The Fifth Wave

Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. An alien civilization, unable to produce enough coffee to feed their planet’s caffeine addiction, is on the verge of collapse.

Unfortunately for Earth, an old Folger’s coffee television commercial eventually arrived at the alien’s solar system. The kindly Mrs. Olsen, smilingly describing the rich flavor of Folger’s coffee, had sealed Earth’s fate.

A fleet of alien war ships were dispatched to Earth. Our planet would be converted into a giant coffee plantation. The conquest would took place in five phases, or waves. The first four waves have been successful.

The first wave was an EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, that crippled Earth’s machinery and communications.

The second wave modified Earth’s climate, turning all land masses into lush, tropical eco-systems, perfect for coffee growing.

The third wave saw the construction of massive labor camps near coffee plantations.

The fourth wave was the conscription of the world’s burros and equipping them with rattan baskets to hold the precious harvest.

The fifth and most devastating wave was underway: cloning the original actor who portrayed Juan Valdez in the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia television commercial from 1989, so endless copies of the actor could hand pick the treasured bean for the merciless invaders.

Juan Valdez clone ready for the Fifth Wave
A Juan Valdez Clone

One of few survivors of the first four waves is John Ballard, an American expat living in the Philippines, on the run trying to survive with his two friends, Pete the Cat (short for Petronius the Cat) and his loud-mouthed white parrot, Pete the Parrot (short for Pete the Loudmouthed Parrot). Ballard, an unemployed pet psychic, can communicate with his animal companions using only his mind, but neither the parrot nor the cat, having the same name, ever know which one is being contacted, which leads to frequent fights.

The monstrous aliens have decimated the Earth to grow what they most highly prize: fresh ground French Roast. Pete the Parrot also craves French Roast, and can detect it with his acute senses hundreds of miles away.

The squawking fowl, having disappeared for a week in search of coffee, returned with news that there was a supply of French Roast at the Pitaya Institute, an agricultural research facility dedicated to the study of dragon fruit near Batangas. Unable to grind beans or plug in a coffee maker, Pete the Parrot mentally begs Ballard to come to the Institute, because besides coffee, locked inside the burned out building is Professor Grund, an enigmatic scientist who claims he can destroy the aliens.

As the invaders prepare to launch the devastating fifth wave, Ballard, Pete the Parrot and Pete the Cat set off across an apocalyptic landscape. After days of dodging alien death squads, the trio encounters a crashed spacecraft. All the aliens are dead, but their prisoner is not - a beautiful spitfire named Rosa Zuleca, who Ballard releases from her smoldering prison. Rosa claims to be a Colombian national who used to operate a car wash in Los Angeles. Her husband, private investigator Benny Goldfarb, died while trying to save her after her capture. Although still reeling from the loss of her husband, there is an immediate attraction between Ballard and Rosa, but with an uncertain future for all of them, romance will have to wait.

Our brave band of adventurers, Ballard, Rosa, Pete and Pete find shelter in an abandoned, rusting white 1963 Ford Fairlane station wagon with collapsed suspension, bald tires and an AM radio that somehow pulls in a fire and brimstone Christian station on continuous loop from Anchorage, Alaska. Overcome by Rosa’s beauty, Ballard tried to steal a kiss, but Pete and Pete started a fight and spoiled the romantic moment – but it didn't matter - they had to press on to find the Professor!

Driving all night, dodging aliens, our rag tag band locates the Pitaya Institute early the next morning. Only Professor Grund knows the secret that can destroy the invaders. But is he still alive? They must enter the damaged building and release him, as he is humanity's only chance to save the planet.

Pete and Pete attempt to move through the building silently, but Pete the Parrot's constant squawking ruins any hope of a stealthy approach. Ballard reads the minds of Pete the Cat and Pete the Parrot to monitor their progress. Once again Ballard is distracted by Rosa's beauty and is about to kiss her, when he is jolted with a psychic squawk from the garrulous parrot, who has located the locked room that imprisons the Professor.

Ballard mentally directs Pete the Cat to lead them to Pete the Parrot's location. After negotiating live electrical wires, broken glass, collapsing walls and Pete the Cat’s obsession with lab rats, they arrive at their destination.

The Professor is behind a door three feet thick. Ballard and Rosa can’t hear what the Professor is telling them. There is a crack in the wall, but Pete the Cat is too fat to fit, so Pete the Parrot squeezes through.

Ballard asks Pete the Parrot to talk to the Professor, so they can get find a way to get him out. Pete starts squawking to the imprisoned scientist, "Open the door, open the door, squawk! Open the door, open the door...squawk! Tell me how, tell me how...squawk!"

The Professor tells the loud-mouthed bird where Ballard can find the key to the door. Ballard, reading the bird's mind soon frees the Professor, and they set upon a plan to stop the invaders. It turns out that the aliens can be killed if their skin is broken by dragon fruit seeds, which is why the monsters targeted the Pitaya Institute for destruction.

Our team must construct a dragon fruit machine gun, something that can shoot the miniscule seeds at the aliens, destroying them and foiling their evil plans to dominate the earth. Luckily, Rosa had been a munitions expert for a clandestine government organization. She taught secret agents how to create deadly weapons out of everyday objects. Working through the night, they construct several dragon fruit guns, hoping they will be ready before the Fifth Wave and the army of Juan Valdez clones descend upon them.

Minutes before first light, the weapons are ready...but will they work? Ballard directs Pete the Parrot to fly into the alien command center and lure them back to the Institute. At first the aliens ignore the bird, but Pete's incessant squawking annoys the aliens so much they take off after him in hot pursuit. The general of the aliens lands with his soldiers at the Institute. He's wary of a trap, but believes he's destroyed all the humans there, and proceeds into the building.

The alien squad follows the echoes of Pete the Parrot's obnoxious squawking. Moving deeper into the bowels of the building, the general and his contingent are getting further away from reinforcements. Pete the Cat silently follows the monsters while simultaneously hunting for lab rats and relaying his movements to Ballard.

The aliens are lead into a large auditorium. Reverberating parrot squawks make it impossible to locate the bird. The aliens are being set up in a cross fire. A few more squawks and the invaders are in position. Pete the Parrot makes one final squawk, and then BANG!

The monsters are pummeled by dragon fruit seeds, which quickly poison them. The soldiers die immediately, but the general lives long enough to warn his fleet to escape immediately from Earth, as they have no defense against the seeds in this delicious fruit!

Ballard, Rosa, the Professor, Pete the Cat and Pete the Parrot save the Earth. The Professor and Pete the Parrot go to look for a working coffee maker. Pete the Cat is busy stalking a giant, delicious rat squeaking under some debris.

Alone at last, Ballard and Rosa, longing to express their love, prepare to kiss. Before their lips meet, Rosa looks down at Ballard’s pants and says, “Is that a mouse in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?”

Puzzled, Ballard looks down, reaches into the folds of his pants and pulls out a white lab rat.  Pete the Cat, seeing an easy meal, launches an immediate attack and lands straight on top of Ballard and Rosa, knocking them backwards onto some sacks and breaking them open. French Roast coffee beans spill out, and their heavenly aroma fills the room. Ballard says, “Coffee!”

Pete the Parrot reads Ballard’s mind and tells the Professor, “Squawk! They found some coffee, they found some coffee, squawk!”

Pete the Parrot and the Professor hurry back to the main lab, where they are greeted with one liter beakers of piping hot, freshly brewed French Roast, a welcome reward for our humble heroes.

The Fifth Wave has failed. Millions of Juan Valdez clones, with their burros and rattan baskets, form long lines at immigration offices, applying for political asylum to Colombia.

The sun rises on a new day.

Synopsis
Deadly aliens have almost conquered Earth. Only John Ballard, an unemployed pet psychic, a mysterious beauty named Rosa, the enigmatic Professor Grund and a cat and parrot, both named Pete, can send the monsters packing!
John Graffio is co-founder and web master of Lenka's List, a new and dynamic face in the indie author web space. Lenka's List is at the forefront of seeking out new talent as well as proven performers in all genres.