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Chapter 5 - Punims´ Story
ivor | Published 1181 days ago

Chapter Five; Punim’s Story


       It’s not like the three craft came without fanfare, Many eyes were searching the skies for them, Furthermore, whatever these objects were, no one could conceive that they could have possibly landed undetected, as they did.
The unidentified objects were well observed in space when they first made their appearance; their trajectory was projected and their imminent arrival time determined. The scientific community was astounded when the objects deviated from their courses. The Objects were being navigated.  Military was notified and put on standby.

Dr. Armstrong of NASA briefing the President:
      “They are not of Rock nor Ice, as any other celestial material might be. Their surface is smooth and adamantine, reflective and Diamond like. They are Ovoid and identical. Each is about a thousand feet tall, measured from base to top.  The spectroscopes can not determine the material. The objects display no surface characteristics they are all remarkably similar; They are seamless, no doors or ports. No weapons are visible” Armstrong looked to see any reaction from General Holland,  
       “Nor any visible means of propulsion” Dr Armstrong ran down the list; 
       “There is no machinery visible nor any signs of communication devices, They seemed to be traveling together with the same trajectory, until they hit the outer orbit of Saturn, that’s when they split up, each taking a different course, but all still heading to Earth.”
       ”What’s the status now?” Quizzed the President, 
       “We don’t know” Armstrong replied, The President rose from his seat, set both hands on the table before him and said sharply,
       “What do you mean, You don’t know?” 
  “They split their courses thousands of miles above the earth, and disappeared from our radar, completely” The President glanced at the General for an answer.
General Holland removed the Cigar from his mouth, and addressed the issue. 
       “It is true that they dropped off the radar, when they hit the Earths atmosphere. We were hit with radio interference on a global scale. It lasted eighteen minutes.  It was as if a Solar flair knocked out all communications. After eighteen minutes things went back to normal. The curious thing is this; during the blackout, our boys picked up an unusual radio frequency, covered the whole upper band. When things went back to normal, the signal was gone. We have reason to believe that the frequency generated was emanating from the objects." General Holland paused, looked around and continued.
       "We were able to trace the approximate location of the signal sources.”  A transparent World projection, dropped down, and now spun on the screen before them.
       “We tracked the source to these coordinates. The last confirmed visual sightings were reported from Mt. Palomar, Mt Wilson and Marsfield in Sydney. After that, nothing. We can not pinpoint the landings, but we have three projected areas.” Using his laser pointer the General, circled  the co ordinates on the projected world map. 
     “Two in the South Seas, here, and here. They would have hit at three in the morning. The one terrestrial landing touched down in the Asian range, High Tundra. Unpopulated, and apparently also unobserved. There is no confirmation from the Chinese.”  The General took another draw of his Cigar, and pointed again to the screen. 
     “We set up special forces to explore all three locations. We don’t know what we will find, but this one,” Said the General gesturing to a circle in the South Pacific, 
     “Its a winner, it landed in a bad neighborhood.” The President raised an eyebrow,
     “The islands in this area are hotbeds of Cocaine production, Cutthroat pirate activity, Insurgent and militant training grounds, and worst of all, our intelligence tells us that there is an active enemy weapons development and testing facility housed in solid rock, Its an extinct volcanic core.  We call the Island, M51. They might even have cyclotrons, Our intelligence is spotty. The Facility is funded by our wealthy enemies, and is totally off the radar. Satellites pictures reveal a few bunkers and a landing strip atop the four hundred foot high mesa.  No way to get up there unobserved.  The underground Labs are impenetrable Even Israeli intelligence is mum. We have not been able to get surveillance in that area except what we monitor by satellite. There is a possibility that the satellite image is compromised.” General Holland scowled,
   "Furthermore" The General continued,
   “We suspect the Island is housing at least a thousand troupes, equipped with sophisticated weaponry; They have Tanks, Missile launchers, and artillery.  Nothing or no one is going to get near those facilities, uninvited. This may be where one of your UFO´s landed.” 
      “Thank you General Holland” The President turned back to the scientist, 
      “And what do you make of these objects Doctor Armstrong? Do you feel they are a threat?”  
      “We have no idea why they are here” Armstrong responded,
      “They have not chosen to make themselves present, for the moment. They could have easily done so if it was their intention.  We can assume there is a high degree of sophistication and scientific understanding in the construction of these, “craft”. Are they manned or just probes? A craft of that size could hold many hundreds of passengers. We just don’t know. Assuming there is intelligence behind these probes, I would refrain from aggressive acts, at least until we know more about their purpose,” He laughed to himself as he added,
      “They may just be here to patch their ships, fuel up, and be about their way,”

Punim Lands:

 It was part of the Monopods automatic settings; They were equipped with a standard Emergency Evasion Protocol, it automatically activated, upon the signs of any unwarranted or unannounced alien surveillance.  They disappeared from Earth Radar but not from the eyes of those few who witnessed the landings. 

      Punim made sure he was strapped in, he closed his eyes, as the countdown to touchdown read on his screen. The worst part was not being able to talk to his brother or even Cory.  He would be brave, it shouldn’t be too bad.  His shoulders shook, as he held back a sob. He was scared. His Monopod still had sixty percent landing capacity. Outside it was dark. Not the dark of space, but the dark of an alien nighttime. He was still traveling enormously fast, his heat buffers were glowing red from the friction. Yelid and Cory both recommended a water landing, The Monopod had selected an area deep enough to absorb much of the shock of landing, but still shallow enough for Punim to exit, and walk to dry land. The Master control of Punims ship, was singing him a lullaby and telling him to get rest, when he would awake, he could start exploring his new environment. He would first try to make contact with his brother.
     Punim expected the jolt of the touchdown, The splash from his Monopod raised a fifteen hundred foot spray of water, Because of the isolated area and early morning hour, it landed unobserved. The Craft slowly lowered itself below the surface rocking gently, before coming to a soft landing. A slight thump alerted Punim that he had safely landed.  Glancing out his view port, all was dark, and aside from seeing that he was submerged, Punim could see nothing else. 
     The command module informed Punim that there would be two more hours of darkness, on this planet, before things would get light. After that, he would be cleared to make an initial exploration. The Food and water module was preparing an energy breakfast; it was in good operating order. The cooking odors enticed Punim, who was not even aware of how hungry he was. Even though he was suppose to rest, he couldn’t help but turn on the communications unit and try to reach his brother. His heart sank as a red message on the screen informed him that communications were not working. 
  It was not necessary to view the instrument panel to know it was getting lighter outside. Punim could make out some murky detail as the early morning sun rays penetrated the green waters. Punim had already had breakfast, and was anxious to explore. All the outside data collectors told him that it was safe and warm enough outside, not to warrant  Exogear, so it was compressed and affixed to his shoulder utility belt. Punim ran down the checklist procedure for exiting as reviewed on screen by a cartoon character. Punim set the Waterskin controls, and positioned himself to leave the Monopod. The waters surrounding the vessel held their shape, and did not flood in, as Punim exited. He had a breathing unit activated, this would sustain him underwater, but it would not be needed for long, after a few steps, Punims head was above the surface of the Waters,  he looked about and gasped.
   The sky was streaked with red and blue, and a blazing orb on the horizon was lifting itself from out of the sea. The air was warm, and there was a pleasing Tropical breeze, the air smelled of Ocean. There was an Island right before him but it wasn’t very large, and as he walked toward it, the waters quickly shallowed out. A sandy stretch of beach surrounded the Island, green moss like growth started a few steps inland, and seemed to cover the lower part of the land.  The predominant feature was the table like rock, rising tall over the beaches.  It reached up to Punims lower chest, and seemed to cover most of this small Island.
   The cliffs were craggy and rough, but at the top it was almost as flat as a board with more patches of greenery and funny geometric patterns. It was like nothing that Punim had ever seen before. He pulled his All Looker from his utility strap and recorded the odd formations. The device was affixed back in its place. 

    There was something wrong. The night security shift did not pick up on it until, 4:17 AM. One of the thirty security buoys that encircled the island a mile out, showed a breach. The Buoys acted as a security net, sending and receiving their own sonar signals. Now one was not working. Most likely a mechanical error, but a repair ship would be dispatched anyway. The head of security was immediately notified. 
     The Commander of the base was born suspicious, and this breach in the Islands security had him worried. There had been rumors that their weapon systems might be tested with a live drill today, and to make matters worse, there were indications that the American forces might actually try out a top secret weapon system to gain access to his Island. Let them try, he smiled to himself, content that the Island defenses would be impenetrable. His Iranian and Syrian trained fighters, one thousand in all, were the most bloodthirsty and vicious cut throat bunch that could be assembled. They were housed in the bunkers on the top of the Mesa and sworn to die for the Jihad.  The Weaponry was formidable, The latest western innovations, lasers, and guidance systems stolen from the Great Satan itself. The Big guns were flown in and assembled and then well camouflaged, in their eighteen pilbox’s that encircled the Mesa. 
Theirs was an impenetrable fortress, The underground labs continued to produce the Atomic fuel and weapons that would bring America to its knees.  Nothing comes in and nothing goes out without the Commanders knowledge, and now there was a break in their radar fence. 
     “Are you sure nothing was detected entering our space?” The second in command confirmed that no craft was seen entering, on the waters or below the waters surrounding the Island.  This was true, the Monopod touched down without notice, within the perimeter surveyed by the sensors. It was the force of the turbulence that knocked out the Buoy sonar.
     In their cramped quarters, the submerged repair crew located the malfunctioning sonar unit, and while examining it, one of the crew spotted the huge glowing egg shaped object, a thousand yards in, within the controlled space. He alerted the captain who in turn started to transmit a visual image back to the base. A blast of swirling water rocked the tiny vessel, and the hull was breached, as the water flooded in, the ships alarms were sounded. The blurry image, of the Egg could scarcely be made out, The ship rocked with turbulence as a huge form, encircled in bubbles emerged, The transmission went dead, as the last images were frozen on the screen. Radio contact went silent. The base security gathered around the screen, each of the men eyed each other, The Commander was notified. He silently viewed the last five minutes of surveillance footage. He cursed and shook his head. 
     “Alert the “Pandillas perro rabioso” at base site, to be on the lookout for any enemy activities, They will skin those Seals alive The American dogs sank one of our ships, we will be avenged, Our friends down below will see to it” Growled the Commander. He was referring to the Cocaine plantation that surrounded the base of the Island.  ‘The Mexican drug cartel had well armed it’s Island operation. The hundred Mercenary soldiers, armed with automatic weapons were fierce fighters, no forces would penetrate the compound, and the plantations laboratories and supply storage units were well protected.  The housing units were pushed up against the tall craggy cliffs at the base of the Mesa. With an understood alliance with the Militant Islamic forces that controlled the Island, the drug soldiers would be the first to fend off any invaders attempting an invasion. If they failed, the Elite Iranian forces protecting the base would take over. 
     The sun was barely up, as Ruan adjusted his binoculars; he and his squad of twenty were at the north point on the island. He was astounded.  It could have been any sandy haired seven year old boy coming out of the waters, and stepping up to the beach. This boy was the size of a Titan.  His men did not need binoculars. 
     “I see a baby boy on the beach” Before he could continue his description, the base commander inquired if there was anyone else present. Ruan said,”No” He was given the order to kill the child and anyone with it and report back, and with that the Base Commander ended the conversation.  Ruan did not have any options. Orders were orders. Ruan signaled his fighters to approach the Giant, and to bring it down; he would give the order when to start firing. Each of the fighters carried a deadly arsenal.  The men broke through the foliage and emerged onto the sandy beach. This was like nothing any of the men had ever seen before. It was a scene like in a Harryhousen fantasy where the tiny men on the beach encounter a giant.  
      Except for his massive size,  the  wet sandy haired boy might have looked like any other emerging dripping from the surf.  His height loomed all  the more unbelievable as the men drew near. The figure towered taller than the cliffs, It did not see them, it was not even looking down. 
     “Jedi mind games” Ruan repeated to himself. It was not real. It could not be. They approached the feet of the enormous child undetected. At a hundred yards away, close range, Ruan signaled the camp to send all heavily armed guards, about seventy five in all, he wondered if that would be enough not having seen Punim in action.  He then gave the order to take aim. His men took their defensive positions in the sand, and aimed their weapons. 
      Punim had been to the beach many times before, and but for the fact that this one seemed narrower then the ones he was use to, everything else was familiar. The green plant life by his toes covered the rest of the Island, and ran straight back to the cliffs. Punim of course was taller than the cliff, and was able to look straight across the top. He was unaware of the movement by his foot until he heard a crackling sound, and felt a slight sting across his ankle. Looking down, he was surprised to see tiny puffs of smoke, and tiny black and tan forms, just inches from his foot. 
      “Wow” he thought to himself,  “Stinging Scants!” There was life here after all. Of course Scants were no problem, back on Bedem;  They were a nuisance there, and now they are a nuisance here. There was one way to get rid of them. Punim brought his foot over the stinging pests, and crushed them with the ball of his foot. 
     On the ground, the fighters threw down their useless weapons and started a retreat, the Giant however was now mindful of them, It lifted it’s enormous foot, and brought it down upon the first flank, the men were crushed as the foot came down powerfully, the ground shook as the remaining seven men in the group fled for the cover of the trees, 
      Punim stepped on the first group mashing eleven gunners, when the boy lifted his foot, there was nothing but red stains on the beach. Punims sharp eyes saw seven  more “Scants” running back to the green. 
     “Oh no you don’t, you don’t sting me and think you can live” He said. The translator was not turned on, the men on the ground could hear the Growl as the giant turned his attention to them.  Using his toe, Punim squashed another three of the insects that were standing close together, These were a bit different then the ones on Bedem, for one, they squirted red when he stepped on them, and he could hear a tiny scream. The bugs on his planet didn’t. This amused him, and he wished there were more for him to crush. The last of the squad was making a wild dash, they looked up and in the shadow of the quickly descending foot, they tried to avoid being caught under the seventy foot long massive tread. The mashed bodies of their comrades were plastered to the under sole of the giants foot. And now the boy was aiming for the last soldiers, Their automatic weapons sprayed bullets, but were useless. Punim put his foot down slowly on the sand fleas, and bore his weight leaving a ten foot deep depression in the sand. 
      “Sting me, will you?” said Punim triumphantly,  He couldn’t wait to tell Yelid that there was life on this planet.  Stooping down to examine the remains of the “Scant’s”  Punim was surprised that there wasn’t any of the exoshells that they usually leave behind, just these unusual red splotches. He lifted up a handful of sand, and from his utility strap, he brought out his magnifier. There wasn’t much left to see. He tossed the sandy waste back to the ground. It was his sharp hearing that alerted him that there were more stinging Scants coming out from the greenery.  
     “I must have hit a nest of them” He exclaimed, seeing a black trail of warriors emerging in formation from the woods. 
     “I’ll have to knock out this nest before they start stinging” Punim figured. 
He stood up and kicked sand at the approaching army, The weapons started firing, but were quickly ground under Punims feet. Each stomp crushed twenty fighters and their vehicles. Punim was angry at these mites, and would show no mercy until they were all crushed. That’s how you treat naughty Scants! The remaining troups fled back into the woods seeking safety in the undergrowth, 
      “Oh no you don’t” Punim cried, with anger. 
      “You don’t get away that easy.”  Punim trod into the green, the soft plants felt welcome under his feet. As he stomped the greenery, he noticed there were small rectangular units on the ground, covered by the green. Was this their nest? Punim lowered his foot on the first of the Units; they stood only an inch tall off the ground, and exploded with a satisfying flash of smoke when his foot descended upon them. The tiny sound of screaming amused him.  
      There was panic in the plantation, The huge form was just casually walking into camp, each time it lifted it’s foot, it was raised a hundred feet high before slamming down, splintering buildings underneath the tread. The aluminum roof collapsed easily, those inside died quickly. Outside, grounds people scattered left and right in blind panic, not knowing where to run, when the huge foot came down, there was no escape. All were crushed. There were fifteen buildings in all, and they were all the same height, although some were larger, and others smaller. Housing units, Mess halls, munitions, storage areas and the large laboratory that dominated the Plantation.  The black and tan insect like Scants were everywhere, but they were tiny at a third of an inch tall to the boy,  and no match for his destructive anger.
      In an hours time, on the ground, all that was left of the plantation was fire, smoke and ruin. Trees pushed over like twigs, vehicles flattened and dead bodies scattered.  Not even a radio transmission alerted the Cartels of the destruction going on. 
      Satisfied that there were no more Scants on the ground, Punim rested his elbows on the shelf, and smiled. It caught his eye,  Something small was moving over there! Insects. And still more were coming up from underground. It was a bunch of what looked like, “Buggy squirt beedles” Like the ones he had just encountered a few minutes ago.  
  “Yes” said Punim with glee. 
  “I discovered life on this plant, I’m famous, wait till I tell Yelid”. Punim observed the insects movements, the whole nest was roused. Some of the Beedles rolled in place, and others were joined by what looked like, “More scants, like the ones on the beach” They came from the holes in the ground, and were approaching the edge of the table where Punim looked down upon them.   There was a flurry of activity taking place before him.  He rested his elbow on the edge of the ledge, and watched the scurrying figures darting all over across the flat surface. More Scants! some coming right to him.  He lowered his thumb on some of the scurrying creatures. They were soft bodied, and easily crushed and splashed red juice on his hand.  He set his fist on a whole group of them, thinking they were very soft for buggys, not like the tough skinned ones back home. These were easily mashed. This pleased Punim, who disliked the sharp shell remains of the Bedem bugs.  Punim noticed that some seemed to be rolling up to the edge of the ledge he was leaning on, He recognized their square box like form as resembling some kind of Buggy Squirtbeedle,
      ”More pests” grunted Punim. As he leaned down to pick up a large rock from the beach to smash them, There was a Fire spark from the top of the cliff where he had just been, The flash was followed with a loud boom and a puff of white smoke. He realized he was lucky; A Squirtbeedle could really sting from so close a hit. This one would have been right by his face. As Punim stood up, he realized the big spitter bugs must be hidden along the rim of this table, hidden under the regularly spaced green patches.  He quickly walked to the next green patch on the edge, and smashed it down.  He smiled, as smoke appeared, one less Squirtbeedle.  This was a fun game, Punim would smash and run to the next patch, he circled the tiny island in twenty steps, and knocked out all the Squirtbeedles along the edge, eighteen in all, decimating the Islands biggest weapons.  He glanced across the top of the table rock and noticed there were many bugs of all kinds on the top of the rock now, a whole nest worth; Some rolled in, others seemed to walk. Some had striped patterns, most were black shelled. They were all tiny. In spite of their small size Punim knew that if he waited for them to form a group, they would do bad things.
      The troupes on the mesa were quickly called to rally, Trained as an elite fighting unit, they were prepared for a surprise attack, The Commanders at the top had hinted of this all last week, Those who handled the munitions were to take their launchers to the cliff side, and be ready for an assault. Drill or not, all the weapons would be pulled out live. They had been warned of a new weapon to be tested, by their own scientists. Others spoke of the buildup of American forces attempting a siege. They were warned, but could not imagine the reality that transpired. 
It was a nightmare undreamed of, A force so strong as to be incredible, a weapon 
in the shape of a Child.  Even though the sun had been up for two hours. Rumors of the early morning Plantation massacre spread across the ranks. Everyone at the base knew it was true.
      The Giant boys head and shoulders could be seen dwarfing the four hundred foot cliffs. His eyes looked pensive one moment and then angry the next. This weapon was cognizant, It seemed to be playing with them. 
      The boy, amused reached across the top of the base, and smashed weapons and transports in it’s fingers before they could be set up and used.  It selectively picked fighters off the ground, crushing them in it’s fingers. Then it would do the same thing to a tank, it studiously observed the different ways they crush.   Those on the ground screamed in terror as the giants hand descended on them, a fist hammering their bodies into the pavement.  There was even more terror as the Boy decided to climb up upon the top of the base. He leaned his arms and chest over the edge, and brought up his knee and thigh over the top, He drew himself up and crawled atop the Mesa, looking down at all the Scants scattering beneath his colossal form.  At first he stood up on his knees, and then he rose six hundred feet higher into the air, He looked down at the table top below. As if standing on a small stage, the boy rested his fists upon his waist, and surveyed all the buggy movement by his feet. He drew in a deep primed breath, there were a lot of them down there. He grinned as he started stepping on them. He would crush them all as he giggled, doing a happy dance. Squishing them tickled.  
   The Base commander was in a panic, there was nothing he could do here, but escape by air and contact his superiors, The base was being demolished, There was never anything like this, The Huge boy was destroying weapons before they could be set up. Missile launchers, tanks, all useless.  He was faster then any mechanical system. A thousand men were fleeing in helpless terror, to escape the deliberate crushing. 
     Punim was taking great delight in getting even for the bugs that were spitting fire at him.  The boy, barefoot and unclothed, wearing only a utility strap that circled his shoulder, was wiping out a terrorist installation. His massive weight, hundreds of tons, was too much for the hollowed out super structure. Punim noticed that the ground in certain places was cracking under his feet, He carefully walked to one of the cracked areas, and stomped on it. The surface fell in revealing a mass of activity beneath the surface. More scants, ones in white this time!  Punim stomped on it again,  a billow of fire came out. The Atomic fuel production lab was destroyed,  
  “Whoa, that could have hurt,” Punim reflected, and stepped back, seeing the series of explosions he had set off. Fire popped out of the ground from the underground tunnels that penetrated deep into the Mesa, Everything underground was destroyed, including the communications and security center. Not even the emergency Helicopter escaped. The Commander scrambled into it and it started its ascent. 
     “Get us out of here” He told the Pilot, It was halfway up to the boys belly when Punim saw it, followed it with his eyes for a moment and then swatted it down, like a mosquito. The base Commander was dashed to the ground and stomped on.   
      “Maybe I ought to get back to the ship now” Punim thought, as he glanced at the smoldering table top he was straddling, Hundreds and hundreds of mashed Scants made the ground red and a little slippery, there was lots of gushed remains on his feet as well. 
       “No more Scants here to bother me, Yelid won’t believe this” He said, clapping his hands in a wrestlers exaggerated gesture of completion. He sat down on the ledge dangling his feet. He was oblivious to the fact that his bare bottom had just crushed a handful of screaming fighters who were hiding on the wrong side of the cliff.
     He cast his gaze across the horizon, The planets sun was climbing higher in the sky; the sea was a pretty turquoise color and the sky a light blue, with fluffy clouds. His thoughts went to his Brother.  He would rinse off, take a swim and go have lunch; afterwards he would have a look at the Monopod’s communications system.


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