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Michael Barnett Books - When Earthlings Weep
Mickey Thorn has horribly frightening and realistic nightmares. When he awakes, the nightmare's grip still affects him to such a point that he can't tell the difference between the nightmare he was just having and reality. Mickey knows he is suffering from night terrors... much worse than regular nightmares. What if, instead of bad dreams, this is real? Are monsters actually visiting him during the night? Or, is he losing his mind?
Mickey Thorn has another personality controlling his actions—which may just destroy earth.
Mickey’s other identity is more than just a product of a split personality; he is the result of a genetic-splicing experiment gone horribly wrong.
Years before, Mickey escaped his captors. Now a secret government agency and two alien species actively hunt him . . . and they don’t care whether he survives or not.
Cassie, a young girl from a post-apocalyptic future, visits Mickey to try to help him make decisions which will save the earth. Mickey forms an extraordinary group of allies made up of three Special Forces members, and two young boys, to fight the hunters, but to, also save Mickey from himself. Travel with Mickey and his friends as they journey into the past and other worlds, barely escaping their enemies, while desperately struggling to prolong a dire future. Can any of Mickey’s allies find a way to eliminate the other Mickey before it is too late?
Mickey Thorn stands on a wide ledge several hundred meters above a crystal
clear pool of liquid methane. This lake is so large; it stretches out almost
to the horizon. On that horizon are volcano’s of varying size and distance …
it could be that Mickey's perspective is off. It is extremely difficult to
judge distances here, since there is no frame of reference. Mickey has seen
the volcano’s erupt before on previous journeys. He knows he has been here
before, but the details are fuzzy. He has always been surprised to see what
looks like clear liquid and steam coming out of the tops instead of lava or
Just off shore below him, round rocks of varying size can be seen beneath
the surface of the lake, but the depth cannot be determined because the lake
is too clear, and the surface can’t be seen except for the ripples from falling
precipitation. Above, an orange sky casts an orange pallor on all that we see.
A just-visible Saturn, with tilted rings, is the centerpiece to the sky above.
We are so close to Saturn we can clearly see the rocks and other debris that
make up the rings. It is always cloudy with thick, viscous smog, and we can
see showers in the distance; but it doesn’t rain water here; it is liquid ethane
and methane. To his left, is a small ravine, which is now filled with just-rained
methane, which runs to the lake far below. Mickey scans the ground around
him and sees the familiar ice crystals scattered everywhere like sleet.
There is a truly strange and breathtaking silence, common to places in deep
freeze, which makes the falling sleet sound tinny and crisp, like the echoes of
tiny cymbals in a large, empty room. The same varying size round rocks which
are in the lake, scatter on this ledge, as well. In fact, we see them, in any
direction we look.
There is a movement to the right, and here is Mickey’s old friend facing him.
There was no sound, or visual display to accompany his arrival—he was just
there. How he always seems to know when Mickey will be here, and arrive so
soon afterwards, is a mystery to Mickey. His friend stares at Mickey, and as
always, he has a lot of trouble staring back. The alien’s head is similar in
appearance, proportion-wise, to that of a human; but, all similarities to us,
ends there. There are no eyes, or ears. There is no nose or mouth. Instead,
where these things should be, are deep depressions. Each of these depressions
is much too large, by human being standards. The two depressions, where his
eyes should be, are perfectly round, giving him a constant look of surprise.
The individual cavity where his mouth should be is vertically elongated, so
that it looks as a person screaming. Random patterns of dark grey and
turquoise cover the skin of his head and neck, with small splatters of white
and yellow. In the recesses of the eye depressions, different colors can be
seen; constantly changing. Mickey realizes this as the main reason why he has
so much trouble looking at his companion. How does Mickey keep eye contact
with a variety of changing colors? The full effect is particularly unnerving
While Mickey is still watching his mysterious companion, all of the colors
on his friend’s neck and face coalesce into a decidedly human looking flesh
color; which holds for only a few seconds, then disassembles into its previous
color scheme. He isn’t sure what this feeble attempt at becoming human is
all about, but he isn’t too concerned. Mickey wonders again what his
companion’s world must be like, for him to have developed this way. The
alien is wearing a candy apple red suit which flexes and bends, and reforms
like a living thing around him. The material sparkles with thousands of tiny
fireflies that race across the surface, and through the material, in seemingly
random patterns. Mickey cannot determine their function, but again, doesn’t
care to know. He wishes the fuzziness in his head would clear. The feeling that
he is in danger keeps intruding into his mind, but doesn’t cause him to react.
He shakes his head and again looks off towards the horizon...
On an earlier trip here, Mickey asked his companion his name. He responded
that, with just two together, names were unimportant, since each one can only
talk to the other. His friend told Mickey his designation was Jengu-3, after
Mickey persisted. Mickey decided to call his friend Jen. Jen stands six and
a half feet tall, and by Earth standards, looks as if he may weigh 200 pounds;
or 20 pounds here. At the top of his suit, is a helmet. Mickey can’t figure
out if some hard material, or maybe a force field, makes up the helmet,
because it is so clear, and he sees no reflection on the border. He can see
the same strange fireflies running around this surface of the helmet as he did
on the red suit. When they first met, Mickey studied Jen’s face for several
moments trying to control his disgust as he did so. The more he looked, the
more his head hurt, as if this creature didn’t like to be stared at and was
“Here again. We are,” Jen speaks clearly in Mickey’s head.
As in their previous visits, Jen now extends an object towards Mickey.
This device is remarkably unpretentious, like the ones he used before. It is
the size and shape of a chalkboard eraser, except that it is a pinkish
brushed-steel. Like before, there are no antennas or dials, or screens, or
anything else to tell Mickey that this item is not a simple tool like an
eraser. He has no doubt that Jen can read the output, with no trouble. Jen
explained to Mickey before that these scanning devices will not hurt him; at
the very most, he may feel an odd tingling sensation in his body. He feels
nothing this time, and he has no objection to being scanned, even though he
doesn’t know and doesn’t care what Jen is using the data for. Mickey asked
Jen long ago why he always tested him with devices, and he said that he
wished to know how he made the travel. Mickey likes how he says that,
“Make the travel,” and smiles inwardly at the memory; even though he has no
idea what this phrase means.
”Yes, we are,” Mickey thinks, and he knows his friend can hear him.
His head hurts from this form of communication, and as always, he never
goes beyond the small talk. Once, many visits back, he tried to learn from
where his friend comes, and the longer they thought together, the more he
felt like his friend was climbing inside his head; the pain was excruciating.
Despite Jen warning him beforehand, Mickey did speak out loud once…just once,
and immediately the Drogo’s came. It was necessary for Jen to use one of his
cunning light weapons to turn them back. It’s quite ingenious how the Drogo’s
hide in conspicuous sight. They have shells the same texture and color as
the round rocks scattered everywhere, so Mickey doesn’t know which ones are
rocks, and which ones are Drogo’s.
Jen once told Mickey that the Drogo should not be able to move as quickly
as it does, based on its methane and silicon physiology, and the small energy
the Sun provides at this great distance, but they do. He said that every
living thing here violated this fundamental law of low temperature, and low
gravity, so he is here to study them. Mickey isn’t so sure he believes him on
this. He thinks Jen already knows everything there is to know about these
creatures. He doesn’t remember what Jen told him Drogo’s eat; a fleeting
memory of jewel-like-encrusted crab creatures which quickly scramble from
rock to rock is there, then gone. In such a desolate place, Mickey does know
movement attracts Drogo’s, so he remains silent and still.
Sometimes when he and Jen stand here, the Valshavi will come. They are
both willing to endure all the dangers of this place, for just one more look
at the Valshavi; somehow, Mickey's mysterious companion knows the names of
all the other things here. The Valshavi don’t come suddenly, but will
gradually build, making their appearance much more appealing and powerful.
There is nothing in Mickey’s experience or memories sufficient enough to
explain the Valshavi, except that the experience maximizes all of his
senses, and he enters a condition of bliss so intense it locks him in a state
of awestruck paralysis that cannot be broken until the Valshavi retreats.
“Stronger you are,” pops into Mickey’s head.
He turns to look at Jen and immediately regrets this decision as he starts
to lose himself again, and the pain starts. Mickey now looks away, before it
is too late.
He then responds to Jen, “Why do you say this?”
There is an extraordinarily long delay because Jen is fighting to
understand what Mickey is saying. Jen’s language is backwards, or jumbled;
or both, and Mickey hasn’t quite been able to combine his thought-words
Finally, Jen says, “Because I am, I say it,”
Even when confusion overcomes Jen, Mickey can never tell from his calm
“No, that’s not what I mean. Why do you say I am stronger?”
“Not wear suit that protects,” he says simply.
Mickey looks down at himself and is terribly surprised to see that he is
wearing nothing but pajamas, and his bare feet are sticking out at the
bottoms. He loses his composure in an instant; the full understanding of
how inhospitable a place he is in, making his thoughts jumble.
“Regain your suit,” Jen says calmly in Mickey’s head.
If Mickey knew how to do what Jen is suggesting, doesn’t he think he
would do it? The absolute cold hits his whole body like a sledgehammer.
His body protectively folds in on itself, and he loses his balance. He
doesn't realize his feet have frozen to the rock he is standing on, until
he takes a step, to try to keep from falling. He falls, ripping all of
the skin from the bottoms of his feet as he does so.
“Before too late, make the travel.” Jen says again, calmly.
His voice seems to be coming from far away now. Mickey takes a deep
breath to scream, and the super cold air enters his lungs—it will
eventually freeze his lungs, but that death will not come.
“Your death is hydrogen cyanide. Make the travel.” Jen says again,
this time losing his poise a little.
Mickey’s sharp inhalation of air has enough hydrogen cyanide to
mercifully, kill him within a few seconds; sparing him the agonizing
death by freezing. His alien companion stands there with that same
blank look he always has, silently watching … silently screaming, but
is kind enough to hold his hand towards Mickey … as if that’s going to
help him now. Mickey’s oxygen starved brain registers one more thing,
with fading input from his fast-freezing eyes; before it also dies and
his body finally succumbs to this place … Mickey’s sudden noise and
movements, draws a Drogo, which latches itself onto his leg. Finally,
as his pain drifts away … further away … further away; there is welcome