People had gathered in front of the television. Everyone looked shocked. I was looking more at the expressions on people's faces in the bar than really looking at the television.
This was something that I expected.
Just at that moment I heard sirens. I looked outside. A police escort. Everyone the bar turned to see what was going on. There was a chaos that took over all of a sudden and it seemed to be coming out of everywhere.
The police opened the door and the black suits walked into the bar. There were five of them. The look on their faces said it all. They were important people. They were serious people. I had seen people like this growing up. They were people like my father.
They walked across the bar.
It was more of a statement then a question. It was Tony who came up to me and put his arm on my shoulder, "Everything ok here, Billy?"
He had no idea. Neither of my friends had any idea what I had been really up to. None of them knew where I had really been gone while I was a way. The look on their faces seemed to say it all.
"Stand back Tony," I warned him before going up to the men, "Yes sir. I am Billy Williams. How can I help you?"
"Billy...your country needs you..." one of the men stated.
Another one looked at him before quickly adding, "Your planet needs you."
"And it..." the previous man stated.
The man was looking at Vino. Vino was lazily putting his clothes on in the bar. He was still drunk. I walked over to him and grabbed him at this time. I had an idea what was going on. I knew the government knew I was abducted by the Antliens. That is why they hadn't kept Vino or I out of their sight.
"Billy what's going on?" my friends asked me again.
I didn't reply. I knew what this looked like. I knew all the people that I knew from around the way were watching me being taken out of this bar and wondering the same thing. They were all wondering how I was involved in this. They were all wondering what I had been up to.
It was time. It was time to face the piper.
"My father. I should tell my father..." I told the escort.
"He's waiting for you when we arrive."
We had been taken on a private jet and flown over the desert until we got to a private airport. When we got there it seemed like the government was making even more of a big deal. It seemed like the military was everywhere. When we got off the plane all I could see were fatigue men racing up and down. There was a panic in the air.
By the look of it they were very organized. When we got off the plane I had assumed we would be in southern Nevada but we weren't. We were in Roswell.
The highway had been completely shut down. No one was on the highway but military trucks. I could sense the urgency in the air.
"Look..." I tapped Vino as we drove.
"That's how it starts..." Vino stated.
Vino was referring to the dome overhead. It was so familiar. It was the Antlien dome. It must have been a few miles away but it domes over the area like a football stadium. I looked at it mesmerized by the size. In space it had seemed gigantic but on earth I saw just how massive the space station really was.
Vino and I were taken by the military escorts to what looked like some sort of underground tunnel. As the lights grew dimmer and dimmer I started to realize that this wasn't a tunnel at all. We were going into an underground military base.
Vino's eyes glared out of the window, "They know."
I wasn't sure what made Vino say that at first. It wasn't until we got closer to the center of the military base that I started to realize just how organized we were. There was an alarm ringing. Troops were running up and down the underground military base. We had to be checked through multiple checkpoints to get to where we were going. Vino had to have been right. They were far too organized now. Maybe humans did have a defense after all. Maybe they did know something after all.
Vino and I were walked into a room. The room had nothing but a few chairs in it. It seemed more like a conference room than anything.
"What's going on?" I asked the escort, "I need to know what's going on."
"Are you joking? Do you know how what's going to happen soon. Do you understand how important this is?" I asked with my heart racing, "The entire planet is at risk. This is an invasion. You know that don't you? You do know that?"
"Wait here," the escort stated again.
The other escorts had disappeared from the room. They seemed busy running around doing something. No one was talking to us. It was clear they weren't talking to us. That was the thing about the military wasn't it. They were all secretive. They were all quiet. They all acted like they had no idea what was going on.
"Calm down," Vino stated, "It's going to be ok."
He put his hand on my hand. It was easy for him to tell me to calm down. An invading force hadn't crash landed in his planet.
We were just waiting in the room. Nothing else. Just waiting. It was impossible to explain how scared I was. The world was in the balance and I didn't have access to anything. I didn't have access to a television. I couldn't see the reports. I didn't know what was going on. What if it had begun already? What if the Antliens had begun to attack us. I would just be in this room staring back at some escort who wasn't willing to say anything more than 'wait here'.
After what seemed like forever finally the door opened.
It was my father who walked inside at that moment.
I didn't know what got over me. I ran over to him and hugged him at that moment. I felt like a child and before I knew it my face was flushed with embarrassment. My father and I barely communicated in this kind of way. We were always distant. We were always extremely distant.
"I'm glad to see you've made it here safely," he explained, "I wanted to keep you as far away from this place as I could."
"What's going on?"
My father shook his head at the moment, "You are in Area 51. It's a military base designed for the protection against Unidentifiable otherworldly species."
"The rumors are true," I stated.
My father nodded. That was interesting really. So all the talk about area 51 was right. I had to back away at that moment. Humans definitely weren't as clueless as I thought. The military was keeping this a secret this whole time underground. The southern Nevada location must have all been a front for something else. This was the real area 51. This was really where things went down.
"I've worked for them for most of my life," my father explained to me, "I wish I could tell you but this job is more secret than the CIA. Do you understand? A lot of the information that we had we couldn't let out. There isn't anyone we could really trust...especially knowing some of the aliens look like us."
He was staring at Vino when he stated that. Vino did look human in most ways. He was a perfected human of course. Perfect olive skin. Perfect lips. Perfect everything.
"So you are were aware of the Antliens?" I asked.
"A few of them were captured a long time ago. Older escorts and one child...known as the scout."
My father nodded, "My division tortured information out of the escorts and we captured the scout. The others had to be eliminated. I couldn't bring myself to order the murder of a child though...so I decided to adopt him and keep him close to me at all times."
I was confused. My father had never explained this all before. Why he was he explaining it now? It kind of worried me. Everything was becoming so real. For the first time my father was letting me into his secret life and I had no idea what was going on. My father had a way of being so distant for so long that I had expected not to know anything. It had become ok that his career was a mystery to me.
Now that he was telling me everything I just felt like I knew him even less.
I nodded, "Why you?"
"What do you mean---why me?"
"Why come you took Kaden in? Why come you was able to decide if he lived or died?"
"Son. I am high commander," he explained, "I run the extraterrestrial division of the US military. I call the shots here."
Of all people my father was the high command. Now it made sense.
"I think they know," I explained, "I think they know you are in charge. They were asking Kaden all these things about you. Vino do you know anything?"
Vino sat there for a moment. He looked like he was about to say something but he just shook his head instead.
"No. No but I'm assuming you are right Billy. They must know that Commander Williams was in charge of this division."
"It was communicated perhaps back then. We are aware the Antliens have some advance forms of communication," my father stated, "When Kaden was a child his escorts maybe communicated to them who I was. We weren't able to ever find the communicators---"
"So you killed them?" Vino asked.
Vino looked at my father with an upset look. I could tell Vino was against the violence. It was clear.
"We did what we had to do," my father replied, "To protect our planet from invasion. We will continue to do what we have to do to protect our planet."
If Vino was expecting sympathy of emotion from my father he had the wrong person. My father was cold. My father was calculating. My father was about his job first and now I knew why his job was important to him. My father must have known the Antliens were coming from torturing the Antliens who escorted a young Kaden to Earth.
I struggled with how much my father knew.
"So do they have a reason to be afraid?" I finally asked, "Tell me you have a way. Please. Tell me you have a way to stop them once and for all."
My father looked at me. He looked at Vino.
"We have a way."
"Oh thank God. What is it? How are you planning on stopping them?"
I felt like I was in the twilight zone. Vino and I exchanged looks. These military people were robots really. They were fucking robots. It was almost like they had rehearsed this shit somehow. It was almost like they knew what to say and when to say it. I couldn't believe my father was just one of those robots.
"Dad. We are your greatest assets. Don't you get it. I lived with the Antliens. Vino is an Antlien for godsakes. Don't you understand that we can help you. Why wouldn't you share that with us?"
My father shook his head.
Like a robot. He was like a fucking robot.
"So why the fuck am I here?" I asked shaking my head, "Why the fuck did you bring me here if you didn't want my help?"
My father put his briefcase on the table. He put a folder on the table. Vino and I just looked at the folder and then looked back up at my father. He had this look in his eyes.
"An Antlien was sent over here," my father explained, "An ambassador. It's the only communication we've gotten from the ship. Do you recognize him?"
I opened the folder...
"We have him in custody. He is supposedly sent to negotiate something with us but he won't speak to anyone...but you."
"So you need my help but you don't trust me."
"Billy, this is bigger than trust," my father explained at that moment, "Don't you get it. What I have can save the world or it can end it. I need you. You're right. Is that what you want to hear, son? I need you. The Antlien representative won't speak to anyone but you. Will you talk to him or not?"
I looked over at Vino.
I struggled with this. If my father was so desperate for my help he should have trusted me by telling me what it was that could help defeat the Antliens. Clearly he must not have trusted me as much as he said he did.
"Fine," I finally replied, "I'll meet with him."
I was taken to a room. Vino came with me. I guess they felt that Vino being there would help make Shin more at ease to talk. They must have not known the history between the two. I didn't mind though to be honest. I felt safer with Vino around for some reason. I preferred him being there.
"You ok?" Vino asked me.
I nodded, "Let's get this over with."
We were put into a room with Shin and the door was locked. Shin's eyes locked on me and didn't even stare back at Vino. He just looked at me and the slant in his eyes narrowed even further. I could see the hatred that he had for me. It was so odd being here with Shin. It was fucking weird because honestly I felt like I was back on that Antlien ship. I was surrounded by Antliens. I looked up at the corner of the room. Cameras. I had no idea that my dad and his division was on the other side of the camera watching my every move.
"Long time," Shin stated.
"Where the fuck is Kaden?"
Shin laughed at that moment. This was funny to him. This was fucking funny to him. I didn't know what got over me as I dashed forward. I wanted to choke him. I didn't know if it was possible to a choke an Antlien with all that strength they had. I didn't care. I would try. I wanted to get my hands on him.
Vino must have saw it coming because somehow Vino was there to stop me before I got too close to him.
"My husband's alive. He's fine."
"He's not your fucking husband," I replied.
Shin laughed at that moment, "Oh. Maybe you're right. He's not my husband. He misses you actually. Can you imagine? All this perfection available to him in me and he somehow only is thinking about you. I don't get it. Vino...aren't humans strange."
Shin looked over at Vino. Vino got quiet. He just rolled his eyes and looked away from Shin.
I didn't care about Shin's quips. I didn't care about how he didn't think I was perfect. None of that shit didn't matter to me. The only thing that mattered to me was Kaden.
"Is he safe?"
"I don't believe you."
"No. Of course not. Kaden is still a legend. He's still our scout. He's always going to be welcome among the Antliens. He'll always have a home with us. But that brings us to why I'm here. I'm willing to give you what you want."
Shin's eyes looked over at me.
"You're willing to retreat from Earth?" I asked.
Shin laughed, "Of course not. That's not what you want Billy. You know that isn't what you want. The only thing you want is Kaden back. Isn't that right?"
I thought about it. God. I didn't know what to say. He was right. I hadn't been able to take my mind off of Kaden. All I could think about was Kaden. All I could think about was getting him back.
"You would...you would let him go?" I asked.
Shin smiled, "Of course. My people are not heartless. You know? We have those things...what do you humans call it. Vino...Vino what is it that the humans call it again? You know. I've heard you say it before."
"Yes. Souls. We have some of those---somewhere," Shin laughed, "We are willing to give you Kaden back. We just want something in return. You know? Even trade---I guess."
"What do you want?"
What the fuck? It was almost my turn to laugh now. What the fuck was Shin on? He had completely lost his mind or something like that? He wanted to trade Kaden for my father?
"You're crazy," I explained, "Why the hell would I hand my father over to you?"
"Of all people I would think you would want to see Kaden again," Shin stated looking confused, "Isn't he the love of your life? Your adopted brother as well? That's twice the reason. Give us your father and we give you Kaden?"
"And the invasion?"
"It's going to happen anyway," Shin explained, "Ask Vino. He knows. It can't be stopped. The only thing that matters now is will you die with the love of your life or not. That's all that matters. Those last couple of minutes...Kaden would give anything for those last couple of minutes with you. He's said it. You know. He told me the other day, was it? He goes, 'I'd rather die with Billy than live with you'. Isn't that romantic?"
He was telling the truth. I could almost hear Kaden saying that. My heart stopped at that moment. Tears started to drift down the sides of my cheek. Kaden wasn't being tortured. He hadn't been imprisoned. But still...he was upset. He was still resistant to just becoming an Antlien.
Kaden hadn't given up on me yet. I wasn't going to give up on him.
"What makes you think my father would even agree to this?" I asked.
"That human soul. It's a powerful thing. What would a brother do for his brother? What would a lover do for his love? What would a father do for his son?"
The Antliens were smart. They were so fucking smart. They were pulling at heart strings here in order to get us to give them what they wanted.
"I'll talk to him."
"You'll make it happen," Shin corrected me, "I'm sure. I have faith in you. Kaden has faith in you. He needs you Billy. Don't let Kaden down."
Vino looked over at Shin, "We need to confirm he's alive first."
Shin looked over at confused. I was just as confused. We both looked over at Vino. I had a feeling that they hadn't hurt Kaden but maybe Vino had a point.
I backed Vino up, "Yes. He's right. We need to know."
"Fine. I'll go back to the ship and discuss that with the judges," Shin stated, "Tomorrow at noon I'll bring you alone to do your confirmation that he is fine. You'll have 5 minutes with him. After that we expect for a trade to be made."
I was nervous. I was so fucking nervous. Shin had been escorted out of the building to return to his ship after. I was expecting to see my father but I was told that I couldn't.
"I have to speak to him."
"He's aware that you have to speak to him. He needs the day. He'll come get you early tomorrow morning," the escort stated, "I'll show you your sleeping area."
"I need to speak to him now!"
The military escort gave me a blank look. I didn't get it. My father must have heard what Shin wanted. Why the fuck didn't he want to see me. My father had enough pull here to speak to me if he wanted to.
"He's stalling," Vino stated.
I could tell he was right. I had a feeling he was right.
But why? Why was my father stalling to meet me?
We were taken to a bunker on a different part of the military base. We were locked in there. I could tell they must of not wanted us running around. There were two beds in there, a sink and a very small shower. It had this very military feel to it. This definitely wasn't the Ritz-Carlton for sure. I looked at the sink and sat in the bed.
I couldn't get Kaden out of my mind. I had to talk to my father. I had to tell him what Shin had explained. I had to tell him that they were willing to give us Kaden back.
But why would my father want to do that? Why would my father agree to that?
Was I willing to sacrifice my father for Kaden?
Did it matter?
We were all probably going to die anyway.
"Are you ok?"
Vino sat next to me. I hadn't noticed him taking his shirt off. I assumed it was to get comfortable. The room was actually really uncomfortable. As he sat on the bed I could tell he was shocked by how stiff it was.
"I'm fine. Except for this bed of course."
"Wow. You would think humans would have at least invented some softer beds for the men who fought for their safety," Vino explained pressing on the hard springs of the bed.
I laughed at the idea.
"They like to be rough. They aren't really the comforting type, you know? Look at my Dad for godsakes. Does he seem warm and fuzzy to you?"
Vino shook his head, "He's necessary. You know what they want to do, don't you? You know they only want to trade Kaden for your father so that they can find out what your father knows. They are going to torture your father until they find out. Why do you think they haven't attacked yet?"
"I haven't thought about that."
"They are scared to risk the Queen. The Antliens are calculating," Vino explained, "They are always several steps ahead. Always. Trust me. I know. If your father knows a way to hurt the Queen they want to figure it out."
I nodded, "You're right...but still..."
"But you still want Kaden."
I felt stupid. I felt dumb as fuck thinking about that at this moment.
Vino put his hand on my face. He pulled me close at that moment. He grabbed me and leaned in. I didn't know what he was doing. It didn't seem very sexual but it did seem passionate. He wasn't the aggressive Antlien that I had known them to be when he grabbed me. He was soft. He was gentle.
His lips pressed up against mine. His tongue entered my mouth.
"Does that...feel like anything to you?" he asked.
"What do you mean?"
Vino shook his head, "You're in love. I mean. You're in love and you are so blind to anything else. For the longest time you have no idea that I am obsessed with you. You have no idea because you are so in love with Kaden."
"Vino...I didn't mean to lead you on or anything."
"You didn't. It's OK," Vino explained and smiled, "It's just amazing really. It's amazing that I could feel so strongly. I should thank you really. You helped me a lot. You know that. You helped me find my soul. Ever since I met you it just seemed like things changed for me. I just saw the world differently----"
I looked at him. I wished I could feel the same way for him. He was right though. I was so in love with Kaden that I wasn't even entertaining him or anyone else for that matter. The only person that mattered to me was Kaden. Kaden was the only thing that mattered in my world.
"I love him."
That was all that I could say. I was surprised when Vino smiled.
"We'll talk to your father tomorrow. We'll see if he'll budge. Even if you and Kaden are just together for a little while it'll be worth it. You know."
Vino stood up. He walked over to his own bunk. I couldn't believe that I was letting someone so beautiful and so sexy walk away from me. Vino was literally one of the best looking men that I ever laid eyes on but I was so in love with Kaden that his looks didn't even matter to me. Kaden was the only thing that mattered.
Vino laid down on his bed and stared at me in the darkness.
"He's a lucky Antlien, that Kaden. I'd give anything to take his place..."
It was early in the morning when they came and got me. They didn't bring Vino. I was a little surprised when they didn't. They dragged me into a room and kept Vino in the bunker. I didn't feel threatened or anything at this place. I mean my dad ran the whole thing. Still I preferred to have Vino at my side. I wanted him to support me as usual.
When I got to the room I wanted his support more than ever. I was sat in a room with all these men. They looked like military men. By the look of their army uniforms they all looked like big deals. There were about 15 of them. Their eyes studied me as I walked into the room. Most had stars on their uniform. Lots of them. I wasn't sure what this meant but I figured they were big deals.
My father was the only face that I recognized in the room and he wasn't any more warm than the others.
"Son. Sit down."
"Dad. I need to talk to you. I need to talk to you about Shin's offer."
"We know about Shin's offer son. Sit down."
I sat in the chair. I felt so uncomfortable. My dad had that serious look on his face. It was the look he always gave me and Kaden when we got in trouble back in middle school. My mother would rat us out to him and when he came home from one of his top secret trips the first thing he would do is give us that 'look'.
"Dad, I love him."
I didn't care that that room was crowded with people. I didn't care who judged me. I guess when you are in love you stop caring about stupid things like that. All I cared about was Kaden. How could I make my father understand where I was coming from? How could I make him agree to sacrificing himself for Kaden?
"I love him too son," he stated, "I know how you feel."
"Then please...do it."
My father nodded, "Look. We brought you here to explain to you that we had a plan."
"A plan to save Kaden."
"A plan to save Earth, son. A plan to save Earth..."
The other men looked at me. I guess they were all shocked at my priorities. I needed to get it together. I did want to know about this plan. Maybe that was why they didn't bring Vino into the room.
"You're going to tell me?"
"Because we need your help. We have something son," my father explained, "Bring it in..."
Just at that moment the doors open and more military men walked in. There were four men that walked in. Two of them had on lab coats. One carried something in his hands. It was something in a glass box. I looked at the glass box studying it. It was some sort of shard.
The man in the lab coat explained what it was as though he had done it a million times before, "We are aware of the Antlien Queen and have been aware of the threat for quite some time. We've developed an nullifying explosive devise. It gathers thermal, gaseous and electromagnetic energy in a way to counteract the Queen's effectiveness. Once it comes in contact with the Queen...it will cause an explosion completely leveling the Queen."
They did have a plan.
My father walked over to the box. He opened it. He reached for the shard.
I almost jumped out of my seat when I saw him do it.
"What the hell are you doing?"
"It's ok. It's completely safe. It will only react to the Queen's energy," one of the scientists stated.
My dad had it in his hand. He was holding this thing...this thing that could SAVE the world in his hand. That was his big secret all along. This small little shard.
"We call it the King," he explained.
I watched as he put the King shard back into it's box. The scientists walked out of the room with it carefully.
My father looked back at me. The others were still looking back at me. I knew my father. There wasn't no reason that he just wanted to share this information. That shard was far too fragile for him to just share it. This was on a need to know basis. What did I need to know?
"Why are you telling me this dad?"
"The Antlien suggested yesterday that you meet with Kaden to confirm that he was ok. We'd like you to meet with him."
"So you're considering the trade?"
The men in the room exchanged looks. The looks on their face was telling. My father was hesitating. He was a man of duty and not emotion but right now I was seeing emotion outlined on his face. Now why would my dad need to be emotional right now? I saw the wrinkle in his forehead. That was the most emotion you would see out of someone like my father.
"Dad? Are you considering the trade?" I stated, "He's your son. He's your son..."
That's all I kept saying. That's all I kept thinking.
My dad shook my head, "We need you to give Kaden the King when you see him today. He is the only one who can...get close enough to the Queen to destroy it. All he has to do is put it in Queen and it'll all be over. The Earth will be safe."
He was joking. He had to be joking.
My father was looking at me and he was asking me to do this.
I got up off my feet. Impossible. This wasn't happening.
"You just said that shit would cause a fucking explosion. You understand what you are asking me?"
"I love him too," my father stated.
He was asking to tell Kaden to sacrifice himself.
I couldn't believe my father at this moment. I was sick to my stomach. My father just stared at me, wrinkling his forehead. That show of emotion wasn't enough this time though. This time I couldn't believe him. This time I was shocked.
"Let me the fuck out of here..."
"LET ME THE FUCK OUT!"
"Let him go..."
I was crying as I was escorted to the bunker. I knew my father. I knew my father well enough to know that he wouldn't have taken this as a no.
He was asking me to give Kaden an energy source that would destroy the Queen. That was great. That was excellent. The fucked up thing is that that same energy source would cause an explosion that would destroy Kaden as well.
The tears had come. I didn't know what to do. I didn't think I could do it. I'd do anything to save the Earth...anything but this.
I kept running until I got to the bunker.
I opened the lock.
I was about to tell Vino. I needed advice. I needed advice but something else caught my attention. It was Vino. Vino was hadn't noticed me walk into the bunker. He had his back facing me. He as in a corner. He had his finger pressed into his ear...I knew that.
"No...no I don' t know what it is yet. I told you I don't know what it is yet..."
Vino was talking.
At first I thought he had to have been talking to himself. He had to have been talking to himself. Then I remembered something. I remembered back on the Space station Vino had given me an Antlien device to communicate with. it was a device that you just put in your ear. You could barely see it.
The look on his face said it all. He was shocked but it was my heart that broke at this moment. All these thoughts came to my head. How? Why?
"Hey I didn't see you come in?"
I nodded, "No...no you didn't."
I walked over to him. He was frozen in place. Vino was frozen in place. I could see his eyes seem almost human in fear as he looked over at me. I kept walking over to him.
I dug my finger in his ear.
Vino looked over at me. He was shaking. I had an earpiece in my hand. I had an earpiece in my fucking hand. I had just been wiping my tears over Kaden and now I wanted to cry again. I wanted to cry because I wasn't believing what the fuck was in my hand right now.
I put the piece in my ear.
The voice on the microphone was loud and clear.
"Vino---is that you?"
I recognized the voice---immediately. Shin.
He was communicating with Shin.
Vino just looked at me, "I---I am so sorry----"
There is only one reason that Vino would have been apologizing to me for this moment. There was only one reason that Vino would have been speaking to Shin secretly. There is only one reason that Vino...that he would have gotten so close to me to begin with...
Vino was a double agent.
To read the next chapter go to www.crushedcrown.com