.

“I bet you can’t wait,” Jeffrey said.

“No, I can’t. Stay in the car kids.”

Cassie positioned infrared goggles over her cheeks. A smile lingered on her lips. Jeffrey placed the cylinder in welcoming palms.

“All set.”

“I’m going with you,” I said.

“We don’t need to join forces for this one.”

“I’ll keep a lookout. I won’t slow you down.”

“No way. I’m sorted.”

“Guys, we can’t let her go alone.”

Dyer grunted his agreement.

Her smile faded and she shrugged. “I’m not in the mood to argue. Put these on.”

Elastic slapped the back of my head. The goggles displayed a spectrum of colors in the dark. Night vision and hypervigilance made little difference against this kind. Their forms built to withstand any kind of physical onslaught. I trailed behind Cassie’s glowing red form with a revolver secure in my grip. Another suicide mission, I wondered what we were thinking battling incredibly strong creatures salivating for our flesh. I trudged after her. I stopped and strained my hearing. A familiar rough, rumbling sound stilled my steps. My heart pumped at a rapid rate. She stood too close to the edge of the pit.

“C’mon. They are down there. They can smell us or something.”

“Wait, dammit…”

A chrilic stalked in my direction. Behind me, loud grumbles were not so far away anymore. The revolver in my hand forgotten, I trembled with adrenaline. The creature stepped and hunched over me.

“Blow its brains out!”

It knocked the revolver out of my trembling hand. Cassie dropped the TNT and dashed toward a snarling monster. Light drizzle floating in the air quickly turned to heavy raindrops. The explosion sent my body in the opposite direction. I cramped up on the ground, my ribs locked and I stuck my palm inside my shirt where a slow ache spread to the rest of my body.



Chapter Four: Near death

I forced myself to stop groaning and struggled on my feet. My sharpened vision detected a smaller figure motionless and face down.

“Cassie…” I shouted to no response. I turned her frame over and examined her state. Her eyes were closed when I lifted the goggles. A muddy left cheek and she bled at the corner of her eyebrow. She coughed and sat upright, her fingertips rubbing her temples. She searched my face with a glint of amusement.

“Lighten up. We might’ve just saved the human race.”

I helped her on her feet and proceeded to be a mute freak. My hands trembled as I removed the goggles.

“You’re pretty cute when you’re worried.” She tugged my arm and beckoned me to follow her. On the way back to the truck, she’d stop and glance at me to check if I had snapped out of the trance. The others hovered around the truck.

“A hundred points for me,” Cassie said with a grin. “It went off like a beauty.”

“Nice.” Dyer nodded.

“Glad you’re in one piece, Lana.” Jeffrey regarded my shaken state. “Are you okay?”

“I guess.”

He triggered my crankiness and his intrusive nature added to my anxiety. He had no clue that I survived the invasion with mental illness I’ve battled since childhood. Cassie departed from the haunted woods. I needed to take more enhancers. My shoulders and head weighed a ton. I glanced at Cassie and she seemed satisfied with the explosion. I had never been so afraid to see someone lying face down before. How was I going to keep her out of danger? I suddenly had this compulsion to protect her.

I separated from the others when we entered the living room. At sunset, I wanted nothing more than to soak in a bath. I sauntered to the bathroom and ran steaming water in the tub. The heat relaxed my muscles. Visions of a strange creature flooded my mind. I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror. I dried wayward black tangles and brushed my teeth. I’d get less than two hours of sleep before we returned to containing the first invasion.

My eyes fluttered open when sunlight filtered in through white curtains. I woke up groggy and disoriented. The alarm chimed. I turned it off and threw the phone further down the bed. Sleep completely evaded my body. A warm ray of sunshine kissed my skin. The sky illuminated brilliant blue when I stepped outside.

A black sedan screeched in the driveway. A second later, Cassie rushed out and waved a hand.

“Come, we gotta go,” she said in a cheerful voice.

“Now?”

“Yeah now!”

She accelerated at a fatal speed and I clipped the seatbelt on.

“How are you feeling after yesterday?” she asked.

I shrugged. “Near death, I’m okay I guess.”

She flashed a dazzling smile and I was back to being silent and weird. It was unsettling how fast she got under my skin.

“Are you up for another sweep?” she asked.

“Sure.”

Her gaze rested on me. “Jeff continued the search last night. He’s been camping near a wetland. Some went back. I don’t know. They have this obsession with water, maybe they soak some. Maybe that’s another reason they ended up here. I don’t care, someone else must figure it out. I want them dead.”

The ranger meandered over long blades of grass. Cassie led me to the edge of an expansive wetland. I counted six chrilics moving in giant steps. Dyer snuck in the soft current, sniper pointing ahead. Dark grey water and plants came up to his thighs. Before him, stood one of the biggest I’d ever see at fifteen feet. It snarled and opened wide a mouth and teeth smeared with blood.

“He was supposed to wait for us,” I whispered.

“He ignored me when I told him,” Jeffrey complained.

“Dammit. I’ll back him.” I started a run and veered when a strong hand clutched my bicep.

“We go together on my count.” Cassie frowned.

I slipped out of her grip with ease and raced toward Dyer. The stagnant water made it ten times harder to reach him. The beast turned around and spotted its prey waving a gun.

“On your left!” Cassie shouted.

It took a minute to register that the warning was meant for me. A hyped chrilic shrieked and pounced on me and the weight of its body sent me crashing on the earth. I slipped underneath it and found my feet again. Sharp nails squeezed into my right shoulder. I howled and waved the sword to chop off its hand. A rough grunt blew through its gritted razor teeth. Pulling the sword out of it required a substantial amount of energy. Fingers of the dismembered hand twitched on the grass. The wound on my shoulder burned and I wanted to scream. I appraised my own state, a blood-soaked white shirt and muddy jeans. Great.

“Don’t ever do that, Lana.”

I turned to find Cassie giving me a knowing scowl. She brushed close to me.

“What are you doing?” Her nose came inches close to mine.

“Helping him…” I muttered.

“We were all going to surround it.”

“C’mon, give me a break.”

“I’m serious. Stay close.”

The creature’s giant frame plunged and a pink fluid pool spread in clear waters.

Long, sharp knives scorched into my flesh. I heard my own scream fill the mist. One stabbed my torso with the great force. I jerked backward and my feet lifted off the earth as it picked me up. Up close, it looked more like Komodo dragon. Its tongue extended nine inches and its eyes had a swamp-green hue.

I gasped when the chrilic projected me into the water without unhooking its nails. It sent my body crashing into freezing water, claws jammed in my belly, crushing my midsection. My body suspended in the worst agony, my life hanging on the horrendous claw of an alien. I felt the heat of the nail slowly sliding deeper. I panted and audible moans escaped my lips. Hot liquid sprayed the side of my face. A few more shots and the head of the beast ripped and splattered all over me. When its arm dropped, my body slipped off and I felt the blood drain out of the holes. I lay underwater, eyes shut, unable to move in a face-up position. I failed to breathe. Strong arms carried me out of the water. I shivered against a soft chest. Frantic voices grew more distant. I drifted out of consciousness.

I awakened to a heart-stopping sight. Cassie’s bright blue eyes searched my face with concern.

“Are they all gone?” I asked.

A flash of uncertainty flickered on her face.

“I hope so. If they’re not, we’ll have a madman. Dyer killed the last two, he’s obsessed.”

“Oh god, they better be the last ones.”

“If they’re not, we get to work together again. I’ll have to be more careful with you,” she said with a pleasant smile. Her eyes were gentle and her posture relaxed. Her eyes focused on mine. For a moment, I was mesmerized and breathless. It was strange how something good could come out of such a horrifying series of events.





Thank you for reading this science fiction short story. If you enjoyed it, won’t you please take a moment to leave a review at your favorite retailer?

About the author:

Sam Magna is a science fiction, fantasy and romance author. She loves puppies, cooking and reading. The new author has a fantasy series in progress. Contact her to receive further details on the heatseeker series coming in 2019.

Feedback on Email: samu.kachiri@gmail.com

Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SamMagnaAuthor

Friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SamuMaggie?ref=bookmarks

Discover other titles by Sam Magna:

An end and a new friend

Dark Pluto

Guardians of Sleepless Nights

Jordan and the Secret Pack

The Painting in the Background



Download this book for your ebook reader.
(Pages 1-11 show above.)