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The white-hot lasers ripped through the atmosphere, neutralizing the planet’s defenses. The enemy ships were in a high orbit, untouchable by the ground-to-air strikes, and it looked like they had already destroyed the few defensive space birds Earth had produced. On the news being broadcast over his ship’s radio, he heard that all the major cities had been destroyed and that the bombardment from space continued. The reporter was agonizing over what had caused the attack. “What do they want?” her voice shrilled. Edward didn’t intend to stick around to find out. He flipped the switch off. The reporters had nothing useful to offer him. The planet was being torn to bits and earth’s defenses had been utterly useless...that much he had seen firsthand. Edward’s personal space yacht was fast. They hadn’t been able to shoot him down...yet. Top of the line in leisure vehicles, it was also capable of interstellar travel. Time to go. Only one stop to make.

Cathy, his young, second wife, wept silently beside him, her golden ringlets hanging down in perfect unison, her clear blue eyes now to the floor. She knew better than to pepper him with hysterics when things were going wrong. Her fists were clenched so tightly that her fingernails dug into her palms. Edward punched the destination into the ship’s console and grabbed his iStar.

First contact had been made over three years ago, finally putting to rest all the annoying musings about life beyond the planet. Though green skinned and reptilian-looking, they had seemed curious, not hostile. There were television interviews and gifts presented by politicians and nobility. Then they went away. Everyone had thought all was well...

“Dad!” She picked up on the first ring.

“Jessie, I’m coming for you. Get outside the dorm; use the main entrance. I have room for a few of your friends. Bring your shoes and pillow. Get out now!” He punched the iStar off and took over manual control as he guided his yacht to a truncated landing on the grassy field outside the dorm of the St. Mary’s Academy Catholic School for Girls. They came in hot and scuffed the turf as they slid to a stop.

Edward had only just unsealed the door when a flood of girls came running from the dorm. Too many for him to take on. He took a quick mental inventory of the equipment onboard - seven, no, eight more people, max, would be all the ship could handle. There were over forty girls coming onto the grassy field outside. Most of them would be left behind. He saw Jessica amongst them, her long dark hair tousled, her pillow in hand. Solemn but not crying. His only child, she always made him proud. He grabbed for her through the mob of females and yanked her aboard the ship. Then he allowed seven others to push their way in before he attempted to slam the door shut. The girls had their bodies pressed against the hatch with hands and arms reaching in. A thundering boom sounded in the distance. Edward slammed the door again and again until their hands withdrew. He sealed the hatch and fired the accelerant for takeoff, scorching those nearest the yacht, and leaving the rest of the teens crying outside on the green field.

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