Just Basic Biology by James Rumpel
Just Basic Biology by James Rumpel
On a cold spring Saturday morning, Kyle Emerson woke up with an unexplainable desire to go to Utah. The impulse grew in intensity as he prepared for the day. By the time he walked into the kitchen and greeted his wife, he had no choice. He had to go.
“Honey, I’m driving to Utah,” he stated matter-of-factly.
“What?” was her shocked reply. “When? Why?”
He didn’t answer. It would have taken too long. He had to get going. Besides, in all honesty, Kyle did not know why he had to make this journey. He just knew it was imperative.
Without a word, Kyle got into his car and started driving. He felt guilty about leaving his wife. He knew he should have stayed and explained the incredible yearning he was experiencing. He could not. He needed to reach the outskirts of Salt Lake City as soon as possible.
Kyle began the fourteen-hour drive along interstate 80. The landscape flew past his car windows. Despite driving much faster than the posted speed limit he was barely able to keep up with the flow of traffic. Kyle marveled at the great number of cars heading in the same direction. It didn’t take long for him to realize that each of the other vehicles was occupied by a single male driver. They were all going to the same place as him.
There was only one interruption to Kyle’s journey. He had stopped for gas at a convenience station adjacent to the freeway. To his surprise the store was empty, deserted. Luckily, the pumps were still working and accepted his credit card. As he headed down the on-ramp to return to the freeway he found himself accelerating to an even greater speed than earlier. He had to make up time. He was falling behind and could not afford to be late.
Kyle reached the Bonneville Salt Flats about a half-hour before midnight. In reality, he did not actually reach the Salt Flats. He had been forced to stop his car about two miles from his desired location. The road was completely blocked by abandoned cars. Some still had their motor running. Others had crashed into vehicles that had stopped suddenly before them. Injured men were laying by crumbled automobiles. A few cars had burst into flame and the husks of the vehicles were engulfed in a ghostly blaze which lit the night.
Kyle didn’t have time to help the injured. He knew it would have been the proper thing to do, but he, like every other man emerging from stopped vehicles, began running towards his desired destination.
He knew, instinctively, exactly where he needed to be at midnight. Thousands of men were attempting to get to that very spot. They stood, tightly packed, shoulder to shoulder. Each was pushing to get ahead, trying to get to the front of the ever-expanding mob.
Being in excellent shape allowed Kyle to pass several older, slower men. They huffed and puffed, holding their sides. Some stopped and fell to the ground, exhausted. They continued to try and continue their advance, slowly crawling.
Kyle finally came to the conglomeration of humanity and pushed his way into the crowd. He was slight of stature and was able to worm his way forward. Cries of “Watch it, Buddy” and “Hey, let me through” could be heard everywhere around him. Everyone had the goal of reaching the front of the line.
Bodies, incessantly, pushed against each other. A man near Kyle fell and screamed in pain, apparently trampled beneath hundreds of unrelenting individuals. The chaos grew as the conglomeration of humanity pushed together, tighter and tighter.
At exactly midnight, shouts erupted from the crowd.
“Look, up there.”
“They’re coming for us.”
Kyle could barely see over the mass of people, but he made out several sets of bright lights descending on the salt flats. As the first approached the ground, he was able to make out the outline of some sort of flying vessel. The ship slowed as it neared the ground. Blasts of fire erupted from its lower half. Again, screams filled the air as the unfortunate soles at the front of the line were engulfed in flame. The ship was landing in a very precise location. Whoever was piloting the vehicle paid no heed to the people directly below it. Those that were not burnt to death were crushed by its immense weight.
Kyle was shocked by the disregard for human life. He felt sadness over the tragic deaths. However, he could not contain his desire to board the space ship. He continued to push forward.
Once the ship settled on the ground, a large hatch opened on its starboard side. A ramp extended from the opening, giving the men a path of entry. The survivors moved forward as a single mass. Soon, Kyle was being pushed up the ramp by the force of humanity. He was barely inside when the ramp began to retract and the hatch slid shut. Many men fell to the ground, abandoned by the metal incline they had been standing on. A few tried to cling desperately to the side of the vessel but could not maintain their grip.
Without fanfare, the ship began to rise into the sky. Kyle found himself pushed against the outside of a large compartment. He was near one of the many small windows located all around the wall. Kyle could see tens of thousands of men standing below the rising vessel. Beyond the massive collection of mankind was the brilliant glow of innumerable automobile lights. A line of headlights could be seen stretching off into eternity.
The rising vessel passed a second ship which was sinking through the atmosphere. Kyle counted five or six other ships going down to the planet surface as his craft climbed into space.
“Do you know where we are going?” asked the man standing next to Kyle.
“No, but we must hurry.”
Hurry they did. In a few moments, the ship began to accelerate through the solar system. Suddenly, everything around the passengers became blurred and distorted. Kyle felt as if his stomach was being turned inside out.
“This must be hyperspace,” said a man with thick glasses. The lens of his right eye was cracked down the center.
Kyle had no idea what the man was talking about. He just wished for the discomfort and disorientation to be over
As quickly as the disorientation had commenced, it subsided. Glancing out the nearby window, Kyle saw hundreds of space ships heading in the direction of a sand-colored planet. The immense fleet of crafts was constructed of a vast variety of different shapes and sizes of vessels. The only thing the ships seemed to have in common was their destination.
“We have to get to that planet,” shouted someone. That individual was voicing the primary thought that occupied Kyle’s mind. He had to get there. He was certain everyone else in this or any of the ships had the same desire.
A beam of red energy emanated from the planet surface. It struck a nearby ship and that vessel was instantly disintegrated. Inside his ship, Kyle could not hear an explosion, but he witnessed the aftermath. The ship was transformed into a collection of various sized pieces of debris. As Kyle watched, another energy beam struck a second ship, instantly destroying it.
Rays of energy were soon striking and obliterating ships all around Kyle’s vessel. Any normal person would be yelling for the ship to turn around and beat a hasty retreat. Instead, all of this ship’s occupants began to shout for the craft to keep going.
“Onward, we must make it to the surface.”
By some miracle, the vessel that Kyle was on made it into the planet’s atmosphere and hurdled towards the ground. From his position by the window, Kyle observed a few other ships making for the planet surface. At the last possible moment, the ship’s thrusters erupted slowing, the vessel enough that the resultant crash into the planet surface was survivable. The men inside the ship were thrown about the chamber. They bounced off of walls and each other. Groans and cuss words filled the compartment as the spaceship finally stopped shaking and settled onto the ground.
Almost immediately the hatch slid open and the ramp extended downward. All of the men who could still move jumped to their feet and flew down the incline. Kyle was among the first to do so. He immediately began to sprint towards a large pyramid-shaped structure in the distance. He had to get to that building. No other course of action was acceptable.
As he ran, Kyle noticed others emerging from the other ships that had made it to the surface. Soon, he was in a footrace against a mixture of unbelievable creatures. A four-legged lizard-shaped alien matched him stride for stride. A short distance ahead of them was an eight-foot-tall gangly being with blue skin.
When the horde of runners was within a few hundred yards of their goal the ground began to shake. A fissure opened in the path before them, swallowing the blue alien without warning. Kyle was able to veer to the side and avoid that hazard, but other cracks were beginning to appear everywhere around him. He continued running.
Propelled by an uncontrollable desire and aided by unfathomable luck, Kyle was one of the first to reach the stone archway that marked the entrance to the pyramid. He burst into a large cathedral, hurdling a man and a green beast who had managed to trip over each other. Instinctively, Kyle looked to an altar at the far end of the spacious hall. That is when he saw her.
Standing in front of the ivory altar was the most beautiful and desirable woman anyone could ever imagine. She was his ultimate goal. Somehow, he found the internal will to sprint even faster. During the last one hundred meters of the odyssey, Kyle was able to pass the few creatures who had been ahead of him. Fueled by an incredible burst of adrenalin, he leaped onto the platform that contained the altar. The woman smiled and opened her arms. Kyle flew into her embrace and wrapped his arms around her. This is where he needed to be. This is what he needed to do.
A golden sphere of light formed around the couple. They squeezed each other as tightly as they could and soon their bodies began to merge. He fused with her. She melded with him. The two became one. They transformed to become the embryonic form of a new species. A species that was destined to rule the universe.
Copyright James Rumpel 2019