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Submitted By: Date: August 26, 2005, 11:37:19 AM Views: 3860
Summary: "Do not panic. Please remain indoors. This is for your own protection. The crisis will be over soon. Remember, contact with aliens is a crime. Do not panic!"

The same message was looped over and over again, playing on every street of every major city of the planet of Rathalta. Imperial citizens were urged to stay inside and not venture out. The message told them this was for their own good, but it didn't say what they should be hiding from. Ignorant citizens were contacting everyone they knew, and rumors where running rife.

"It was Chaos, or regiments of the Planetary Defense Force had revolted. Some said it was Orks and others said it was pirates of various races. Few knew what exactly it was the threatened them. Every member of the Imperial Guard stationed on Rathalta knew what the light rain of spores, and the wildly growing vegetation meant. And every Commissar meant to keep every single one of them from talking.

"Mommy look mommy come have a look!"
   "Come away from the window honey, it's not safe!" the mother of the small child moved over to the window and scooped up her daughter. As she did so she glanced out the window, now as mesmerized as her child.
  "Darren, come here." She said to her husband, trying not to let the fear creep into her voice. Darren got up with a look of slight annoyance and joined his family at the window. He was about to say something about disturbing him over nothing but words were lost to him when he reached the window.

Outside the sky had turned a sickly purple, and it looked like a storm was heading their way. The weather had really changed quickly, it had been fine this morning, and now there was what looked like a huge storm approaching.
   The rest of the sky was a pastel pink, giving way to a deeper red in areas, and there was now a light rain of spores falling on everything outside. Darren regained some of his composure.

   "You're not going to change anything by staring out the window, now come away before someone sees you and reports you." he said with a gruff note in his voice. He walked away and his wife and child moved away from the window.
   "But what is it mommy?" the child asked.
   "I don't know baby, I don't know."

   The same child ran to the same window every day for a week. It was amazing! The backyard had turned into a jungle, and green rain fell at least once a day, and the plants grew even bigger every time it did. If she looked hard enough she should almost imagine that she should actually see them growing!
     Her mother and father did not share her wonderment at what was happening.

   "They say that we've lost contact with Rathalta Beta." Rathalta Beta was the outpost on Rathalta's moon.
  "They are always having problems." Darren returned, forever looking for the logical explanation.
   "I know but look at the window!" his wife said in a fierce whisper. "Something is going on and we aren't safe here!"
   "We can't go outside. There are Imperial Guard patrols on the street, we would be arrested! Besides where would we go?"
his wife just looked at him and broke into tears. Her hands flew to her face and she ran off upstairs.

   "Mommy! Daddy! Look! Fireworks!" the child squealed in delight as she ran from her parents room to get the best seat by the window. Glowing lights where falling from the sky, and the bright flash of lasers leapt from the ground.
   When they hit one of the lights it exploded in a brilliant shower. The fireworks continued till later that day. Slowly more and more of the lasers from the ground stopped and more of the lights reached the ground.

With the main event over, the child got up from her chair that she had dragged to the window and began to walk off when something passed the window. She turned but saw nothing.
   Her mother had also seen the shadow pass and turned to the window. Her daughter was standing there, but she wasn't wearing the look of wonderment that her face had played host to have the past week. Her face was now frozen in terror.
   A bestial scream rent the still air and the child began to scream, both sounds mixing into one horrible sound. Her mother ran to her, to shield and protect her daughter. She grabbed her and ran.

   Behind her the whole fall burst apart in a shower of splintered wood and broken glass. The creature continued to scream as it hunted its prey, and that sound was the last thing anyone living on Rathalta would hear.

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