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The Invasion
Ryan, Age 17, West Elk, OH

 It was a typical day in first block English. I had just started typing a short story. I was falling behind in class and was trying to concentrate, which should not have been that hard, except that I had stayed up late the previous night and could hardly stay awake. Not to mention the two most talkative people in class were sitting right behind me and would not shut up. Needless to say, I could not concentrate at all and often caught myself gazing at the clock hoping for the off chance that the hour hand had miraculously jumped an hour or two ahead.

I was just about to doze off when a girl named Caitlin poked me in the back of the head, she was a petite girl with long black hair and a talkative personality, she started talking like she always does about nothing while I pretended to listen and just kept nodding my head. Sitting to her left was a boy my age named Luke, he was a weight lifter type guy with short black hair and thought him self to be somewhat of a Casanova. They were the talkative ones. Sitting to Caitlin’s right was a girl named Johnna who had buried her face into her assignment doing work which was unusual for her because most days she would be joining Luke and Caitlin in there pointless chattering. The rest of the class was busy doing work like they should while the teacher sat at the front of the room drinking her unusually large mug of coffee, pretending to read through some papers. Nothing was out of the norm and I was in for another long boring day.

Towards the end of class I woke out of my daze and pretended to do some work. Caitlin flicked me in the back of the head.

“Ryan, class is almost over and you’ve hardly written your name down.” I hesitated to look at my paper because I knew it was true.

Luke asked “Is this due at the end of the period cuz mine’s not much further along than Ryan’s.”

Caitlin began to make fun of him when Johnna pointed out that Caitlin didn’t have anything done either. We all began working hastily. Realizing that it was a pointless effort and I would never get finished by the end of the period, I stopped and packed up my stuff for the next class. The teacher stood up and began walking over to the students to collect the papers. Johnna hastily got hers ready for acceptance. The teacher had just taken up a girl’s paper sitting four seats in front of me. The girl whose name was Amy looked around at me and smiled because she knew that I hadn’t done a lick of work and would look like an idiot when the teacher asked for my paper. The teacher was almost to my desk and I was getting a little nervous.

BAM!… Every thing went dark… There was a loud thunder sound coming  from all around but it definitely wasn’t thunder at all. It was so dark I could hardly see the end of my nose. The bright sunny day turned into a dim red glowing window. As far as I could tell, everyone had hit the ground either from fear or because they were knocked down by the beams that used to support the ceiling. The lights had gone out but some were sparking violently. I was on the ground in a daze and had no idea what had just happened. There was a loud ruckus coming from outside the room that sounded like a stampede. It certainly didn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard before. It only lasted a short while before it passed. I started to climb to my feet when a hand grasped my leg. Caitlin had fastened her fist tightly around my pant leg and was shaking. “ Ryan, what’s happening!” Luke stood up and started to look around. Johnna was up and helping others up along with a couple of other classmates. The teacher had been knocked out by one of the ceiling beams. She remained unconscious and was bleeding profusely from the forehead. As far as we could tell, all but a couple of students who had been electrocuted by a hanging electric wire, were all right.

We all made our way to the door to get some help, and then it occurred to me, what had happened to the rest of the building? Was everyone as lucky as we were? As we neared the door, we heard disturbing sounds. It sounded like odd scratchy, segmented voices. As I pressed my ear against the door to hear it better, I realized that there were a number of these strange sounds that seemed to be communicating to each other.

“What is it Ryan?” a shaky voice asked from behind me. Amy had crept up behind me.

“Nothing” I said, trying to keep my cool. “I don’t think it’s safe to go out this way though. Let's find another  way.”

Amy sped away to tell the others what I had told her, although we both knew that there was no other exit in the room. As I predicted, Luke came to the door to see why we couldn’t exit through the door.

“We are wasting time in here Ryan” he said angrily, “The teacher needs some medical attention and this place is about to collapse!”

I told him what I had heard and he pressed his ear against the door just as had. I watched his eyes get bigger as he heard the eerie sounds. In a more timid and hesitant voice he said, “ What is that?”

“How would I know?”

“Well how long has that been out there and why haven’t they entered the room yet?”

“I think there might be something blocking the door. All I know is I don’t think we should go out this way.”

We decided to block our side of the door with any heavy object that we could find while the others looked for an alternative exit. We eventually found a way out. Caitlin, who hadn’t moved from the spot from where she had grabbed me, had spotted a large vent opening. Without hesitation everyone made their way to the vent. Luke and I pried the railing off of it and were about to climb in before Johnna requested that someone stay with the teacher until she came to. Two of the girls who were already knelt down by the teacher, volunteered and we were off. Luke volunteered to lead while carrying a long, heavy, sharp piece of metal piping that had been torn from the ceiling. We crawled down the ventilation shaft, having no idea where we were going for what seemed like an eternity. I was behind Luke, Caitlin was behind me and the rest of the class followed. At some points the ventilation system seemed like it was about to break through.

Luke shouted from the front, “I see light ahead” The class gave a slight mutter of relief. We were almost to the radiant light, which meant that there was an opening and I would finally get to stand up straight and stop getting kicked in the face. As we approached the glowing light, something all of a sudden, jumped out of it. Luke began swinging the pipe violently. It stopped with a loud clang while it hit the hammer that the thing was trying to block the pipe with. The thing turned out to a boy our age named Brandon. He was one of my friends and I was glad to see that he was all right. I was also anxious to know how he got here and where everyone else was. He was shaking terribly with a mixture of confusion, anger, and fear on his face.

“Luke, Ryan, is that you?” He asked in a shaky voice.

“Yes Brandon, are you alright? What’s happening? Where is everyone else? What’s that on your hammer?” we asked. There was a red oozy liquid dripping from his hammer and he had it all over his clothes.

“It smells awful,” Luke said. "I had to sneak up behind one of them and kill it to go look for help."

“Kill what?” A number of people in the back asked loudly.

“Shut up, keep your voices down or they might hear us! Quick. Follow me. We need to help the others.” Brandon snapped.

He took off in front of us in a great hurry. We hastily followed, still confused about what was happening and wondering what it was that he had to kill with a hammer. We had great trouble keeping up with him, it seemed like Brandon had done this many times before as he moved through the ventilation system with great ease. He finally stopped at an opening and motioned us over while putting his other finger up to his lips. We cautiously crept up to him. I had no idea where we were.

“Who is that? What do you want with us?” A familiar voice came  from outside the vent. We all jumped down out of the hole one by one. Students and teachers had been gathering from all over the building in this space. They were all crammed in to a tiny boiler room. As we all got down, a few students stepped towards us to brief us on what had happened.

A lot of people still seemed to be missing, which unnerved me a great deal. Among the missing people was the sister of Jacob, a boy in my class. I was certain that this was Jacobs’s greatest worry at the moment. Also among the missing was Brandon again. “Where did Brandon go?” I asked anxiously just as he popped out of the ventilation vent with three more people following him.

“Hey Ryan, come over here.” He urged. I hurried my way over while Jacob and Luke followed.

“We need to get out of here!” He snapped. “I just rescued those three guys from under a fallen wall and led them here. There are these things patrolling the entire building. I’ve never seen anything like them! All I know is that we’ve got to get out of here as soon as possible and find some help.”

“Well how are we going to do that?” Luke asked. “ Even if we get out, we don’t know what its like outside. There could be more of them outside waiting for us. And if we do manage to get out, we are miles away from anything that could help us. We are completely surrounded by wilderness.” He had a good point. We were miles away  from any help. The school was placed between several districts.

“We still have to find everyone else and make sure that they’re all right!” snapped Jacob.

“I think he’s right” I said. “We are the only help they have right now.” Jacob beamed at me with appreciation. He knew I understood why he was so anxious to look for the others.

“Okay,” Brandon agreed. “Let's recruit a few people to go on a search party. We also need to gather things to defend ourselves with."

We all scattered, recruiting people and gathering metal pipes and chunks of cement that had been torn from the walls. Then four of us set out on the search party. Brandon leapt through the ventilation shaft first carrying his hammer. Luke followed with his sharp pipe. I was behind him again with a long scrap of metal and Jacob behind me with a chunk of cement and a piece of metal piping. We hurried through the ducts, past  a few openings with caution.

“The vent ends up here” Brandon whispered. “We’ll have to get out and walk from here”. This didn’t bother me too badly, it was better than getting kicked in the face by Luke every five seconds.

“Are you sure we should do this Brandon?” Jacob asked wearily.

"Yeah, we’ll be fine. I’ve already been down this way twice. It’s clear."  He was just about to jump down when Luke grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and pulled him back in. "Hushhh!"

We all held our breath as a tall, sleek figure strolled down the hallway in our direction. It seemed to be dressed in an inorganic material as we do, and it was covered from top to bottom with it. It also had a long black metallic think with what seemed to be handles on it, and carried it pointed away from its body. It had odd rigid protrusions coming from four different points of its torso. Two of them were what he obviously used to transport himself on.

There was also another figure walking along in front that seemed to be tied to one of the tall thing’s protrusions. It was smaller and looked very different. It was covered with fur and transported itself on all four protrusions while putting its face to the ground and air, sucking it all in through small holes on the end of its face. Then it opened its face up and showed off an array of sharp white spikes. It made the scariest sound I ever heard: a rough loud booming sound.  It dragged the taller thing closer to our position. I did not like this at all. Some how I thought it sensed us up here.

“We’re going to have to take them both out if they get too close,” Brandon whispered.

“No way!” Luke snapped.Did you see all those sharp spikes?”

“When it gets directly under us, jump down and stab the tall one in the top part of its body with your pipe and I’ll take care of the small one.”

The creatures crept nearer and nearer. Right as they got under the vent hole, Luke and Brandon jumped down and attempted to follow through with Brandon’s plan. Luke bashed the tall ones head in the ground on impact. Brandon stumbled around the smaller one. It snapped at him. Luke thrust his pipe into it’s back side and it yelped in pain. I almost felt sorry for the thing. All four of us were on the ground now, huddled by the wall.

“I thought you said this place was clear!”

“It was clear last time I was here!” Brandon snapped back.

“Well it's clear now!” Luke said “let's try and make our way to the nurse’s office and find some supplies to help the injured. Maybe these things haven’t reached that area yet.”

“Let's go” I said, “the principal's office is near there. Maybe we can find him.” Brandon was busy searching the taller creatures body for things that might help us.

“Look what I found” He held up the black pointy thing that the tall creature had been carrying in one of is protrusions. “I saw them use these a while ago. They shoot sparks out of the end of it, it looked pretty lethal. If I could figure out how to use it, we could use this to defend ourselves pretty well.”

We worked our way through the building very slowly. Ducking behind walls and making sure the halls were clear. We finally reached the nurses office, which to our luck had not been raided yet and quickly grabbed some bandages, painkillers, and disinfectant for our injured.  Luke and Brandon searched the back hall for survivors. Jacob had just turned to me when Brandon came running back. “Guys, come quick, we found something!” We followed him to a small room where Luke was waiting for us, his eyes fixed on a small screen, which seemed to have camera views from throughout the building. “There are hundreds of these things! And the bad news is that they are all over the building and outside as well. There is no way we are going to get out of here!”

“Look at that!” gasped Jacob. There seemed to be a large room filled with what looked like the majority of the rest of our classmates and staff. They too had seemed to escape through the vents.

“Where is that?” Jacob asked.

“It looks like the auxiliary gym,” Brandon answered. All of a sudden the screen switched to another camera view of the principal's office. As far as we could tell, it had not been raided. We hastily made our way over there. Luke had just opened the door when he was staring face to face with one of those tall creatures. It looked as shocked as Luke did, then reached for its pointy black thing but was too late. Luke had swung his hardest at the creature with his pipe and knocked him to the ground!

We were astonished at Luke’s reaction time. “That was too close,” Luke said shakily. We followed him out of the office.  The principal's office door was in sight. We cautiously opened it and peered into the office. The front room was empty but there was a great deal of noise coming from the back. As we passed the secretaries desk, we noticed that  a lot of things that had been thrown around. It looked like there had been a struggle.

Brandon held his black pointy thing up to a defensive position. The noise got louder.  It sounded like the principal himself, yelling in frustration. We opened the door and what we saw was not what we expected.

“This was not a part of our deal! You were to secretly enter the under ground military facilities which did not consist of our innocent students!” our principal was yelling at a shadowy figure in a dark corner.  What ever it was, it made strange, scratchy noises. After it was through, our principal replied as if understanding what it had said!

“NO! This was not the only way in. I told you about the secret entrance at the edge of town. I don’t care if you couldn’t fit your weapons of destruction down it! You hardly need them here anyways!” We noticed that there was more than one shadowy figure in the room. We were speechless. Then all of a sudden the shadowy figure stepped forward aggressively. This time we could see its face. It had a long hairy mass on top of its head and two round holes on the front of its head. It had a long bump directly under the two holes and a larger hole under that which it used to speak with. It was the ugliest thing I had ever seen. It reached out one of its protrusions as if to hit the principal. Suddenly the door shut on us. Standing behind us was the secretary. She frantically told us, “ You four need to get out of here now! You do not understand what is going on!” We were all a gasp. “Well I think we need to know now! There are people dying as we speak!” I said.

“You won't understand what’s going on around here but I will try to brief you as fast as I can. Then you have to get out of here.”  We listened intensively.

“Since 9:00 today, we have been invaded by an alien race called Humans which our government had been keeping peace and contact with, secretly, for the past fifty years. What you kids don’t know yet, is that this school is actually our nation’s most advanced, secret, military base ever to exist underground. It has been disguised as a real school and no one knew until now. The Humans are seeking to take control and have some how advanced their troops onto our base without our notice. You and the others must get out of here before this whole place goes up! There is a way out where you will not run into any trouble. Go to the cafeteria vending machine, push the top button three consecutive times and push it towards the wall. You will find a stairway which will lead to a long under ground tunnel. This will lead you to safety.” She hardly had time to finish before the door burst again and the principal came flying out, bleeding perfuse. The secretary screamed in horror as one of the humans made their way towards her.  Without a second to waist we hurried out of there, back to the small crowded room and told the others what to do.

We had just gotten to the vending machine when Jacob turned around and ran. “ I have to get the others!” He screamed.

“There’s no time!” I yelled back but knew I could not persuade him. He had to find his sister. Johnna volunteered to help.

“Fine” I said,” I will lead the others to safety but I'm coming back for you and the others once I'm through!”  Brandon, Luke and I lead the others to our escape route. We had just moved the vending machine when there was a rapid series of short loud booms in Brandon’s direction. We saw Brandon hit the floor with numerous holes in his torso from witch he was bleeding from heavily. Standing over him was a tall Human with one of those long pointy weapons. Without thinking Luke and I lunged forward at the Human and killed it.  Many of us were crying and shaking harshly. If not for Brandon, we would not have gotten this far. Luke and I hung our heads with respect and gathered every one up. We could not however unclench Caitlin’s hold on Brandon. We left her there in misery until we could come back. The rest of us escaped through the tunnel and as we exited the long trip, we turned to look at the school, which had collapsed.

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