The next day, Tim answered the call and quickly opened his laptop computer. Both Sebastian and Major William Daniel Adams’ faces filled the screen. Everyone in the condo gathered around the monitor, hoping for good news.

“Well?” demanded Dylan, as the two men on the screen seemed to be hesitating.

“I ain’t never seen nothing like it,” Major Adams began. “We managed to sneak up on them, and, sure as hell, there was some type of spaceship. It wasn’t that big, and they were loading stuff in it. I had old Vern hold back in that duck blind with a video camera.”

The two men’s faces shifted to the corners of the screen as a video began playing. The quality wasn’t that great, but it was still good enough. Across the lake, a handful of people were loading things into the ship.

The first shots from the militia caught two of the Donovackia crew, dropping them to the ground. The other four or five crew members scattered, as the militiamen opened fire. Everyone in Mexico watched as the hatch on the ship closed, and the return vessel lifted up from the ground. The camera followed it as it hovered about fifty feet above the ground. Then it rotated and shot into the sky.

When the camera pointed back towards the far side of the lake, gunfire could be heard. The video closed, and Sebastian and Major Adams’ faces grew to take over the screen.

“Dammit!” proclaimed Dylan. “So, it got away!”

“It was one hell of a sight. If we didn’t get it on camera, I don’t even know if I’d believe what I saw,” Major Adams admitted. “It was real, and we failed to stop it.”

“The crew,” interjected Mr. Freeman, “did you capture any of the crew?”

“Sons of bitches were armed to the teeth and put up one hell of a fight,” replied Major Adams. “Three of our guys came home in body bags; three others are in pretty bad shape. We killed six of them bastards, but I can’t say with absolute certainty that others didn’t get away. But we got nobody alive.”

Major Adams switched the screen to show the faces of the dead men. A silent, but collective sigh went out, as not one of them was Hector.

“Did you find a remote?” asked Mr. Freeman. “That ship had a remote that launched it.”

“I’m still trying to get my head around everything,” Major Adams replied. “There wasn’t no remote. There wasn’t no goddamn alien thing up there. We stripped their bodies and went through everything. There wasn’t a damn thing you couldn’t buy at a Walmart Super Store. If I hadn’t seen that ship blast into the sky with my own eyes … well, goddammit, I really just don’t know what the hell to think.”

Sebastian thanked him for his help and promised to be in touch in the future. The Major signed off, and Sebastian’s face filled the screen. Everyone was silent for a few moments. It was still almost impossible to believe.

“Okay, I’m still not sure what to believe,” began Sebastian, “but this isn’t something trivial. Major Adams buried six people near that lake that he says were completely human. We all saw that spaceship shoot into space. Where the hell does this leave us?”

Mr. Freeman again explained how he believed that the ship would take about a year to reach Koranth. Then within two to maybe up to five years, a spaceship carrying a portal would come to Earth. Once the portal was in place and powered up, the invasion would begin. Earth would become just another resource from which the Donovackia Corporation sucked goods and products to sell on Koranth and Zoranth.

The one thing that was clear to everyone was that there really wasn’t any proof of any of this. The only thing they had was the video of the spaceship. Revealing that would only rile up conspiracy theorists, and, more than likely, give authorities the ability to track down Major Adams. At this point, there was little they could do, but wait until they got out of Mexico. Sebastian promised he would begin trying to figure out what to do, and they’d all be in touch again soon.

• • •

Chapter 41 Chapter 43

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