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       The Final Stand (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 1), p.1
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           Stephanie Flynn
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The Final Stand (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 1)
The Final Stand (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 1)

  By

  Stephanie Flynn

  Copyright 2014 Stephanie Flynn

  License Notes

  Thank you for downloading this ebook. This book remains the copyrighted property of the author, and may not be redistributed to others for commercial or non-commercial purposes. If you enjoyed this book, please encourage your friends to download their own copy from their favorite authorized retailer. Thank you for your support.

  Discover other titles by Stephanie Flynn:

  Short Stories:

  The Final Stand (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 1)

  Targeting Error (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 2)

  Avenger Arrives (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 3)

  Revenge and Chaos (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 4)

  Cyborg Program (Intergalactic Pandemonium Part 5)

  Slave Job

  The Intern

  The Fateful Time

  At the End of the Universe

  Nessie

  Summer Night’s Breeze

  Novels:

  Taming the Iris

  Poetry:

  Can’t Always Win

  No Apologies

  Table of Contents

  Beginning of The Final Stand

  Personal Message from Stephanie Flynn

  About Stephanie Flynn

  Connect with the Author

  The Final Stand

  Three uniformed men exited the lone hangar in a barren land. They marched along the red carpet and paused in a semi-circle around a blinking helipad. Under a canopy of inky darkness, a fiery ball careened to Earth. Along the bowl of surrounding mountains in the geographically isolated airport, the men shielded their eyes against a sheet of blasting air as the foreign orb came to a sudden stop and parked a few yards from their feet—arriving on schedule. Snipers hunkered invisibly along the crags, casually chatting by radio.

  “My daughter’s Magic 8 Ball is arriving for Judgment Day,” General Wilson snickered to SecDef Leavens.

  “Now is not the time for jokes, General,” SecDef Leavens said.

  An ear-splitting hiss and hydraulic puff caused Admiral Carter, General Wilson, and Secretary of Defense Leavens to fidget and the hidden snipers to drop their chatter and peer through their sights. From the dark metallic ball a hatch opened and released a circular blue light.

  Admiral Carter patted his pants pocket after the puff of air dissipated to make sure his controller wasn’t lost. He dreaded every moment of the Bausethian’s visit. Why us? He wondered.

  Through squinted eyes Admiral Carter observed the silhouetted broad figure of seven feet in height with ornate chest armor and sweeping blond locks descend from the glowing light and stop in front of the civilian and military leaders. His cape flicked in the breeze as he took a bow.

  SecDef Leavens stepped forward and met the foreigner’s bow.

  “Thank you for being on time, Mr. Gabletree,” he said, “Is your translator working?”

  The stoic foreigner, Fartook Gabletree, nodded and followed the marching men inside the illuminated hangar, accepted a metal folding chair around an improvised conference table, and discussions began without common pleasantries.

  “Admiral, General, Secretary of Defense,” Fartook Gabletree said, “Are you prepared to finally reach a deal tonight?”

  Each of the men nodded in their turn. Admiral Carter felt far more resolute tonight than the previous meetings. He fumbled the controller in his pants pocket hidden beneath the table.

  SecDef Leavens resumed the negotiations first. “If we were to accept your number, and that’s a big IF, how much are you willing to offer in return?”

  “For completing our order, I am prepared to offer twenty thousand tons.”

  “Unacceptable,” said Admiral Carter.

  “Hogwash,” seconded General Wilson with a slam of his fist on the table, “fifty thousand tons and a smaller order.”

  Without a flinch the foreigner responded, “For more than doubling the mass of ore, we would require an extra twenty thousand to accompany me.”

  “All right, all right,” General Wilson said waving two fingers around like an orchestra conductor, “Now, I say let a few go, sure, but we get to choose who goes. And we want more in this deal since you need us more than we need you, pal.”

  Admiral Carter bumped his glasses up and rubbed the dents. Too many sleepless nights lately have taken their toll. He wasn’t sure how many more meetings he could sit through, so he vowed to himself to end it tonight. He didn’t care what the others thought of his plan and if they feel punishment will be necessary, then exchanging his life for thousands would be worth it. A sacrifice he was willing to make, but not without a fight. “How can you put a price on life so nonchalantly General? You haggle people like they’re commodities. This is simply unacceptable. All of it.” He leaned back in his chair and crossed his arms.

  SecDef Leavens said, “Admiral, we must send some. This deal will save all of us.”

  “Save us?” A bitterness on his tongue caused his lips to purse. “You’re talking about sending another twenty thousand people to their deaths for ore--for money?”

  “The ore can save us too.”

  “Saving the economy isn’t the crisis preserving our lives is,” said Admiral Carter with furrowed brows.

  “Why bother to preserve lives at all if the economy dies?” said General Wilson with a casual shrug.

  “Are you mad?” Admiral Carter cut in with widened eyes, “People can adapt if the modern world ceases to exist. It won’t be fun for anyone, but survival is still more critical than money.”

  General Wilson explained, “Listen, businesses are shuttering doors all around us. Consumers aren’t spending. There’s no jobs but part-time minimum wage and since no jobs equals no money for food, shelter, electricity, they aren’t exactly lining up for new cell phones and fancy TVs. Without a stable economy we are spiraling back to the Stone Age. Chaos, looting, violence. Is that your idea of adapting? Frankly, we would be right to let some go off; besides, we have an overpopulation problem on this planet anyway, and in exchange, we can line the coffers of a few; thus stimulating the economy, providing more jobs, more business stability. A few H-1Bs will fill in the gaps. This is a win-win situation for us. We could, in theory, create a utopian America.”

  “In theory,” muttered SecDef Leavens, “But I agree with Wilson. Send a few to Bauseth, in exchange for proper compensation.”

  “How can you say that?” said Admiral Carter, jumping to his feet. Wilson grimaced as the metal chair squealed across the concrete floor. “Who is going to choose the ones to send? No one’s going to volunteer to leave, maybe a few stragglers. So how about we send your family SecDef? Or your daughter General?” Leavens’s face turned a shade of plum and Wilson’s brows knitted.

  “You don’t want to see your own family shipped off to their deaths, no? Well, I don’t want mine sent either, so then... maybe we just send the adopted folk. Yeah.” Admiral Carter’s voice rose with exaggerated enthusiasm. He paced the length of the table with this hands behind his back. “They don’t really have families, not blood families. Love doesn’t matter, just DNA. No? I can see by your faces that this isn’t appealing. How about this idea--we only choose people unfortunate enough to have no family--no kids, no living parents or siblings. They’d be fairly old anyway. How is that for luck--you have no family, no love, and now you must die. No loss to us, right?”

  Leavens and Wilson shifted in their seats, struggling to stay silent for Carter, while Gabletree sat unflinching.

  “Maybe we should just
decide based on age alone then? Send the old people, their usefulness has run low. BUT” He slapped the table with an overzealous smile, “only the ones who are abandoned in nursing homes! Yes! Will that satisfy?”

  Gabletree now broke in, “No, we request units of childbearing age and youthful strength for labor.”

  “Great.” Admiral Carter said, “Now we narrow down our choices to the healthy, a major necessary segment for our own society’s survival. This will hurt us dramatically because the U.S. isn’t overpopulated. So why us Gabletree? Why not ask the Chinese or the Indians? They have more than plenty to spare. Their extreme population problems would welcome your request. Why not them?”

  “Because,” Fartook Gabletree said, “English translator orbs are the only ones in stock at this time. The others are on indefinite backorder from the planet Royuld. Disruptive virus, you see.”

  “Well, it doesn’t really matter anyway,” Admiral Carter said removing his cap and running his hand through his hair. He blew out a puff of exasperation and continued pacing. “How about race? Are we going to start shipping off the ones deemed lesser than the others? We could purify our country with careful selection.”

  “Now we aren’t saying anything like that,” Wilson said, “Besides that would never fly. The media would throw a shit storm.”

  “I was only being facetious. I can’t believe you’d ever consider it!” He placed his hand over his eyes and then slapped the table again as if hit with another brilliant idea, “Next option, we force all families to
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