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Martyr for the Cause

Martyr for the Cause

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Published by Ben Lacy
Alien invaders have arrived with an ultimatum. They'll destroy New York City unless the U.S. Government executes one seemingly innocent Detroit autoworker.

Why do the aliens want this man dead? And perhaps more importantly, should an innocent man be intentionally murdered to possibly save millions? Those are the questions facing White House Chief of Staff Thomas Church in this sci-fi thriller.
Alien invaders have arrived with an ultimatum. They'll destroy New York City unless the U.S. Government executes one seemingly innocent Detroit autoworker.

Why do the aliens want this man dead? And perhaps more importantly, should an innocent man be intentionally murdered to possibly save millions? Those are the questions facing White House Chief of Staff Thomas Church in this sci-fi thriller.

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Published by: Ben Lacy on Jul 06, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/05/2009

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MFC/BPL1
Martyr for the CausebyBen Lacy
Copyright © 2009 Ben LacyAll rights reservedThe alien ship was inside the moon’s orbit before it was detected. An amateur astronomer was first to spot it. Measuring fifty miles in diameter, it came toward Earth atover a thousand miles a second. Ten thousand miles above the surface the ship pulledinto orbit. The circumpolar orbit crossed the eastern United States, the middle of Asia,and a slice of Africa.For two days, the ship did nothing but continue its orbit around the Earth, onerotation every two hours. On the third day, the ship disgorged dozens of smaller craft,each about the size of a 747. These cruisers roared into the atmosphere at Mach 50.Their skins ignored the blazing heat of friction as they pushed the Earth’s denseatmosphere aside. The ships diverged when they came within a mile of Antarctica’s icecovered surface from where they scattered in every direction. Within minutes, they hadcrossed into the air space of every continent. Once over land, the ships went into whathuman scientists could only assume was a search pattern. In the next hour, they had passed over most of the inhabited land on Earth.The shockwaves from this hypersonic flight shattered windows, cracked cement,and blew out eardrums. Dozens died, a few of heart failure, more in car crashes.Countries with air forces launched their planes. The fastest could barely break Mach 2. Each time the jets crossed the intruders’ path, the alien ships would be 10 milesaway a second later. The aliens never even had to change course. Once they completedtheir planned flight, they broke away as one to return to their mother craft.
 
MFC/BPL2
All attempts to communicate with the aliens both before and during this flightwere futile. The aliens ignored radio. They ignored lasers. They ignored the massedlights of Las Vegas blinked in Morse code. An hour after the flight though, they provedthey could communicate. Every television signal was interrupted and replaced with thealiens’ first broadcast.The creature that appeared on screen had a purple head shaped like an invertedtriangle. The mouth was a perfect circle lined with thin, spiked teeth all around the perimeter. The rest of the face was a patchwork of octagons. The octagons looked morelike hard cartilage then soft flesh. Most were shades of purple. A few were bright greenor blood red. These might have been eyes, or ears, or something else. When the thing began to speak, its mouth opened and closed like a camera lens dilating. Whatever noiseit actually made was heard through the television as English.“People of Earth,” it began, “we mean you no harm. All will be well if you do aswe ask. We require that you kill Robert Samuel Martin. No harm will come to you if you do.” A still picture of a white man in his early forties replaced that of the alien. Hisface was fleshy and round. He was grinning slightly. His teeth were yellowed fromcigarettes and coffee. He was going bald.The picture remained on the screen for another thirty seconds, then blinked out. Normal programming returned for about ten seconds. Then the network news teams broke in to announce the news again.**********Rob Martin wasn’t in front of a TV when the aliens demanded his death. He wasat his job on Ford Motors’ assembly line in Ford’s Detroit plant. He continued to work for more than an hour before the police arrived. A neighbor had recognized him. Notknowing what to do, she called the police. They brought him to the precinct housewithout explanation. He was a bit mad, but his supervisor told him to go promising thatthe company would send someone to help.
 
MFC/BPL3
By the time Martin made it to the precinct house, the FBI had also discovered whohe was. They were there to meet him. The local FBI agents immediately took him fromthe precinct. His wife arrived just as he was leaving. She tried to run up to him, but theagents and the cops formed a wall between them as they escorted Martin to a waitingBuick.He was taken to the airport and a charter flew him to Andrew’s Air Force Base inMaryland, just outside DC. From there, a helicopter flew him to the White House, andthe Secret Service took charge. They brought Martin to a plush conference room that hada huge mahogany table in the center surrounded by large televisions each mounted with avideo camera. They left him there alone. Martin was of course stunned by all this. Hehadn’t been handcuffed and they hadn’t locked the door, but he was clearly a prisoner.He paced the room for thirty minutes wondering how long they would make himwait. Just as he was about to try the door, it opened; and a tall, whip thin man in his lateforties entered. The man wore an expensive but conservative business suit. His longnose, piercing eyes, and tightly drawn mouth made him look like a hawk. The imagedissolved though as he suddenly flashed a toothy smile and extended his hand. Martinrealized he’d seen the man before on TV. He was someone important. Martin wished hefollowed politics more closely because he couldn’t remember who his host was.“Hello, Mr. Martin, I hope we haven’t kept you waiting here too long.”Martin shook the man’s hand. “It’s been like waiting to see the dentist.” The mangave him an odd look, just for a moment, and then chuckled softly. Martin wonderedwhether his sense of humor seemed inappropriate, but he never could help himself.The newcomer sat in one of the leather chairs around the conference table andgestured for Martin to do the same. Once they were both seated, he said, “My name isThomas Church. I’m the White House Chief of Staff. Do you know why you’re here?”“No, please tell me. Nobody would tell me a thing.”“Of course not. It wasn’t their place to tell you; besides, we had to make sureyour lack of comprehension was genuine.” Church got up from the chair and placed aDVD in one of the players built into the back wall. He then positioned himself to watchMartin as Martin watched the alien’s broadcast for the first time.

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