Flash Fiction Thursday–Coming to a World Near You

Another Sci-Fi story? Yes. I did a random roll on Chuck Wendig’s challenge for this week on TerribleMinds:

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/10/25/flash-fiction-challenge-the-subgenre-smash-and-grab/

I rolled Alien Invasion/Post-Apocalyptic Horror.

I decided to flip the script a bit in this story–humans are the aliens invading. Not my best work, but…Enjoy!

Coming to a World Near You

 

April, 30 2108:

 

They always told us that it would happen to earth. Watch for UFOs, they said. Aliens will destroy Earth, they said. Well, leave it to us for that—we’re much more efficient at killing ourselves than any alien race would be. Who would have thought that it’d ever come to this. Last night we entered Vea 119’s orbit. The population of intelligent life doesn’t look hostile, but that’s not the point. Our job is to take orders—just like it always has been.

 

-Journal of Chuck Gardner, Corporal: Order Army.

 

When Chuck’s feet touched down onto the Vean surface on May 2, 2108, he couldn’t help but take note of the land all around—vast plains with turquoise colored grass spread as far as the eye could see with lush trees protruding out of the Vean crust with regularity. He inhaled the freshest air any human had taken in since the industrial revolution.

 

“Private Gardner.”

 

The voice broke him out of his appreciation of the new land. “Oh, uh, Staff Sergeant?”

 

“Are you going to stand around here or can we get going?” Sergeant Peters asked.

 

Chuck looked behind him and saw eight eager soldiers in his battalion awaiting his answer. Not that he had any choice in the matter. He knew if he declined he’d be shot on the spot, like any other man that had a dissenting opinion on Earth. The fact that he considered Peters to be his best friend didn’t change anything. The new world order was supposed to unite the world. Instead, it brought nothing but tension, war, and unmitigated climate change that rendered the planet uninhabitable.

 

“Let’s go,” Gardner said. The group marched North West toward the nearest large population of the species they named Bumble Bears. From a distance, they seemed to be the sole intelligent life on Vea.

 

When they reached the borders of what Gardner liked to think of as a city, his group made camp for the night. Although the planet took six hundred and eight days to rotate around its sun, the planet completed its day in only eleven hours.

 

Gardner waited for the others to focus on supper, then he wandered off to take care of business. He turned to the small troop. “Hey, I gotta go drop a deuce.” Gardner received only token grunts of approval. What else could he expect—he was talking to soldiers settling down for their first meal in hours.

 

Gardner walked for a few minutes until he found a nice spot, squatting only inches from a beautiful red and white tree.

 

Midway through his ‘duty’ he felt a small pinch on the side of his neck—Gardner slapped it away as if it were only a fly, but when he did, he got a handful of an entire branch. In a panic, he fought to run away, but the force of the plant pull held him firm. Just when he started to scream, another branch fell on his head, dazing him and leaving him unable to speak. A branch curled around his neck. Gardner lost air quickly. He struggled and fought the plant to no avail. After only fifteen seconds, his thrashings became less frequent and weaker. After twenty, he couldn’t move around at all. A deepening black tunnel narrowed his vision until there was nothing left to see.

 

Just when Gardner gave up hope, his vision started to return. All he could hear was the hacking of metal on wood and leaves. It took a minute or two for his vision to return, but when it did, he saw brown and yellow fur in front of his face.

 

Bumble Bears! he thought. We’re caught. He found himself staring at the creatures that he came there to kill. They hacked away at the clutching plant until Gardner was finally able to break free of its grip. He stood up at once, and stared at his four visitors, wide eyed. “Look, I don’t mean any trouble.”

 

Sure, after the new world order took hold the entire earth population was forced to speak English, but was in an intergalactic language? No. The four foot Bumble Bears held palaver in a series of sounds that sounded more like barks than anything that comes out of a human mouth.

 

“Don’t hurt me,” Gardner said. He held his hands out to show them that he didn’t have any weapons.

 

The creatures spoke to one another again, then, to his surprise, they did the same; they even dropped their machete like weapons in the process. Before Gardner attempted to communicate again, one pointed back at the tree, insofar as he could point—the bear didn’t have any fingers. He let out  another bark after his ominous gesture.

Gardner didn’t know whether it was a warning against the tree, or some kind of order for the tree to get him, but he held his ground just the same. The four Bumble Bears turned then walked toward their village.

 

Thank you, Jesus, Gardner said. He headed back toward his camp as well.

 

Lost in his own thoughts, Sergeant Peters startled Gardner once again. “Gardner, what took you so long—planning the assault now.”

 

Gardner hesitated. “I think we should hold off another day and try to reason with the creatures.” He gestured all around them. “There’s no reason we couldn’t share all of this. The planet is like four Earths.”

 

“So, you’re saying that we shouldn’t do this? We should call off the whole invasion because some Corporal wants to reason with these beasts.”

 

“Well, yeah. Or at least consider it. We don’t know how to survive here—they could help.”

 

“Alright, Gardner. You’re one of my best friends, so I trust you. I’ll call up to base now.” Peters gestured toward the camp. “After you.”

 

Gardner started ahead, then stopped when Peters’ knife severed his spinal cord from behind.

 

His only job was to listen to his superior—this was The Order’s way of firing him.

 

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