Colonel Andrew Steermans' chest exploded on live television.
When it happened, his face was locked in as surprised an expression as the greater viewing public. He had been the Commanding Officer of the First Contact program, designed to greet the first confirmed UFO sighting by a government agency in history. NASA had picked up the ship entering our solar system and having failed to contact the rogue craft, the U.S government had authorized a welcoming committee. Colonel Steerman, the most highly decorated pilot and astronaut in the U.S air forces coloured history was the logical choice to lead the mission.
He was also the first one to die.
The official line had been that the alien ship had been empty upon the arrival of Steerman and his crew, a remarkable discovery nonetheless, but a gift box devoid of a gift. In actual fact, the ship had not only been occupied, but had been occupied by the corpses of an undisclosed alien race, with some very nasty surprises inside them. Kind of like interstellar Kinder Eggs, but with less cocoa. I watched as one of these surprises ejected itself from the chest of the good Colonel in front of a shocked world and an even more shocked Steerman. What we didn’t know at the time was that within a few hours of this happening, the chests of Captain Warren Grole, Captain Willard Armstell and Flight Lieutenant Annabelle Teon had also exploded; the other crew members of First Contact team. What caused these massive and fatal wounds were small, hideous cancers, formed of pure evil. Worm like, they hissed and cocked their malformed heads, before shaking off the debris of their hosts and disappearing into the startled world around them.
Four aliens. Four little monsters.
All it took to bring down the world.
Myself, I manifested the powers of a small god when seeing the horrific death of Colonel Steerman. My fellow inmates at Holding D would develop their abilities through the same creatures. We were the sons and daughters of Generals and Statesmen. They were the children of astronauts and bloodied carnage.
We had more in common that any of us could have ever known...