We have landed on Mars! What we find could explain the origins of the human race...
Return From Mars Adam.R.Crump
Return From Mars - Part 7
"In order for you to know who you are; you must first know who I am." The thing formally known as Abigail said.
"Please, enlighten me." I replied sarcastically.
She cocked her head once again.
"I am sensing hostility once more James Celtigar. I believe your race calls it sarcasm."
"That is one form of it."
"Do you not want to know who I am?"
I could quickly see that this would become a questioning match if I didn't start acting interested. The thing formally known as Abigail was obviously interested in sharing itself with me, so if I was to continue I should probably seem interested.
"I apologise. Please continue with your story."
"Apology accepted James Celtigar."
The thing formally known as Abigail smiled, and began her story.
"I am called Epohtsol, and I am as old as the universe." The alien began. "I was brought into being soon after the beginning of universe expansion. I am unique in the fact that in order for me to survive I must feed on the life energy of sentient beings."
"Would you say that you are evil?"
Epohtsol chuckled. She obviously found this comment amusing.
"What does your race do to survive James Celtigar? How do you gain energy?"
I could see where this conversation was headed but knew there was no way to get out of it.
"And do you kill, or destroy to eat James Celtigar?"
"Yes, sometimes we do."
"Are humans evil James Celtigar?"
"Yes, I believe some of us are."
Epohtsol cocked her head to the side in interest.
"Interesting! I was not expecting that answer? You confuse me James Celtigar, usually at this time people will speak of their races unique qualities, urging me not to harm them, telling me all the good things there race has done to stop me from destroying them, but not you?"
"Did any of what these people said make any difference?"
"No, I destroyed them all anyway."
"I rest my case." I replied, sitting back and folding my arms.
Epohtsol said nothing, so I asked another question.
"So how do you know where sentient beings are? I mean, pardon my French, but the universe is a big ass place, you can't just tell me that you stumble over a sentient race."
"Actually I have just stumbled on plenty of sentient races, but you are right the majority of those I find I have tracked down. You see when a race develops the ability to create wormholes through space it leaves a trail. The trails are easy enough to follow, and they lead you right back to the point of origin; giving me the access I need to infiltrate and feed on the races life energy. Once I have fed I can hibernate for millennia without having to feed again."
I stared hard at the alien entity I saw before me. She had absolutely no regret about what she was doing at all.
"So how did you find us? Humans do not have the ability to create wormholes."
"You are correct in this instance, your race has yet to develop the understanding required to bend space and time, but eventually it would have come."
Again I restated my question.
"So how did you find us?"
"I did not find you. I found the Tergarians."
I frowned, was Epohtsol talking in tongues or was there some further explanation to come.
"I can see you are confused, but you will not be for much longer."
I breathed deeply. Epohtsol began, and very soon I got the history lesson of all history lessons.
"Around 120,000 years ago I discovered a wormhole that led to this solar system. I entered the wormhole and discovered that your solar system was rife with life, back then two, not one planet was inhabited with life, your Earth and the planet you now call Mars. On Mars lived a sentient race who called themselves the Tergarians. They were the dominant race in your solar system, but they were peaceful and caring. On Earth at the time there was a closely related race that you now refer to as Neanderthals. The two races, Tergarians and Neanderthals were closely related, but the Tergarians had evolved much earlier than you and by the time the Neanderthals were fully evolved, the Tergarians had discovered space travel. This of course would be their undoing."
"Wormhole technology." I inquired. Epohtsol nodded.
"When I first encounted them, the Tergarians were beginning to colonise other planets around your galaxy, one by one I consumed them all, growing more and more powerful as I did so. But it was my power that caused my undoing, you see I thought I was invincible, but the Tergarians figured out a way to imprison me. Once they realised the other planets were consumed, the elder council (as the rulers of their race were called) developed a wormhole that froze me in time, instead of a wormhole that had two openings they developed a wormhole that came back in on itself like a snake eating its own tale. They knew that I would not likely stroll into this trap lightly so they created the wormhole on their planet. When I attacked them, they turned on the machine, destroying themselves, their planet and imprisoning me."
Epohtsol stopped and looked at me.
"They sacrificed themselves so that you, their ancestors could live."
"What do you mean?"
"There is a point in your evolution that I believe your race is still unsure of. It is the link between the Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens. It was said that the Neanderthals ruled your planet until the arrival of the Homo Sapiens, the people you are today. The Homo Sapiens developed a better brain, used tools more efficiently and problem solved better than the Homo Erectus species. Where do you think the Homo Sapien species came from?"
Suddenly a light went off in my head.
"The Tergarians, they are our ancestors, they created us."
"Not exactly, the Tergarians did not create you, they became you. You see they were a smart race. They knew that your species and their own shared a common ancestry, and they also knew that they wouldn't survive the process that imprisoned me. They lured me into the trap, but not before they managed to send a capsule full of their D.N.A to Earth. I would imagine that one of those Homo Erectus chaps drank some water, or ate some food laced with the D.N.A and from then on your natural evolution took hold in a very different way."
"So the Tergarians trapped you, and we released you."
"Correct. Once I was out it was easy to manipulate your simple minds into doing my will. My disguise was necessary so that I could see what kind of people you really were. I didn't want to be tricked again you see."
"Of course not." I replied.
It was at this moment that the door to the interview room burst open. Standing in the doorway was Flight Officer Josh Trenton. His left arm was missing from the elbow, and he was pale.
He stood, not moving, my eyes moved slowly from him back to Epohtsol. I could feel my body begin to pump adrenaline throughout my nervous system. I was getting ready to run. I wasn't built with a muscular body, but I was a big man and if worse came to worse I thought that I could take Josh on, especially with the added extra of adrenaline.
"It is time." Epohtsol said.
I stood; ready to run but paused when Epohtsol smiled.
"I like you James Celtigar. You were honest with me; you do your race proud."
"What will you do now?" I asked, knowing what she would say already.
"I will go to Earth and see whether the descendants of the Tergarians are worthy of their ancestors, but first I must rid myself of this body. The females of your race are weak!"
Epohtsol stood, raised her hand towards Josh and squeezed her fist closed slowly. I saw his body rise from the floor, his back arched, and his knees bent backwards. His body began glowing, and then a ray of light passed from Josh's body to Epohtsol. I looked in horror at the transference. It was the life energy of the people that had been on Helios that Epohtsol was now feeding on, but there was nothing I could do.
Finally Epohtsol stopped and Josh was lowered to the floor. His body stopped glowing and then he opened his eyes, and it looked like he had just awoken from a dream, the first thing he saw was me looking at him. He was pale now, and deathly looking. I saw his eyes widen in horror as he saw what was left of his arm. His eyes pleading!
"James. What happened? Where am I?"
I rushed to his side and grabbed his good hand.
"You were possessed Josh."
"I..." Josh tried to speak, but blood loss and shock prevented his body from doing so, fresh blood was leaking from his arm and the young pilot fell into a coma, dying soon after.
Epohtsol just watched as Josh died, and soon after the other astronaut Dylan appeared in the doorway. I turned to Epohtsol, she once again raised her arm, but this time the transference of energy didn't occur from Dylan to Epohtsol, but the other way round. I stood as I saw Abigail's body shudder, convulsing as Epohtsol switched hosts. I reached her as the last of her essence fled the mortal body. Abigail collapsed into my arms, moaning gently. I laid her gently on the floor and stood once more.
Epohtsol had finished the transfer and now stood in Dylan's body. Epohtsol turned towards both me and Abigail.
"Farewell James Celtigar, I enjoyed your company."
Epohtsol raised its arm and pointed it towards us. I stood slowly lowering Abigail to the ground.
Epohtsol flinched its head to the side.
"What did you say?"
"I said no! You will not take Abigail's soul. I will not let you."
Epohtsol chuckled, and turned its stare upon me.
"You cannot stop me."
I glared right back.
"You are wrong about that!" I rasped.
I saw something in Epohtsol then, something that I grasped hold of.
"I do not fear you Epohtsol!" I told it.
Epohtsol began to shake. It breathed deeply turned its arm and began using its power. I felt a pull from inside my very being, my soul being ripped from me violently. I had imagined that at this moment I would have allowed fear to overrun me, but it didn't. I stayed calm, and concentrated on my feelings for Abigail. I felt the tearing begin to subside, the pain lessen and I opened my eyes.
I saw Epohtsol, his face full of anger and exertion, trying its very best to rip my soul from me. It was failing and it knew it.
"Fear me!" It screamed, lunging towards me.
"No." I replied calmly.
Never before had I struck out at someone in anger before, but I did so now. I drew my arm back and smashed my fist right into the aliens face. It was like hitting concrete. I felt most of my knuckles break with the impact and the pain was blinding. My fist dropped and Epohtsol laughed aloud.
"Did you actually think that you could hurt me?"
I dropped to my knees; the pain of my hand was tremendous. Epohtsol bent down, its face was close, close enough that I could feel its cold breath coming from within. Sweat dripped from my forehead, running down my face and falling from my chin.
"Now do you fear me James Celtigar?"
I managed a slight smile.
"No more than I did before."
Epohtsol stood, turned and began to walk away. He left the room and turned right. Through the pain I realised where he was going. The escape pods! I stood, stumbled across the room, and fell out the door, I reached out to grab the frame, but it was with my right hand. My fingers buckled, and I grunted in pain before falling to the floor.
Epohtsol turned and saw me fall; he smiled before continuing down the hallway. I lay there, unable to move. The pain in my hand had reduced my body to a temple of pain; I kicked the wall and screamed aloud. As I turned my head I saw the body of Abigail lying where I had left her. If I let Epohtsol get to Earth how many others would be lying on the ground unable to protect their loved ones. I had to something!
Gathering strength I never knew I had I used my left hand to push myself up off the floor. My legs followed and I got to my knees. I then grabbed a railing on the wall and pulled myself up. I managed to gain my feet as Epohtsol walked around the corner.
I stumbled after him, and as I got to the corner I grabbed one of the pistols from the deceased Delta Force soldiers, I pulled back the chamber, and made sure it was ready to fire and then tucked it into my waistband.
I rounded the corner and saw Epohtsol enter the escape pod chamber. I ran with all the energy I had left and got to the pod before the door closed. I drew my weapon, aimed at Epohtsols head and pulled back the hammer.
Epohtsol who had been standing with his back to me turned slowly, and faced me.
"I can't let you go to Earth. Not to do what you have told me."
"I admire your courage human, but you know very well that you have no power to stop me."
I pulled myself to my full height and stared him in the eye.
"You may be right, but I will not forgive myself if I did not try." And as quickly as I possibly could I pulled the trigger and fired three bullets at its head. For a split second I allowed myself hope, hope that I would succeed. That I would end it all now, but the bullets stopped within a millimetre of Epohtsols head, before falling to the floor.
Epohtsols eyes narrowed.
"A gun." Epohtsol scoffed. "I am disappointed James Celtigar, I expected more of you."
Then with a flick of his fingers he threw my body through the door and into the wall behind, like a child would a rag doll. I felt my head smack against the steel tubing and slumped to the ground. I saw through blurred vision Epohtsol walk towards me. He put on hand on my shoulder.
"I still like you James Celtigar, but now you have angered me; today will not be the day that you die. Today you get worse. I will leave you here, with the knowledge that you could do nothing to stop the destruction of your race. This is where ours paths separate James Celtigar."
I felt a jolt of electricity shock through my body and then there was darkness.