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   Chapter 33 No.33

A Girl Named Sandy By Paul Kater Characters: 12343

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:04


Signals and sirens

Before Sandy had returned to her next class, several alarms went off in the laboratory. Paul, Sandy and Don looked at each other. "What is happening?" Don wondered, obviously asking the wrong people.

"I have no idea, " Paul said. He turned to his computer and checked his regular news feeds. "What?" The surprise in his voice made Sandy and Don stand behind him and watch what unfolded on Paul's monitor.

Many telescopes and scanning stations around the world had suddenly picked up large objects hovering in the exosphere, the atmospheric layer that was the furthest from earth, and the thinnest. There was no exact count yet, but there had to be several hundreds of them. Where the objects had come from so suddenly no one knew yet; it was as if they had appeared out of thin air. Or better: out of thin space. As Paul and Don tried to work out whatever little was trickling in from the news feeds and talked to the people who were manning the university telescope, Sandy looked at a few regular news sites. They were overflowing with news about sightings, blurry images, and already there were people predicting the end of humanity.

"How did that news get around so quickly?" she wondered.

Paul explained that lots of doomsday thinkers were always on the lookout for signs of the earth coming to an end yet again. "I agree, it's scary that sometimes they seem to know about things like this before we do."

Other news sites announced how jet fighters had been deployed to intercept any of the large objects if they made a move, but considering the altitude where these objects were, there was entirely no point in that. Hardly any jet fighter would get that high.

"Also, " Don said, "if these things are man-made, they are technologically advanced, so they will probably laugh at our jets."

Someone came into the lab, asking why Sandy had not returned to class. Paul told the student that Sandy was of much more use in the lab at the moment, upon which the student nodded and left. He saw a smile coming from his wife and felt a stream of gratitude from her coming straight into his heart.

Sandy got up and moved to a spot behind Don, a little pouch in her hands. There, so Don could not see her, she took her device from its cover. What she saw made her almost scream to Paul; it was only with difficulty she could control that urge. The strange square on it that had turned light green, now was light blue and showed all kinds of symbols. They seemed to jump over the screen randomly and the symbols were entirely alien to her, but the fact that the device was doing something made her heart pound. "I need to go to the toilet, I'll be right back."

Paul nodded and watched her go. He had not missed her rush of excitement and wonder, and it took him a lot of self-control to not jump up and go after her.

'I need to tell my parents, the device shows all kinds of symbols!' she told him as she left. 'I have no idea what it is, but they need to know.'

'If you can, also inform Lester, ' Paul asked her. She didn't answer, but he was convinced she would.

Don and he did what they could, which that was very little, as there was hardly any new information coming in on the objects. Some stations reported that espionage satellites were taking detailed pictures of the objects, but it would take a long time before any of those would make it down the long line of red tape and security agencies.

Sandy returned, walked to her husband and bent over to kiss him.

"You never mix us up, " Don complained. Sandy ruffled his hair, as a small make-up gesture.

"Is there anything new?" she asked. 'Dad and Mom send their love, Paul, and their d

it away from her. He stroked her hair that had fresh blue dye in it. "We'll make them wait for our baby, Sandy. Not to worry about that. You're going to give birth to him or her right here in Bristol. No way that I will put the safety of you or our child at risk in a space ship we don't know. I'd rather stay here with you than even consider that alternative."

"You would?" Sandy smiled at him.

"Yes. It is probably easier for me than for you, as you are so much more 'trained' in looking forward to leave. I've thought about it a lot, we've talked about it, but there is still a big difference between you and me in that area."

Sandy nodded. "But I thought you were looking forward to it."

"I am. In a way. In a way that does not endanger you or junior."

"Or you, " Sandy added. "I don't want any of us in danger, Paul." She took one of his hands and lay that against her belly. "Junior agrees with me, so we outnumber you."

Paul smiled and kissed her cheek. "I know, you always win. Now let me finish up in the kitchen and make us some tea while you send your family whatever pictures you promised them. How does that sound? Let's not worry about danger yet, while the ships disappear again. Maybe this is something entirely different." In his heart he knew it wasn't.

"Oh!" Sandy beamed for happiness. Paul's face showed surprise too. Junior had kicked.

***

The next morning, when they checked the news, BBC, ITN as well as Sky TV reported about the mysterious disappearing of all the sighted space craft. And not only the one over the Bristol area had disappeared. The one over Scotland and the ones over other parts of Europe had gone as well. From the ISS, the International Space Station, there was footage played over and over again, showing an amazing detailed view of the ships, and they literally vanished.

"That is just like they did when they were passing Jupiter, " Sandy remembered. "They were just... gone." She took the alien device from its pouch. That still showed the same activity as it had done the day before. "Somehow the symbols seem different."

Paul looked at his unit and that too showed something else. He looked at Sandy. "Call me crazy but I would bet that these things are trying to tell us something. Relaying information from the ships, or instructions on how to proceed, something like that."

Sandy frowned. "Too bad we don't speak gibberish then. Although your Welsh could pass for it."

***

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