It was a work night for me, eleven to seven. My commute is nearly an hour long, because I make it an hour long. Most of it is on the main highway but I jump off on an exit because I hate driving the highway at night. Some are just crazy drivers. The final stretch is an eight mile four lane road. The speed posted is forty five miles per hour, but I rarely go over thirty. I'm usually not in any kind of rush to get to work and I leave with plenty of time to spare should something happen, a flat tire or some kind of car trouble. Plus, if I'm driving too slow for some they can just hop in the next lane and leave me be. This short jaunt allows me a chance to slow life down a bit and relax to a podcast, jazz or blues before my shift starts. Tonight was blues. I was listening to Howlin' Wolf.
This time of night the road is dark for most of the trip and with the exception of the occasional street lamp or vehicle, it's fairly isolated. If you broke down on this road and couldn't call anyone it could be a couple hours before someone runs across you. That's why I like it, the solitude away from the busy highway, even at night. The sky was clear. Ahead of me is the skyline of the city I work in, Seattle. To the east are rail road tracks and to the west an airport. On rare occasion I have the opportunity to watch a plane or chopper come in for a landing which is always neat to see. It was because it was so clear that I found it strange that I could see lightening strikes in my rear view mirror. I counted three. The forth landed near my car, close enough to cause me to swerve a bit and utter some expletive. That was when I noticed, out of the corner of my eye, the vehicle next to me.
I have the habit of checking my mirrors routinely every fifteen to twenty seconds as I like to know what's going on around me. This likely stems from my old military training and security job. There was no way I could have missed the large black SUV with tinted windows. Then I realized it had no lights. No headlights, no running lights and no parking lights. After about seven seconds of pacing me he sped up a head. Then appeared another black SUV on my side, he passed and then another appeared. But it was different. While the first two looked pristine judging from my headlights, this one was heavy with damage. Like it was put down on the drivers side and dragged along the street, doors beat and dented, windows scratched to shit and the mirror hanging down from its mount.
"What the hell is going on here?" I said aloud to myself.
When the fourth, fifth and sixth SUV's passed me. All black and all running dark, I started to get a bit unnerved.
"Something real weird is going on here, they all had government plates, Federal Agents. I wonder what I'm driving into?", I asked myself. "Wouldn't it be cool if this was some part of an alien invasion and the guys in the vehicle's are on their way to engage them just like a movie?", my imagination entertained. More than likely they were on their way to a drug bust or coming back from one. I thought.
When the fifth and sixth vehicle's were well past me, they both hit their brakes, I could see smoke coming from the tires in my headlights as they skidded on the road. They both moved to block the road and I was forced to hard brake to a stop. For a moment I considered backing away, turning around and leaving this behind as it didn't feel good to me. That was when I heard the voice.
"Mr. Dawes! Mr. Scott Dawes! Exit your vehicle now and approach the vehicles in front of you!" I took in a quick gasp of air as my heart started to pound.
It must have been a P.A. system because I saw no one using a bull horn but it sounded like it was right next to me. Like they were right in my ear. I would have expected to see windows down or doors open and maybe even guns drawn at this type of police stop.
"How could they know my name? Oh yeah, they ran my plates, duh. I haven't done anything, what do they want me for?", as I hesitated to follow directions.
"Mr. Dawes! We have the authority and the ability to violently extract you from the vehicle but prefer you come on your own accord. There isn't much time!"
What kind of cop stop is this, they're asking me nicely to get out? Wow, things have really changed in the city.", I thought to myself.
Frustrated, I'd had enough. I needed to find out what was going on. I pulled my car to the side of the road, killed the engine with the hazard lights running and exited my car.
Another lightening bolt struck near my car and frightened the hell out of me. I approached the rear SUV and the back drivers door opened without any human assistance.
"Get in!" said the voice from my ear. Then another bolt struck the front SUV momentarily drawing my attention.
"I'm not going anywhere with you until you tell me what this is about! I'm on my way to work and don't want any trouble!" I said defiantly turning my head back to the empty rear seat.
Mr. Dawes, those are not lightning bolts and the next one is likely to hit you. You'll be safer in here. Get in now!", commanded the voice.
Feeling intimidated and with a little hesitation, I climbed into the back seat.
"What's this about, what about my car, my job?", I asked.
I still couldn't see anyone so I figured whom ever I was speaking with was in the front passenger seat.
"Mr. Dawes, you, WE, have much bigger problems than that!", as the door closed behind me.
I was enclosed in the vehicle now. With the help of a small interior light I could tell I was sealed in. There were no door latches or window controls. Dark thick pieces of glass separated me from the cab and rear of the SUV. I wondered if I could break through the side window if I needed to, likely not, I thought, this thing felt like a tank on the inside.
"Mr. Dawes, I'm sorry it's come to this. It wasn't supposed to but it became critical that we reveal ourselves to you at this point. I've lost two men, we are under some very heavy fire and while our vehicles can withstand it we can't sustain it. We need your help. I understand you've seen combat?"
"A little." I replied with an air of uncertainty in my voice.
The tinted glass limo window began to roll down and what I saw was what appeared to be less of a console for an SUV and more like the cockpit of something one might see in Star Trek or some science fiction show. It was highly sophisticated and heavy with buttons, switches, gauges and screens.
"Well, it never really goes away, does it?", said the man with a chuckle as he handed me what looked like a piece of advanced weaponry shaped like a rifle. The voice that had been in my ear had now switched to the front seat of the SUV. "Colonel Brice, at your service, Sir!"
"Colonel, what the fuck is going on here?" I asked impatiently with a little anger as I looked at the device.
"What is this about?"
The Colonel turned his head to the front windshield. I could see the other four SUV's an eighth of a mile a head engaged in a fire fight with what could only be described as a low hovering lighted mass that had no solid shape to it. It randomly changed from one design to another like a swimming jelly fish, octopus or squid.
Before the Colonel could respond to the first question, I found myself asking another.
"What the hell is that thing?", as I pointed.
He turned to face me.
"The shape shifting means were loosing. This is about you Mr. Scott Dawes. Those American soldiers are fighting and dying for you!"
I turned my gaze to the Colonel as he continued to speak.
"You are the last remaining royal bloodline of the planet Xerxis. And those traitorous fuckers in that ship want you dead."