Short SciFi: Rebirth Of The Hzaighlans - Part V
Amanda was performing the ritual rite of death over yet another Hzaighlan when she suddenly felt a shudder in the building. The death of this latest Hzaighlans had collapsed the zone of isolation. There were not enough Hzaighlan minds left alive to maintain the zone. The couple of dozen Hzaighlans survivors all huddled in the central room of the building. Amanda did her best to maintain their morale, but they were all dying. It was now a race between the disease, the savages or the reptiles. Stoically, the Hzaighlans faced their death with their usual tranquility. Although it was deep within her to panic, Amanda drew strength from the doomed Hzaighlans and maintained a facade of calm.
They heard the gateway to the building shatter and the howls of the savage Hzaighlan tribes enter the building. They broke into the central chamber where Amanda and the last few Hzaighlans sat tranquilly waiting. The youth Hzithijo held onto Amanda's hand to reassure her. The brutish humans, with their matted hair, scarred bodies and broken teeth, began to slash, bite and eat the sick and dying Hzaighlans. Their tribal leader spotted Amanda, who was the only healthy one and the last one still standing. He rushed towards her, and while two of his kin held her motionless, he mounted her back to begin to sodomize her in a primeval custom of subjugation. She did not see fit to resist. She would face death with the calm of the brave Hzaighlans. One of the kin held a ragged blade to her throat, but suddenly he was thrown backwards against the wall. All of the primitives were tossed aside as if by an invisible explosion away from Amanda. She was immediately encompassed by a gossamer sphere and floated up from the building. She realized that the last few Hzaighlans with their final strength were able to create the sphere around her. Their dying act was to give her life. As the bubble rose up into the air Hzithijo waved at her and smiled, just before his throat was slashed by a tribal blade.
Her bubble drifted high over the rubble of the city which looked from the air as if it had been hit by a bomb. The Hzaighlans were too weak to steer her bubble so the trade winds caught it and directed it off the shore and over the sea. She saw the island recede from her as she floated a few yards above the waves. Then suddenly, the bubble dissipated. The last Hzaighlan had died. She fell into the sea, swam to a nearby piece of driftwood, held on and cried.
US Navy Captain Octavio Alzado Lopez looked through his binoculars off the deck of the Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS Vandegrift towards the approaching island. He passed the binoculars to SUNY geologist Dr. Nicholas Collinsworth. Lopez asked Dr. Collinsworth what he thought of this island that just seemed to have appeared in the middle of the Pacific, halfway between Hawaii and the Marshall Islands, just a few days earlier. Dr. Collinsworth stated that given the vegetation and erosion states that he could see from there and the photos he saw from yesterday's aerial surveillance, it is quite impossible that the island had been submerged and just recently surfaced due to tectonic activity. It is obvious that this island has been in more or less its current state for several millions of years. “Then why the hell haven't we ever seen it before, Doc?” Lopez asked. Dr. Collinsworth had no answer for that.
Lopez looked over towards starboard. He squinted to make out something in the waves and took the binoculars back from Dr. Collinsworth. He focused in on a figure bobbing in the open sea. He ordered the helmsman to adjust course and called for a sea rescue team to prepare to launch.
Amanda was pulled off her driftwood, out of the waters and onto a Navy dinghy. She was bloodied and almost unconscious.
The sun was rising the next morning as a US Navy Sikorsky MH-60S Knighthawk flew over the dinosaur-infested valley. Dr. Collinsworth was busy taking nonstop photos out the window with his digital Nikon D200 SLR. Lopez pointed to an area by some hills and indicated to the pilot that he wanted to be let down there as that was the area that the rescued girl said they would find the remnants of the city.
The Sikorsky set down in a clearing by the ruins of the great city. The sound of the whirring blades was enough to make the scavenging carnivorous dinosaurs scatter. Captain Lopez ordered the pilot to keep the blades spinning to keep “those big ugly lizard bastards” away. Backed up by several heavily armed Marines, Lopez lead Dr. Collinsworth through the rubble of the buildings. Dr. Collinsworth picked up a couple of pieces of crystalline rubble and told Lopez that this event was very recent, possibly at the same time of the island being seen for the first time just days ago. So far the girl's story checked out.
They came across their first bodies, mostly half-eaten, maggot-riddled and grotequely swollen in the tropical sun. Dr. Collinsworth was quick to notice that about half the bodies seem to be of a primitive, tribal variety while the other half were quite different. Taller, pale, mostly free of body hair and wearing extremely unusual sparkling cloth he had never seen before.
“Well, they sure didn't put up a firefight,” Lopez added. “There are no bullet holes, blast marks, or even any signs of fire. It looks like they just fought with their bare hands!” Dr. Collinsworth concurred. “How in the name of Madre Maria did they hold off the dinosaurs and the savages long enough to build a city this size, and what happened all of a sudden to bring it down?” Lopez asked.
Dr. Collinsworth answered slowly. “It seems we may just have to believe the girl's story, no matter how implausible it sounds...”
In the Delivery Ward of St. Clare's Mercy Hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland, Amanda's mother was holding her hand as the doctor urged her to push. With a final enormous effort, she delivered the baby. The doctor announced that it's a boy. Amanda cried in joy. The doctor slapped the baby who began to cry and floated into the air, hovering just above his mother.