It was night, raining hard and the visibility was poor. The speeding car travelled along an unlit deserted country road with its headlamps off. There were two people in the car, a man and a woman. The man was driving and the woman passenger held in her hand a small device that looked like a palmtop computer. The device was not working and the woman pressed the keypad with urgency to fix the problem.
High above them in the night sky, three figures sat at the controls of an alien spacecraft. The display screen they monitored showed the terrain several kilometres below them and it guided them to the source of the signal they were tracking. The alien spacecraft changed course, began its descent and headed towards the car.
Inside the car, the device in the woman's hand lit up as it began to work and she looked at the man, and smiled with relief. The alien spacecraft held its position and waited as their display screen began to suffer interference.
The car pulled into the forecourt of a nunnery and stopped at the entrance. The woman got out of the car, opened the rear door and took out a box. She took the box to the door of the nunnery and gently placed it at the entrance. With a sad smile, she took one last look inside the box before running back to the car. The car was then driven back onto the road and after a few kilometres it crashed through a wood gate and stopped in front of a deserted farm barn. The man and woman got out of the car and ran into the barn just as the device in the woman's hand began to emit a warning signal. They climbed inside a small spacecraft, started the engine and crashed through the half open doors of the barn.
Inside the alien spacecraft, the display screen lit up and the three figures were now able to locate the signal again. They watched the small spacecraft fly upwards, leave the Earth's atmosphere and enter into space. They gave chase and fired their weapons at the small spacecraft and it exploded in a huge fireball. The man and woman were killed instantly.
At the nunnery, a nun watched from a doorway as the night sky was suddenly illuminated for a brief moment. The following day she would read in local newspapers that she wasn't the only one to witness this strange event but no explanation was given. The nun heard the sound of a crying baby and at her feet she saw a box. She bent down, pulled aside the blanket and saw a baby. It was a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, and she was naked except for a green gemstone on a gold chain worn around her neck.
* * *
The walls and cabinets in the bedroom were adorned with trophies, awards and framed articles from newspapers all showing academic, sporting and charity work achievements. The sixteen year old girl in the bed was blonde-haired, blue-eyed, tall and athletic in build. Around her neck she wore a green gemstone on a gold chain. For a few seconds, the gemstone glowed a bright green light.
The girl was awoken by the sounds of her parents moving around downstairs in the kitchen. She got out of bed and walked to her bathroom. She showered and dressed in a pale blue blouse, jeans and a pair of sandals with her long blonde hair worn in a ponytail.
"Good morning Eve" said her mother, as she handed Eve a glass of orange juice. "You don't want to be late for the first day at your new school"
"I'm not the only one on their first day" replied Eve, as she joined her parents at the kitchen table. "You two are starting your new jobs today as well. Joint vice presidents for a charity organisation. Not bad" she joked.
"If you hurry, we'll take you to school on our way to work" said her father.
* * *
Eve waved goodbye to her parents and looked around at her new school. She knew she would be the new girl at school but Eve had confidence in herself and hoped it wouldn't be too long before she settled in. Her parents always told her, just to be herself and to try her best. She always smiled when she thought of them. They had encouraged and supported her in whatever she wanted to do without ever putting pressure on her, and she loved them dearly. They also instilled in her a responsibility towards others. Eve reminded herself to see if there were any vacancies at the local hospital for voluntary work.
Her thoughts were interrupted by a shout of "look out!". A group of boys were playing football and the ball was heading straight for the girl walking in front of her. Eve ran forward and caught the ball just centimetres from the back of the girl's head.
"Wow!" said one of the boys, as he ran up to collect the ball from Eve. "That was quick reactions"
"Thanks" said the girl. "You've just saved me from getting knocked out. My name is Maria, Maria Lopez. Are you new here?"
"Yes I am. My name is Eve Carter"
"What a beautiful necklace!" said Maria, pointing at the green gemstone around Eve's neck. "I've not seen a gemstone like that before. Do you mind?"
"No, go ahead"
Maria held the green gemstone in the palm of her hand and stared at it for a while. She then looked Eve up and down as though inspecting her and then, as if Eve had passed some sort of test, her face lit up with a beautiful smile.
"Ok then Eve Carter. Let's go and face your first day at your new school. I think we're going to get on just fine you and me"
Maria took Eve's arm and together they walked to the school building entrance. Maria was much shorter than Eve but then Eve was tall. She had been given the nickname 'Amazon Eve' at her last school, a name she hoped she wouldn't have at her new school. Maria was dressed in a long flowing patterned skirt and white blouse. Her long black hair was tied in a ponytail and she had dark brown eyes. There was something kind and gentle about Maria, and Eve could sense it.
The hallway was lined with lockers and busy with students catching up with friends not seen over the summer break. Further along the hallway Eve could see a crowd had gathered. A boy was trying to pick up books from the floor that were being kicked around by three other boys dressed in identical leather jackets.
"They're our local gang members" said Maria. "They seem to think they can get away with whatever they want. Oh no, they've got Tom!"
"Isn't anyone going to intervene?" asked Eve.
"Not likely. Even the teachers are afraid of these guys"
As the three boys began to walk away, Eve stepped forward to help Tom pick up his books from the floor.
"What have we here?" asked the gang leader. "A little girl to the rescue?"
Standing almost nose to nose, Eve was as tall as the gang leader was. He became embarrassed by this realisation. As if to exert his authority, he pushed Eve backwards and she had to take a step back to stop falling over. Eve responded by pushing him back. The boy fell backwards, hit the lockers behind him and ended up on the floor.
"Ok that's enough!" shouted a teacher. "The bell is just about to go. Get to your classes"
"I'll get you for that bitch!" said the gang leader, as he got to his feet and then walked along the hallway with his henchmen following in his footsteps.
"Wow!" said Maria. "Who are you, Supergirl?"
"Thanks" said Tom. "That was amazing!"
Tom was a handsome African American boy of medium build and was a few centimetres shorter than Eve in height. He wore a blue shirt with a navy blue jacket and grey pants that somehow looked out of place at a school where the dress code was casual. Eve thought his clothing would have been more suited to a private school.
"He must have slipped I couldn't have pushed him that hard. My first day at school and I'm already in trouble"
"No way!" said Maria. "That was really cool! Come on I'll show you to the admin office and hopefully we'll meet up later if we have the same classes"
"Ok, thanks Maria. I'll see you later as well, Tom"
"Er... Yes" replied Tom.
"Tom Foley... This is Eve Carter, Eve Carter... This is Tom Foley" said Maria, introducing the two and smiling.
* * *
It had been a good first day at school for Eve. She had enjoyed the day and had shared all of her classes with her two new friends. Maria clearly excelled at those subjects where she could be artistic and creative while Tom was very good at the technical subjects such as mathematics and computers.
After school the three of them had gone to a blood donor centre on Maria's insistence, not that Eve minded as she often donated blood. Tom on the other hand had to be coaxed into it with Maria's gentle persuasion. There had been a slight awkward moment at the centre when the first needle into Eve's arm had broken and the young nurse was full of apologies. Eve was surprised she wasn't more bruised by the nurse's attempts to draw blood.
Eve said her goodbyes to Maria and Tom outside the blood donor centre, and headed for home. She had been walking for about ten minutes when she heard the sound of a car engine behind her. Eve was about to turn and look when she heard a thud at the same time as she felt the pain. Eve felt herself floating in the air before hitting scaffolding erected on the sidewalk next to a building. The last thing she remembered seeing were metal poles and planks of wood falling on her.
A black car stopped about thirty metres further along the road. Inside were the three boys Eve had confronted at school that day. They all turned in their seats, looked back at the damage they had caused and congratulated themselves with cheers, and laughter.
"That'll teach the bitch to show me up!" said the driver, as the black car drove away with a screech of tyres.
* * *
Eve had no idea how long she had lain there or what time it was as her watch had been broken by the impact. She knew she was hurt and in some pain. Eve had told her parents she may be late home so they were already in bed by the time she got back into the house. She quietly made her way to her bedroom, stripped and stood naked in front of the mirror to look at the damage done to her. Her blonde hair was matted with blood from a cut on her forehead and there was a large red and black bruise on her left thigh where the car had hit her. There were also minor cuts and abrasions on both her hands, and a pair of jeans and blouse ruined. She debated for a while whether to call her parents but decided not to. Eve was surprised she was not more injured. Instead, she showered and then gently got into bed.
* * *
Eve was again woken by the sound of her parents in the kitchen. She pulled back the duvet, made her way to her bathroom and inspected herself in the mirror.
"How strange!" thought Eve.
The cut on Eve's forehead was still there but a lot fainter and could be easily covered with some makeup. The bruising on her thigh was a lot less severe than she had remembered and more like an old injury than one as recent as last night. She looked at her hands and noticed the minor cuts and abrasions were gone. Eve felt confused. She knew what she had seen and how she had felt, and could only guess that in her shock she had made things out a lot worse than they were.
* * *
Eve decided not to tell her friends she was hit by a car. She didn't want them to blame themselves for not walking her home. Eve also hadn't said anything to her parents as they were both so happy at breakfast and talked excitingly about their first day at work, and her first day at school. Eve hated lying but she couldn't tell anyone what had happened and then explain why she didn't have the injuries. It had played on her mind all day and even Maria had asked her if she was feeling all right.
Eve stayed late at school to make use of the sports facilities. She had run a few laps around the track and then some fast sprinting. Her previous school coach had told her she could be an Olympic Champion as she excelled in most sporting activities. Eve thought this strange as both her parents were not into any sporting activities so she clearly didn't get this talent from them.
On her way back to the school changing facilities she passed a black car parked with its trunk open and backed up towards an open door. Eve noticed the damage to the front of the car and out of curiosity looked in the trunk and saw two school computers.
"What are you staring at bitch?" came a voice from behind her.
Eve turned to see the same boys who had been bullying Tom. The gang leader stood with his hands on his hips and looked her up and down. Behind him were two boys, one carrying a computer and the other a baseball bat that he gently tapped against his leg.
"Nothing" answered Eve.
Eve watched the boy dump the computer into the trunk of the car and close it. She then turned and walked away. One of the boys suddenly grabbed her from behind. The gang leader then stepped in front of her and grabbed her by the throat. The face of the gang leader was no more than five centimetres from hers and she could smell his breath of alcohol and tobacco.
"I'm gonna make you pay for trying to show me up" said the gang leader, as he tightened his grip around her throat.
Eve began to struggle for breath. She tightened the grip she had on his wrist and felt she had the strength to force his hand away from her throat. She felt the grip around her neck ease and saw a look of surprise come across the boys face as he began to realise she was actually stronger than he was. Eve could see the look of strain on his face as he tried to tighten his grip on her throat and then a look of pain.
The gang leader suddenly let go of Eve's throat, and shouted "Damn that bitch!"
Eve brought her right elbow back into the stomach of the boy holding her from behind and he doubled over. The third boy swung the baseball bat and she raised her left arm to protect herself. Eve felt pain as the baseball bat connected with her arm. The gang leader suddenly pulled out a gun from his jacket pocket.
"Get in the car, bitch!" he said, as he waved the gun towards the rear seat of the car.
Eve opened the car door and sat in the rear seat. The inside of the car smelt of stale cigarette smoke and the floor was littered with empty beer cans. The pain in her left arm was lessening and she didn't think it was broken. The three boys got into the car. The gang leader sat next to her with the gun still aimed in her direction.
"Drive to the warehouse" ordered the gang leader.
"Where are you taking me?"
"Shut up and enjoy the ride!" replied the gang leader.
The three boys lit up cigarettes and the car filled with smoke. Eve opened a window to let in fresh air. Everyone sat in silence as the car sped out of the school grounds and headed towards an area Eve hadn't been before. Within fifteen minutes the car pulled into what Eve thought looked like a disused airfield. The car slowed down as it headed towards several large buildings.
Eve knew she had to do something so she grabbed the gun and forced it upward where it fired into the car ceiling. The noise inside the confined space was deafening. Everyone, including the driver, reacted by putting their hands to their ears. She had planned to open the car door but the car had veered sharply to the left forcing Eve to slide in her seat and almost ending up on the lap of the boy sat next to her. Out of desperation, she kicked at the door of the car and to her surprise the door sprung open, and broke off its hinges. She half fell, half jumped out of the moving car and landed with a thud on the hard concrete. She scrambled to her feet and ran towards the buildings in front of her. Eve heard the car screech to a halt behind her, turn around and accelerate after her.
It was a few days later that Eve was able to recall in detail the events that took place after she had jumped from the car. She knew she had run fast and faster than she ever thought possible. The buildings were at least a hundred metres away from her yet she had reached them in less than ten seconds, and maybe even less than that. It was as if all her senses had come alive. She could hear the boys in the car shouting at each other, the panic and sheer disbelief in their voices. She could hear her own feet pounding on the concrete and they sounded loud yet she felt light as though floating on air. She could smell the exhaust fumes from the car, the burning rubber from the tyres and the smell of sweat, cigarettes and stale beer from the boys. When she had ran between the two buildings, just wide enough for the car to follow, she could clearly see the horizontal iron pipe that connected the two buildings and she could even see the paint peeling away revealing orange rust on the pipe. Just like gym class, on the uneven bars, all she had to do was jump three metres and the car chasing her would drive on under her and collide with the old oil storage tank, with the sign in red lettering and with the greasy hand print under the word 'No Smoking'.
The noise of the crash was deafening. The flash of the explosion as the car hit the oil storage tank was blinding. The force of the impact knocked Eve backwards after she had landed on her two feet with the perfect dismount from the pipe.
Eve knew it was only a matter of time before someone would notice the thick black smoke of the burning car. There was nothing she could do for the boys in the car as they would have been killed instantly. All Eve wanted to do was get home and talk to her parents.
* * *
When Eve got back home she told her parents what had happened. The police were called and she made a statement. When the police officers had left, Eve said to her parents "Mom... Dad... I've got something to tell you, something I couldn't tell the officers"
Eve told them about the 'hit and run' the previous evening. She also told them about her remarkable increase in strength and speed, and her injuries that had miraculously healed within twenty four hours.
"Thank God for good genes then, eh?" joked Eve.
Her parents looked at each other and then looked down at their laps as if ashamed. It was Eve's mother who broke the awkward silence, and said "We have something to tell you Eve, something we should have told you before..."
Eve sat stunned as her parents told her she had been adopted as a baby as they couldn't have children of their own. They also told Eve she was discovered at a nunnery and that the green gemstone on a gold chain, they had given back to her on her thirteenth birthday, was the only item found with her.
Eve assured her parents she loved them dearly. They all kissed and hugged, and a few tears were shed. As Eve lay in bed that night she had trouble sleeping. When she finally slept, she dreamt of going to school wearing a Supergirl costume with everyone laughing at her and there was Maria saying "Who are you, Supergirl?" If Eve had stayed awake a few more minutes she would have noticed the green gemstone around her neck glow a bright green light.
* * *
Ten kilometres away from Eve's home, and at the same time as Eve and her parents were having their talk, a medical student was sat staring at a computer screen at Community General Hospital. His name was Mark Lester. He had volunteered to test blood samples for suitability for donor blood. He and his fellow students had already tested hundreds that week and there were still hundreds to go. The blood sample he was now testing appeared odd to him. He decided to put this bag to one side and check it again when he was less tired.
* * *
Six thousand kilometres north of Community General Hospital, and at the same time as Mark was heading home, three motionless figures sat inside an alien spacecraft buried twenty metres under the ice of the Arctic. They appeared human and looked identical with short blond hair, muscular bodies and dressed in black coveralls. It was as if they had been frozen in time. They sat in their seats, each positioned the way they had been when they stopped moving, with their black eyes open and staring at nothing. There was a short burst of static that broke the eerie silence and then the three figures continued the movement they had been making sixteen years earlier.
After the destruction of the small spacecraft the three android figures had sent a signal to the Android High Command. They knew the signal would take many years to reach their own kind so they found a place to hide their spacecraft and put themselves into hibernation. The signal they had now just received back gave them new orders. The three androids were to gather information on the planet, ascertain its weaknesses and await the arrival of the android invasion fleet in approximately five years time.
* * *
Eleven thousand kilometres from the Arctic, and at the same time as the signal was being received by the alien spacecraft, a young student sat staring at a computer screen in an observatory owned by The Gershom Research and Development Corporation and located in New South Wales in Australia. Unknown to the student, the computer software programme had detected and recognised a signal that had originated from deep space.
* * * * *
Author Notes: This is the first chapter of my first attempt at writing a sci-fi novel.