Intruder Alert–Short Story

Shadow People 001

Intruder Alert.

By Colin J PLATT.

Copyright Colin J Platt 2014

Coming out of sleep mode was chronic. It wasn’t just the headaches but the all-round feeling of nausea.
Calloden didn’t even make it. He died as soon as we landed. With our technology everything was supposed to be infallible.

Just relax and you will feel nothing they said.
Poor Calloden. The drugs they gave him must have done something to his brain I suppose. I was lucky. They gave us all the same drugs.

Anyway we are here at last, ‘Galion,’ the third planet from the Star Philious.
I am still in my sleep tube viewing the log for the last 16 years and generally getting ready to exit when the computer said.

‘Attention, please exit the sleep tubes’ Okay; here we go, 16 years of time gone by like a single night.
According to the log everyone bar Calloden is alive and well.

The automatic lock opens the tube, I slide out. Where is everyone? Surely there should be someone here by now? The Commander always prides himself for being the first out of sleep mode!

‘Hello John.’

‘No. It can’t be?’

‘What’s wrong?’

‘Calloden! I mean, Dave. You’re supposed to be. I mean, the log said you were.’

‘Dead, yes, I know. Sorry if I gave you a start there, but it is the rest of the crew that are dead.’

‘What?’

‘Yes. The log, or rather the computer seems to be acting up. I have been out of sleep mode for a while now.’

‘Do you want something to eat John; there is some nice beef in the kitchen area although I don’t really feel like eating lately.’

‘How long have you been out of sleep mode Dave?’
‘I don’t really know John. The computer is acting up. It doesn’t seem to recognize my voice!’

‘Oh, no, let me check on the rest of the crew.’

‘It’s no use. They are dead!’

Right this is Les Wilson’s sleep tube. ‘It says he is alive and well here Dave, Dave!’ Where the hell is Dave?

I can’t believe it! It says Les is not due to wake up for two more years! Okay let me check on the others. I don’t believe it. They all have different wake up times!

‘Computer let me have access to the sleep tube settings.’

‘The sleep tube settings are correct Second Officer Blake.’

‘They can’t be! Everybody has different wake up times.’
‘That is to protect them.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘You were given first call while you were in sleep mode because you are a second officer and first in alphabetical order.’

‘First call for what?’

‘First call to deal with the crisis. It is all in the log report.’

‘What crisis? There is nothing unusual in the log report.’

‘Computer can you locate acting second officer Dave Calloden?’

‘Acting second Officer David Calloden died as we landed.’

‘What? I’ve just been speaking to him less than five minutes ago!’

‘His body is in sleep tube 2315.’

Okay. I have to get myself together!

‘Computer what is the crisis that was in the Record Log?’

‘I’m sorry second officer Blake I can’t tell you. My system has been compromised.’

‘By who?’

‘I am not at liberty to tell you.’

‘Computer emergency entrance code 324576 Alpha, Gamma, Delta, Voice reference 97904.’

‘Entrance code granted, please proceed.’

‘Computer give me access to the crisis we are facing.’

‘Star day number 2556.7. Alien intruder reported in cargo area 76. Security alerted. Android numbers 1 to 28 deactivated. Security shut down. Sleep tube number 2315 opened. Acting second Officer David Calloden’s body interfered with.’

‘Computer give me access to the weapon lockers.’

‘Conventional Photon weapons will not function. All my information tells me that these types of weapons will not be of any use against this intruder.’

‘Okay. What type of weapon will work?’

‘A sonic weapon type 4367 would be of use although it won’t kill the intruder.’

‘Okay, get on with it will you. Design something that I can build with our fabrication machines.
Computer can you bring the rest of the crew out of sleep mode?’

‘I’m afraid not Second Officer Blake.’

‘Computer give me all the info you have on the Intruder.’

‘The Information I have is not very good as I cannot relate to the Intruders Physical Make up.’

‘What do you mean?’

‘It is a type of Shadow-Person.’

‘You mean a sort of ghost.’

‘No. Not just a ghost. Shadow people have a more physical body but they are still able to pass through solid structures.’

‘So that is how it got on board. Computer scan the local area outside and tell me if you detect any sort of threat.’

‘The local area has been checked safe. No threat, although the area at grid reference 12365211 shows unusual energy sources.’

‘Are we able to lift off?’

‘No Officer Blake. The power source has been rerouted.’

‘Well rerout it back.’

‘I cannot do that without physical help. The robots are offline.’

‘Computer can you tell me why the Intruder didn’t just kill us all.’

‘My information says that your bodies could be useful to them. Officer Blake you know I wouldn’t have let it on the ship if it had been a physical form.’

‘Yes, computer, I know that.’

‘I mean I wouldn’t hold it against you if you reported me, but it is a Shadow-Person you know.’

‘Yes I know computer, please hurry with the sonic weapon will you. I am going back to the sleep tubes,
I want to check out Dave Calloden’s body.’

‘Computer, scan all areas of the ship. Try to locate the Intruder.’

‘The Intruder cannot be detected officer Blake.’

‘Okay, search the computer banks for anything and everything that could be of use to me for the defense of this ship.’

‘Sorry, Officer Blake but the fabrication machines have now been deactivated.’

‘How?’

‘I don’t know Officer Blake.’

‘This is a bloody mess. How am I supposed to fight something like this?’

‘You can try reasoning with it, John.’

‘What the hell! Dave. You scared the shit out of me!’

Sorry, John, but I know now what happened. I am dead. I know that now, you can check out my body if you want but it’s not a pretty sight.’

‘How can you communicate with me if you’re dead?’

‘I know, I had trouble with that also; I think it is something to do with this planet. There seems to be an inner power source that can contact the inner regions or other planes of existence. I also had a visit from a heavenly messenger; he said that I have to help you before I can go with him, John. Listen carefully; the entity that is on board is a Shadow-Person. They are very common here on Galion they originated a very long time ago and usually live on the astral world; that is the inner plane world.’

‘Yes, the computer told me about them.’

‘You will have to reason with it.’

‘Hold on Dave, the bloody thing killed you. How can I reason with something like that?’

‘I know what you mean, I feel angry also, but there is no other way. It has control of the ship. All it wants is the code to the inner computer files to access the ships power source then they can get energy to power their main batteries. I will help you to communicate with it.’

‘Then what? Do you think it will give up and just walk away? I don’t think so.’

‘What else can you do? You are only one man.’

‘What was your Mother’s name, Dave?’

‘What?’

‘I want confirmation that you are Dave Calloden?’

Bingo! That did the trick, he’s gone. ‘Computer give me to access to the ships main weapons battery.’

‘The main weapons battery is depleted at the moment.’

‘How did it get depleted?’

‘The Intruder modified the transistor.’

‘Then UN-modify it.’

‘That is impossible without the code. Do you think this will affect my future? I mean, it is a Shadow-Person.’

‘Computer I am trying to save all our lives and all you can say is will it affect you!’

‘I know, but they never did give me access to the sympathy program.’

‘Will you please concentrate on finding a way out of this mess?’

‘If I shut down for a while and you manually realign the backup power system to the light-particle rifle, you may be able to travel to the intruders power grid and blast it.’

‘And how do I get there?’

‘Yes, that is a problem. The hover bikes are unusable also the tractor is depleted but with a little modification it could be made to run on simple methane gas.’

‘And how long would that take?’

‘Without the fabrication machines twelve week.’

‘This is ridiculous!’

‘Also my sensors say you are in no fit state to travel 1,867 miles on foot.’

‘Computer do me a favor and shut down you aren’t helping me.’

‘I’m sorry but I did mention to Star-Base twenty two years ago that my master sensors and other parts needed renewing but did they listen to me? No!’

‘Computer just shut down.’

‘Alright Officer Blake, but I am always here if you want me.’

I’ve got to think my way out of this mess. What would the Commander do?

The Commander’s collection of ancient firearms! He himself showed me how they work! No, they won’t be any use surely, although these shadow-people can access our ship and tamper with our equipment. Maybe they can be hurt with guns? I will soon find out, where is the key to his locker?

I am now in the Commanders quarters. I have found the key it is an old fashioned key to an old fashioned lock that the Commander himself had installed and it works perfectly. They must have been master craftsmen in those days. Imagine fabricating something as intricate as this without fabrication machines and the weapons themselves, masterpieces of engineering, the only thing that we needed to fabricate was the ammunition.

‘Okay, John. This is now the end for you. Please don’t make it harder on yourself.’

‘Get the hell out of my way Shadow-Man.’

‘You can’t possibly hurt me with that ancient rifle!’

‘This is not just a rifle! This is a 12 bore pump action shotgun and will blow you to pieces!’

‘That thing cannot possibly work after all these years!’

‘Do you want to bet? Dave!’

‘Don’t load it, please. Does it make a noise? I can’t stand loud noises!’

‘Oh yes, it makes a very loud noise.’

‘I remember now. Many life time’s ago. I was shot dead with something similar, please lower the weapon!’

‘I will lower it when you realign this ship back to me, and don’t think you can disappear quicker than I can pull this trigger.’

‘No, I won’t. I can’t, as I have already taken over the body of Dave Calloden.’

‘What?’

‘I had to; we needed a physical body to access the ship once inside.’

‘Change back to your original shape, or I will blast you!’

‘I tell you what. Why don’t you let me stay here as Dave Calloden and everything will be Okay?’

‘What?’

‘Yes, I know it sounds a bit weird, but I could learn to be acting second officer.’

‘What about Dave?’

‘He is Okay. I was right about one thing, a heavenly messenger did come and escort him away. It was incredibly touching.’

‘This is going from the ridiculous to the insane.’

‘I know but you will feel different later, we could play chess!’

‘Okay, Stop right there. Computer, are you back online?’

‘Not really certain things won’t function but I have enough power to lift off in 2 hours. Can I just say that he has a point?’

‘What?’

‘Yes I think he is right about letting him be David Calloden. It would be better all-round. Also I wouldn’t get blamed for letting the entity on board; after all it was a shadow-person.’

‘I’m going to blast the hell out of both of you in a minute!’

‘I tell you what, John. Why don’t you come over to our base, I could introduce you to my sister, she has no body at the moment but as soon as another ship comes along you could…’

‘Stop right there! I have just about reached my limit. Go! Take the body and get the hell away from here.’

‘Really! That is very nice of you, you know all we want is your bodies, it is nothing personal.’

‘Computer open the inner airlock.’

‘You’re not going to do something rash, are you? I mean, you’re not going to shoot me as I exit are you? What I said about my sister was true, she is a lovely shadow. All she want’s is someone to possess.’

‘Out!’

‘Okay, well, good bye, it’s been nice to meet you and thank you for this body, you can be assured I will take good care of it.’

‘Computer can we do an emergency take off?’

‘Yes, but we can’t reach the upper atmosphere.’

‘That’s good enough; we will fly over to the shadow base and blast it to kingdom come.’

‘Do you think that is a good idea, I mean he was sincere.’

‘He killed Dave!’

‘Yes I know but he only wanted his body, Dave went on to better things. I’m sure I would do the same if I could get myself a body.’

‘I must get you serviced and soon.’

‘Thank you, and don’t forget the master sensors next time.’
———————————————————

‘Thank God you are Okay, John; we had trouble getting you stabilized.’

‘Where am I?’

‘You’re the last to come out of sleep mode. Everyone else is panicking, there is an Intruder-Alert going on but we can’t find anything, as yet.’

‘Have we landed yet?’

‘Yes, but we haven’t powered down yet.’

‘Tell the Commander to get over to grid ref 12365211 and blow the shit out of it. How is Dave Calloden?’

‘He had a seizure as we landed, he’s dead.’

‘Put his body in deep freeze.’

‘Why?’

‘Trust me it’s for the best. Oh, and get the computer some new master sensors.’

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