To The Stars...Chapter 4

His worry turned to glee at the coughing and sputtering that suddenly filled the night. He whooped with joy. Grinning, he threw it into drive and made a sweeping u-turn. As the truck bucked and jostled them down the narrow dirt road he glanced over at his obviously terrified passenger and barked out, "Hey! You better buckle up. It's gonna be a bumpy ride!"

Tosk had all he could do to simply remain upright! He had never seen one of these strange contraptions in his life, even on the many planets he had visited during the course of his supply runs, and to tell the truth, he wouldn't wish the experience on his worst foe! He fought to follow the other's example and grunted in satisfaction as the tan leather strap stretched across his chest and made a solid click as he pushed it into the metal lever located near his thigh. Instantly the harried jostling evened out a little, and he began to breathe easier.

Glancing back, they both realized that the helicopter was coming on fast. Barney pushed the gas all the way to the floor and prayed there would be no oncoming traffic as they neared the main highway. Thankfully, there wasn't, and he proceeded to turn in the direction of the weird light show from earlier. Somehow he knew this alien was a part of it.

As the road smoothed out the truck gained speed, and Barney risked a quick glance at his companion. Tosk looked like he was enjoying the ride. The terror had been replaced by a wide grin. "I sure hope you know where we're going!" he called out, straining to be heard over the roar of the engine.

Tosk nodded and touched a spot just below his, well, where a human's rib would be. "The pulse calls to me," he pointed somewhere to his left, further up the road. "My Pod is there."

Barney nodded and glanced in the rear view mirror. "Oh man," he muttered, "We're gonna have more company than we know what to do with." In the distance, rapidly closing the gap, was a host of car beams headed their way.

To make matter's worse the helicopter had caught up, pinning their vehicle like a bug on a petri dish with it's spotlight. The loud, blaring announcement could be heard for miles.


"Yeah, the whole RESISTANCE IS FUTILE approach," Barney yelled out the window, rolling his eyes.

Not understanding the meaning of this particular phrase, Tosk gestured to his immediate left. "Turn here."

"Huh? Here?" Barney asked out of reflex, all ready spinning the wheel into the turn. Tires squealing, not a brake light in site, they left the relative safety of the highway to careen across the desert.

"Lights," Tosk said, looking back at how close their pursuers were. Not expecting the turn, the helicopter had overshot them, but was quickly coming around. Their temporary advantage was just that, temporary.

"In for a penny, in for a pound," Barney muttered, flicking the lights off. Sure now that they were about to meet some fiery end on the darkened desert floor, Barney felt that his Grandma's old saying was somehow appropriate at the moment of his immmenent demise.

Bumping and rocking, they turned first to the left, then to the right, always following the simple one word direction Tosk gave. If weaving drunkenly across the desert with no light to guide them bought them precious minutes, Barney was all for it. Pumped up on adrenaline, he gave no thought to anything other than the thrill of this midnight chase.

Tosk however, was finding it difficult to experience anything other than fear. It wasn't fear of failing, for his homing pulse was emitting the proper vibrations to steer him. It was the fear that this noisy contraption would fall apart before they got there!

They had driven several miles when suddenly Tosk knew they had reached the spot where his damaged Pod lay, where the rescue team waited. He also knew this alien, Barney, could not go with him any farther. It would not be safe.

"Stop," he told the smooth skinned alien beside him.

For a moment, Barney didn't understand the quiet order, he was still caught up in the rush. But when Tosk repeated his quiet command, he lifted his foot off the accelerator and allowed the truck to slide to a halt. Gripping the steering wheel, he forced himself to calm down and turned to the green scaled alien beside him.

Until this moment, he had totally forgotten that this being sitting next to him was not from his world. Caught up in the terrifying exhilaration of the last half hour, he had failed to ask any of the questions from the list he and Pedro had made during their childhood. He had failed to take into consideration the fact that the people chasing him were going to be very mad, and his life as he knew it was probably over. But looking into the clear golden eyes that met his glance, he knew he would do it all over again.

"Tosk. I probably won't see you again. I hope, I hope that you have a long life, wherever that is, and that you don't base all of humanity on what you've gone through here on Earth."

Tosk blinked. "Barney, you have brought me back to Niuske. For this I am forever in your owing." He opened the truck's door and hesitated. Smiling now, he leaned forward and touched Barney's forhead lightly in the traditional farewell of his people. "I will be back."

Barney stepped from the truck and watched as Tosk ran into the night. He leaned against the hood and waited, crossing his arms against the chill. Involuntarily he glanced up in the sky, wondering if he would see his new friend leave, even as the helicopters lights shown down upon him and the military jeeps pulled up.


Tosk eagerly stepped into the rescue Pod, greeting his people with clicks and gestures. After the customary welcome was finished, they each strapped themselves into their nooks. They would be leaving on dusk mode.

But as the cylander lifted silently from the dusty ground he happened to glance out the portal. His intense relief and joy of going home to his beloved Niuske was tempered by the site of his close companion, Barney, surrounded by his foes.

Softly, Tosk placed one hand on the portal and whispered, "I will be back."


Written & Illustrated by Kathy Wereb

2103 - KJWereb

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey there! So glad to get a message from you. Just give me a minute to look it over before posting it. Thanks so much for understanding.

Blessings, Kathy