What secrets does the less-than-top-secret-but-still-mysterious military installation know as Area 51 hide? Experimental Aircraft? Flying Saucers? Aliens? Immortality? The secret to successfully making an ice cream on Chopped?
Look, trying to break into Area 51 is a terrible idea, but it lead to a lot of hilarious social media discussions, and one anthology project I was super excited to get in on: Storming Area 51. Inspired by the memes born of the Facebook group, “Storm Area 51, They can’t stop all of us,” Storming Area 51 contains 35 stories by authors such as Sarah A Hoyt, Declan Finn, and myself (Joshua M. Young). If the sheer bang for your buck isn’t quite enough to get you moving, enjoy this excerpt from my story, “Evan and Kyle Meet the Survey Cube”:
But here—yes. A Terran named McLaughlin, though most here called him Sarge. A few called him Frank, but none in the facility that housed the Survey Cube. Sarge had the lined face and dull-colored hair that the Survey Cube had learned indicated age, and indeed, he had been here for much of the Survey Cube’s stay. There was nearly always a thick cylinder of carcinogenic leaves clenched in Sarge’s jaw, and he had once confided to the Cube, during one lonely night, that he did so less because he liked it and more because he liked being “what a crusty, old Sarge should be.”
McLaughlin delighted in what a Sarge should be. The Survey Cube had attempted to survey Sarge about that experience one quiet night and had received the precious tidbit about the carcinogenic leaves as a result. And now, at this very moment, the Sarge was delighted that he was going to die a glorious death.
“It’s the moment I was born for,” he roared, while issuing a weapon to a younger soldier. That particular being, one of the many known as “Airman,” was most certainly not delighted, and was, in fact, cowering before his Sarge. “There comes a time, Airman Philips, in every man’s life when he must gird up his loins, stand his ground, and say, ‘This far, no farther!’”
The Survey Cube was not sure who would kill Sarge. Surely not the horde of listless Terrans amassed outside the base, in land that was still safely unrestricted. Most were armed with little more than stones. It could have asked Sarge, but it did not want to interrupt the man’s delight, so it let him continue.
“Those scrawny little millennials out there might look ridiculous,” Sarge ranted to Airman, apparently oblivious that Airman fit into the same demographic as the Terrans outside, “with their Nar-root-toe runnin’ and their handfuls of sand, but mark my words, Airman, there’s something else tonight. Something with evil intent. It’s gonna want in here, and we’re gonna stop it. Epic martyrs. Glorious last stand.”
“Yes, Sarge,” Airman squeaked.
The Survey Cube knew there was nothing out there, just the Terrans who had been making their intentions known publicly for months now. It hated to disappoint an entity it liked as much as Sarge, though, and decided it would have to see what it could do.