February 20, Year A.D. 2513.

All was still, except for a slight disturbance in the night air. The wind now came at queer bursts of current, rather than a smooth and gradual increase, as if anticipating something. Then, a pentagram of white light crackled open in the sky, like a huge mouth of a mystical beast. A dozen hazy figures emerged through, silhouettes at first, but gradually solidifying as they made contact. They succumbed to the reel of gravity for a second, dropping to certain death. But with a second flash, they disappeared as suddenly as their arrival. All was still once more, with only the slightly quivering grass to tell of their existence.


A proximity sensor beeped red. The dozing guard on night shift jerked awake, knocking over a thermos of coffee onto himself. Swearing, he ran well-practiced eyes over the ancient plasma-crystal screens and sent an immediate report over to the central base. Then he punched a button on the touch-screen and sighed, waiting for the automatic micro-fibrecleaner to activate. The cleaner would search for signatures of dirt and fresh dyes and automatically erase them. His uniform would be spotless in under a minute, though it was still much more inferior as compared to the latest ionizing- dye cleaners. He sighed again, wondering when the federal government would increase the budget on public sector bases. All the technology here is so last century. Then, seeing that there were no more updates from the equipment, he folded himself into his liquid gel-padded chair and settled down to sleep again.


Central Base

Information Control Tower

"Sir, here is another S151-12. 2 second materialization and dematerialization, 12 beings. 3.15 am" Corporal Ren handed the folder over. Lieutenant Nice spat his mouthful of tonic water onto the hard metal-tiled floor, "What? Another one? This is the third one in two weeks! I don't care what the upper ranks say about phantom images and hardware failure. Trace the dematerialization pattern. Use a deep probe. Then report back to me."

"Right away, sir"

Corporal Ren returned to his workstation to start on the task. S151 was the serial number for the public sector base and 12 the coordinates for the place of the inexplicable materializations. He rubbed his tiredness out of his temples. Tracing the leftover ions with a deep probe would mean pulling out surveillance footage from the satellites and sensors input in that area. That would take up the whole night - at the very least. The sensors would already cost him 5 hours, having to run through all kinds of sensors that detect any radiation of the electromagnetic spectrum. He fired up Ren Junior, smiling fondly at the familiar hum. He patted it. His workstation was one of a kind, fully custom-engineered by himself, right down to the motherboard's nano-circuitry. No processing hardware on the planet could beat Ren Junior - of course processing hardware not including the NSA's. They have that 3 million tegaflop beast for cracking stupid email encryptions.

Once the workstation completely booted up, he tapped open the keyboard software to project a hologram of the board. As he began to download data from S151, his fingers worked into a blur on the shimmering golden keys. Ren stifled a yawn. It was going to be a long night.


It was year 2513. Technology had progressed significantly since the start of the 21st century. Vaccines for most diseases had been developed. The ozone layer and environment were healing gradually, a result of the scrapping of all fossil fuel and nuclear powered technology. Instead, hydrogen was the main source of power of electricity, with solar, wind and hydro for the secondary power grid, should the main grid fail. Devices and machines used hydrogen fuel cells that were as widespread and easily bought as alkaline batteries back in the 2000s. Hovercrafts not unlike the past's vehicles zipped effortlessly on enormous magnetic superhighways, the main mode of land transport, while aviation had evolved into fuel-less flight, powered by superior wing designs and vacuum-lift, with vacuum in rigid cells and helium as a lifting gas backup. All waste produced would be minimized and contained properly for incineration in the sun, transported by small saucer-shaped spacecraft propelled by superheating molecules below the wingblades along their diameters.

Spacecraft were powered by antimatter, the counterpart of every subatomic particle. When antimatter and matter collide, they produce large amounts of energy, much more than chemical reactions would ever provide. The gamma radiation by-product is harmless when contained properly and also does not leave any nuclear residue.


Molork glanced down at the early morning cityscape and marveled at the sight. Back at his home all he ever saw were huts and grasslands. The information his brain was receiving from his eyes was unbelievable. Glittering buildings punctured the sky everywhere, with large black roads snaking in between. People in boxes that flew, large metal birds that did not make any sound. He signaled to the other eleven hovering behind him and they started on their gradual descent. Currently, the Netherreals were invisible to everyone, and if one were to stare directly at them, all they would notice would be a slight shimmer of air.

"Galarsh crai romplu tomhs." Molork summoned from within him the sparks of nature and absorbed the surrounding chemical potential energy. This was why the Netherreals do not need to consume. They could simply absorb pure energy from their surroundings.

Molork and the other eleven Neths were the surveillance party of their attacking force. Their task was to know what kind of enemy they were going against. What Molork had seen so far did not weaken his confidence in claiming this land as their new home. "Zu!" Molork signaled again, and shortly after, they disappeared into thin air, leaving only a lingering smell of sulphur.


to be continued....