The Invasion

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Its about an invasion, and a young child and his mother trying to survive it.

When I first saw it, I knew that I wanted to learn everything there was to know about the universe. It spanned the entire diameter of the planet, much like the ring of Saturn. There was so much to know, and I wanted to learn all of it. I started by watching the stars. Mother got me the best monocular on the market, and I watched every night after school. I watched with a child’s wonder as ships docked and launched from it.

 

It seemed the biggest anthill, a colony of metal ants partaking of the greatest adventure. I imagined what it would be like to fly them. Every night I hoped and prayed with all the fervor I could muster to dream again and again the thrill of waking inside the cockpit. I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life, and now it was over. I stood in my backyard paralyzed.

 It was the largest orbital defense platform ever created, and every weapons cluster was firing. I watched, straining through the monocular, as thousands of quick response force fighters took flight from the ring. They snapped into well-rehearsed formations and attack stratagem accumulated from hundreds of simulated force engagements.  They had trained so extensively that they formed unbidden into the correct offensive plan of action before it could be fed to them by their force commander.  The enemy warships, many times the size of our largest capital ships, snatched the life from them in swaths of liquid light. It reminded me of mother spraying bugs.

With surgical and blinding precision, the enemy destroyed missile defense coordination satellites. Next came the primary, secondary, and tertiary shield generator units. Friendly missile salvos that had been tracking with pinpoint accuracy seconds before dissolved into chaos. Our missiles drifted off into space, lead as easily as a domesticated golden retriever on a leash. I brought one of our capital ships into the view of my monocular and watched as a salvo of enemy fire hit the flank of the ship. The first blast shimmered against the shield, and the other two struck through it. She blew apart as easily as a rotted stump.

 

There were so many fighters that the ring became formless, enveloped in writhing soundless orange and yellow serpents. I gripped the monocular in shaking hands, numb with shock and unable to look away. Every time one of our battleships tried to crest the edge of the globe, it was hastily blown away.  

 

The breeze was light, the soft sounds of leaves caressing each other so utterly removed from what was happening far above I wanted to scream. How can you be at ease! Look at the sky!  I brought the monocular back up once more. The great defensive ring disintegrated before my eyes. I watched as the enemy casually vaporized every square inch of it to prevent the debris from damaging the planet.  Four minutes had elapsed.

I heard the screen door on the porch smash against the wall of the house, breaking the clay pot that was occasionally used to prop it open. My mother ran over to me, a hopeless feature of motherly reassurance.

“Drop that! We’re leaving!” she barked, yanking my arm to follow. The monocular bounced wildly on its thin leather strap. We didn’t even stop in the house.

“Mom?” I said. She didn’t look back.

“Not now, hurry up!” She rasped. I felt the temperature spike on my skin, we looked up together. The sky was a deep crimson. Warm gusts of wind swam blithely through the streets. A firestorm raged in the Forrest of Heaven.

“We need to run, do it now!” She screamed. We ran.  Running provided an action to distract from futility. The chaos laid bare the harsh truth of survival. One might ignorantly imagen groups of the despairing yet compassionate. Stopping to help a fallen child. Perhaps the running door to door to warn of the danger. I wish I could relate some truth to that sentiment. The truth is that we ran across the bodies of dead and dying. Imploring cries for assistance didn’t register as a blip compared to the need to seek personal safety.  We were almost to the community bunker. I heard a voice cry out and tried to turn and see who it was.

“Look, our fighters got off the ground!” he exclaimed. And so it was.

I watched in jerking motion as thousands of them flew from ground-based military facilities into the night, straight into the enemy. I watched as a thousand stems of defiance climbed higher and yet still higher. They flew the ragged edge of physical limitation. Dozens of them blacked out in their attempt to breach the atmosphere.  I watched them. I watched all of them, one by one, as they blossomed into roses.

That was when the screaming truly began. Any lingering hope that was left had gone with them. Some of the cries were hysterical, others sullen and forlorn. Others were resigned to a life completely shattered. Some stopped running. I saw one decrepit elder standing on the edge of his balcony, calmy smoking from a pipe, breathing deeply and savoring the moment.  

 

Then it started. It was like dropping polished lead balls into the softest sand, and they hit everywhere. Sound took a different meaning. There were no subtleties to the sound anymore. The chirping of the crickets, the patter of children’s feet, the kicking of an aluminum can, even the harsh screaming. What replaced it was the noise. Oh, the noise. There is not a word to describe the intermingling of belligerent sound that assaulted my senses. One ear listened to the horrible sounds of the world, the other, pressed firmly against my mothers torso, listened to ragged breaths of exertion and her racing heart. Both ears listened to terror. Through the ringing came a voice.

“Here! Here!” It cried.

 Mother found a reserve of strength, and halting steps quickened. She covered my face with her coat as we flew through the door. A muffled exchange took place. The smells of fire and charred flesh receded, leaving the damp of the bunker. I heard and felt everyone gathering closely together, driven by instinct. The collective group rank with the stench of fear. The lights had winked out, and we were driven into darkness. The air was thick with dust that had been shaken loose from the bombardment. Hours passed.  Shockwave after shockwave ran through the City, through the world. A thump, thumping; each followed by an involuntary shaking fit.  Our despair echoed the intensity of the bombing.  Wailing, and then sobbing whimpers.

I spent most of the time listening it. I tracked it throughout the room, noting who had stopped, who had started again. Was it worse than before? More resigned?  A strange calm enveloped me. I realized that it was beyond anything I could do. Mother had fallen asleep, and I was getting cramps from crouching near her for so long. I carefully crawled out from underneath her embrace, and explored the new universe I lived in. Sleeping forms were everywhere. I crawled through and under them, the room wasn’t very large after all. A noise captured my attention. It was a flash of light, and the quick outline of someone else. In the dark amongst the murmurs and nightmares I heard a voice.

“Stop that, some people are trying to sleep.” The voice growled. I did. I worked towards the voice and eventually found him against the corner of the small room. He grunted.

“Where are your parents?” he said. I settled down next to him.

“My moms here, just over there.” I said, pointing. He nodded, the silhouette of his form bobbed, I could only just make it out. We sat in silence for a moment while I worked up my courage. My thin voice penetrated the stillness.

“Sir, why is this happening?” I whispered. He let out a long sigh, flicking one of the matches with his nail. It blinded me and I lost what little night vision I had managed to get.

“I don’t know.” He said gravely. I fidgeted in the dirt.

“You got to know something.” I said.  He was fiddling with something in his hands, but the motion stopped at the question, and the form turned slowly to face me in the dark.

“Nobody knows why it happened, and I suspect that none of us ever will.” He said.  I scooted a little closer. My pants scrunched up uncomfortably, but I wanted to be closer to him. His calm was infectious.

“There must be some clue?” I pressed. He shook his head, chuckling slightly.

“I did see the inscription on one of the craft that came into orbit. Hold on.” I listened as he drew the inscription into the sand. A flick of his thumb ignited the match. And there in the sand read the inscription.

 

UNITED EARTH DEFENSE FLEET

 

I gazed into the face of my reptilian brother, softly lit in the light of a single match. His bright yellow eyes blinked and contracted. His silver scales rippled in irritation, and then smoothed out, clicking softly as they did so. He gave me a sideways glance, and a crooked smile.

“You know what it says?” He asked.

I shook my head.

“No sir.” He shrugged.

“Me either.” He said.

We watched the fire move down the match.


Submitted: July 05, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Musser. All rights reserved.

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Comments

Serge Wlodarski

Good twist at the end.

Fri, July 9th, 2021 3:10pm

Author
Reply

Thank you! I do need to rewrite this though. Pretty darn rough at the moment, just wanted to put something on here.

Fri, July 9th, 2021 2:42pm

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