Authors: T. Jackson King
ALIENS VS. HUMANS
Book Four of the Aliens Series
T. Jackson King
Other King Novels
Human Assassin (forthcoming), Alien Vigilante (forthcoming), Freedom Vs. Aliens (2015), Humans Vs. Aliens (2015), Earth Vs. Aliens (2014), Genecode Illegal (2014), The Memory Singer (2014), Alien Assassin (2014), Anarchate Vigilante (2014), Galactic Vigilante (2013), Nebula Vigilante (2013), Speaker To Aliens (2013), Galactic Avatar (2013), Stellar Assassin (2013), Retread Shop (2012, 1988), Star Vigilante (2012), The Gaean Enchantment (2012), Little Brother’s World (2010), Judgment Day And Other Dreams (2009), Ancestor’s World (1996).
To the scholar Edward O. Wilson, whose books
Sociobiology: The New Synthesis
The Social Conquest Of Earth
On Human Nature
have guided me in my meager efforts to explore a future where humanity encounters predatory life from other stars.
First thanks go to novelist Jean Kilczer for her cover design help. Second thanks go to scholar John Alcock and his book
Animal Behavior, An Evolutionary Approach
ALIENS VS. HUMANS
© 2015 T. Jackson King
This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or are used fictitiously. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except for brief quotations for review purposes only.
Cover design by T. Jackson King; cover image by Algol via Fotolia license; back image of Carina Nebula, courtesy of Hubble Space Telescope
Published by T. Jackson King, Los Alamos, NM 87544
ISBN 10: 1-63384-371-8
ISBN 13: 978-1-63384-371-4
Printed in the United States of America
“Jack!” called Max from the
He looked up at the slim, shapely body of his lifemate, Nikola Rádsetoula, as she rode his erection cowgirl-style, lifting her hips up, then slowly lowering them to his groin. She had hold of his shoulders, bracing herself, as they both groaned in ecstasy. Jack held a breast in each hand, relishing the feel of her fullness. It was long past midnight and this was their first night alone in a week. While four months had passed since their return from the last interstellar trip, their time together had been limited by the frantic nature of their jobs as they worked at stabilizing Earth while building up their Belter fleets for protection from the Hunters of the Great Dark. This was
special time, in the torus habitat inside the Dock Cavern of Mathilde asteroid. He was not about to interrupt their love-making.
“Captain Jack!” yelled Max loudly over the habroom’s comlink speaker. “We’ve got a neutrino comlink call from our Melagun allies. Our buddy Benaxis insists on talking with you!”
“Max should be in bed with Blodwen,” Nikola said softly as she arched her back and sighed deeply. “I thought that was why they set up housekeeping in his roomsuite on the
Jack shifted his hands to caress Nikola’s smooth back even as he thrust upward with a deep yearning, aching for release. “He did. Was. I mean Blodwen is likely asleep. Which left Max free to fiddle with new control algorithms for the Alcubierre drive module in the Pilot Cabin. Once an engineer—”
“Always an engineer,” Nikola said, her tone musical and sounding bemused. She lowered herself down until her breasts pressed against his chest. Her legs gripped his hips. “You should answer him. We can finish this later.” With a sigh she lifted off and laid next to him on their waterbed.
Jack groaned with unresolved arousal. He had so wanted them to reach orgasm together. As they had shortly after their return. That wondrous time had left his Czech partner pregnant. Her happiness at the Commitment Ring he had given her on their return had been exceeded only by the news that she would become a mother. And that they would have a family in the traditional manner, a family beyond his crewmates on the
and his fleet allies in the two Belter fleets and the Mars fleet. That joy had shown brightly in her pale blue eyes. While she had resumed her work as Chief Astronomer for Mathilde with a new Big Eye reflector scope built by mechbots, Nikola’s devotion to him and to their future family had made long-time friends comment on her happy glow. That glow had led to their evening loveplay. Which was now being displaced by duty. He pulled the green silk sheet up over the two of them and spoke to the ceiling comlink node.
“Max! It’s three in the morning! Can’t this call wait until Nikola and I are up?”
The wallscreen next to the slidedoor entry to their bedroom illuminated. Filling it was the middle-aged face of his Polish buddy. The man’s gray eyes swept over the two of them. He grave Jack a quirky grin. “You guys remind me of the times Blodwen and I spend hiding away in a corner of the ship.” His stocky, broad-shouldered friend turned sober serious. “Benaxis says he has to talk with you
. Not later. Says a Hunter of the Great Dark has come calling on Tau Ceti. With a message for you and all humans.”
. Jack rubbed weariness from his eyes, pushed back his unruly locks, sat up and fixed on the man from Lodz. “Guess that six-legged hippo wouldn’t use the neutrino comlink we left them unless it was really important. And the arrival of a Hunter is just why we created the Freedom Alliance. Though I wish we had had a year before the first crisis arose for us and our Alien allies. Put through his call.”
Max, who sat bare-chested in his Drive Engineer seat in the
Pilot Cabin, gave him a thumbs-up. “Putting him through. I’ll monitor the signal until it closes from his end. Then we can decide what to do about this new crisis.”
Jack nodded agreement. As if they did not have enough crises in Sol system already. Their Chinese allies on Mars had grumbled at receiving just eight of the 18 grav-pull ship drives they had salvaged in their last star trip to recruit ‘juvenile’ and ‘subject people’ Aliens to join their Freedom Alliance. The Brazilians on the Moon had groused at getting only three grav-pull drives. Which had left just seven grav-pulls for Jack to hand out to new Belter ship captains who had arrived at Mathilde wanting to join his and Gareth’s two fleets. As yet there were no Belter-made grav-pull space drives despite Archibald’s efforts to create enough WIMP particle Dark Matter for insertion into their newly built grav-pull frameworks. And if jealous human allies were not enough trouble, Earth’s devolution into competing nation-states had left nine billion humans unsettled, argumentative and hungry for foodstuffs that did not arrive as quickly as under the Communitarian Unity. And war had returned to Earth as the central states of old America now fought the ground forces of the East and West coast socialist elites. His grandpa Ephraim’s home state of Tennessee, along with Texas, were leading hover-tanks and mechanized infantry into battle against the remnants of the Unity armed forces that had been based in the North American Cooperative. Everyone on Earth wanted the Asteroid Belt, and Jack Munroe in person, to solve their problems.
Well, fuck them!
He had a family to support, two wild sisters to manage as they connived with Nikola to drive Mathilde’s Citizens Council crazy, and nineteen year-old Denise to watch over even as the young woman romanced a series of unattached young men.
“Here’s the live signal.”
Max’s image disappeared to be replaced by that of Benaxis, captain of the
spaceship in distant Tau Ceti system. The member of the Melagun species fixed two large brown eyes on Jack even as the Alien’s neck collar of tentacle hands flared out in a body sign of intense worry. The red, yellow and black stripes that ran the length of the hippo-like Alien were dim in the low light that was normal to the Melagun world of Home. Benaxis stood on the Command Bridge of his ship, free of hold-down straps. Which told him the
now had a working grav-pull drive with its secondary benefit of creating artificial gravity in whatever ship it was placed. Benaxis opened his wide mouth and spoke.
“Captain Jack, five hours ago this ship responded to a hailing call from the Predator Alert satellite you left on the edge of the Outer Rock Fields,” said his first friend among the Melagun as other hippos moved in the background. “When we arrived we saw this ship holding station near the satellite.” Jack’s wallscreen split into two images, one of Benaxis and a second image of black space in which floated a ship that resembled two pyramids joined at their bases, leaving pointed apexes at the north and south poles. The red-hulled ship had blinking lights on its north and south halves, along with a line of portholes in the northern section. “Upon our arrival, before we could signal the ship occupants, we received the following transmission in colloquial Melagun infrasound.”
The hippo’s image was quickly replaced by a new image.
“Shit!” muttered Nikola as she sat up beside him. “That’s a fucking scary Alien!”
Filling the screen was a creature with the teeth of a great white shark, the tail of a stingray, the flaring neck hood of a black mamba snake and the body shape of a T-rex dinosaur. Red and yellow bands suggestive of a coral snake pattern covered its scaly hide. A pair of small arms sprouted from its upper chest. It fixed two dark red eyes on them. The giant mouth opened.
“Melagun people, your system is claimed by a Hunter of the Great Dark species known as Humans,” the creature said in a harsh snarl, its Melagun speech converted to English by Denise’s SETI translation algorithm. “I am here because of a claim of violation of the Rules of Engagement that govern all predators who travel across the Great Dark. That claim was made by a Boolean amphibian as its species lost control of the Bizzdaw system. Competition for Hunt territories is not my concern. The claim of a Rules violation is. It seems your Humans contacted you before your species reached your outer planet, and they failed to offer you a Challenge to Combat. Yet your system is claimed as part of the Human Hunt territory.” The Alien paused, a long red tongue licking out against its jagged white teeth as it caught its breath. The Alien stood in a circular room filled with glittering wall panels, Control pedestals, and yellow-glowing ceiling panels. Behind it were two other dinosaurs who used their black taloned hands to manipulate pedestals in the rear of the room. “Contact your Human rulers. Tell them to come here immediately to answer this Rules violation claim. And tell them the Human with the name sigil Jack Munroe must appear before me. Its name sigil has been reported to me by the Rizen, Yiplak, Gyklang, Krisot and Hackmot Hunters of the Great Dark. While their loss of Hunt territories to your Humans is normal, this contacting of juvenile species such as you Melagun is not normal. I require a response. This demand is given to you by MakMakGor of the Arbitors. Advise me of the Human response.”
“Shit!” Jack muttered under his breath.
“Yeah,” grunted Nikola as she reached over and gripped his left hand, squeezing it tightly.
The Arbitor’s image disappeared. The image of Benaxis reappeared.
“Captain Jack, these Arbitors occupy a single ship,” the red-robed Melagun said. “Should we attack it on behalf of the Alliance?”
“No!” Jack yelled, then licked his lips. They had gone dry during the long speech-talk of the T-rex Alien. Who was an Arbitor. Or belonged to the Arbitor species. A species unknown to him. “Signal back that we humans will arrive in seven days. Earth days that is.”
Benaxis blinked slowly. “But it takes just three Earth days for you to reach Tau Ceti using the Alcubierre stardrive. Which we have now installed on three ships of the Melagun Protection Force, along with three grav-pull drives built by Atarksis of the Yellow Robes.” The Melagun ship captain paused as another hippo lumbered up to him and offered a black plate that functioned like a datapad. He glanced down at the plate, then looked to Jack. “My Defender says the Arbitor ship is armed with four laser nodes at its equator, plus two neutral particle beam emitters at the north and south apex nodes. This ship could be dangerous. What do I tell the Arbitor if it insists you arrive here sooner?”
Plans and schemes and worries swirled in Jack’s mind as he recalled how close to Sol system lay the Tau Ceti system. “Advise the Arbitor we will arrive in seven days due to a delay caused by Human mating rituals. Surely it will understand how sex can cause delays. Assuming it mates with its own females.”