Author : M. Irene Hill

September 8, 2040, Special Area Babylon, Planet Earth:

Control center: “We are offline and shield is down. Initiate cataclysm.”

The last vestiges of rosy light disappeared behind giant cumulonimbus clouds which rolled in from the four cardinal directions, converging above the massive base. Outside the reinforced glass of the launch control center, the pastel sky turned gunpowder grey, and thunder ricocheted through the valley. Golf ball-sized hail pounded the dusty red earth.

Within a fifty-mile radius, the storm wreaked havoc, and consequently, no civilians witnessed the titanic egg-shaped craft enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

“Trajectory is good. Cleared for landing.”

North of control center, a giant crater in the dusty red earth opened its maw and swallowed the incoming extraterrestrial vessel. The rumbling ceased and cloud cover dispersed, unveiling a starry sky, and a slice of moon.

With the egg safely in its nest, standby EVAC crafts returned to base hangars.

Thousands of feet under Babylon, visiting dignitaries of the Grey and Draco Nations were greeted ceremoniously by many of Earth’s highest-ranking officials and monarchy.

The travelers were ushered to the Libra Lounge where half-human, half-reptilian servers in prismatic outfits offered them burnt toddlers, and virgin plasma cocktails, with brightly colored straws to sip from.

Assembled members of Akkad Confederacy discussed interplanetary matters, new technologies and business relating to soul farming on Earth.

The recently cryo-resuscitated Elvis Presley quit the stage for the evening and sat at the bar, drinking a glass of buttermilk with his grilled PB&B, while hybrid-reptilian dancers twerked to the music pumping out of the sound system.

At half past eight, a female Grey dignitary named Tiamat motioned for attention.

The music hushed and the dancers discreetly exited the lounge. Tiamat took a quick sip of her plasma cocktail before speaking.

“Asteroid Apophis was a complete f@*k-up, leading to the situation we are in now.”

Sighs and expletives issued from the assembly.

“The Planetary Council has claimed responsibility for defeating our undersea bases on the West and East Coasts. Thousands of our members have been brutally slaughtered; many more cross-breeds have been captured and relocated to other star systems where they are being deprogrammed by the Planetary Council.”

More murmurs and heavy sighs.

Tiamet’s voice softened: “I know – it’s discouraging, but we still have operatives positioned in all levels of government and military. The implantation program has been very successful to date, and we are working on a new vaccination that will allow for greater modification of the human brain in utero. The soul farms on Earth and other colonies continue to thrive, as we learn new cultivation technologies and seed the cosmos with our bloodlines.”

Tiamet noisily sucked though her purple straw, her big black eyes blinked several times. Her words rang out boldly:

“Moon, Mars, Mercury, Venus, Saturn and Jupiter have all come together in a golden conjunction – an event that was foretold hundreds of centuries ago, predicting our victory in the House of Libra.”

Tiamat made a three-fingered salute, and the gold band on her middle finger shone brightly, projecting a holographic image of a fish and a dove on the ceiling.

Ecstatic sighs and reverent murmurs.

Tiamat’s puckered, o-ring mouth spread in a gruesome grin.

On cue, several tall, pale-skinned hybrid beings wearing white sarongs served red wine and biscuits inscribed with Odin’s cross to the gathered patrons of The Libra Lounge.

Tiamat waited for everyone to be served, and tasted a tiny morsel of her biscuit. She raised her wine glass and toasted the crowd:

“We may have lost the battle, but we will win the war.”