Amidst Alien Stars Milijun Book 2 by Clayton Graham Genre: Science Fiction
Mysterious and chilling events on an alien world threaten the interstellar survival of the human race…
They have awoken surrounded by alien stars.
Following their abduction from Earth, Laura Sinclair and son, Jason, lead a group of desperate humans in a bid to forge their own future and that of their home planet.
To succeed, they must solve the puzzle of extraterrestrial races in the throes of a perplexing and historic conflict.
But they are in a strange new universe; on a bizarre and dangerous planet. Who can they really trust as they struggle to understand the challenging and hostile environment that holds them in a grip of iron? And what do the aliens really plan for them and their hybrid children?
"There is world building of such depth and lush detail that you could almost feel it." Kay Mack TOP 1000 REVIEWER
"Not only is this an exciting, action-packed paged turner - I love the intelligence reflected, the witty dialogue, and the genuine depth in the characters’ emotions." Meenaz Lodhi
"Admirable world-building and the unsurpassable, indefatigable, drive of the human Spirit to not just survive, but to thrive, power this engrossing sequel to the author's debut science fiction novel, MILIJUN." Mallory A Haws
Amidst Alien Stars is the second book in the Milijun series, but can also be enjoyed as a standalone.
Laura Sinclair sat on a bench in the space station’s garden. She breathed deeply and tried to still her troubled mind. The air was good and the scent of earthly flowers filled her nostrils. A nearby pool trickled water. In the outside that is not really an outside.
In this most alien of places, she kept her blond hair short, wore minimal make-up, ate the Earth-style food provided, and conversed civilly with the other women—the mothers of her son’s alien-induced hybrid children. The elfin features that had been a subject of derision by policewoman Janice Mepunga back on Earth now carried an almost permanent deep frown. Her nano-engineered complexion remained, setting her blue eyes off to perfection.
The other women, the hybrid carriers, had been relieved of their nurturing burden, which she thought was a good thing. She knew they were all happy with the situation; none of them had wanted to carry to full term, nor wanted to give birth to a human-Gliezan child. The hybrids were now in tanks—thriving, according to the Gliezans; growing fast, very fast! Their captors had revealed no further details of their plans; the humans were apparently in limbo, awaiting the next phase, whatever that may be.
On Earth, she had been protected from the alien robots, the RNasia, by the nanites introduced secretly into her bloodstream at the isolated research centre called Milijun. The trial procedure applied to both her and her teenage son, Jason, had given them both the resilience to survive the strange and savage events that had unfolded in the Australian outback. Most critically, the RNasia had not been able to merge with her bodily space. She had not carried a hybrid!
Those events, that unknown time ago, had been an interlude in her life that had changed her from an embattled single mother to a person of strength and character. Along with Jason, she had been played by both aliens and humans alike. And she had reacted accordingly, if on occasions selfishly, in order to protect that which she held dearest, still held dearest for that matter. She had weathered the storm, rescued her son, even taken life in the process, only to be whisked away to this surreal place: an alien space station orbiting an alien planet.
At home, Jason had been the aliens’ First Seen, the one chosen by the descending RNasia as a genetic donor for the alien hybrid experiment. Would he have found the fortitude to fulfil his role without the Milijun enhancements? She liked to think so, but common sense told her otherwise. Not that it mattered anymore. Jason had met the alien RKapthgerrsel and all had been explained, and he had shouldered his subsequent responsibilities well.
“If we combine we will be stronger. United we will be better prepared for both the manifest and the mystifying challenges we commonly face,” Rkapth had told her son. “And if our species are to work together we must be sure our respective vital essences, our souls, are compatible; that we are, using your terminology, cosmic soul mates.” Hence the hybrids, and the alien plan to tackle galactic space together; to fuse the universe, to create harmony from discord. From the many the one. Or so Rkapth had said. It was mind-blowing and it was frightening. And, of course, it could all fall apart.
She sighed and shifted in her seat.
Their hosts were as mysterious and enigmatic as ever, but generally kind, serving their needs with remarkable insight into Earth’s ecological and human requirements. They had just not mentioned returning to Earth yet. That was her single-minded purpose now, the main purpose of them all—to return to Earth, to do what they had to do, or to preferably do nothing at all. Problem was, they had no control over any of it.
The world they had been snatched from, the Earth of their past, had not been perfect. Indeed, it was mostly imperfect. It had been recovering from war and disease, still trying to mend the rifts of insanity and stupidity and lack of communication which had plagued the planet for centuries. But it was their world! Like all the humans on this station, Laura wanted to return.
Yet again, Janice Mepunga suddenly skipped into her mind. She had often done so recently. Janice, she hoped and presumed, would carry her child to a normal birth. In Australia, the policewoman, mind in turmoil, had wandered off with the intent of returning to her indigenous roots. Heaven only knew what had become of her. How had she been received? And how would Janice present a hybrid child to her people—a people who held their ancestors in such high spiritual regard? It is unlikely, Laura thought sadly, that I will ever know.
Reluctantly, Laura returned to one of her more frightening thoughts: would the aliens return to Earth and collect Janice’s child, bring it back to the station to join the others? Perhaps they had done so already! Jesus aid her! I hate not being in control.
The women they had to leave behind at the Eucla base were, in all likelihood, dead: victims of an insatiable need by the military to understand what had happed to them. She recalled their faces, every one of them. And she would never forget them. They would haunt her dreams.
Milijun and its personnel, with the blessed exception of Nomi, had been destroyed. Major General Sebastian Ord was dead, as was Uriel, the research leader. But the lunar miner Simon Cordell remained, was with them on this station orbiting the Gliezan home planet.
Not that they knew where the Gliezan world was, of course. Five light-years from Earth? Five hundred? Five thousand?
She rose, stretched, walked through the garden and entered the dining area of the humans’ communal building. There was nobody there. At this time, her companions would all be out in the surrounding terrain: walking, talking, playing, and trying to forget where they were. In the outside that is not really an outside.
Milijun Milijun Book 1
First Contact strikes out of nowhere …
And aliens seize Laura’s son. But she will move heaven and earth to get him back, and as she becomes entrenched in a war of attrition with both the aliens and Earth authorities, she learns the fascinating secrets behind the extraterrestrial incursion.
Challenged to breaking point, Laura will fight for the survival of her son and several other humans who are unwittingly being used as pawns in a terrifying game of cosmic survival.
But she soon realizes that the aliens have plans for her, too. Can she accept the vision of a new interplanetary Earth, or will she fight to the end for a return to normality?
Witness the most engaging alien invasion ever! The exciting first novel of a stunning Science Fiction mystery. If you like tales of first contact, secret military operations, and the people caught in the middle, then you'll love this breathtaking new series.
"Captured my interest from the very beginning, and never once let go." Jenna – Indie Book Reviewers
"If you love the genre, read this gem." Julius Zon – Self Publishing Review
"This is a must-read for science fiction fans who appreciate a hard scientific foundation, in the tradition of Asimov, Niven, or Heinlein." Patrick Dent
"Million? 5 stars are all Amazon permit!" Sarah Stuart
Laura lay back on the bed, hands clasped behind her head and knees drawn up as tightly as comfort would allow. Jason, emotionally exhausted, was asleep in the other bed and for the first time in many hours she had the luxury of undisturbed time to think the day’s events through. They had called a taxi from Robert’s house and directed it back to camp. Having found Jason, she had no wish to chase into Caiguna and risk further confrontation with the police, Janice Mepunga in particular. There was just no forgiving the policewoman for leaving her stranded at Robert’s house with a laser-seared dead body on her hands.
Some semblance of inner strength returned. They would have to see Mepunga tomorrow, of course, and learn what happened to Bradley Robert or, more accurately, how he had ended up with a hole drilled in his chest.
Careful not to wake Jason, she made her way outside, in search of fresh air. Looking up at the darkened sky she saw a pale moon rising and what could only be Venus shining brightly. The air held a slight chill, and she shivered involuntarily.
Laura scanned the sky, half expecting something to emerge from the star-pricked canopy and descend upon her with mischief in its heart. What was it Jason had said? Sometimes when it touched me I didn’t even feel it. She didn’t know what to believe but whatever it was, Janice Mepunga was the next step.
They had found the camera in a kitchen drawer, but it contained no record of Jason’s pictures. Robert had obviously removed the stick. Or, of course, the alien had. Surprisingly enough, observing Jason’s face at that moment of disappointment served to remove her doubts concerning his version of events. She had totally believed, if only for a few seconds, that an alien being had emerged from Bradley Robert and examined her son.
Tomorrow they would see Mepunga. And maybe get some answers.
At the Eucla defence base the only source of light in the room came from a large wall screen that portrayed the death throes of choppa flight 209 from Cape Pasley to Cocklebiddy on the night of 17 January 2179. In the room were Assistant Commissioner Ray Parlane of the West Australian Police, Major General Sebastian Ord, Air Vice-Marshal Jean Pescos and Sergeant David Jameson Cooke of the Australian Defence Force. The whole flight cam episode had run for no more than three minutes, and now the group were digesting, and struggling to understand, what they had just seen.
“At least it ties in with the radar records,” Jean Pescos stated, a frown ageing her otherwise smooth, olive complexion. “Definitely two …” she struggled for the right word, “… attackers.”
Sebastian Ord raised his brow at the use of the word. “Could it have been an accident, a collision?”
Cooke snorted and said, “No sir. The radar shows two objects peeling away from the main group. Definitely intentional.”
“I agree,” Jean Pescos ventured. “Definitely intentional. Analysis of the short flight path they took indicates an optimum trajectory for intersection with the choppa.”
“You mean it shows intelligence.” Ray Parlane looked incredulous. Short, with luxurious eyebrows, he had obtained his rank by being down to earth and taking no nonsense. This whole episode did not sit well on his shoulders.
“Perhaps even more to the point, what the hell are the damn things?” Sebastian Ord asked. Tall and wiry with piercing blue eyes, he wore his neatly pressed uniform like a glove. He started the video again and they watched as bright moonlight exposed a flock of large creatures moving through the night sky. The choppa had hovered no more than two hundred metres away, and its lights had picked out two of the objects breaking away to veer towards the camera. They looked large, too large for any known species of bat. Strong white beams highlighted their outstretched wings as they homed in on their target, revealing thin reticulated arms as they grew closer. Large reflective eyes dominated the screen for a moment and then focus was lost as the creatures appeared to collide intentionally with the choppa’s canopy.
Ord ran the video back to show the best zoomed shot of the creatures as they approached Pilot James Vanelli’s machine. He shook his head slowly. “Hands up those who have seen animals like that before?” he said sardonically. “We need to let an expert look, but I wouldn’t be confident of an identification.”
“And don’t forget the radar showed them descending from at least ten thousand metres,” Cooke added. “Air is thin up there.”
The group grew silent as Parlane switched on the light and turned off the wall screen. “So, what happens now?” he asked nobody in particular.
“One. Expert opinion on identification,” Ord replied, counting off on his fingers. “Two. Find out if anyone else saw them that night.” He looked at everyone in turn before raising a third finger. “Three. Try to find them.”
“Then what, after we find them?” Jean Pescos asked.
Parlane was swift to answer. “We must eradicate. Can’t have them bringing down air traffic.”
Ord couldn’t help smiling. “Let’s give the scientists a say. If they’re a rare or unheard of species it could be a different anecdote.”
The room became quiet again and Cooke stretched uncomfortably in his chair. He wasn’t convinced. Other than Vanelli, there were no bodies at the crash site. And the aerial attackers didn’t look like anything he had seen before; alien almost. Though nobody, of course, had the balls to say so.
The road ribbon system took them directly to the front of the Caiguna police station, seaward of the Eyre Highway along dusty, unkempt side streets. Mother and son dismounted as one and strode resolutely up the path and through darkened glass doors. They found themselves in a featureless foyer where a single three-metre plant was placed strategically in the middle of a brown synthetic marble floor. A long black desk stood at the far end but there was no sign of any other exit door or, for that matter, any other person. The walls were sky blue, the ceiling white, and the effect austere.
Laura approached the desk and saw a white button labelled Press for immediate attention. She did as requested. A flat screen rose from the desktop and the face of Janice Mepunga stared out at them. An aura of total distrust immediately gripped Laura’s mind, reinforced by unwelcome apprehension, but the image on the screen flashed a convivial smile and said, “Oh hello you two. I’ve been expecting you. Just one moment.”
To the right of the desk, a mechanism hummed and a well-disguised door opened within the blue wall to reveal a brightly lit office beyond.
“Come through. Come through,” Janice Mepunga called.
Jason seized his mother’s hand and looked at her questioningly. There was a strange fear in his ashen face, and his eyes mirrored the foreboding that Laura felt within her own heart.
“It’ll be fine,” Laura said quietly and gently guided him through into the inner office.
Janice instantly took the wind out of Laura’s sails by saying, “Look. I’m sorry about yesterday. An emergency came up. I had to leave. Sorry about leaving you with Robert, too – it was unavoidable. He tried to kill me. I knew Jason was around.” Her smile grew broader. “I knew you would find him.”
Shaking her head, Laura said sharply, “Maybe you did, but in what condition? It was absolutely unforgivable what you did.” She threw a challenging look at the policewoman. “And Robert wasn’t dead when I found him.”
Janice’s face hardened and Jason noticed she slowly worked her hand down to her pistol. “It was unavoidable,” the policewoman repeated.
“Are there any other officers here?” Laura asked.
Janice shook her head. “My partner went to Perth this morning. It’s normally pretty quiet around here, you understand, and there’s plenty of air backup from Kalgoorlie.” She cast a meaningful glance at her visitors before adding, “Should we require it.”
“What about a statement?” Laura asked. “Don’t you want one?”
“I certainly do,” Janice said, pointing to a terminal in the corner of her office. “Be my guest.” She was all sweetness and roses again, in control of the situation.
While his mother typed, Jason waited his turn. He was nervous, upset about Bradley Robert and about the loss of his photographs. His eyes hardly left Janice Mepunga, unsure in his own heart whether the alien creature was harboured inside her or whether it had moved to fresh pastures. On the drive to the station his mother had told him of Robert’s dying words, and he had felt sick. He desperately wanted to know the truth but was afraid of another confrontation. And worst of all, there was no proof of anything.
“How did the ranger threaten you?” Jason asked abruptly causing his mother to pause her statement mid-sentence.
Mepunga glanced up, her face like stone. “He just did, and that’s enough these days.” She gestured to Jason to sit down on the chair across the desk. “Let’s compile your statement together while your mother finishes hers.” She initiated a recorder and leant back in her chair.
Jason shot a fleeting look at his mother and received a warning glance in return, accompanied by a small shake of the head.
“How did you get to Robert’s house?” Janice asked.
“I was on the computer in the camp tourist centre,” Jason replied. “He knocked me out and I awoke in a bedroom.”
Despite the recorder, Janice typed as she said, “And then what happened?”
“He made me something to eat, just eggs and toast. Then he made me shower and took me into the basement.”
“What about his sister from next door? Did you see her at all?”
“No,” Jason said. “There was nobody else.”
Janice raised her eyebrows. “Did you try to escape?”
With a shake of his head, Jason said, “He was always in my face, and twice my size.”
“Even in the shower?”
Jason averted his eyes. “More or less.”
“He was naked when I found him,” Laura interjected. “In the basement.”
The policewoman looked hard at Jason. “Did he touch you? Molest you in any way?”
Jason bit his lip. “No, he didn’t.”
Laura stood up. “I’ve finished. It’s fairly short but to the point.”
Janice walked over and glanced down at the screen. “Not exactly flattering behaviour on my part,” she said, pursing her lips. “My statement will give my story.”
Laura shrugged. “I’d still like to see--”
Jason interrupted her. “Can we go now, Mum? I need some air.”
Laura saw he looked pale and distressed. “I’m sorry,” she said to Janice. “Is that all for now?”
“Sure. We have your vehicle tag. Stick around the district though.” She printed both statements and laid them on the desk. “Just sign these for now.”
After they had signed Laura turned to leave but paused at the door. “What happened to the body?”
“It’s been taken care of,” Janice replied. “Thanks for coming in.” It was the final dismissal. Laura and Jason left without further discourse. They moved through the stark foyer and once outside paused to breathe the fresh southern air, which was rapidly warming as the sun rose higher in the sky.
“No alien for the lady,” Laura said. “Thank God you didn’t say anything about that.”
“Not to her,” Jason said, looking at his mother fearfully. “I think it’s still with her.”
In her office, Janice read the statements again and put them through the shredder. She stood, swayed slightly, and pushed a floor panel with her foot to release the door into an adjacent room. Moving through, she closed the door behind her and stared at the uniformed body of her colleague. He was slumped face down on the desk, head resting in a pool of coagulated blood.
Suddenly, the winged alien was outside her, standing two metres away, observing with its head on one side. She sensed an instantaneous chill invade her body as the creature emerged but, once free of it, Janice felt warmer and strangely fearless. No words or other communication passed but Janice felt its mind boring into hers, trying to understand her emotions. At least she thought she did. She didn’t really want to see it anymore, was not interested in it at all, and wished it was light-years away.
“I’m sorry, Daniel,” she said to the motionless body of her partner. “I’m so sorry. I really could not help it.”
A tangle of meaningless images ran through her mind, and she turned to face her symbiotic disciple from another world. Something passed between them, intangible and outside her scope of logical thought. She asked the question anyway.
“What do you want from me? What do you want from us?”
You can sign up for Clayton's monthly newsletter at: https://claytongraham.com.au/ and receive a free copy of highly-rated 'Silently in the Night'.
As a youngster growing up in the cobbled streets of Stockport, UK, Clayton Graham read a lot of Science Fiction. He loved the 'old school' masters such as HG Wells, Jules Verne, Isaac Asimov and John Wyndham. As he left those formative years behind, he penned short stories when he could find a rare quiet moment amidst life's usual distractions.
He settled in Victoria, Australia, in 1982. A retired aerospace engineer who worked in structural design and research, Clayton has always had an interest in Science Fiction and where it places humankind within a universe we are only just starting to understand.
Clayton loves animals, including well behaved pets, and all the natural world, and is a member of Australian Geographic.
Combining future science with the paranormal is his passion. 'Milijun', his first novel, was published in 2016. It explores first contact and genetic engineering under an alien invasion. Second novel, 'Saving Paludis', was published in 2018. This book is more of a space opera and hard science fiction, but reflects all of mankind's emotions: love, power, greed, comradeship and sacrifice.
The exciting Milijun Book 2, entitled 'Amidst Alien Stars', was released in December 2019: this is the second novel in the Milijun Series.
The novels are light years from each other, but share the future adventures of mankind in an expansive universe as a common theme.
In between novels Clayton has published 'Silently in the Night', a collection of short stories where, among many other adventures, you can sympathize with a doomed husband, connect with an altruistic robot, explore an isolated Scottish isle and touch down on a far-flung asteroid. Work is now underway on a second anthology of Sci-Fi short stories.
TRIANGULAR UFOs This MUFON CGI image shows a type of triangle UFO with lights in a V shape.
As a science fiction writer, one of the topics I find most interesting is the UFO phenomena. One of the things that intrigues me about alleged UFO sightings is the disparity in the shape, size and overall appearance of the objects seen in the sky. You can check out the full range at this link: http://www.ufocasebook.com/ufooddshapes.html
They certainly appear to come in all different shapes and sizes, ranging through cigar-shaped, discs or saucers, crescent, triangular or even V-shaped.
This blog concentrates on triangular UFOs.
Earliest sightings of Triangular UFOs
The earliest known reports of these unusual triangles can be traced to the Dutch East Indies in the late 1890s, around 10 years earlier than the Wright Brothers’ first powered airplane flight in 1903. Triangle UFOs were also reported from Scotland and England in 1895.
Since 1990 there have been over 4000 sightings of what is known as the “Flying Triangle” or “Silent Vulcan” over Britain alone. Vulcan was a cold war British bomber designed in a triangular or delta shape. Similar sightings were witnessed in other European countries and sometimes aircraft were sent up to intercept. It was reported that people were seeing flying vehicles “as big as a football field”. Usually there was no noise. Another claim was the sighting of “a huge black triangle rising out of the water”. Ufologist Nick Pope has written a book about many of these sightings including one over several Army bases in one night. Nick used to run the British Government’s UFO Project and is one of the world’s leading experts on UFOs, the unexplained and conspiracy theories. Nick Pope
Here’s one is more famous quotes. The skeptics have to be right every day, but the believers only have to be right once. One can think of extraterrestrial visitation as being the ultimate low probability high impact event.
You can hardly disagree with that.
Reports generally describe this class of UFO as a large, silent, black triangular object hovering or slowly cruising at low altitudes. Sightings usually take place at night. These objects are often described as having pulsing coloured lights that appear at each corner of the triangle. Black triangle UFOs are often reported to be visible to radar, as was the case with the famous Belgian UFO wave in 1989 and 1990. On one occasion, two Belgian F-16s attempted to intercept the objects (getting a successful missile lock on two occasions) only to be outmanoeuvred; a key conclusion of the official report was that no attempt should be made on the part of civilian or RAF Air Defence aircraft to outmanoeuvre these objects except to mitigate the risk of collision. The entire Belgian UFO wave, however, has been disputed by skeptics. The truth, as always, is hard to get at.
Recent USA South-eastern Wisconsin Sightings
The Kenosha UFO wave began in December 2016. The events of 17 February 2017 were documented by various groups of witnesses. The reports portrayed multiple dark triangular objects in the sky with blinking white and red lights, at around 6:30 pm. A craft was also seen on 19 January 2017 at around 5:00 am hovering just above the ground. This object was described as dark on the bottom with lights, and silvery on top. Other sightings include 28 December 2016 at around 8:00 pm, and 24 January 2017 at around 9:00 pm. These multiple sightings beg a lot of questions.
So what are they?
We can let our imagination run amok when pondering what these strange vehicles could be. If they are piloted, are the crew at the front with their power generation aft [as most modern jet aircraft], or could it possibly be totally different? Or are they not manned at all? They are rather large, by our standards, for an unmanned craft. If they are not manned what are they carrying in such a large superstructure?
Accounts of enormous triangular UFOs are being reported every week, backed up by dozens of videos, and even more photos and drawings. Triangular UFOs have been spotted all over the world, with notable sightings documented in California, South Carolina, Texas, Buenos Aires, Maryland, Virginia, and the United Kingdom. One witness in Illinois even wrote in to MUFON [Mutual UFO Network] about how they experienced missing time after watching multiple triangle crafts eerily survey their campsite. Mufon site
If triangular vehicles belong to the US government, as some UFO researchers and witnesses suggest, why has there been such an increase in sightings? It is unlikely the US government could be operating a secret space program. And certainly not for the last one hundred years! Maybe there are secret space missions going on above our heads right now! On the other hand, if triangular crafts are not man-made, could extra-terrestrials or inter-dimensional beings be visiting?
Although customarily dismissed in any official capacity, the large number of reports of these objects collected over the years, seem to make a case for the existence of some variety of aircraft. Their origin, human or elsewhere, remains a mystery, as does their ultimate purpose of operation. And purpose is the most critical question of all.
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