“Peace at last!” The newscaster announced in the breaking story. “After seventeen years, a ceasefire has been iss–”
Kermine muted the newscaster on his wall HoloCast with his tablet remote. He stalked around the table glaring at the floor in thought. The breaking news story about the ceasefire continued to play inaudibly on the wall display. It was the only source of light in the sparsely decorated room. The man, wearing a form-fitting outfit of various shades of gray, drummed a tuneless beat on the back of the tablet.
Kermine pressed his middle finger to the small screen several times before commanding, “Daniels. Now.”
Within moments, a dumpy man entered the room. The door closed with a hum. Daniels avoided eye contact. “Yes, si–my lord?”
The unsteadiness in the man’s behavior entertained Kermine. “What was the name of that lizard that marshalled the ceasefire?” Kermine turned his attention back to the tablet. Another wall of the room became transparent, bathing the room in the soft morning glow. Kermine eyed his latest model SkyCar parked in its docking station.
“The Isshnawi High Commander?” Kermine rolled his eyes but Daniels failed to perceive the gesture. “I believe his name is La’Shi.”
Beyond the transparent wall, the orbital debris from the shattered moon cast patchwork shadows over the cityscape. Kermine gestured to a sea of collected protesters twelve stories below. “The masses don’t want peace. They want the lizards gone forever. La’Shi is going to learn that the hard way when he arrives today.”
The building shook violently, interrupting any response Daniels could have made. The two men peered down into the street. A thick, undulating cloud of pink tinted smoke poured into the lower levels of the city. The amassed mob of protesters erupted into chaos.
The shaking of the building continued but it was merely a steady vibration compared to the jarring impact. Several of the shadows over the city were increasing at a steady pace. Kermine looked up to find seven Isshnawi crafts descending through the debris field.
“They’ve already violated the ceasefire!” Kermine snarled.
Daniels was staring at the muted news display. “No, sir,” he said quietly. “AIM did this,” Daniels forced Kermine to see images of several Anti-Isshnawi Movement members bombing the government building. This building. “They must have organized a terrorist attack.”
The floor shifted beneath their feet and the entire building groaned against the pull of gravity. Kermine tapped frantically at the tablet, attempting to open the docking station doorway. The transparent wall shimmered as it slid into the floor and stalled halfway down. Kermine and Daniels frantically climbed over the hanger door and clambered into the SkyCar, which quickly departed the building.
Kermine maintained the altitude as the twelfth floor dropped below them. “Shit,” he breathed with the recognition that the building was leaning towards them. He accelerated the vehicle into a tight turn to evade the rapidly approaching building. The vehicle was thrown into a tailspin as the edge of the building impacted with the rear of the SkyCar. The speed of the spin left Kermine with no hope of regaining control.
Kermine awoke on a cold table. A woman in a loose fitting white gown stood over him. Kermine did not recognize the device in her hand. “Am I dead?” he wondered aloud.
The woman did not answer, nor did she react in anyway.
The next voice, to Kermine’s left, was accented in a fashion that emphasized each S of every word. “You lost consciousness.”
At nearly six feet tall, the Isshnawi in the doorway was taller than most. The reverse articulated knees of the aliens were unsettling to Kermine. The ebony, rather than the usual emerald, skin and the tan of his armor plates set this Isshnawi apart from the rest.
“Welcome to Earth, La’Shi,” Kermine wheezed through an attempted grin.
“It would seem that I have ensnared a primate that can distinguish a tree amongst a vast forest.” The midnight colored Isshnawi hissed as Kermine’s vision went dark.