He was bored. He always found that being the only member of the Night Watch a tedious shift, no matter how many books he took with him. He was a member of the Earth Space Corps and it was now his job to make sure that no illegal crafts came toward the civilian city of New New York. He was a pilot of a special ground vehicle known as the Surface to Outer-Atmosphere Cannon, a large tank shaped vehicle that traveled via a rail system that could blast space crafts out of the planets orbit. Any space craft unlucky enough to get hit by the SO-ACs shell would literally lose control over all it's systems, as the shell generated a electro magnetic field that activated at a particular altitude, causing it to fall rather than fly. What was clever about the design however was that there was no need to worry about debris hitting the city as the air resistance would cause the ship to burn up in the atmosphere.
He put down the magazine, which speculated that there might have been an alien visit to the dead planet Mars, and checked the monitor above his head. The monitor was linked to an external camera that allowed him to see further than what the normal eye could, meaning he could literally gaze out of the Earth's weak atmosphere. He felt a strange sense of deja-vu while he stared into the empty black space that was displayed on the monitor. There were no stars. The camera was powerful enough to be able to see them on a clear night and there were no clouds to obscure them from sight. He let out a tired sigh and scooped back up the magazine, flicking through the pages.
He was partially through reading an interview with the current head of the church, when a warning alarm blasted through the SO-ACs internal speakers and red lights began to pulse across the console he had access to. Something was heading towards New New York. He flipped a switch, activating the SO-ACs communication relays in order to try and hail the unknown craft.
"Attention Unknown Craft, this is the SO-AC defense system." He said clearly into the microphone attached to the console.
"You are entering New New York's airspace, please confirm your ship identification codes and port access registration."
This sometimes happened. A ship would be late to drop off cargo or something, normally leading to brief communication from the SO-AC pilot, which nobody failed to give the identity codes and port access registration to. He repeated what he had previously said into the microphone and waited for the ships response.
Static burst through the communication speakers, causing him to jolt upright in his pilot seat. Something was very wrong and he could not shake his feeling of deja-vu, as though he had seen it from another life. He quickly scanned the system monitors until he found the unknown vessel that was hurtling towards the surface of the planet. The craft was roughly shaped like a comet, a large bulbous nose with a trail leading away from the back of the ship. He had never seen anything like it and entered a command into the console which forced the camera to zoom in. What he saw was enough to make him sweat. This was no space craft, but some form of biological mass. The part which he mistook for the nose of the craft turned out to be one large bulbous eye, with the camera zoomed in he could see it twitch left and right as it flew towards the city. The trail was literally a writhing mess of tentacles that sreamed away from the back of the eyeball, like a mockery of an optical nerve. It was an alien.
A sense of primal fear wanted him to run, to get out of the SO-AC and to get as far away from the alien eyeball as he could, but he didn't. He knew he was the only thing that was standing between this alien freak and the destruction of the city and despite his fear he was confident. The SO-AC was capable of blasting battle class ships which by far out-sized this alien. He took control of the main gun of the SO-AC, which was a behemoth of a cannon that pointed skywards, and took aim at the repulsive eyeball. As soon as the SO-AC announced a target lock in it's cool female robotic voice, he hit the trigger. BOOM!
The explosion of sound was deafening and even though he was inside the sound proof SO-AC canopy, his ears were ringing. The sheer force of the shot had caused the SO-AC to rock back on the rail it was attached to and he couldn't help but smile as he watched the monitor. The shell was marked on the screen and was heading away from the SO-AC and towards the alien, leaving a ghost line from the cannon to the actual shell. He watched as the shell slammed into the aliens left flank and exploded. The alien was blasted off it's original trajectory, a huge gaping hole where the shell had literally blasted through it. As the large eye flicked frantically, the air resistance cause it to become enveloped in a raging inferno and he watched with sense of relief as it burnt up in the atmosphere. The external cameras would have recorded the entire thing, from it being detected to it burning away to cinders in the atmosphere. He turned in his chair and checked all of the SO-AC systems to make sure everything was in order when he noticed that the warning about the threat was not deactivated. At that moment he realised his mistake.
He spun in his seat and scanned the monitors. He spotted another target come soaring into view, then another and another until there were 24 of the large eyeballs marked on the monitor. He realised why he couldn't see the stars. He could just faintly make out the edges of massed army of assorted flying creatures that were hanging in the empty void between the earth and the moon. He had to act, no time to try and contact the alien vessels. He hit a glowing blue button marked defensive shields, causing huge titanium plates attached to thruster packs to soar out of open holes in front of the rail network. These shields were built to hover above the rails and protect the SO-AC in the event of a large scale assualt. He instantly got a new lock on an alien eyeball and blasted it out of the sky, then blasted another into another incoming alien causing them both to explode midflight.
The aliens seemed to reach an understanding after the tenth alien was vaporized by his quick reflexes and the SO-ACs superior fire-power that they would not make planet-fall unless the took out the defensive weapon that was foiling their attempts. He saw them shift in the air and beeline straight towards him, each alien eye locking onto the SO-AC. He fired again and again into the aliens, taking out an alien with each shot, until he noticed that the nearest eyeballs pupil started to glow a bright orange. Without thinking he forced the SO-AC to shift left along the rail, until it was positioned behind one of the many titanium shields. The alien eyeball fired some sort of high explosive fire ball out of its enlarged pupil, before returning to black, which came streaming straight towards the titanium shield. It hit the sheild an obliterated it, making the alien filled sky appear once again before the SO-AC. He couldn't believe it, if it hit him it would destroy the SO-AC and they would reach the surface and it would all be over. He fired back up at the alien which tried to end his life, tearing it apart instantly, and begun manoeuvring along the rail while firing up into the night sky.
More and more aliens came hurtling through the night sky to be destroyed by the SO-AC, more and more waves sent to their deaths by the planets only defense. He fired and blew apart aliens ranging from obscure looking crab like monstrosities to even the occasional rounded flying saucer. Each wave of these aliens grew in numbers, their numbers multiplying rapidly. Fortunately, despite the amount of aliens being blasted apart, the SO-AC was nowhere near being half-way on it's ammunition supply, meaning that he could, and would, fire at these alien bastards until morning. The only thing he was worried about was that he only had one titanium plate left to hide behind before he had nothing to take cover behind. The SO-AC was fast enough to avoid the shots, but he found that the amount of shots the aliens rained down him was intense enough to force him to manoeuvre the SO-AC behind the titanium plates.
He started getting cocky, staying in place to fire his shots and leaving until the last second to take evasive action to dodge the aliens return fire. It was a smart tactic as it allowed him to hit multiple aliens before he had to move and give the SO-AC enough time to steady after the moving, but it was dangerous. He was cutting it to fine and eventually paid the price of using such a dangerous tactic. One of the crab like aliens fired down upon him while he was busy aiming at another flying saucer. The outer plate of the SO-AC bubbled away to nothing and then there was a small explosion followed by a much larger explosion, one which obliterated the SO-AC and the part of the rail it was sat on. He had seen the shot too late, so just before it hit, he activated the pilot evacuation procedure. A hatch on the top of the SO-AC defense system had opened and main core had blasted out of the SO-ACs outer shell. The main core had cracked like an egg when it impacted upon the ground and he tumbled out of it. He rolled out onto a grassy area not too far from the rail, the grass cold and damp. It felt good against his skin, so he just lay there, staring into the black sky as the aliens descended to the planets surface. He had failed, they had made it. But as he stared into the starless night, he still couldn't shake the sense of deja-vu which had haunted him since the beginning of the shift. He closed his eyes and waited for the end to come...
"Hell yeah! I told you I would beat your crappy highscore! I knew i was better at Space Invaders than you." My little brother shouted at me while the kids streamed from one arcade game to another.
"Oh is that so? Well I have a quarter here that says you are wrong!" I said, inserting the coin into the arcade machine, beginning my turn at the button mashing mayhem that we all used to enjoy.
He was bored and looking at the starless sky, he had that strange sense of deja-vu...