Home > Writing > It’s Human Nature to be curious about reading this sample…

It’s Human Nature to be curious about reading this sample…

Sample of Human Nature, a stand-alone story that takes place in a near future world that has been overrun by an alien invasion. Yeah, aliens – why not? I actually got the idea back in 1994 when Independence Day came out, but it took well over a decade to mature in my head to something worth writing. I thought, what if the aliens won?

It’s been getting some good interest lately so I figure this is a great time to spring off that and make a sample available for it. Same rules as before, if you like it enough to want more of it, prove it by going to the links below.




A distant hammering noise intruded dimly into Dawn’s mind. She heard it and tried to ignore it, focusing instead on the dream she was having. It had been a pleasant spring day, she remembered, and a fine time for her and Chad to have a picnic.

The idyllic scene was about to go horribly wrong, she knew. It wasn’t the way it had happened, but it kept coming back to her. She struggled, hoping desperately it wouldn’t happen, but it always did. She could see Chad looking at the disturbance in the trees. She tried to warn him; tried to stop him; tried to save him. It was to no avail; he stepped closer and the first blue green head burst out of the undergrowth, shark toothed lipless grin open hungrily.


Dawn gasped. Torn from the dream, she fumbled about in the cab and tried to recover from the shakes the adrenaline left her in. She turned, not really awake, and threw back her blanket. “Get in here, chicky! I had a bad dream…”

There was a gasp followed by silence. Alarmed, Dawn turned and saw the Sarge staring at her. She glanced down, everything happening slowly, and saw her shirt had ridden up to her belly, displaying the lacy black panties hugging her hips and dipping between her thighs. With a squawk of indignation, Dawn pulled the blanket back over herself. “What the hell are you doing?” she demanded.

The Sarge actually blushed. It was dark, but with her driver’s side door open the overhead light showed it clearly. That alone stalled her growing tirade and gave the man a chance to recover.

“Doc, we’ve got wounded,” he said after clearing his throat.

“Oh,” she mumbled, then fumbled around for a moment trying to think of what to do. She looked up, realizing if it had been an attack on the camp she would have heard it. That meant somebody else got hurt, somebody not at the camp. Somebody in a small unit that had been sent out to do something. Somebody like Angie.

She threw her blanket off, surprising the open mouthed Sarge into silence. She grabbed her pants and yanked them on quickly, then forced her boots on without bothering to tie them. “Let’s go!” she snapped at him, grabbing her vest and slipping into it before pulling the jacket and finally her first aid bag after her.

He turned, still silent, and led her quickly through the camp toward the command truck. She hopped on one foot, tying her boot, then repeated the process with the other. She regretted leaving her bra hanging in her ambulance, but not enough to make her consider going back for it. She knew the difference of minutes in reaching somebody could mean the difference between life and death. Especially if it was the life and death of Angie.

Outside the trailer a small area had been set up with blankets and pillows. Two soldiers were trying to rest while being gently debriefed. Dawn’s breath caught in her throat as she approached, but she said nothing. It was a man and a woman, but the girl was not Angie. She thought hard and pulled her name out of a conversation Angie had once shared with her. Her name was Tess; she was another spook.

Tess had a lot of blood around her lower thigh and knee. The entire leg was soaked, she realized, but dirt had clung to her shin, ankle, and foot. She had some bruises and scratches elsewhere and seemed to be favoring her left arm, but aside from that she seemed unhurt. The other soldier had a clearly broken arm and a gash along his chin that included a swollen and split lip.

Dawn hurried over to Tess and knelt in front of her. She grabbed her scissors and started cutting into the leg of her pants. She aided it with a few well placed twists and yanks to tear the fabric away, then saw the source of the blood. Something had hit her leg at a glancing blow, tearing into the meat of her thigh. She frowned and doused some antibiotic powder on it, then turned to check out her arm.

“I think we lost three, but we got separated. The others were falling back to our bolt hole. We were supposed to join them, but with the fishheads between us and them, and not being able to fight worth a damn, we came back here instead,” Tess said, between hisses of pain as Dawn worked on her injuries.

“Fishheads?” Dawn asked softly. She refused to look up to see or hear her answer.

“How many were there?” Colonel Wilson asked. Dawn glanced at him briefly and saw he looked even more tired than before.

“I counted sixteen, Sir,” the male soldier replied.

“Tess, you twisted your arm, but it’s not broken,” Dawn told her softly.

“Thanks,” Tess said, glancing down at her.

“I have to stitch up your leg. It’s going to scar and you might have a limp,” she told her. “But it’ll wait until I check him out.”

Tess nodded.

“Sixteen against seven?” The Colonel mused aloud.

“I’ll need a splint; your arm’s broke. What’s your name?” Dawn asked the wounded man.

“Steve. Steve Csontos,” he said.

“Well Steve, this is not going to be fun for you. What happened to your face?”

He tried, and failed, to grin. “One of their weapons hit a rock in front of me and broke off a chunk of it. Clubbed me in the face.”

“Sounds like you got lucky,” Dawn told him. “I’ll put a couple stitches in that lip too.”

“Sir, we know where they are,” Tess said, addressing the colonel. “There won’t be any surprise this time. If our team’s holed up they can only hold that position a few hours before they’re overrun.”

“You guys were the best we had,” Captain Snow burst in. “If we send in regular troops, we’re fucked! Those guys know how to shoot, but they don’t know how to react in a serious offensive.”

Dawn finished her stitch work on Steve and tied it off. She moved back to Tess and looked at her, eyes brimming with sudden moisture. Tess looked at her and closed her eyes. She shook her head. “I don’t know,” she whispered.

Dawn coughed, hiding the sob that tried to escape. She turned away, pretending to be focusing on her bag, while she desperately blinked her eyes and tried to regain her focus. She had to fix Tess’ leg and she knew it. Anything else could wait. Even her feelings. She had a job to do and there was nobody else that could do it.

With a few deep breaths to center herself, she grabbed her alcohol and gently cleaned the wound before she began to quickly and expertly thread her needle along the cut to give Tess as little pain as possible.

“I don’t like leaving men behind,” The Colonel said, ignoring the drama going on before him. “We can handle sixteen fishheads, Captain.”

“They’ve still got their weapons, Colonel!” Captain Snow pointed out.
Colonel Wilson nodded. “What do you suggest?

“We’ve got no options. Either throw everything at them or we head back into Chicago…or we head back towards Indiana and we know what’s back there: nothing.”

“Doc, you got anything for pain?” Tess whispered to her.

“Tylenol for you. Ibuprofen will make you bleed too much more and you’ve lost enough blood,” Dawn said, speaking as though she was in a fog. Her doctor persona took over, even if she’d never really made it all the way. She was a Physician’s Assistant: she could prescribe drugs and treat people, but she wasn’t a fully fledged doctor.

“No, Doc,” Tess said, shaking her head. “I mean something real. I’m not going to leave them out there.”

Dawn stared at her, her chin trembling as she thought of the others stranded out there and fighting off a small horde of fishmen. The same aliens that had taken Chad from her. The same…

She shook her head. “No!” she growled. “Not again…I won’t let it.”

“Doctor? Is there a problem?” The Colonel asked, confused at her sudden outburst.

“No problem, Sir,” Dawn said, turning to face him. “So long as you put me on the team that goes to get them back.”

The Colonel looked stunned for a moment, then he shook his head. “Stand down, Doctor, that’s not going to happen.”

“It’s not?” She asked, then shrugged. “Fine, I quit. Find yourself a new doctor.”

“What!” Snow burst out. The Colonel stared at her, one eye twitching while Snow carried on, “You can’t quit!”

“I just did, Captain. Sorry,” Dawn said, shrugging. She turned back to Tess and dug into her pouch, then pulled out a small bottle that rattled with a few pills in it. “Vicodin. Don’t take more than two every six hours or you’ll be shooting at imaginary people.”

“That’s a lot,” Steve opined, sitting up and bracing himself on his good arm. “I’ve been on Vics before and that’s a big dose right off the bat.”
“She doesn’t weigh much,” Dawn said, nodding. “She won’t feel her leg, though.”

“Jesus,” Steve muttered.

“Doctor, please, be reasonable,” the Colonel said, his voice tight but forced.

“You know you can’t make me stay. You can’t force me to heal people, I won’t do it. If you turn your back on those people…if I turn my back on those people then I’d rather be dead,” she explained.

“Doc, do you even know how to shoot a gun?” Top asked her, breaking his silence.

“I’ve got a gun in my ambulance,” Dawn said. It had been a poor gift, but she kept it stashed away in case she’d ever need to barter it for medical supplies.

The Sarge grunted and glanced away.

“Doctor, let us take care of this our way. Once we clear it out you can-“

“Stow it, Sir. I’m going. Tess?” Dawn asked, offering her hand to the girl. Tess looked fearfully at Captain Snow and then the Colonel. Then she nodded and slapped her hand into Dawn’s. Together they stood her up. She grabbed her rifle and slung her good arm over Dawn’s shoulder; the pills needed time to take effect.

“You’re both going to get yourselves killed without any help!” Top growled at them.

Dawn swung partially around to look at him. For a while there she thought there might be a decent man buried beneath all the code of the warrior bullshit, but now she knew better. “I don’t want to live in a world where people aren’t willing to risk it all to save someone else.”

Sarge grumbled something Dawn couldn’t make out, but she knew it probably reflected very poorly on her relationship with farm animals or worse. They started moving away, heading back to her ambulance slowly. Tess limped along as best she could, slowly gaining momentum as the stiffness wore off and the painkillers began to take hold.

“I’ve got some codeine in my truck,” Dawn whispered to her. “That’ll help too. Just don’t stop moving or you might fall asleep.”

“You’re all right, Doc,” Tess said, laughing. “I guess I see why Ang is always talking you up.”

“Angie talks me up?” Dawn asked, blushing a little. God she missed her friend.

“Sun rises and sets on your ass, to hear her tell it,” Tess said.

Still blushing, Dawn laughed at the description. “She told me she thought I had a nice ass a while ago…I guess I never believed her. I mean, with her chest…”

Tess laughed, then groaned as she took a misstep and came down hard on her wounded leg. “Ouch…okay, gotta be careful. I gotcha.”

Dawn nodded. “Yeah, I got some crutches you can use.”

“Maybe one,” Tess said after a moment of thought. “That way I still got the gun in the other hand.”

Dawn nodded. Guns… she shivered but realized it was a means to an end. If picking up a gun and using it meant she might be able to save her friend then it was a price she would pay.

“You don’t want to live in a world like that?”

Dawn turned, forcing Tess to twist and hiss in pain. Top was quickly overtaking them with his long-legged stride. On anyone else the tall man’s look would have been lanky. On Top it was lean and wiry. “That’s right,” Dawn said, staring hard into his eyes and challenging him.

He nodded. “It’d be a shame if your friend didn’t make it back to turn all the guys’ heads.”

Dawn opened her mouth, then closed it. She shook her head but couldn’t shake the smile that made its way to her face. It was still there when they made it to her ambulance a few minutes later. The smile faded when another thought entered her head. Did the Sarge have a thing for Angie too? He’d said all the guys, but he was a guy. She glanced at him out of the corner of her eye but looked away quickly as he turned towards her. Why did she care? He was the Sarge. He probably ate nails and stayed clean shaven because he picked the hairs out with his fingers every morning, one by one. She sighed, angry at herself, and dove back into her truck.

After a few minutes of rummaging she handed Tess the promised codeine pills and found the varmint rifle Oscar had given her a long time ago. She had no idea what it was, but it had a stash of bullets with it that fit in the internal magazine and had several to spare.

“Got yourself a Savage .223,” Tess said, admiring the rifle.

“Yeah,” Dawn said, having no idea what the woman was talking about. She fumbled with the shells, loading them clumsily into the magazine until she couldn’t fit any more. She lost count quickly, but knew there were no more than seven bullets in it…or so she thought.

“Safety’s here,” Top said, pointing at the little switch on it with red on one side. “You see red, it’s live. Work a shell in by pulling the bolt back then sliding it in, then aim and pull the trigger.”

Dawn nodded, then glanced up at him and offered him a smile. “Let’s go… Tess, you sure you can find it?”

“In the dark and stoned on painkillers?” she asked with a lazy grin. “Absolutely!”

Top cursed and Dawn shook her head. She hoped the excessive drugs wouldn’t harm the girl. That, or cause the girl to harm herself. “All right, let’s go.”

“Come on,” Top said, leading them away. He slipped his rifle behind his shoulder and led the way through camp and up over to a break in the arrangement of the camps and vehicles. Less than a hundred feet outside the camp they came across a group of people already gathered.

“Colonel,” Sergeant Kinnison said, nodding in deference as they came up to them.

“Sir! What are you doing?” Dawn asked, nearly squeaking in surprise.

“I said I don’t like leaving men behind,” he said. “I damn well won’t let my doctor head out and put herself in harm’s way without me doing everything I can to protect her.”

She turned, uncertain how to respond. Captain Snow and some others she instantly recognized were there as well: Oscar and Billy Haskins, the pair of troublemakers who couldn’t help but make her grin. They wore their combat gear and carried weapons looking every bit as lethal as the ones that Top and Tess carried.

“Okay,” Dawn said, letting out a deep breath. “Let’s go.”

“Five yard spread,” Captain Snow said. “Top, you stick with the Colonel and the Doctor. Haskins, you take the back, Chavez and Robinson, you’ve got point.”

Chavez was Oscar and Robinson was Tess though it was not until they moved into the positions they were ordered into that Dawn made the connections. She nodded and fell in near the Colonel and Top, waiting for her turn to move out. The excitement and terror built in her, but she stamped it down with the simple vision of what Angie would look like if she was laying somewhere and bleeding, waiting for Dawn to come and rescue her.

Amazon / Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0053K3WXO
Novel Concept Publishing: http://www.novelconceptpublishing.com
Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/61281
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/human-nature-jason-halstead/1023733608?ean=9781609824211&itm=2&usri=jason%2bhalstead
Sony: http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/jason-halstead/human-nature/_/R-400000000000000264470
Kobo: http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Human-Nature/book–pOVYlRPAkmQAENPDbZzvw/page1.html
Wattpad: http://www.wattpad.com/1636254-human-nature

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