"Damn them all to the seven hells of Anthion," Klempf yelled, as he took another direct hit. His head throbbed from being thrown against the control panel. A small trickle of red blood ran down between his blond eyebrows.
"Pilot," the computer chimed. "Hull is forty five percent crystallized. Another direct hit will cause a hull breech and catastrophic failure. Even without a direct hit, the hull will fail in twenty minutes. There is also just seventeen percent power left."
"FROTZ!" Klempf shouted. "Computer, evade attackers using Delta Five maneuvers. At the edge of the Kraal sensor range, jettison the escape pod and detonate the ship. That should convince them that I'm dead. After that, set a course for the closest habitable planet. Frotz... Frotz... FROTZ!!!"
"The unmitigated gall of those Kraal," Klempf scowled. "First, they resist our attempt to annex their space, then they actually start taking sectors of our space. The insolence of rejecting our innate superiority. Something must be done soon about these hard shelled vermin," Klempf yelled, as he slammed his fist against the wall. Lost in thought and depression, Klempf jumped when the ship spoke.
"Pilot, I have evaded attackers. Prepare for jettison of escape pod." A dull bang reverberated through the ship as Klempf's escape pod ejected. Moments later, the ship exploded with a huge flash.
"They should have seen that," Klempf grumbled.
"Pilot," the pod said, "we will arrive at a planet with two percent power reserve. I can land, but without refueling I can not take off."
"Fine. Before we land scan the planet from high orbit. Show me any landing sites, and any life forms on the planet with an intelligence of three or above."
"I will do so after establishing orbit, Pilot."
Klempf drummed his fingers on the control panel for a moment. Sighing heavily, he put himself into stasis to save energy.
"Pilot, are you ready for my report?"
"Yes. What have you found," Klempf said, a little groggy from the stasis.
"The planet's atmosphere contains more oxygen and water vapor than is optimal, but it is certainly within safe limits. There are some harmful hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, but vial three in the medical kit will neutralize their affects. The planet is teaming with a wide variety of life forms. Several aquatic species show an intelligence rating of seven. However, the dominant species of the planet has only an intelligence rating of three point five, with violent tendencies. There are approximately five and a half billion of these creatures on the planet."
"Hmmm. Five and a half billion you say, and violent," Klempf said distractedly, as he became lost in thought. "What is their DNA like?"
"Unknown. There are several species of single cell organisms living in the exosphere. I could collect some of them and find out."
"Yes pod, do that."
"Stand by." The pod pierced the upper atmosphere, about 380 kilometers above the planet, and gathered the specimens. "I am displaying the results on the main monitor. The organisms have a double helix DNA."
"Double helix? Not a quad helix?" Klempf said with a smirk on his face.
"That is correct, Pilot."
Klempf sat silently for a moment, a plan squirming to life in his brain of purple ooze. "Yes. Yes indeed. Pod, land immediately at site 13 Zetta, and use full cloaking."
Fifteen minutes later Klempf was on Earth.
"Now just relax Mr. Klempf. This will sting for a moment." She slid the IV needle into the bulging vein on his arm. "There we go. Squeeze the ball and you'll be done in a few minutes. Thank you for donating blood." He watched the round, older nurse waddle away to the next table.
Klempf laid his head down on the small pillow. He smiled up at the posters on the ceiling, like someone who knew something that no one else did.
Half an hour later he was back on the street. His pint donated, followed by the mandatory fifteen minutes of sitting afterward while putting down a small glass of juice and a cookie, he left.
At the corner, he rolled up his sleeve and pulled off the bandage. The puncture from the needle was already healed.
He headed down the street to the next blood bank, chuckling quietly to himself. "Two down," he said, with a dark tone in his voice. "Two more to go, and here's number three." Klempf entered the blood bank to repeat the procedure.
By dark he was done. Four pints of blood donated throughout the city. "That's part one of my plan completed," he gloated, as he walked toward the hills outside of town. "Now to create a need."
Before midnight, he reached a small clearing that butted up against the mountain outside of town. From his pants pocket, he pulled a tiny black device, which looked similar to a car alarm activator. He pressed one of several buttons on top. A portion of the mountain's stone face wavered, and the mouth of a small cave appeared. Klempf walked inside. After passing through the entrance, it camouflaged itself again.
A light turned on a moment later to reveal the inside of the newly created cave. On the floor was his escape pod.
As he climbed inside the pod, Klempf chuckled. "The Kraal should really learn to check their kill. Their ineptness will cost them dearly by the time I'm done here."
"Pod, bring up the map of the city," Klempf said with a satisfied grin. The map floated in mid air. A moment later an overlay appeared, showing the locations of all the thermal detonators he had placed on the city's natural gas lines. Since they ran through the sewer system, they were easy to access. He had carefully placed the thermal detonators in high population areas, but well away from the blood banks and hospitals. In the upper right corner of the holographic display, a five day countdown began.
With a smile on his face, he lay back and drifted off to sleep. This phase of his plan complete, now it was simply a matter of waiting for the days to pass. These days would give the blood banks time to process his blood, and to have some of their older blood discarded. Then, after the explosions, he could gather up his newly created allies.
His blood would show as type "O", the universal donor, and be given to four injured humans. The cells in the donated blood would repair and take over the bodies in less than a day, replacing the human DNA with their version of DNA. Then, instead of one marooned alien on Earth, there would be five. The first wave of an invasion force. Soon, converted medical professionals would be injecting their patients with alien blood, calling it a new miracle drug that had just been released by the AMA. Converted New Age practitioners would be dispensing the blood in pill form, calling it an ancient oriental herb.
It may take a year or two, but Earth's population will be transformed.
Klempf had not intended to colonize Earth, or even knew it existed, but he always showed initiative when opportunity knocked. Besides, his people could always use another five and a half billion expendable soldiers.
3... 2... 1...
Jeff Colburn is a true Renaissance Man, being well versed in both the arts and sciences. He completed his four year high school program in three years, majoring in marine biology and oceanography. Later, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminology from California State University Long Beach. He is also a native Californian.
Always seeking a challenge, Jeff has had many careers, including: Deputy Sheriff; Crime Analyst; Freelance Photographer; Freelance Computer Consultant; Freelance Marketing Research; Creator of a nonprofit organization where he edited and published a national monthly newsletter for the hearing impaired community.
After all this experimentation, Jeff is now working in several fields which offer him a constant challenge. He is a freelance writer of science fiction, fantasy, horror, erotica and poetry. Jeff is also an inventor. Interested in art for many years, he is working on his illustration skills using graphite and colored pencil and acrylics. Jeff also enjoys his position as moderator of the Science Fiction Writers Forum at Inkspot (http://www.inkspot.com/)
For relaxation, Jeff has tried mountain climbing, SCUBA diving, equitation, body surfing, ice skating, stamp and coin collecting. He currently is involved in photography, psychic research, book collecting, the martial arts and hiking. He also has his own web site at www.CreativeCauldron.com, and has written two e-books. The Writer's Dictionary Of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror And Mythology is a reference book for writers, and The Youngest Ninja is a young adult novel placed in Feudal Japan.
Visit Jeff's web site.