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Savior-After Earth: Ghost Stories (Short Story)

On a distant planet called Nova Prime, the United Ranger Corps defends the galaxy’s remaining humans from an alien race known as the Skrel and their genetically engineered predators, the Ursa—and one Ranger will learn just how high the cost of victory can be. “Ghost Stories: Savior” is the fifth of six eBook short stories that lead up to the events of After Earth, the epic science fiction adventure film directed by M. Night Shyamalan and starring Jaden Smith and Will Smith.  

Ranger Jon Blackburn wakes up from voluntary brain surgery, dazed and confused. He is a hero . . . or at least he will be one, if the delicate operation to remove his sense of fear was successful. Blackburn consented to take part in the experimental initiative to increase the Rangers’ reserve of “Ghosts,” soldiers whose lack of fear renders them invisible to the deadly Ursa. All indications are that it’s a spectacular success—but Blackburn doesn’t feel special; he doesn’t feel honored when Cypher Raige, the Original Ghost, personally thanks him. In fact, he doesn’t really feel much of anything. Doctors say that his fear is gone, but something else is missing, too; something Blackburn may not be able to get back, unless he can piece together this twisted jigsaw puzzle and find a way to become whole again.