Chapter 14: It’s Bigger than Us
It took me only a few minutes to recover from my devastation. I immediately knew what Daisy and I needed to do.
“I’m taking you to meet the Kelps.”
“Aren’t they the bad guys?” she asked.
I looked at my sister. She was still flat on the floor. “No, the Deceivers lied to us.”
“Yes, that’s what the Kelps call the alter-Earthlings. George sent me to the Kelps, instead of to earth for the Glugenal suit, on purpose. I think he intended to irritate them and send some sort of message. He knew they would try to destroy an alter-Earthling ship on sight. He sent me to die, Daze.”
“What happened? How’d you escape alive?” she asked.
“It’s a long story. But, the suit isn’t a suit at all. It’s the skin of a special Sea Kelp called a Glugen. They look real human, Daze. Almost like a mermaid, except with legs.”
“What do the Deceivers want with the suit? Will it really protect them like they thought?”
I shook my head. “The suit Hugh had on is what killed him. The inside of the Glugen’s skin is toxic. Vander-Kelp told me the Glugens’ skins filter all pollution out of their water. In turn, the skin projects something back into the water that is practically magical. It heals things and stuff.”
“Is that why I’m all wet?” Daisy laughed.
It was so good to hear her laugh. “Yah. Vander-Kelp gave me Glugenal water to give you in case you were in danger. I thought you were dead.”
“I don’t know what I was,” Daze replied. “The last thing I remember is blue powdery smoke being pumped into the interrogation room. They kept asking me about the Glugenal suit. They thought you and I were helping the Kelps.”
I nodded. “We are now.”
“Is this trip to the Kelps about the water, then?” she asked.
“Yes. I promised Vander-Kelp I wouldn’t, under any circumstances, let the Deceivers know about the Glugenal water. Vander-Kelp is afraid that if they know about the water something even worse could happen.”
Daisy moved a little. She was able to bend at her waist and lean up on her elbows. “If we go to the Kelps and tell them you left evidence of the water behind, what is going to happen to us? Will they be mad at us? Will they hold us prisoner? We need to get home, Kyle.”
Only a few days ago I would’ve gotten angry at Daze for not seeing my side of things. But, for some reason, it wasn’t important. I realized she had her own opinion. It wasn’t always going to be the same as mine, but that didn’t mean it wasn’t a good opinion, even if it wasn’t the best one.
“Daze, I heard the alter-Earthlings say they sent a guy to our earth to go after the suit. Things have changed. This is a whole lot bigger than we ever thought.”
“Oh, no! Mom!”
I bent down and lifted Daisy up onto the chair. I paced the floor of the spaceship. We were flying through space, still, but we hadn’t hit any buttons yet. Amazing, I know.
“Yah, I know. I’m worried about her too.”
Ginger sat in the metal and plastic-clad seat along a long white-tiled hallway. The whole government facility was cold and white. She stopped counting the hours—hours ago—of her wait. Finally, a man in a white lab coat approached her from a nearby room. He had greasy hair and blood-shot eyes.
“Yes, what is it?”
The man cleared his throat. “Based on the chemical samples we took from the woods behind your house, we have indeed verified that a UFO, or a ship of some kind took off from there. The residue materials were in a pattern consistent with a hovering space craft. It took off straight up into the air.”
Ginger was glad to get some information, but she was far from satisfied. “And what about my children? Were they on that spaceship?”
“DNA samples, likely to be your children’s, were found near the site. We have no conclusive proof of anything else. Whether they were on the ship or alien-napped simply isn’t guaranteed. And, frankly, ma’am, even if it was, what could we do?”
“And the creepy alien skin?”
The man cleared his throat again. She wondered if he was uncomfortable or if he really had phlegm. “Ma’am…the skin… Well, you know already that some men were suffering from toxic infection. Those same men have now died. We could procure no antidote for the poison…as it is foreign to any substance on our planet. We simply don’t know what it is or what it all means…”
“I believe I can help you.” The voice came from another man in a white lab coat. He walked briskly down the white-tiled hallway from the opposite direction toward Ginger and the scientist. His skin was rather greenish under the florescent lights and he wore a pair of darkly tinted sunglasses—indoors. Ginger couldn’t blame him. The combination of white and metal in the building combined with severe lighting was rather hard on the eyes. She thought it might also be part of his lab attire.
“Yes?” she said when he at last approached them.
“Who are you?” asked the scientist with whom Ginger had been conversing. “I don’t recognize you.”
“The name’s Greg. I’ve just been assigned to this project. I have…let’s say…a good deal of experience with…um, alien-type cases. Washington summoned me straight from Japan. You see, I’ve been there for quite a bit working on some very similar abnormal happenstances.”
Ginger looked closer at the man. She leaned toward him. “Well, say on then. Tell me about this alien skin. What do you know?”
Greg smiled. Ginger thought he looked rather pleasant, except she couldn’t see his eyes. “Ma’am, if you’ll follow me.” Greg turned to the other scientist. “If you would, sir, kindly lead us to the suit?”
“My name is Jim, GREG.” He said. He turned about sharply.
“Very well, Jim,” Greg smirked. “Lead us to the suit.”
Ginger followed both of the men in white lab coats into a nearby room. It, too, was white beyond all whites. Ginger squinted against the glowing green suit in the middle of the room on a sterile, steel table.
“You’ll need white gloves, both of you.” Jim said. He proceeded to hand both her and Greg a set of gloves.
Greg laughed. “Why gloves?”
Jim tilted his head. “Haven’t they briefed you, Greg? The skin is toxic—deadly in fact. You can’t touch it. Whatever creature it came from, I don’t know how the thing lived. Makes me worry about what life really is like on other planets…”
Greg nodded. “I see. How are you transporting it to avoid contamination then?”
Jim pointed. “There is a toxic containment cooler over there. But, it’s no good using it now. The skin is dying rapidly. It’s breaking down faster and faster. I have calculated we have less than twenty-four hours left to study it before it disintegrates. I mean, look at it.”
Greg frowned. “Well that’s not good, Jim. Not good at all.”
Ginger had little time to process what happened next, it happened so fast. Greg, moving with an inhuman-like speed, put on his gloves, pushed her to the ground, grabbed Jim, rubbed his face right into the sappiest part of the deadly, green-alien-skin, threw him to the ground, secured the containment cooler, put in the suit, locked the container, threw off his gloves, and then stopped at last to stand over Ginger.
“Come with me.” He commanded as he pulled off his dark sunglasses.
Ginger was immediately taken aback by his glowing, cat-like eyes. “Who are you?”
“If you ever want to see your children again, you will follow me. If you refuse, you will turn out like Jim.”
Ginger looked over at the other scientist. He was writhing on the floor and seizing. He gasped for breath and reached out for her, but she could see the light already leaving his eyes.
Ginger nodded numbly. She stood up, straightened her clothes, and followed Greg willingly out of the room. He led her down the white-tiled hallway and out the front doors. He carefully packed the containment cooler into the trunk of a white, rather futuristic-looking BMW. He motioned her to get in the passenger seat.
“You promise I’ll get to see my children?” she asked.
Greg nodded. “Oh, yes ma’am. I promise.”
Ginger knew it was a gamble, agreeing to go with this stranger, but she lowered herself into the BMW and closed the door.
“Put on your seat-belt.” Greg said.
As soon as the belt clicked, Ginger heard the roar of air. Fierce pressure pushed down on her head and shoulders. Then, it rolled down her whole body. The pressure was so unbearable she couldn’t breathe. She couldn’t move her body and her head was frozen. She closed her eyes—the one thing she could do—and prayed for both her and her children’s safety.
Read from the beginning!
Hope is for always! Our show, started during the COVID-19 Pandemic, is becoming an important part of our Tuesdays. What do we broadcast? Hope. Join us!
Hi! My name is Angela Tempest. I write fiction that entertains, takes you to another world, and fills your life with truth. I hope you’re enjoying Copy Cat Earth. If you love it, there’s more. Check out my author page to read my other stories!