My name is James Danvers and I am a colonel in the United States Army Air Corps. I had served in the 101st Airborne Division during World War 2, and was glad to come home after the Germans and Japanese had surrendered.
Thanks to our British friends and the invention of radar, blasting enemy planes out of the sky was much easier, along with dropping a shitload of bombs over German cities.
After the war, I came back home to San Francisco. I was expecting a long period of Rest and Relaxation, but once I had re-settled into my apartment on Market Street, my phone rang.
I picked it up. On the other line was my superior officer from the war.
"A 'Lieutenant Derrick Hoss' is requesting you to fly into the annex of Edwards Air Force Base ASAP."
I groaned in disgust. "What's the reason, sir? That annex doesn't mean much to me, nor does have any importance yet."
"He insists you come at once. He needs your technology expertise."
"Yes, sir." I hung up and groaned again. Why was the Air Corps wanting me in Nevada? I didn't hesitate. I packed a suitcase and headed for San Francisco International Airport. Within 2 hours, I was on a plane, headed for the annex.
When I landed a few hours later and climbed out of the plane, Lieutenant Derrick Hoss was waiting for me. He appeared elated once I touched the landing strip.
"Welcome to Edwards Air Force Base, sir!" I could tell he was happy to see me.
"Good to see you, Lieutenant."
"Come. We must get you situated." He led me to the barracks of the annex. On the way to the barracks, I noticed a rather large satellite dish, along with three large crates surrounding it.
"What's with the satellite, Hoss?"
"Communications, but not with terrestrial life."
I thought he was joking. "What...you're going to try to communicate with aliens?"
"Exactly!! The Department of Defense has dubbed our creation, 'Project Boomerang.'"
I was stunned for a moment from the words that passed out of Hoss' lips, but continued following him to the barracks. "You really think there's life out in deep space?"
"Indeed I do! And I won't rest until our project is completed!" Hoss snapped at me.
We arrived at the barracks. I set down my suitcase, then follwed Hoss to the future foundation of the giant radar. "This is where we will construct our 'telephone' with other life forms." Hoss had a little child's smile on his face.
I put a hand on his shoulder. "Perhaps we will be successful."
He turned to me. "We WILL be successful."
Five weeks had passed, and I was surprised that the new building had been completed within that time frame. The building had been separated into two rooms. The main room housed the giant satellite dish, along with a large array of switches, indicators, levels, wheels and other machinery. I was in the generator room, making sure that the generators wouldn't malfunction.
I looked at the clock. It was 7:05pm. Hoss looked at me through a window, and gave me a look to throw the main power switch. I did so, and at 7:06pm, the building roared to life. Hoss had set up a speaker to communicate with me. He went to a microphone, and said, "Colonel. Tone down the power with the wheel on Generator 1!"
I turned the wheel to the left. "That's good! That's good!" Hoss said. I couldn't help but laugh. I never knew a man to be so into a science-fiction-like experiment that had a slim chance of working.
Exactly 20 minutes later, the satellite picked up some feedback. I saw Hoss running around, turning switches, spinning wheels and checking the indicators. I then heard a sentence that I still have trouble erasing from my mind.
~bzzz! gzzz!~ Who is trying to contact us? ~Bzzz!~
I could see Hoss' eyes widen with excitement. "Colonel!! Colonel!!! We've done it!!! We've fucking done it!!!" He was jumping up and down like a madman. He grabbed a microphone and replied, "We are humans from planet Earth. Where are you from, you unknown creature?"
~zzzt!bzz!~We are from the Asteroid Belt.~bzzzzz....~ The transmission had ended, but I was sure that I heard faintly in the radio noise and static, "~zzzzzz---terminate...Der...Hos---gzzzzz!~ I thought my ears were playing tricks on me.
"Colonel. You may retire. I'll recalibrate the instruments. Please turn off the generators." I did so, left the building and went back to the barracks.
Three hours later, I was awakened by a loud humming noise. I got out of the bed, and realized that the humming noise was coming from the new building. I entered the building to a rather bright light from an unknown source. I looked up the lights. The brighter light wasn't coming from them. I entered the generator room to see that they were on. I then entered the main room to see Hoss shuffling around.
"Hoss?" No answer.
Hoss!" Still no answer. He appeared to be sleepwalking.
I approached him and violently spun him around. I shook him roughly by the shoulders, shouting at the top of my lungs, "HOSS!! Answer me, damnit. Why are you up so---?!" I stopped and stepped back a bit.
Hoss appeared thinner, and upon closer inspection, appeared to have nanocircutry running out from his eyesockets, nostrils and mouth. He uttered something, but it sounded distorted like the radio noise earlier. I punched Hoss in the face, which abruptly woke him up. The nanocircutry seemed to vanish.
"Ugh...my head...my face..."
"Lieutenant Hoss...are you alright?"
He seemed confused. "Yes I am alright. Why do you ask?"
"You seemed to be sleepwalking. I...uh...punched you awake."
Hoss looked at me funny. "Strange...I've never been know to be a sleepwalker, and now I know why my face hurts. Thanks...I think." He realized that the generators were on. "Could you turn the generators off? They're making my head hurt."
I turned off the generators, then returned to Hoss. "Let's get some shuteye. By the way, did you turn on the generators?"
"I...I don't recall turning them on, but thank you for turning them off." Afterwards, we retired to our barracks.
I woke up the next morning at 9:00am, but noticed that Hoss wasn't in his bed. I went to the mess hall, asking the corporals and sergeants if they had seen Hoss, all of which replied with a "No, sir." I began to worry. Maybe something about what happened last night traumatized Hoss.
3 hours passed, and still no sign of Hoss. I went back to the "Radar" to find the generators up and running, but no one was in the building. "Maybe Hoss turned them on, but left to get something," I thought. Suddenly, the door to the main room flung open. In shuffled Hoss, but he looked more skinny than last time. The nanocircutry on his face had enveloped his entire head and neck, along with his hands. I stayed out of sight, but overheard the following conversation between Hoss and the aliens we had contacted:
"Yes, Alpha. What is it?"
"Subject 1, our indicators show that you have only contained 50% of your host."
"I know, Alpha. Once he's under my control, I will be able to pass along the contagion. If we're lucky, we can spread out of the Earthling's military base."
"You can't fail us. We must succeed in passing the pathogen to other humans. Now go. You have work to do."
I couldn't believe it. These aliens were using radar signals and satellite technology to infiltrate our planet to colonize it! I waited until Hoss had shuffled out of the building, then I left, catching up to him. "Hoss!!"
He turned around. Again, the circuitry had disappeared from his body. "What is it?"
"You've been infected---"
"I'm not sick you idiot! I feel fine!" Hoss had an irritated look on his face. "You're just making things up!" He left in a huff, but I couldn't let him get too far.
"I'll take you to the mess hall if you want."
He smiled, and we headed back to the mess hall, but in my subconscious, I told myself not to let him out of my sight.
6 hours later, I found myself checking the satellite's motherboard when a sergeant walked in. I saw no circuitry on his face, but had a worried expression on him.
"Sir, I'm uncomfortable with this giant satellite being used for trying to communicate with...extraterrestrials. Are you sure it's necessary?"
"Let me ask you this, Sergeant. Would you be more comfortable if I reconfigure it to talk with someone in Europe or Asia? Knowing full well that there are countries that despise us at the moment?" Then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Hoss lumber into the generator room and turn on the generators. I dove behind the satellite's base, while the sergeant looked around. Hoss opened the door, but his face did something that almost made me vomit.
His eyes suddenly rolled backwards into his skull and a grey-white mist floated out of the sockets. I assumed that the aliens had somehow evaporated his eyes. They were replaced with "snow" that was typically seen on television screens. He jerked around erratically as the sergeant bellowed at him to get a grip. Hoss abruptly dashed over to a toolbox, pulled out a wrench and threw it at the sergeant so quickly, that the sergeant didn't have time to react. The wrench clobbered him in the stomach, knocking him to his feet. Hoss turned on the microphone.
"Alpha? You there?"
~bzzzrt!~gzzz!~"Yes. I'm here and I know what's going on. You must execute the two Earthlings who stand in our way of colonizing this planet."
"Shall I use brute force?"
"Affirmative. Alpha out."
Hoss then struggled to regain control of his body. He looked at me through the snow in his sockets. "Colonel!! You have to destroy this building!! Save us from the aliens!! I know I contacted the wrong life form!! You...you must right my wrong!!" The aliens made Hoss shake furiously, then the aliens spoke through Hoss' body.
"We have control of your friend. For interfering with our plans, you must be terminated." With that, they made Hoss' body lunge at me. I dodged the attack, and drew my pistol in the process. I squeezed off one round, which hit Hoss' leg. Hoss' mouth opened, but no sound came out, but something like feedback from two walkie-talkies emitted from the mouth. The alien charged at me again, and I put two more rounds into the body. I could see blood trickle down from the bullet wounds, but the creature didn't give up. Then, out of nowhere, the sergeant walloped Hoss' head with the wrench. Hoss seemed irate when the sergeant bashed the back of Hoss' head. He crumpled to the floor, but almost got up instantly. He tried to attack one last time, but I made a motion for the sergeant to sidestep as I leveled my pistol to Hoss' head. I pulled the trigger and my bullet went between Hoss' eyes. The bullet ripped through the back of the skull. Blood and brain matter spattered everywhere, like a shotgun blast. Hoss finally fell dead, with a dark red puddle slowly growing around him.
I turned to the sergeant.
"We need to blow this place up...now." We immediately left the "Radar." 15 minutes later, we returned a massive amount of C4. The generators were still running, but Sgt. Johnson and I planted the C4 in the building. We left the building, and gave Sgt. Johnson a signal to detonate the explosives. 2 seconds after Sgt. Johnson pressed the detonator button, the building went up in a giant fireball, sparks, and smoke. The generators made a louder explosion, and every Air Corps, from private to general, rushed over to see what happened. We all watched as the "Radar" burned down to the ground.
14 months have passed since "Project Boomerang" went horribly awry. Immediately after the fire, my superior officer told me not to mention the details of what happened before the fire. Apparently, word had gotten out about Hoss' strange behavior. Sadly, my superior officer died 2 weeks ago. I've been keeping up with Sgt. Johnson, and found out he's been hired by Boeing. But since my superior officer died, I can explain why no one should try to make their own version of "Project Boomerang." As humans, we think of ourselves as the best of the best, but there are other life forms out in space, waiting to strike when we least expect it.