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The Soldier Priest

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Father Jack Landry remembered the pulse. Actually, he remembered it better than most, since he was one of the few people in the world who knew how it actually happened, not just the government cover-up. More than that, Jack remembered what happened before the pulse. What the rest of the world seemed to have forgotten.

Jack remembered the Visitors, or Vs as they were called. Aliens from another galaxy they claimed to come in peace. They lied. They came not for peace, but for war. War against this planet, and all who lived on it.

Jack had been a member of the Fifth Column, an underground group composed of both humans and Visitors, who were devoted to bringing down the Visitors' evil queen Anna and her followers.

In time they succeeded, Anna was defeated, and her daughter Lisa, who was herself a Fifth Column member, was placed on the throne.

But even though they had technically won the war, Jack couldn't help but feeling that in reality they had lost. So many had fallen, first those who fought in the war against Anna, then the countless innocents who died as a result of Anna's last stand.

Anna had released a wave of blue energy-the V's potent power source-a mile above the United States. The resulting backlash had caused an electro-magnetic pulse that had fried every computer chip in the US. Thousands had died as cars stopped working and planes fell from the sky.

After that, Lisa had taken leadership of the V's and left earth with her human husband, Tyler Evans, son of Fifth Column leader Erica Evans. The government had claimed that the pulse-as it came to be known-was caused by terrorists setting off a nuclear bomb a mile up. And that was that.

The Fifth Column had disbanded. Its members going to wherever they thought that they would be of the most use. Erica had returned to the FBI, Jack to the church. Eventually Jack, having long ago lost contact with Erica and the others, found himself in Seattle where he lived a normal, alien free existence.

It had been ten years since then, and Jack had finally reached the point where he was certain that nothing weird would happen to him again. At least that was what he thought until the day that a most unusual young woman walked into his church.