Footsteps in the Sand, and exploding crystals

"Please eat it the bugs neutralise the mind control. Oh and thank you for finding my top. Lucky for me I still had my coverall on." Evelina quickly told Jamie about her recent experience with the Gibbles, bugs, crystals, shadowy creatures and that the others were in danger. </snip>

The aliens, caught by surprise, fled the exploding crystal scene to regroup. Either that, or Cass' shots had been accurate, and damaged whatever device they had rendering them invisible.

"It's just a bug..." Jamie said, looking at it in his hand. It wiggled about in his palm, looking quite unaware of the potential dangers that lay ahead of it.

"Yes, exactly." Eve said, looking down at the ground. "But he doesn't understand your language."

By now, Cass and Jade had returned to join them.

"Where have you been? Jamie found tracks last night and said you'd been dragged off." Cass said, getting her scanner out again, now that whatever had been affecting them had gone.

"I was off with the Gibbles, I think they saved me." Eve said, smiling down at the Gibbles near her feet.

"Uhh... What are Gibbles?" Jamie asked, looking around. He saw nothing there.

"These little guys!" Eve said, kneeling down to be closer to them. She seemed happy, and stood again.

"There's nothing there..." Jamie said, and walked over to where there was a small section of sand that had been blasted away.

"Wow, that's cool." He said, leaning down to gingerly pick up the remains of a crystal.

"What is it?" Cass asked. stepping towards him to see more closely.

"It's a crystal." Jamie said. Engineering was his thing, not chemistry.

"My scanner picks it up as caesium." Cass said as the readout said it plainly. "If it came into contact with a large quantity of moisture, it would have exploded like it did."

"They're right here!" Eve said, pointing down at a few patches around her feet.

"It's ok." Jade said, "we've all been seeing things that aren't here. You're lucky they weren't trying to kill you."

"moisture?" Jamie asked, placing the crystal on top of Cass' terminal. "You mean like skin moisture? I'm not touching that any more. I like my fingers."

Cass rolled her eyes. "It's a crystal so it won't react with just skin moisture. Get rid of it, throw it in the ocean." She said, and Jamie shrugged, picked it up again and threw it to the water, where as promised, it exploded the moment it hit the surface.

Eve fell to her knees, and stared at where the Gibbles were, to her. "But they are real. They're cute and fuzzy, and they told me how to use the crystals..."

Everyone watched for a moment, ready to help Eve if anything happened to her similar to everyone elses experiences. But then everyone jumped as Jamie yelled out.

"No! The Starbug!" He shouted, without notice and ran towards it. Everyone else glanced at each other after they'd recovered from the slight scare of sudden unexpected sound. The Starbug looked fine.

To Jamie, however, it was all ablaze. He ran towards it, eager to do something to put out the blaze and allow everyone to go back up to the 'Dwarf, their home. Cass and Jade followed. If Jamie was hallucinating, there was no telling what he might do to the Starbug without realising it. As they got closer, it was Jade that noticed something out of the corner of her eye.

She called out to Cass, who watched as Jade threw a handful of sand through the air. Most of it sprinkled down and mixed with the rest of the beach, but some seemed to bounce off of the air.

Jamie was by now at the starbug, about to climb in.

Cass raised her gun, and aimed at where the sand had bounced.

"NOOOOOO!" Jamie yelled, and was catapulted through the air.

Cass pulled the trigger, shattering the illusionary wall, and forcing the alien to retreat from the field. Cass fired a few more shots to follow it, and was rewarded with patches of blue blood on the sand.

From Jamie's perspective, the Starbug had exploded, and the resulting force threw him into the air, smashing into the roof of his wooden hut. The sound of the shattering wood could have been heard by everyone, and Jamie landed on the other side, an arm full of large splinters. He lay there, unmoving on the sand.

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