Chapter 4

By: Trilipush

When a soldier is backed into a corner with no hope of ever making it out alive, the only thing he can wish for is to die an honorable death. He’d choose to go down fighting for his country, or at least, the preservation of his dignity. That’s what a good soldier does.

Today, I’m not just fighting for my country or this damned planet. I’m fighting for humanity’s survival. In that context, given the choice between extinction and dishonor, I’m willing to choose the latter, especially if that means that humanity can live to fight another day. I think there’s a certain courage in that, though I’m sure not many of my men below ground would agree.

I was jolted from my ruminations by a sharp prodding from the giant alien creature before me. “Speak up, slave. What have you got to say for yourself?”

I held myself upright the best I could. I’m the Supreme Commander of Earth’s last survivors, after all. The least I could do is maintain a bearing of dignity.

“My people… what’s left of them.. are down below. They’re tired and hungry and in desperate need of medical attention. You say you want to make slaves of us? Then hurry up and help them. We won’t be any use to any of you if we all wind up dead.”

He flashed me a cold stare for just a second before he turned around and called the attention of his fellow creatures. What happened next went by so fast I could hardly describe it As big as these monstrosities are, their movements have a unique grace to them that overwhelms the mind. They move like flowing water with some jerky motions in between. Seeing all these creatures move the way they do had me feeling more dazed and sick to my stomach.

I felt myself working up a vomit when I suddenly felt rather than heard an explosion from behind me. The force of the blast threw me several feet forward and landed me face first into the ground. Ears ringing, I rolled over on my back and saw the whole landscape before me vibrating. After the last remnants of a squealing noise that reminded me of a boiling kettle have died away, I saw a massive hole in the ground.

I struggled to stand up and shambled towards the hole that just appeared from the ground before me. I looked down, already knowing what I’m going to find there. The entire underground base remained intact but with the whole top of it cleanly removed by the blast. I saw what’s left of my army being seized by the strange creatures. Varying states of despair were on their
faces. I found to my dismay that a third of them are already dead.

A mixture of anger and grief roiled inside me. I took another step forward. I was about to shout for my men when I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my neck. The whole word around me spun. I managed to spit a curse before everything went black.


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