THE STAR CHILD
The train moved slowly away and she watched it.
“There’s no turning back now,” she joked to herself. “Oh well, here we go.”
She picked up her bags and walked out of the station, it was a sunny September Monday and this was her first day at university. It was a nice university by the sea in the middle of Wales. It looked nice in the brochure and the film, television and theatre course was one of the best in the land.
“Don’t you want to do a proper course?” Her father had teased. “What are you going to do with a film degree?”
That was right coming from a man who watched a film almost everyday on DVD and it had to have a load of special features otherwise he would not buy it.
“With a commentary you get two films for the price of one.”
“Oh dad.” She sighed at the memory.
As she said this a white minibus parked almost directly in front of her and for some reason she did not understand a feeling of dread came over her.
The middle aged man with the weathered face was thinking of that night’s DVD as he chopped wood outside of his small house in the middle of nowhere, a choice he had deliberately made.
A sound suddenly came out of the sky and he looked up.
“What the hell?”
He knew the sound from the past, nearly eighteen years into the past and it was getting closer. His heart began to beat faster.
“I thought this was over.” As he said the words he knew they were not true, this would never be over and if he were truthful he had been expecting this for all those eighteen years.
“I should have told her.” He whispered.
The Chinook came over the mountain, his mountain as he would tell anyone who asked, although up here miles away from the nearest people, a small village, he didn’t say it very often.
He had forgotten how big those birds were and how noisy and how disruptive. It circled and then began to descend.
“I should have told her.” He whispered again.
“Hi,” The pretty blonde woman said as she stepped out of the minibus.
She paused for a few moments before smiling at the pretty girl and then looked in through the windows and saw that there were at least five other people inside and they all smiled back.
Your getting jumpy in your old age, she thought, I mean your eighteen now…..well eighteen and a bit.
“My name’s Becky,” the pretty woman held out her hand to the girl. “I’m from “No Problem,” we’re here to help you get to your digs.”
She had read about them in the brochure, they were a student voluntary group and they made sure all Freshers were looked after and they offered a counseling service, these were the good guys.
“Sounds like a good idea.” Her father had stated. “Wish I had those when I was a student...”
“You were in the army dad,” she had laughed.
“Oh yeah,” He nodded slowly, “I forgot.”
The dread was back and she had to force herself not to shudder.
What was happening to her? She had never felt like this before and why would this pretty woman give her such a feeling?
What would her father say?
“Always trust your instinct because you’re a special girl.”
But then all fathers said that to their daughters.
“Are you in the student village?” Becky asked.
The girl blinked and despite herself back off a little.
“Are you ok?”
What could she say to that? She smiled and nodded her head, she did not understand this, why was she feeling….?
“Trust your instincts.” Her father’s voice again.
“Yes,” she shook the feeling away. “I am.”
Sometimes it might be better to simply believe what you were seeing.
It was too late to go for his gun, it was in the house and over the years he had moved it from under the bed to a cupboard in the back. He crouched to stop himself from being blown over by the downdraught, he screwed his eyes tight shut and felt the shock of the helicopter wash over him. It had been so, so long.
As it landed a side door was flung open and eight heavily armed soldiers jumped out crouching just like him but raising their guns as they had been trained to do. He knew these men were Special Forces the most highly trained of all the Special Forces, the best paid and the best looked after, he should know because he was the man who set them up and trained the very first recruits.
But even these men won’t be able to stop her, he thought as they came towards him.
The mini bus pulled away from the station and the pretty woman looked back at her and smiled even broader, the dread came back.
Trust your instincts, her father’s words came back to her yet again.
“Hi I’m Lisa and this is my friend Jane,” a black haired girl her age said, but she was not listening because the dread was getting worse and something new was happening to her, again something she had never felt before.
“Oh my god.” She said under her breath as her body came alive with an energy she could barely control.
“Are you ok?” the girl who introduced herself as Lisa asked
“No,” the girl responded as the pretty woman turned around and an expression of shock came over her face.
“Major?” One of the heavily armed men asked as he stuck the gun towards the man. “Major Johnson?”
A shudder went down his back; he had not been called that for….. oh god eighteen years. Time passed in an instant and he was back at the base, back in those dark, dark days.
“Major Alan Johnson?” The soldier asked again and all the man could do was nod weakly. “You need to come with us please Major”
Of course he had to go with them, why else would they be here?
He nodded weakly and followed the soldier towards the helicopter; the other soldiers formed a ring around him and pointed their guns into the distance. The Major smiled to himself and wondered who they were expecting because he knew that the real danger came from within, came from where they were taking him and he had very, very good idea of what it was about.
I should have told her.
“You don’t look well,” Lisa said as the minibus slowed to a stop in front of a crossing.
The girl felt her heart racing and the blood pump faster through her veins. She looked out of the windows at the people passing by, she turned back to the others and they were all watching her and smiling and in an instant she realized they were all false smiles.
“Who are you?” She asked just as Lisa lunged for her.
Her arm came up and hit Lisa on the jaw throwing her head back, the others in the minibus were so stunned by the sudden explosion of violence that it gave her enough time, she looked up at the roof and without a moments hesitation she was up and punching her way through the metal to the astonishment to everyone, including herself.
“What the hell is she?” a voice called out as she sprang onto the now shattered roof, she looked around and was surrounded by a sea of gawping faces. Despite herself she smiled and then sprang off the minibus and landed twenty feet away.
“How did you do…?” a man asked as she raced past him.
“Stop her!” the pretty woman screamed but nobody moved they were all to shocked to register the words. The girl moved with a speed that was impossible but she ran faster and faster, the world becoming a blur and in that she realized she was running not away from something but towards something.
He sat uneasily in the helicopter the noise deafening but even that could not stop him from remembering the dark past. He was back in the base; it was night, that long, long night where everything changed. He was holding the baby, the miraculous baby girl and she was crying, her little hands reaching up to him. The alarms blasting were terrifying the baby and he knew he had to run for his and more importantly her life. But this was a maximum security base and how the hell was he to get out?
“Major?” It was a voice that came both from the past and the present at the same time.
“What?” he looked about him in the helicopter and realized the voice was coming from the headset over his ears.
“Major it’s me.”
That voice, that familiar voice at once was threatening and safe. In the past the voice shouted above the alarms and crying baby and it came from an open doorway.
“Major?” the voice in the headset asked again. “Do you recognize my voice?”
“Over here.” The same voice crossed eighteen years and that Major went to the man in the doorway.
“Yes,” the Major in the present said.
“They are here,” the voice went on. “They have come back.”
In the past the Major looked into the man’s face and he smiled in return.
“Get out now Major.” He shouted. “Before they find you.”
In the present that voice was silent for a moment.
“We have had no contact with them Major but you and I both know they want her.”
She heard the heavy sound in the air and looked up as three huge helicopters came screaming overhead. She stopped and held her breath, the shock form the machines shuddered her, cars screeched to a halt and all hell broke loose. She heard another sound and saw an armored troop carrier bearing down on her. Her eyes widened, she let out a breath and before she knew what she was doing she was running at the carrier. A voice in her mind screamed at her to stop, what the hell was she doing? The driver’s eyes widened as he saw her coming straight at him, he slammed on the brakes as she jumped up onto the carrier and the sound of her landing was like a ton of steel hammering down. A moment of silence descended and then the metal screamed as it was being torn apart... Another sound came and everyone looked up at the huge Chinook lowering itself towards the carrier.
“Dad.” The girl said.
A round of bullets burnt passed her and hit the underside of the helicopter, sparks bounced off it and she quickly looked down as another muzzle was raised up, she jumped in a split second and another round went into the helicopter. She ran away and heard yet another burst comes out of the carrier, only this time it bounced around her. She began to move side to side as she ran and more bullets zipped off the concrete beside her, people dived for cover and she heard a scream and knew someone had been shot. She ran faster and faster and the Chinook began to ascend, for a moment she slowed and once again thought of her father. In that moment she just knew her father was in the helicopter.
What was he doing here?
It had only been a few hours since she left him to come to this quiet and perfect university.
It might be a little to quiet for you, he had teased.
I’m sure I’ll find things to do, she had teased him back.
“Stop!’ the Major shouted.
“We have to bring her in.” the voice ordered over the headset.
“No,” the voice said. “ You know she is safe…..”
“I’m not worried about her,” he shouted back. “You’re killing innocent people.”
The helicopter was getting higher and higher and the Major looked down at the girl he called his daughter racing away from the armored carrier with a storm of bullets blasting around her with people falling down covered in blood.
You must be careful; he had spoken softly to her. It looks like it’s a quiet place but there are bad people out there.
Dad, she had laughed. It’s a little place by the sea, what could go wrong?
The shooting stopped, but she did not look back, there was something else now, something deep within her, something from a long, long time ago. The man she called her father was not her father, this revelation shocked her and yet it did not. She loved him, deeply loved him, but yet there was always something in the back of her mind.
Who was he?
She ran across a junction and jumped over two on coming cars that nearly collided with her, there was a curse and a blast on a horn, she did not stop, she had to keep on running.
You mum died giving you life darling, he had once told her, and she is up in the stars watching over you.
She had known he was being sweet and good to her, but she had thought she had been adopted and that was that. She had never wanted to meet her real parents, he was her father and he loved her dearly.
The Major watched as his daughter ran headlong down a one way street, cars were coming towards her and she was jumping out of their way. He knew she was capable of this, knew she was becoming something else, something not human.
She was becoming what she was.
The major was in the past again, he was running across a large tarmac area holding the baby girl in his arms and behind him he could feel and see the beams of spotlights trying to search for him in the dark.
“Run Major, run as fast as you can!” It was that voice again only this time it sounded as if it was mocking him, as if it wanted to say run as fast as you can major because there is no point we will find you when the time comes.
And that voice had found him, but more importantly her.
It was close, very close and it was not the helicopter, something else was flying towards her, something that was not from the earth. She stopped and looked up, high, high in the sky she could see a glint on something and it was getting bigger and bigger.
Coming for me, she thought, it has been coming for me all of my life.
“Major?” The familiar voice on the headset called.
“There is something coming towards you.”
And he knew, after all this time, “No it’s not coming towards me.”
He looked down at his the girl whom he had treated as his daughter for over eighteen years and she was looking up and he knew that she knew her time had come.
Oh darling, I knew this would happen, I tried for so long to protect you and yet….I can’t help….!
’They’re here!” She said to herself as the silver object got bigger. Expanding out into a huge saucer shape. There were no marking underneath to tell who or what it was, but she knew that, in fact she knew everything at once.
She was not human, she was part of the stars, part of something that was as old as time itself and she was falling towards the blue planet, no not falling but running, running from something that wanted to destroy her, something evil that wanted her dead. She wasn’t falling towards the blue planet; she was flying towards it for sanctuary, for safety.
“It is time.” She whispered and looked towards the Chinook
The Major felt tears in his eyes, this was the moment he knew would come and in that thought he was back in the past, the time before he was escaping and back in the laboratory where the little baby girl had been lying on a cold, scrubbed white table, she was still and looking up at the large lights above the table, around her were five people, the Major was one of them and the other four were people he was not allowed to know the identity of. Three men and one woman, all middle aged and all very, very serious.
“The subject was discovered in Morton Wood in a small county called Pembrokeshire in the country of Wales,” The woman was speaking into a microphone. “The subject has taken on the form of a human baby girl approximately aged six months. Test show a high level of intelligence, even at this young age and a remarkable physical ability….” The words faded in his memory, but he did remember that was the point he decided to take the girl and leave because he knew she would be locked in a cage for the rest of her life being subjected to tests and experiments. Now back in the present he realized it was all set up for this moment.
And he could do nothing to help her.
We have come for you.
The voice whispered in her head moments before the whole world around her froze. The soldiers, the cars, the helicopter was caught in a large three dimensional still picture.
Your kind awaits you.
And in that she saw the world she was from, a world of light and translucent beings, she was part of the whole world, connected and belonging. Her heart beat quickly in her chest and the emotion of that time was almost overwhelming.
We come with your fate.
“Daddy?” Even though her body was changing and she was becoming something so powerful, she was suddenly a little girl looking for her father because she knew this would be the last moments she would ever see him ever.
There is so little time.
“Please,” she felt tears well up in her eyes.
And instantly he was standing beside her.
No words passed between them and she held him tighter than she had ever had in her life.
It is time, I am sorry, the voice was so human.
“Goodbye daddy.” She kissed him gently on the check and then was inside the saucer craft sobbing.
The Major looked up and the craft disappeared before his eyes, then the world moved again.
“Goodbye darling.” He whispered. “You are going home with your father’s love.”