By Alberto Pupo
It was devastating, so quickly everything that I have ever loved tossed into the ash heap of history. True we human beings are a shitty species, we lie, cheat, steal, and kill one another for profit (or fun). We betray each other in countless ways, but did we deserve to have most of us wiped out from existence in a single moment? The Heavens opened up… Some of us prayed thinking it is the Rapture, waiting to ascend, only to die. I saw them with my own eyes looking out my window, my neighbors, friends, co-workers… and then they melted away into nothingness.
The alien crafts poured down from the skies. Metallic looking orbs, which resembled beasts from a Lovecraftian nightmare. I read Lovecraft, as I watched them burn everything to the ground. This felt appropriate at the time. So then they came out of their crafts, hideous looking things, roughly ten feet tall heavily tentacle, a combination of the Aliens from the Simpsons, and Cthulhu. I hid in the darkness of my home whenever a roving eye would try and find me through the window. Then it would walk away, and I would breathe a temporary sigh of relief for that is all there was.
For a day I felt like the last man on earth. Sometimes I thought this was nothing more than a nightmare, I wanted to end it all at times, but a part of me fought hard for self-preservation, a part of me wanted hope. Outside I could see a sign of hope somebody spray painted on a white picket fence. “Resistance.” The word calls out to me; it made me feel brave even though inside I am a coward. The prospect of facing the tentacle beasts did not appeal to me. Sometimes I wish that the laser would have incinerated me as well, that way I would not have to make a difficult decision.
Walking outside, I can smell the scent of death, (a faint trace of Sulphur as well). Most of the homes in my area have been smashed to nothing but rubble. For some reason they had spared mine, I look back I am the last one standing. A heavy fog.. most likely smoke fills the air, and I hear sirens? Police sirens? Followed by gunshots and screams? Is this what the “Resistance” means? Where some of my fellow humans trying to fight back? This gives me hope. Suddenly a figure crashes into me hard.
“Get down now.”
I now lay on the floor as machine gun fire rips over my head I can hear the sounds and screams of something dying. I open my eyes to see a large figure standing over me dressed in army fatigues. He is heavily muscled and resembles Sylvester Stallone’s, Rambo. He holds his hand out to me to lift me up.
“My name is Brandon… I am so glad you got my message.”
I am confused as to what he means by the message, but then, of course, it becomes evident.
“You wrote spray painted the word Resistance, didn’t you?
He nods confirming my question and instilling a new hope in me.
“I have been going around town looking for survivors, there are not many of us out there, but with you, this makes about fifteen that I have found in the area. A few blocks from here are hunkered down in a bunker, we have food, and supplies most importantly we are armed, here.”
He throws a small 3.57 magnum at me, I look up at him dumbfounded, and he can see based on my bovine expression that I have never used a gun in my life, and he would be right.
“Well listen you know you will need this so just don’t be afraid and fire at will, what is your name by the way?”
I look at him still unsure he is trying to reassure me because he can see the panic in my eyes which I am trying desperately to hide but I cannot.
“Your right I will have to use it to defend myself and I will, my name is Jack.”
He smiles at me now that we have been properly introduced he looks familiar, but at the same time, there is something not quite right about him.
“Good, Jack, Welcome to the Resistance.”
We hurry a few blocks; we run as we can now hear the sounds of approaching steps crunching on the pavement.
“Hurry they are still looking for us.”
We enter a broken down building it looks like it used to be a store of sorts, but inside it has been severely damaged. It is pitch black, and now we enter through a metal door and goo down into the basement. Seared around the table, it is a group of roughly fifteen men and women, each one of them looking battered bruised and simply looking like absolute shit. They all turn to look at me one of them a lanky, pale fellow draws his gun and points at me in fear.
“Alright put the gun down he is one of us now guys I introduce you to Jack, he lives on 54 Maple Street, and he has survived the Invasion. So welcome him to the Resistance.”
There now came a sarcastic cheer which is not very heartening. Brandon looks apologetic at the moment for the way they are acting.
“Come on everyone we should be excited we now have yet another one of us to fight against these things; we need all the help we can get.”
“Damn right!, Those things are some scary mother fuckers.”
The voice that broke through sounds cheer, (especially in comparison to the moribund bunch).
“Come on guys toughen up grow up a spine it is what Brandon has been waiting for us to do.”
She emerges from the shadows with a broad smile on her face, beautiful blue eyes seeming to be glowing with short wavy brown hair.
“The name is Kat.. and yes, that is my name welcome to the Resistance Jack, I hope you are ready to take our planet back.”
I can’t help but smile back; she has what some would call moxie. She is beautiful; I would not mind living in a basement with her anywhere.
“Thank you for stepping in there Kat, I know I can always count on you.”
Brandon smiles at her, and they hold each other’s gazes for a while this tells me she is off the market, which makes me sad but there is nothing I can do when you are trying to fight to save your planet something as adolescent as a crush has no place in war.
“Alright you guys and gals, lock and load we are going out for our daily hunting mission, let’s show Jack what the Resistance is all about!”
Now there is a hearty cheer, and I feel a sense of hope in me that everything is going to be ok. Brandon hands me a much larger weapon now with a huge grin on his face.
“You have just been upgraded to an M-16, lock, and load Jack, and whatever you do keep your finger on that trigger the city streets are mainly crawling with uglies, so the is a slim chance of hitting an innocent bystander.”
I nod in understanding feeling the weight of the M-16 in my arms; I cradle it as it has become my most precious possession.
We walk outside and break down the door, guns blazing, we start firing at anything that may look alien. Our firepower takes them by surprise we catch then unaware as pieces of tentacles, and neon colored blood begin to pour all over the place. All I can do is smile and shoot as I am getting my revenge. We high five for the moment when we clear one street, but we know there is much work to be done. I love the fact that we are fighting back this Resistance gives me hope.
“The young man’s dreams are so beautiful and full of hope they simply touch me.”
He turns to face the other who stands there watching, gruesome, looking with tentacles rather than arms. The creature is clearly not amused by the images that are going through the prisoner’s mind, and it simply goes away in disgust. After the creature moves away, Brian Henderson breathes a sigh of relief. And continues to look at the young man who is asleep inside the cryogenic prison. Ever since the Invasion, he has been forced by his captors to watch over these prisoners. He was spared because of his advanced scientific knowledge, and unlike most of the planet, he gets to live while he suffers in silence. But there is one thing that makes Doctor Brian Henderson happy is that in watching the dreams that flood the minds of the prisoners he hopes he finds something that helps to keep him alive. In these visions he finds hope.