A man faces his memorires of life before an alien invasion
Devin kept his eyes closed as he breathed deeply. The smell of a burnt out city ran it’s scented fingers under his nose. He tried to breath through his mouth but the taste was almost as unbearable as smelling the foul air. The smell wouldn't have been so disheartening if it wasn’t one of hundred reminders of that day. It would almost have be bearable if it didn’t remind him of the days that followed after that day and the many horror filled days that followed.
He pressed the barrel of his laz-rifle to his forehead. He let out a slow deliberate breath. His mind raced and yet always found it’s way back to the last phone call. The last time he had heard her voice. The last time he he had spoken to her. The last time he had told her he loved her.
He could feel the presence of other soldiers. Each one going through a similar ritual of closure. In moments it would be all over. The last nest-hive wold be assaulted and destroyed. The war would finally be over. It was a sweet victory and a bitter one. The song that had been his companion since that fateful day played once again in his head like the music player set on repeat.
I still got the Blues for you.
He wasn’t sure of it was a cruel twist of fate, an omen of things to come, or just a cosmic coincidence. He remembered it like it was yesterday. He was a money manger back then. He knew now that money only had the value we gave it. In the dark times he saw people with briefcases full of the old greenbacks trying to buy safety, food, even things as simple as a bottled water. Money had no use after the invasion and therefore it had no meaning. People learned their lesson. Eventually a fist full of dollars would be thrown aside for a cup of water.
She had called him to ask him to bring a few bottles of wine home. It was game night with their friends. He loved game night, especially the classics like scrabble and monopoly. They had spoken about the evening when the first earthquakes hit.
That memory forced his eyes open. He was on a decimated avenue in Bucktown, a neighborhood of what use to be Chicago. The avenue was littered with the skeletons of wrecked cars, broken tech, and people. Bones littered the street, femurs, forearms, and spines. Those were the only testament to the lives that had been attached to them. Now it was almost impossible to distinguish one set from another or even give them names.
The initial attack was swift and brutal. The Charr descended from their attack mega-cruiser in swarms. They quickly overwhelmed governments, military regiments, and religious organizations alike. They used seismic disruptors to cause earthquakes. They attacked the Bucktown area fervently. Civies had been given the evacuate order but it was too late. The Charr shook the streets with their weapon causing the high rise buildings to collapse.
The last words he yelled to his wife over the phone on that day were “I love you.” The last thing he heard from her was a scream, the sound of metal and cement giving way, and a song that he would never get out of his head.
I still got the Blues for you.
Emotions welled up inside of him that he had to set aside. He snapped back to the present and listened to his CO. Today was the day. The last of the Carr Lords would be destroyed. Humans had won. They had survived the invasion. They survived Armageddon. They won because of greed. Not human greed, but the greed of the Charr.
The Charr had initially worked together, but after the satisfactory initial assault the arachnid looking life forms carved out sections of the planet. The Charr clan claimed these sections as hunting grounds so they could feed and reproduce. Once they had divided up the planet each Charr lord worked independently. Their greed even drove the lords to attack each other in an attempt to take hunting grounds from weak. The Charr had expected humans to give up and give in. But humanity proved itself to be much more resilient than the lords anticipated.
The Charr lords were divided by greed.
Humans were united by a common enemy, and a common hate.
Slowly, and working together, the humans were able to reverse engineer many of the Charr lord’s technology. The Charr had defeated so many enemies that they forgot the art of scientific innovation, They became complacent with their tech. Once humans understood the science, they adapted it to their own. After many bloody battles and many deaths on both sides. The final lord hit inside it’s hive-nest with it’s defenses prepared.
As the CO spoke Devin pulled out a silver locket. He opened it and saw her face once again. This would be the last time he would see this picture. Her brown eyes and dark caramel colored skin jumped from the photo. She wore her hair in tight corn rows that covered her scalp. Her hair then cascaded down her back in tight braids. Her nose was small, rounded, and sat perfectly placed on her face. He lips were full and soft.
Devin heard the CO finish his speech. He closed the locket, and took it off. That was the last time he would see her face. He placed the locked on top of an envelope on the ground. Inside he had written about their lives before the invasion. He hoped someone would pick it up and remember who the pair had been. He stood solemnly. He had volunteered for the first wave. He would die soon, but at least he knew in his heart it was a for a greater good.
He also knew he would see her again soon.