“ALPHA WARRIORS – TARGET: EARTH”
by Neil P. Simpson
An invasion fleet stands by on the edge of Earth’s atmosphere, waiting for the signal to begin the attack. An unsuspecting Earth, whose defence systems would be powerless against the technological might of a force put together in the starfields of another universe, is going to need help to save the human race from conquest, colonisation and slavery.
This is the main premise of ‘Alpha Warriors’, a brand new concept from London author Neil P. Simpson, released via Amazon Kindle at the end of November 2014 and aimed primarily at the children’s market. “Target: Earth” is his, and Alpha Warriors’, debut and the first in a planned series of novellas that will each weigh in at around 30,000 words. Simpson has spent a number of years developing and honing ‘Alpha Warriors’ as a television concept, which included writing a batch of scripts for a potential series, but only came upon the notion of adapting his scripts into novellas in the summer of 2014. “Target: Earth” gets the series up and running and introduces us to the main protagonists: a set of good guys (the Alpha Warriors themselves), a set of bad guys headed up by a former Alpha Warrior turned rogue called Lord Oberon, and a cast of peripheral figures who are to have recurring appearances in the subsequent novellas. And with the promise of human Oberon sleeper agents in every town and city on Earth, Simpson promises us stories based all around the globe as well as across the five universes his stories will speak of.
“Target: Earth” begins with retrospective scenes that highlight the chain of events leading up to Oberon becoming the embittered, evil dictator he is, and also how four students named Aurelius, Jasper, Shamus and Toby became the Alpha Warriors detailed to go after him. Simpson keeps his powder dry and, although revealing enough to set the scene of how these main characters came to be, he does not give too much fine detail away. Clearly, he has bigger plans for their back-stories further down the line. Then comes Oberon’s first approach on Earth. The Alpha Warriors reveal themselves and a dogfight ensues, which then leads to a tense stand-off and battle in New York’s Central Park. During the battle, a young girl named Hannah finds herself inadvertently stowed away on an Oberon scout ship, which is then transported through space to Oberon’s space-station. Once the Alpha Warriors – using one of a number of super-senses – discover that Hannah is in great danger, they must deal directly with Oberon himself and offer themselves up as a sacrifice in order to put their plans into action.
One aspect of “Target: Earth” that may intrigue the reader, whatever their age, is the state of planet Earth. Simpson’s Earth is almost an alternative Earth, set in the near future. The planet, mindful of branching out into space, is now governed by a single entity called the Council of Nations that has no outright leader but a team of Region Leaders, and who welcome the Alpha Warriors with open arms. Some may dismiss this as a piece of hopeful Utopian dreaming, but if the real Earth does put people on Mars in the next century, then who knows what direction the human race may take. During the scene when the Council of Nations meet the Alpha Warriors, one of the Region Leaders tells them that a colony on the Moon called Lunar City One will shortly be inhabited by two million humans, and so this is an alternative Earth assured of itself and stretching its legs into space, but also an everyday, modern-day Earth we all can recognise. Simpson has confirmed that one of the 2015 novellas will be based on Lunar City One.
One facet of the story that marks it out as a little different from those playing out on the big screen is the promised plot device of the human sleeper agent. Planted upon Earth somehow by Oberon’s forces, these agents are everyday men and women who ride buses and trains, drink coffee and eat sandwiches, go to work and play with the kids at home. Suddenly, they then become terrorists doing Oberon’s work against the human race and it will be Alpha Warriors’ job to root them out. This echoes with the real-life terrorism of the last twenty-five years, acts that have been perpetrated by the average-looking Joe in the street and not by a fifty foot-high robot that got sucked into New York by a massive wormhole. With this, Simpson ensures that the Alpha Warriors will have to work harder and smarter to find their quarry, and that it will happen in a variety of refreshingly different locations.
So if you or the kids like the idea of alien super-heroes that are smart, funny, daring and strong in a classic battle of good versus evil that tries to avoid any stereotype traps, then “Alpha Warriors – Target: Earth” is for you. They already have their own website, www.alpha-warriors.com, and this first novella is available to buy via Amazon Kindle.
– Paul Forbes
Avid Science Fiction & Fantasy Lover. Big fan of comics as well. Prefer the dark side to the light. That’s just how I roll.