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[–]Jraywang 6409 points6410 points  (124 children)

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4


I wouldn’t call it a war. Extermination maybe. Though I’d more aptly describe it as a harvest. By the time they reached our world and penetrated the stratosphere, people sought them out in droves to be harvested. Of course, they knew what that actually meant. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have been so eager.

Ten years before the Angels descended from the sky, they had already sent what some referred to as divine retribution: a virus. Though this virus in particular only targeted women. It spread faster than a wildfire and had a 100% mortality rate. Worse yet, it was completely undetectable. In our desperation, we became animals. We locked our wives, daughters, and mothers deep underground under the constant shine of UV radiation and still they got infected. Within five years, the last woman had died leaving the rest of humanity to slowly die with her.

By the time they arrived, we welcomed them with open arms into every one of our major cities. Most bowed their heads and practically begged to be killed. Some fought against them. These were the ones that still remembered the pain of watching their daughters, wives, and mothers die. They couldn’t hope to survive, but at least they could enact their own version of divine retribution.

Looking back at it now, I know that the Angels planned for them. They wanted us to retaliate. Otherwise, where would be the fun? Men charged at them by the millions. Some to die. Some to kill. To the Angels, it was all the same.

Until we killed the first one.

Back when I used to write, I always made sure to name my hero something memorable. If not a strange name, then certainly a strange title. Evan the Incorruptible. Matthew the Harbinger. But in real life, heroes rarely have titles, some don’t even have names. That was the case for humanity’s last hero because nobody knew who he was.

We had only stories. The stories ranged from fantastical to downright fiction, but they always ended the same. We had killed one. The Angels must’ve been as skeptical as we were because they refused to change their tactics. They kept all our major cities and welcomed anyone to try and take it back.

By the fifth dead Angel, they learned of their miscalculation. Soon, we learned of it as well. Human beings shared mana and with it, we could do wondrous or terrible things. Magic no longer belonged to the realm of fiction. The elements bent to our will. Lightning struck where we pointed, tornados formed where we stood, the ground swallowed up entire cities as we willed it.

Suddenly, men stopped volunteering to be harvested. With their newfound power, they decided to fight back, even if victory had already been stolen from us. They had turned us into animals and then backed us into a corner. Foolish.

And that was good enough for us. Looking back, I wonder if we were as foolish as the Angels. We, who were content with dying in our little blazes of glory, having accomplished nothing but thinning their ranks by just a bit. It was selfish, but what is there to expect from men who had nothing else to live for?

None of us had the vision you had. The vision you have.



Tyler put the pen down, staring at the word you. He wondered if his letter would ever find its way to this certain you. While humanity had become animals, one man had gone even further. He had been called a monster by both Angel and man. Nobody knew which side he fought for, only that he killed both indiscriminately.

If Tyler were to write his story, he wouldn’t know whether to make this man the villain or the hero. Oh how he wished he could’ve written this story, but the only way this story continued was if he died. Beside his letter and pen, sitting at the edge of his wooden table was a silver revolver. The single lightbulb above him glinted off its barrel.

A small grin spread across Tyler’s face. He grabbed the gun, its metal like ice, and pressed it to his temple. Enough humans had died where he could stop the bullet with only his thoughts. The bullet couldn’t even hurt him unless he wanted it to. But he did. For the sake of humanity, he needed the bullet to kill him.

With his free hand, he picked the pen back up.



As the last storyteller on Earth, I bestow you the title of Reaper. A monster. A villain. Our last hero.

Go forth, Reaper, my death as an offering. With my passing, there will be only four humans left. I have already contacted two of them and they will die with me. The last I’m sure you will easily find as your powers will have increased two-fold. By then, your mind will stretch the globe, perhaps even the stars. And when you become the last human alive, I cannot even fathom how powerful you will be.

Show our Angels how fragile they are in the face of a god.



Tyler pulled the trigger.


/r/jraywang


Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

[–]menoknownow 796 points797 points  (4 children)

That's messed up...I like it.

[–]Jraywang 250 points251 points  (2 children)

Some of the best stories are :)

[–]Sinrave 90 points91 points  (1 child)

This is certainly one of the best that I've read lately, I love it!

[–]omatron486 206 points207 points  (0 children)

Damn that was really good

[–]Kraz3 125 points126 points  (9 children)

Holy shit. I want a movie!

[–]rangi1218 100 points101 points  (7 children)

I'd cast Jet Li as the main character. And call it "The One"

/edit this is an in-depth critique of the prompt NOT this great story

[–]amodia_x 75 points76 points  (5 children)

Tyler is the one. Tyler1.

[–]crigget 41 points42 points  (0 children)

AND THIS IS TO GO EVEN FURTHER BEYOND

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

[–]O2C 11 points12 points  (2 children)

Tyler, the Creator?

[–]zGoldenGiraffe 23 points24 points  (1 child)

No, tyler1. He was a league of legends streamer until he got banned. Just recently he hosted a league tournament on twitch that had over 200,000 viewers, it was very entertaining.

[–]uoco 2 points3 points  (0 children)

My favourite streamer along with samsung

[–]phantomdrive 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Yea was thinking the same thing as well. Great minds movie tho, but I'm a sucker for Martial Arts 😅

[–]NationalDiarrhea 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah! Angels and Devils and Dishwalla should be the composer of the OST

[–]ForensicPathology 202 points203 points  (10 children)

God was real. There was a god who was the origin of mankind. God truly did make man in his image. As more and more humans were created, his godly powers were diluted amongst them.

[–]Simple_Onion_Farmer 72 points73 points  (0 children)

Wow that just adds a whole new layer, maybe this sort of thing happens every few thousand years and everything just resets.

[–]IAmARobotTrustMe 24 points25 points  (2 children)

That is now my fan theory.

[–]zedlx 2 points3 points  (0 children)

There can be only one.

[–]HunterofSnowmen 26 points27 points  (3 children)

That paragraph holds so much potential, you just hit me with a wave of inspiration. Here goes:

Throughout ages, man hunted for it. Some proof of divine interference. Some evidence of a creator. Their tiny minds imprisoned by the wretched concept of cause and effect strived to maintain their beliefs that had withstood millenia. As empires and fell and new ones rose, each found their own proof. Maybe it was madness, maybe it was true revelation. Who could say. When the Angels first attacked, the world was but a secularised pit where science reigned. Man thought he had conquered everything and called himself, for the first time, God.

In a tomb somewhere, a faded scroll made of shrivelled parchments, written in a language long forgotten, "God made man in his image" fell on to the ground disturbing the harmony of the temple. In that tomb, truth was to be found.

One by one, man after man fell. Soon many slept on the battlefield that was the planet Man called Earth. Many watched with dilated pupils as their comrades sacrificed themselves. They were titled the Brave. Those onlookers who stood and watched felt a deep fire awaken in them. They held their heads high and for the first time saw the Angels, their visions vivid and unclouded by the shrouds of fear and self conservation.

One man charged. Like David and Goliath, he ran up to the damned Angel bare handed. The sky lit up. The man opened his eyes. There was ash at his feet. A young boy watched from afar. After a longest time, a single being belonging to the measly species that liked to call themselves human had glanced what Moses had once glanced at. God.
On the other side of the world, the scroll had fallen, and it's contents lay ajar. Soon it was crushed by the ancient ceiling and walls of the tomb. The tomb was soon nothing but debris. Man was learning to harness his newfound power and sent tremors through the land. The scroll ripped apart, it's ink faded beyond comprehension. However there was no need for it. Man had finally learned of the truth long forgotten in its walls.

EDIT: Fixed some misphrasing on my part. Thanks to the commenter.

[–]Corrupted55 16 points17 points  (2 children)

This doesn't seem like constructive criticism at all. You're just saying their work is bad then imposing your own writing style.

[–]HunterofSnowmen -1 points0 points  (1 child)

No. I really tried to avoid that. What I tried to do was point out to him that those few lines held so much potential. I never said their work was bad. I'm sure he is a very good writer, probably just in a hurry. I just got really inspired and got carried away.

[–]Corrupted55 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Aah fair is fair! For what its worth, I did like your writing. I just found it weird that it phrased like CC.

[–]Hyperly_Passive 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Angels herald the coming of god...

[–]Scottsomeguy 81 points82 points  (0 children)

It started off and I was thinking, oh this is writing like any generic story but holy shit I was hooked halfway through and loved the ending

[–]shiftteam831 66 points67 points  (1 child)

Best wp I have ever read. You could make a book on this and become instant bestseller. Reminds me of something that would go viral like Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series or the I am legend books.

[–]Meakis 24 points25 points  (0 children)

A continuation of this story would be the "Reaper" remaining story. It's not gona be a happy ending but he will give a big fuck you to the angels.

[–]Saathid 29 points30 points  (1 child)

Reminds me of the lyrics to a Megadeth song, Captive Honour:

And when you kill a man you're a murderer Kill many and you're a conqueror Kill them all and you're a God

[–]BlackFalls831 70 points71 points  (2 children)

Dude. That is fucking insane. You have to continue this

[–]rottingwatermelons 40 points41 points  (0 children)

Wow that's awesome man, I'd read the hell out of that book and I read maybe one book a year.

[–]celestecon66 15 points16 points  (0 children)

Really quite good. Great use of the concept

[–]Thaveen 16 points17 points  (2 children)

Whose dick should I suck to get a part 2?

[–]Jraywang 34 points35 points  (1 child)

Shit, I wish I saw this offer before I released part 2....

[–]Thaveen 29 points30 points  (0 children)

I'm a straight male that just dodged a bullet.

[–]dactyif 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Angels? Shinji? AT shields? Where is the Eva.

[–]schaka 11 points12 points  (0 children)

The best this about this is that it's exactly what people would do. Kill each other to become more powerful.

[–]J_Xpat 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Woooow goosebumps

And then it starts all over again? God to create the race of men again... Just wow wonderful imagination and captive writing

[–]ChocolatBear 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I'm glad you called them Angels because it gave me something to imagine humanity fighting and Evangelion has some cool-as-fuck designs.

[–]tank2326 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I like the concept of the story, it's quite unique. I'm just confused on which last person the writer talking too. I mean the last 2 human beings would share the same amount of mana so it could be a stalemate on who the last human will be.

[–]DreadRedUSA 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Sequel?

[–]TurtleFisher54 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Amazing use of this prompt. The whole thing was chilling.

[–]MetaCloneHashtag 5 points6 points  (0 children)

A+ work! I don’t remember reading a better response to a prompt!

[–]Octospice 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I think this would be a great book. Your writing is deeply interesting to read, please make a sequel

[–]nebulous_obsidian 4 points5 points  (0 children)

This was amazingly good !! I love sci-fi that focuses on the human story, rather than just being a series of explosions and spaceship fights. Good job :)

Please right a sequel !

[–]bkhan19 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I really loved part 1. Part 2 was cringy with stereotypes of cowboys and samurai and hints of Neon Genesis Evangalion. My suggestion is to rewrite part 2. Also it will be cool to have a origin story. Something like Adam was alone in this world a powerful being but alone for eons. He created Eve with his power and divided up his power to spread his seed. Keep the samurai and Cowboys out. Instead it's a story of a crazy person who hears voices in his head. He thinks it's the creator Adam beckoning to him to be one.

[–]Challenger108 20 points21 points  (1 child)

The Sequel posibilities:

1) . In time the last Man found he no longer needed food, drink or air. His mana made him nigh invincible.

All he could feel was emptiness... and anger. Even his friend Tyler had left him. Left him to carry out his final will. To bring justice to those who wronged them. Tylers death cursed the last Man to carry out this final mission.

Feeling the overwhelming surge of energy now flowing through him,he knew it was time. He knew what needed to be done. He took one last look at his ravaged homeland. He took one last look at the grave of his friends. He looked at the grave of Tyler, his brother whom be buried with his own two hands. For he knew, he would never again see his homeland nor his brothers nor Tyler ever again.

The last man took to the heavens. For they will feel his wrath.

After 900 years, he finally located the home world of the civilization that had humiliated and destroyed the humans. There he would lead a war of genocide against those who did them wrong. He would take the fight to them.

After having exterminated the last of their kind, the last Man had thought he would be feeling peace at having fulfilled the final will of Tyler and avenging the humans. But the years of killings took its toll. In the years of fighting he had lost something. Something important.

He recalled what was said to him as he menacingly approached the commander responsible for spearheading the Earth operations. The Commander was on the floor, bleeding and scared. Much like the human survivors after the women were massacred. The last Man spoke first," Your death will bring me peace". Suddenly, the Commander chortled, having seemingly lost his fear. "You naive fool, after the things you did to my people....you will never find peace. May you never die" said the Commander. The last Man then ripped out the Commanders spinal chord in a fit of rage.

Rather than feeling peace, the last Man now felt a continuous stream of rage. He had killed the enemy. Destroyed their homes. Desecrated their monuments.And committed an untold number of atrocities.

His rage was now directed at Tyler.

He remembered Tyler and now felt nothing but hatred for the man he once called brother. Tyler knew what would happen to whomever was tasked with wiping out the invaders. The last Man thought Tyler was a coward who had tricked and deceived him into doing the task Tyler was too weak to do. Tyler had damned the last Man to never having peace.

If the last Man could not have peace, then neither would the other worlds. He had learned of the location of other worlds from the invaders.

In time he would make the other worlds also feel his wrath.

A monster was born

The End...begins

[–]c0ck7aiL 2 points3 points  (0 children)

jraywang always giving me goosebumps like that

[–]mfsdiamonddogs 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Now I wanna see Reaper

[–]daffy_duck233 2 points3 points  (0 children)

So it's a showdown for the title of Reaper then?

[–]RoarG90 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I don't read enough or at all the last few years, but this is one hella story and WP, I'd love to read a book or five. Amazing work jraywang!

[–]triedharder 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This needs to be a movie with a huge cgi budget and lots of slow motion walking to badass hype music. Don't know if this story should be the end or beginning though

[–]sampat97 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This gave me goosebumps.

[–]Vhexer 3 points4 points  (0 children)

We're gonna need a part 2

[–]Awesomianist 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Some stories don't need continuation. This is one of them.

[–]JudgementalTyler 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Aw man, I was really hoping I would be the chosen one!

[–]FORu2SLOW 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Dude I'd pay for a longer version of this.

[–]Bagros 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Holy shit man publish this!

[–]PootyTang7K6 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This gave me goosebumps.

[–]reddithanG 1 point2 points  (0 children)

nononono you cant let humanity die! :(

[–]arandomusertoo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Kind of reminds me of the story from this book: https://www.amazon.com/Out-Dark-David-Weber/dp/076536381X

Except this story* sounds darker and better.

[–]mathcrystal 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I think Shinji would be a better name for the protag than Tyler, just my opinion.

[–]Jraywang 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Sure thing. Shinji it is

[–]everything_is_still 9 points10 points  (0 children)

please don't, actually. they've already made evangelion.

[–]ecstaticandinsatiate/r/shoringupfragments 357 points358 points  (21 children)

All us helpless billions watch on our little glowing rectangles as our fellow humans die in droves. They fall screaming, choking, burning. The internet’s bad in the house, so we hunker on the steps of the chicken coop to see it.

Together we watch the end of the world. Our breath clouds and storms around us. But we do not notice the cold. Our hearts and bones are lead.

My siblings don’t make a sound. I look between the three of them and the black, faultless sky. I wonder if the afterlife looks like night, or if just looks like nothing. I wonder if I’ll find out soon.

Somewhere far away, death shrieks scarlet overhead. Ships with roving eyes swarm the sky like an army of locusts. Bodies, whole and unwhole, strewn out one atop the other, left where they fell. Entire skyscrapers collapse like dominoes. News anchors weep, openly, if they’re on the air at all. My sister flicks restlessly through live streams, unable to pick which tragedy to behold.

We crowd my oldest sister’s phone, barely able to watch yet unable to look away.

She stops at the live press conference from the president. His voice is grave and hollow; he speaks to us from a dark room in some bunker somewhere. He says, “—at this point we have little hope. We will defend ourselves to the end, but tonight, please, stay inside, stay with your loved ones—”

My brother Aaron has his head between his knees. When we were kids he ran screaming after the cougar that took his puppy. (Aaron didn't catch it.) I never believed fear was an emotion he had. “Turn that shit off,” he gasps.

“Ignoring the aliens invading our fucking planet won’t make them go away,” Maya snaps but she switches to Facebook. Not that any of her friends would have time to post oh shit I’m dying, anyway.

Out here, under the unblinking stars, surrounded by a chorus of crickets and coyote, I can’t fathom what waits out there.

“Someone has to tell Papa,” Jackie murmurs. She is my twin, but you can’t tell. People always seem disappointed that there’s such a thing as non-identical twin sisters.

“You’ll just scare him.” Maya, the oldest, has always been the unofficial boss of all of us. She made it official when Dad started mistaking her for our mother and trying to scramble uncracked eggs.

“He deserves to know,” she insists.

“If they come here,” Maya says through her teeth, “we’re not getting a panicked old man into the truck without hurting someone, alright?” Her words hang frozen for a moment.

“Do you think they’ll come out here?” I whisper. I am the youngest by eight minutes, and I am good at the part.

“No,” says Jackie, quickly. “We’re in the middle of nowhere.”

Aaron pulls his beanie over his eyes. “I wouldn’t rule it out, Jack.”

Maya gasps into her fingers. “Oh, god, they’re in Spokane.”

Bile shoots up my throat. That’s barely a hundred miles from here. Not even a particularly large city. I wonder if they’re hunting us one by one. Like rabbits.

“Shit, is that Maddie’s—?” Aaron snatches the phone from her hands.

I lean over his shoulder to see.

My sister’s friend has pressed her phone lens to the window of her dorm room. In the background, she speaks in rapid, panicked whispers with her roommate.

Outside her window mortars plummet in blue and yellow streaks, big as bowling balls. I hear her cry, “Are they bombing us?” as the first one connects. It blooms soundlessly, a pale yellow locus, and then the power of it explodes outward.

It takes Maddie maybe six seconds to die. She has enough time to say, “I need to call my mom,” as the wall of smoke and debris rushes toward her like a sulfurous tsunami. The window shatters. The video goes black.

I don’t even realize what I’ve seen until Maya starts bawling into her hands.

A strange fire tingles in my palms, my belly. I feel the urge to move. To rise and fight.

“We have to do something,” I say.

Aaron looks at me like I’m an idiot. “Like what?”

My fingers dance against the leg of my jeans. I know I should be scared as hell, but something in me is restless. Hungry for something very old, and long-forgotten.

I stand up and face my siblings. I look them over carefully, in case this is the last time I see them. “We will not just watch.” I point at the house. “We won’t just let them kill everything and everyone and just stand here and watch.”

Just south of us, down beyond the hide of the mountain, the sky turns red with fire.

Tears stream down my brother’s cheek. “I can’t believe this is fucking it.”

I shake my head, insistently. Insanely. I don’t know why, but I can’t accept that this is it. That this is truly how we fall.

I ball my fists up at my sides. A furious heat snaps at the bars of my ribs, yearning to set on those who dared attack our home, of all places. Our dad, of all people.

I let the hate and heat fill me.

Flame chases down my forearm, over my knuckles. The white hot of anger. My fist is a coal and my flesh is carved from the mountain, and I will destroy anything that threatens the ones I love.

“Elektra,” my brother says, oddly calm, "why is your hand glowing?"

I look at my palm and grin. The fire finds my belly now. The chaos delights some new-awoken part of me that I had never known I possessed. It is like catching my reflection in an angle I have never seen before. I am myself, but different.

“I think...” I laugh, despite the clouds of smoke rising from town. It rises out of me like a bird. I have never felt smaller or stronger. “I think I did it on purpose.”


/r/shoringupfragments

Doing part 2 right now

update: I accidentally deleted what I was working on. I'm going to go angrily eat cupcakes and try again.

ETA: I fell asleep :( I will post part two in a couple of hours when I'm on my break. You can check here or my sub. Thank you so much for reading.

[–]Terr_ 37 points38 points  (6 children)

Literal decimation.

I think literal decimation is actually the kinder version, because it originally meant 10% killed. Nowadays most people use the term figuratively to mean something much worse.

[–]ecstaticandinsatiate/r/shoringupfragments 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Point taken. Line cut. Thanks for reading! :)

[–]ShiningOblivion 1 point2 points  (4 children)

No, it means cut into 10, so probably more like 90% killed.

[–]ecstaticandinsatiate/r/shoringupfragments 6 points7 points  (1 child)

See, that's what I thought too, but then the internet knew more than me:

1) (strictly) The killing or punishment of every tenth person, usually by lot.

2) (generally) The killing or destruction of any large portion of a population.

It can be used generally to describe cutting a population either to or by 10%. But my use of literal limited me to the literal definition, which didn't make sense :P

Thanks for reading!

https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/decimation

[–]ecstaticandinsatiate/r/shoringupfragments 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Part 2 - wip

Maya drives me because she won't let me leave by myself. Jackie and Aaron stay back with Dad, probably to watch DVR's game shows with him and pretend everything is fine.

The truck flies down the mountain, towards the billows columns of ash and fire. I stare at my palms, which well with blue fire like water. It licks down my hands and pools on the floor mats, where it vanishes like steam.

"Can you put that out or something? It's freaky."

"I don't know if I can get it back," I say, truthfully. "I don't even know why it's happening."

"Goddamn alien radiation," my sister mutters under her breath, like she has any real clue what's going on. "That's the only thing that makes sense."

Maya takes the corner by the Hendersons' farm too fast. The tires skid and shriek but just manage to cling onto the road. We keep going.

"I think we have to stop hoping for things to make sense," I murmur.

We are silent for the rest of the drive down the mountain. The burning thing in me paces like a fox. I want to feed it meat and bone. If the aliens are even like us. If they're just a little fire of a soul trapped in a suit of meat.

But the more we drive the stronger I feel. The hotter the fire in me.

When we make it to the base of the mountain, a row of fire trucks from the reservation streaks past us on the freeway, sirens blaring. I want to tell them to turn around, that they should be getting people out who still have time to run, not throwing themselves into the chaos like a sacrifice. Like we're going to do.

Beyond the lake, the city is flames. The lakeside resort burns, a stalwart skeleton. Even the boats are burning. Rotten orange clouds choke the sky. Ships weave in and out of the gloom, dropping bright streaking bombs that fall glittering like jewels.

For a moment we just sit, truck running, staring.

"They won't find us at home," she manages.

"There won't be a home anymore if they burn the damn forest down." I scowl out the windshield. "It's okay. I can walk from here."

"It's five miles at least, El."

"It's a good night for a walk."

Maya presses her forehead against the steering wheel and breathes hard through her nose. Then she turns on her turn signal--that's what kind of person my sister Maya is; she uses her turn signal even when everyone else is being murdered by aliens--and heads after the firetrucks. Toward town.

"I love you," she says without looking at me. "But I'm gonna be real pissed if you get us killed."


My break ended up being shorter than I hoped. ¯\(ツ)/¯ I'm definitely going to finish this tonight on my sub, though, when I'm off work. *shakes fist at grownup life and grownup shit*

[–]Blasto_Brandino 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Badass! Can't wait to read more!

[–]behind-these-eyes 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Nice to see a contemporary one here.

[–]ecstaticandinsatiate/r/shoringupfragments 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Thanks, sometimes I feel like I'm feeding people vegetables when I do something more character-driven on an actiony prompt. ;) Thanks for reading!

[–]juiciofinal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I love it! I would definitely read a series with these characters.

[–]ZergStrain 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Love that, my flesh is carved from the mountain. Goosebumps!

[–]Sparrow50 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Can't wait for the cupcakes part 2

[–]croatianspy/r/CroatianSpy 345 points346 points  (63 children)

I awoke in the night, the distant sounds of screams altogether too familiar. It didn't sound isolated - they must have found a safe-haven. Hundreds would be massacred. It was just like I said; don't bunch together. Don't rely on each other for support. Survival is all about laying low, keeping quiet and hoping that luck was on your side.

I'd been having a strange dream. It wasn't a nightmare, which was rare already; it was more of a premonition. I'd felt a burning sensation in my hand, as if there were energy coursing through it. The feeling still stuck with me, and I focused on it to try drown out the screams.


There were more of them now; towering beasts, eldritch monstrosities. We'd imagined aliens as these advanced beings, visiting us with technology that we could not even comprehend, bestowing knowledge and gifts. But no.

They were unimaginable nightmares, drifting in through space, landing on our forsaken planet and hunting us mercilessly. Our combined efforts only took down a few, and the ensuing nuclear winter only made things worse. And now they hunt us down without rest. It doesn't seem to be for sustenance - they ignore other animals, though they will harm them if it is in their way. No; it feels like eradication. And more come every day.

But the the dreams won't go away. What little sleep I have is filled with feelings of flame and fury; of ominous premonition, of terrifying power. I feel that energy more and more. I suspect that I am going mad, but I'd rather be mad than dead. And judging by my travels, it seems that I am one of the few left with the privilege of choice.

Sleep comes to me eventually, the incessant chittering of the aliens filtering through my dreams of intrigue, of primal power.


I awoke to a sound of crashing, of beastly lumbering.

I've been found.

I sprinted from my lair, a crumbling ruin, just as a jagged tentacle pierced through the foundations. Rubble collapsed around me as I leapt through a window, landing on the floor below in a clumsy roll. There was no time to think about the pain - only escape.

I ran as fast as I could, praying that it was only one, praying that it could not keep up. There were many different forms of alien, and most of the massive ones were slow in the city. They could run at least as fast as a man, but the buildings and ruins proved ample obstacles. With a bit of luck, I could survive this. I had done so before.

A sudden crash to my right sent glass flying just ahead of me. An arthropod the size of a large dog landed in front of me, its razor-sharp legs digging into the floor. There was no chance of running from it. But if I climbed the building to avoid it, my pursuer would destroy it as if it was a cardboard box. I had two choices, but either led to death.

My right hand burned, a sharp red glow emitting from my palm. It felt like trapped electricity. Like every bit of primal power focused into a single thought.

A choice:

Shall I fight, or flee?


Part II | Part III | Part IV (new)

It's a 'Choose Your Own Adventure' story! Vote on whichever choice you like best, and I hope I won't disappoint :)

/r/CroatianSpy

[–]croatianspy/r/CroatianSpy 202 points203 points  (37 children)


Fight


There was no time to think. The arthropod lept at me, and I fell backwards, instinctively raising my right arm and bracing it with my left. Its pincers flung open, wide enough to engulf my torso, sharp enough to cut me in half.

I felt a power surge through my veins, drawing from every ounce of me, focusing into my right hand. Something exploded; a beam of power erupted from my hand, blasting the arthropod directly in it face. The force of it knocked us both backwards, and I slammed into the concrete floor.

The arthropod lay writhing on the cement, its many pincers clawing away at its face - what was left of it. I looked at it in wonder, then at my hand - it was bloodied and torn, but still intact.

I truly had gone mad.

A sudden rumbling reawoke my senses, and I dived for another room just as mine collapsed. The beast had caught up, and it was angry.

The floor gave way and I fell hard on the floor below, knocking the wind out of me. I rolled, trying to get up, to try run away as the building crumbled around me. I limped from the building as fast as I could, the ensuing cloud of dust masking my retreat as the beast mercilessly beat into it, destroying it and the arthropod with it.


My hand was still shaking. I had narrowly escaped with my life, but that was the least of my concerns.

Did that really happen?

I felt drained; like I'd spent every bit of energy on whatever that blast had been. I needed to sleep, but I was likely not safe here.

I was faced with a choice:

Shall I try find a safe-haven, or lie low and recover?


Lie low and recover has won!

Part III

[–]BlitzBop44 43 points44 points  (1 child)

Lie low and recover, as the character would likely do based on their original mind set

[–]UnrenownedTech 14 points15 points  (1 child)

Lie low and recover

[–]Minimalanimalism 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I know, right?! Don't bunch together dammit.

[–]thc216 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Shawty get low!!!

[–]Tophatanater 9 points10 points  (1 child)

Lie low & recover

[–]g19fanatic 7 points8 points  (0 children)

lie low and recover

[–]DracoTempus 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Lie low and recover

[–]bad-decision-maker 7 points8 points  (0 children)

lie low and recover

[–]ghostkid8796 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Lie low! Less attention, more variety, less time requirement

[–]ShuckleThePokemon/r/ShuckleScribbles 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Lie low in a nearby hovel

[–]Phoenix1142 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Have a panic attack and implode due to the inability to channel magic

[–]JamSpasm 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Find a safe-haven too dangerous out here!

[–]ChineseMaple 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lie low and recover

[–]naufalap 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I hope this gonna be as good as Unholy Choice!

[–]Sparksly 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lie low and recover

[–]DAgility 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lie low definitely

[–]Great_Ness 1 point2 points  (0 children)

safe-haven pls

[–]LvDogman 1 point2 points  (2 children)

If it's choice based story then maybe somebody could make visual novel. And lie low and recover.

[–]ICantStopHelp 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Find a safe haven. More action there and I'd love to see how the other humans had reacted to this power.

[–]tunaktu86 15 points16 points  (0 children)

FIGHT

[–]TotesMessengerX-post Snitch 12 points13 points  (0 children)

I'm a bot, bleep, bloop. Someone has linked to this thread from another place on reddit:

 If you follow any of the above links, please respect the rules of reddit and don't vote in the other threads. (Info / Contact)

[–]Kredtj 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Fight

[–]Pickles129 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Fight Les do dis

[–]its_mime_time 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Ooooh! Fight!! I love CYOA books!

[–]zuees101 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Shoryuken that mofo

[–]AnActualGarnish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

You know what’s funny, even if they kill one person it would be a mere fraction of 7 billion. Thank god we don’t take everything literal, and have connotation and emotion.

[–]Elvishgirl 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Love how you made this a choose your own adventure- all three parts are captivating.

[–]tjtepigstar 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Oh my God, you're so good!

[–]FluentInBS 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Choose your own adventure?

Shit you the real mvp

[–]croatianspy/r/CroatianSpy 1 point2 points  (2 children)

<3

[–]FluentInBS 1 point2 points  (1 child)

So glad you responded. Only way i could find my way back

[–]ChairForceOne 49 points50 points  (2 children)

First contact was made almost ten years ago. They seemed well versed in warfare, in less than a day there wasn't a satellite left in the sky or a cable under the sea. Communication between nations fell to old ground bounce long range radios pulled out of mothballs. Conventional weapons proved to be ineffective and the nuclear option didn't fare much better. Eventually even the old analog radios where jammed. Steadily they started to wipe us out. Great mechanized beasts roamed the land, directed energy weapons reduced any caught in there sight to ash.

Slowly word began to spread of old legends come to light. Wizards, witches even warlocks making pacts with demons to gain power. Men and women alike where seen calling fourth searing bolts of lighting from the sky. Ripping the ground open to devour and crush any of the aliens creations that wandered to close to the last bastions of humanity. Liquefying the great metal monsters with conjured fire. Even death was no relief to our fallen comrades as the necromancers raised forth gargantuan armies of the dead. Crushing the invaders with the sheer mass of rotting meat and gleaming bone. As our species continued to fight for our existence more of the things that go bump in the night started coming to light.

At first they appeared to be fellow humans but it soon became clear that was not the case. The first were the Werewolves, nigh unkillable but by blessed silver. Transforming into great beasts they used claws and teeth to rend through armor only magic could penetrate. These furry juggernauts relied on humans not for food as in the old tales but as breeding stock. As we continued to dwindle in number they could no longer stalk the shadows. Though small in numbers they made up for it in shear brutality. Soon all of the others concealed in the shadows made themselves known. The vampires where less well received than the wolves but in the end they needed us. Becoming a donor for one elevated ones physically abilities for a time. Though to somes disappointment, crosses, sunlight and garlic did not faze them.

The Fae became another ally though much less trustful, one had to be cautious when speaking with them. Never make an open ended bargain with one, it never ends in your favor. Whatever the invaders mechanized army consisted of it was not iron and they seemed to take much glee in the wanton destruction they could wield. Many hopped the elves and dwarves of some fairy tales would come to be but to this day none have materialized. Though the dragons made there presence known they more are focused on what little territory they still held and if you happen to occupy it you have one hell of a home security system. Rumblings of the old gods walking among man once more have been heard but not verified.

As of now hope has yet to completely die for humanity and its newly rediscovered allies. While the dragons and invaders still rule the skies we have done much to retake the land. The current status of humanity as a whole is still not truly known, while magic is useful as a weapons it does not give it self over willingly to be used to pass missives. Communication over the oceans and across continents is still a slow process and we are just starting to retake the seas.

-Field Commander, 3rd Magus Division, Capt Jasper D. Wulf

[–]StuffMcStuffington 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Personally I thought this is a great setup for the world a story could really take hold in!

[–]ChairForceOne 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thanks. I like world building. Figure its better to build a world then make a story that flows through it. I've always liked books that had a solid foundation.

[–]lordylike 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Turns out the universe isn't cold and uncaring. Turns out the universe actually wants to give us what we want. Turns out 8 billion people all projecting their wishes out into the fuzzy warm-hearted void of existence confuses the heck out of the old machinery. What I mean to say is of the bunch of us humans shouting at mama universe, those who got what they were wishing for were few and far between; the odd miracle here and there, a “lucky toss” once in awhile. You get it.

It's different now. When the culling began, I...no, let me skip this part. Slowly, during the months after the event, people thought they were going crazy. Some of the surviving doctors called it PTSD or something. The more susceptible started hearing this background chatter emerge from the white noise narrated stream of consciousness. Took us another 4 billion lost for the first to get it. They were hearing the fearful calls of their brethrens’ minds. Some of the resistance’ stands got 'lucky’. Nothing sustainable, remotely helpful in the big picture; not that any even put it even together until way later anyways.

On the way down to the last wretched few all of this got stronger, more noticeable until even most doubting could no longer deny having joined their fellow men (as few of us as remained) in a shared mind. Some called it God, some Gaia, some just called it magic. It really don’t matter. Once you figure out that you dreamed up this world together, it's not a huge stretch of imagination to imagine the intruders gone. Wasn't even a fight anymore.

Billions lost, just a few ragged men and women with the power to raise cities from the oceans. We prospered fast, as they say we did before. But we also grew fast. Now, only very few can still hear the voices of mind and even fewer can get their small wishes heard by the void.


The old man harrumphed, happy with his audience's captivated gazes. He sharpened his mind’s words into a needle tip of will and let it fly, making the fire in the cave in their midst flare, just for a second. His tribe exclaimed with exaltation at the power their shaman wielded.

[–]Fazblood779 11 points12 points  (11 children)

There is a crucial aspect to conflict one must remember above all else; when victory is the desired outcome, all costs must be put on the line. If you truly seek your goal, you must be willing to sacrifice everything. Because if it comes down to it, that moment when you must choose between victory and survival… the choice must be obvious.


I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him. Not that the task was impossible with only one person, but the sheer magnitude of the decision, the guilt of suffering the consequences – it was too much for my morality to endure. I still harbor some resentment, and I wish there was another way. But I have no regrets. If it was necessary, I’d do it all again. The gnawing at the back of my head, telling me I was selfish and incompetent, never stopped. I accept it as punishment for my sin. No amount of atonement could justify the deaths of so many.

I find it hard to believe, myself. The display had counted 7.9 billion – the outcome was so harsh that it was easier to count the survivors than try to comprehend the casualties.

I suppose I must start at the beginning.


My name is Daijiro Kojima. I grew up in Moni, a country town at the foot of a mountain. Our people disliked the modern world, and chose to abstain from the technologies of the so-called Western Man. My brother Kentaro disproved of this very much. He scolded our chief often for being “ancient” and “dictatorial.” I couldn’t disagree with his accusations, as they were, to an extent, true. We held to old customs, and we clung to the advice and teachings of our chief. It was unsafe to wander outside the fence, thanks to the wolves roaming the forest, so we were largely restricted to wandering the farms and the streets. It was a peaceful life, though, and we ate well in the company of our families.

Every week we gathered to pay tribute to the Effigy of the Mount, feeding it the fruits of our farms and cattle so it could sustain us with bountiful harvests. I didn’t know how, but the soil here was… different. To this day I was unsure of it, perhaps being a trick of the light or just my imagination, but the ground seemed to give off an ever so faint glow under the moon, just barely noticeable. I attributed the glow to be the spirit of the mount moving in the ground. Every year we reaped rewards that far exceeded the effort we put in.

We thanked the chief for his leadership, and we thanked the mount for its generosity. We were merry and happy.


Kentaro and I always trained with the village guardsmen, learning how to use the sword and be fleet of foot. The latter skills were always emphasized, as the chief said that our swordsmanship would be no match for the weapons of the outside world. The elders, those who travelled across the land and meditated in the fields, told us stories of the Western Man – I always wondered about the term, as they were apparently to the East and North too, even the South where the ocean is. Why call them Western if they are everywhere? But, I digress. The elders told us of the extensive range of their armaments, and the frightening speed of their attacks. It was something out of a magic story, I was sure. Kentaro told me he would protect me if the Western Man came to our village, but I always shrugged him off. We were both past childhood anyway. I was more than capable of protecting myself.

But I never expected us to be the ones killing them.


It happened while I was picking a primrose for mother. I’d been growing one behind one of the storehouses, so it would be kept a surprise. She loved flowers, especially pink ones. It would make the perfect birthday present. It became dark so suddenly that I thought a vine had torn off the storehouse and fallen over me, but I looked up to see the clouds break apart and disappear, absorbed into a blackened sky. It was dark as night, and I stumbled through the leaves towards light. After feeling along the sides of building walls along the street for a while, amidst panicking women and screaming children, I found myself in the village square. Guards ran to and for with torches, yelling to each other and ushering civilians to safety. I saw my father carrying boxes with some other men. I was confused – why was the sky black? Had the sun run away before the moon was ready to wake? Was the Mount angry at us?

And then Kentaro was by my side.

“Hey, Dai… everything’s going to be okay, hear me? We’ll figure this out.”

I nodded. The chief stumbled past with a heavy box, but my brother caught him by the shoulder.

“Hey, old man, what’s going on? Where’s the light gone?”

Eyes wide, the chief turned to us. “Get everyone you can find and gather them at the effigy. I had no idea they would return, not at a time like this.”

“What are you talking about? Are we under attack?”

“I’ll explain everything later. The most important thing now is to get everyone to safety. Here,” he fumbled in his pocked for a second and retrieved a small object, shoving it into Kentaro’s hand. “Take this. Offer it to the effigy as you would a tribute. We need to protect everyone we can.”

“You got it, old man. Come on, Dai.”

So we took a torch and scampered about, sending everyone we could at the effigy. Mother showed up too, and I suddenly remembered the primrose I’d left behind the storehouse. She asked about our father, and we didn’t see him there. More of the guardsmen were arriving, and he wasn’t among them. Kentaro and I left to look for him, starting first at the barracks then progressing through the streets. We figured he’d gone to the effigy while we were searching, so we started heading back. However, as we passed a farm we saw a dozen or so men staring at the sky. We followed their gaze and there, in the air above us, we saw the blackness move. It seemed to bend and shift, as if it was a giant piece of cartilage. Parts of it seemed to brighten slightly, and I saw a multitude of small specks appearing from the lighter parts. I watched as the specks grew larger, then realized they were distant objects heading towards us. Kentaro put his hand on my shoulder.

“Dai… we should go.”

“But… what are those? Birds?”

“Whatever they are, it can’t be good.”

For a second there was a bright flash amidst the objects, and a split second later the farmers screamed. The dirt around them erupted, spewing mounds of soil into the air. They scrambled back, running for the effigy. Kentaro and I didn’t hesitate any longer. When we returned, the chief was waiting for us, more stressed than I’d ever seen him.

“You left and took the key with you?! Do you have any idea of the risk you just put us in?!” His loud voice drew several eyes from those around us.

“Oh, sorry… this thing, right?” Kentaro drew out the object he’d been given before. It was about half the size of his palm, colored black and shaped like a disc, engraved with the face of a cat, just like the one on the effigy. They say that black cats are a sign of good fortune. And by the looks of things, we’re going to need all the fortune we can get.

“Yes yes yes – give it here!” The chief snatched the disc from Kentaro’s hand and hurried over to the effigy, dropping it in the tribute slot. The disc would travel down a pipe and end up… somewhere. I was unsure of where the tributes ended up but I was certain it wasn’t underneath the chief’s house like some kids had joked.

“What now, old man?” Kentaro asked, arms on his hips.

“Ken, show some respect.” Father said, appearing from the group to slap Kentaro across the back.

“S-sorry, chief.”

The chief was silent, instead speaking with a sly grin. The earth shook, forcing me to steady myself on Kentaro’s arm. The effigy broke open, splitting the cat’s face in two. There were several loud gasps and outcries from those gathered, but the chief urged them to calm down. The cracked effigy left a big hole in the ground, laden with steps that seemed to descend to the center of the earth.

“Everyone, follow me! Carry everything you can!” The chief yelled, rushing down the hole and disappearing into the darkness, followed by the residents from the village. I looked back to the objects in the sky, which were approaching all the while. They must’ve been a hundred miles when we first saw them, but I was sure they were a mere couple miles away now.

I felt a pair of hands gripping my shoulders, moving me forward. “Come on, Dai, let’s go!” Kentaro had a huge smile on his face, eyes wide.

“Brother..?”

“This is exciting, right? Something different is happening!” Did he fail to notice the power of those things? Exploding the ground from so far away in an instant? He always was a strange one, I suppose.

So we descended the steps, each of us carrying a box of supplies. Food, I think. We travelled for maybe 10 minutes, and I felt the temperature slowly dropping. I looked up and could no longer see the entrance nor feel the rumbling from the explosions. Eventually we reached a flat area of dirt, about the size of a house interior. The whole village crowded there, staring at the large wall opposite the end of the steps. It was made of metal, and shined so clearly that in the light of the torches, we could see our reflections. The wall was adorned with strange markings and indentations. The chief walked up to it, putting a hand against it. He sighed, as if in disappointment. I saw his lips move, but he made no sound.

PART TWO IN CHILD COMMENT

[–]Fazblood779 12 points13 points  (0 children)

PART TWO

We all stood back as the wall began shaking. I thought it might burst, but instead it started rising up, disappearing into the roof. Inside we saw a long metal path, stretching and turning into corners and intersections. The chief led us inside, and I saw a place I never could’ve imagined. It was like one giant building, but everything was made of metal. The floor, the walls, even the ceiling! There were lights all over the place, some flashing and others changing color. Despite this, however, it was rather dark as the lights were not very bright. Everyone gawked at their surroundings. “Room” would’ve been an understatement; it was expansive and went on forever; I would’ve gotten lost in the maze-like layout if I hadn’t been following the chief.

Dust permeated the air, and several people coughed as we walked. The villagers questioned the chief extensively as we walked. We were on a ship, he said. We were being attacked by an ancient race of non-humans, he said. They were far more powerful than us, able to build space-faring vessels and unimaginable weaponry able to kill with ease, he said. Our only hope and chance for survival was to activate this ‘ship’ and fight back, using the long-lost technology of our ancestors to repel the invaders and reclaim the Earth, which was surely also under attack right now… he said. He knew all this because of the manuscripts handed down to him by the previous chief, who received them the same way. This was apparently how it had been for centuries. Perhaps the village lifestyle was to ensure the protection of this ship?

We reached a room labelled “BRIDGE,” filled with box-like objects adorned with lights and buttons. The chief strode to a particular box and started pressing the buttons, activating overhead lights to better illuminate the ship. He looked over his people, eyes narrowing and widening as he made his judgements of us. When his gaze fell on me – or maybe Kentaro, we were standing so close – his lips curved slightly. He came to us, putting a hand on each of our shoulders.

“I have a special job for you two.”

And so Kentaro and I found ourselves descending further down the ship, going levels and levels. How anyone managed to create such a structure eludes me. I’ve seen things today that I thought only came from my grandfather’s magical tales.

“Hey Dai, I think we’re here.”

Sure enough, the label to the door in front of us read “MECHA STORAGE.” We entered, unsure of what to expect. The chief had described it has a large tube stretching from floor to ceiling, housing a “ball of lightning.” There was a cylinder in the room, as described, but lacking the ball of lightning. I ran my fingers over the dust covering it, and suddenly drew my hand back. I felt a sort of… jolt, running through my hand.

“What’s up, Dai?”

“I’m… not sure. I think…” I spotted a button on the cylinder, round and red. Without much thought, I pressed it.

The room came to life as the cylinder made a loud fizzing sound, and Kentaro and I stood back. There, behind the dust covering the cylinder, was a speck of light. And then, in an instant, it exploded. I thought the cylinder would explode, but was amazed as it held against the force. Kentaro and I regained our footing, marveling at the sight in front of us. As the chief had said, there was a ball of what could only be described as lightning. I caught myself with an open mouth, then turned to Kentaro.

“What now?”

“Well…”

We both jumped as a voice echoed, “Mecha hibernation over. Say ‘Help’ for more options.”

We shared a look, then Kentaro said, “Uh… help?”

The voice came again. It was female, and sounded strange. ‘Raspy’ doesn’t sound right but it wasn’t a natural voice. “Option one: Perform Mecha repairs. Option two: Identify Mana levels. Option three: Activate Mecha.”

The chief had mentioned “mechas” but he didn’t go into detail. He had simply told us they were weapons to combat the invaders.

“Activate mecha, of course.” Kentaro said.

“Activating Mecha. Warning: Insufficient mana levels detected.”

“What does that mean?”

“There are too many humans within a five-hundred-thousand mile radius. Mana levels will be less than zero point zero zero zero one percent reliable. There are two solutions to this problem.”

Five hundred thousand miles? I didn’t know the Earth was that big!

“Well, what are they?”

“First, leave to an area where there are less than one thousand humans within a five hundred thousand mile radius. The mana concentration should then be high enough.”

“Can we do that? Does this ship move?”

“The ship does no longer have movement capability. Thrusters are inoperable and there is too much pressure on the hull to activate land-based movement gear.”

“Alright, then, what’s the second option?”

“Second, activate purge sequence?”

“Great, let’s do that.”

“Error. Insufficient privileges to activate purge. You must have a Rank 2 clearance to give commands involving moderate to large loss of human life.”

“Loss of human life? What is this ‘purge,’ exactly?”

“Activating the purge will eliminate all human life outside the ship, effective to a radius of five hundred thousand miles.”

Both our jaws dropped. Eliminate human life? Kill people? We could never do that.

“What was the chief thinking?” Kentaro yelled.

“Wait, maybe he didn’t know about this.” I said. “The voice said something about mana, right? Maybe the chief thought we had enough!”

“Well, I guess we can’t do it anyway, seeing as we don’t have clearance. Looks like we came for nothing.”

“Not necessarily,” the voice came. “The other human here is cleared for activating the purge.”

I looked at the ceiling, trying to judge where the voice was coming from. “You mean… me?”

“Affirmative.”

I slumped. I was the conductor, then. But how could I? Kill people? No, not just people. Everyone. The entire Earth must’ve fit inside that radius.

Kentaro raised a fist at the ceiling. “Hey, is there any way to repel the invaders without killing other humans?”

“Detected invader counts exceed that of possible human casualties by at least five hundred percent. Chances for survival are exactly zero.”

“You mean they’re going to die anyway?!”

“Affirmative.”

The voice’s lack of tone made the responses creepy and emotionless. It had no problem talking so matter-of-factly about killing others.

“Dai… Daijiro… they’re going to die. All those people.”

“Then why do I have to be the one killing them?” I felt a tear forming. I was never the emotional type but this time I’m glad there was a sign of life coming from my heart, rather than being a dead voice.

“You’re the only one who can, Dai. No matter if everyone else dies, the blood of our village will be on your hands if you don’t act.”

The voice decided to chime in, “Purge subjects will experience zero pain. The process is instantaneous and leaves no remains.”

“At least they won’t even know they’re going, Dai. Imagine them all getting killed by foreign monsters, watching their houses get destroyed and their families massacred.” He took a deep breath, as if he was pushing himself to say those words. “At least you’ll be giving them a peaceful death.”

I looked at the ground, trying to make sense of everything.

“Look…” he put a hand on my shoulder, kneeling to look in my eyes. “We can tell them I did it. I’ll take the blame for it. I’ll be able to shrug it off more easily. Okay?”

I tried to nod. He would’ve smiled, were this a normal situation. But instead he grimaced. “Alright. Let’s do this, I suppose. To save Moni! To preserve the human race!”

I wiped the tear from my cheek and looked up.

And so the human race was all but annihilated. We found the so-called mechas. They were giant, metallic humanoids that required a person to operate. Their weapons were able to shoot beams of fire and punch through mountains. The chief explained that our life-force powered the mechas, and the stronger our life-force the stronger the mecha. However, life-force (or mana, as the voices in the ship called it) is spread among humans that are close to each other. The more mana one has, the higher their motivation, the stronger their individuality and the more powerful their mental and physical capabilities. We all soon found that we never fell ill; we could run for days without tiring. With the mechas, we were able to hold our own against the invaders to the point where we could repopulate the village. They dared not touch us when we had the ability to kill them merely by throwing rocks at them. The sky returned to blue as their ships evacuated the area around us. We’d decided to gradually take back the Earth, thinning out their forces day by day.

To this day I feel the guilt burdening my shoulders. But after seeing what the invaders did to the cities around the world, I didn’t regret it.

After all, when victory is the desired outcome, all costs must be put on the line.

[–]dAzZl3r1974 1 point2 points  (9 children)

How do I get too CHILD COMMENT?

[–]Fazblood779 1 point2 points  (8 children)

[–]dAzZl3r1974 1 point2 points  (7 children)

Thanks dude. Thoroughly enjoyed this.

[–]Fazblood779 1 point2 points  (6 children)

Thanks for telling me, I really appreciate it :) Haven't been motivated to write anything as of late and this prompt got me into it again.

[–]dAzZl3r1974 1 point2 points  (5 children)

You got talent. Don't waste it please.

[–]Fazblood779 1 point2 points  (4 children)

I wrote quite a bit over at www.encyclopaediaauraxia.com, which is a fanon site for Planetside, but I've never really finished a standalone novel/etc. The best I did was a couple of writing prompts. Here's one.

[–]dAzZl3r1974 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I'll check it out. You practically started something with these posts though. Thicken it up and flip a short story or go the whole hog with a novel. No time like the present;)

[–]dAzZl3r1974 1 point2 points  (2 children)

You have a talent that not many can grasp. You paint pictures words. Use that talent, don't make it a hobby. You have nothing to lose right?)

[–]Fazblood779 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yeah I'm a year away from University and have no idea what to study. I'm leaning towards Web Design because that's where my best grades come from (made that website I linked back in 2015 so my skills are a lot better than that), but I'm not excited for the paperwork that's bound to come in a real job. With writing, there's so much freedom. Perhaps I can get something to do with writing :p Maybe get hired to write background story for games.

[–]Kecha_Wacha 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I don't know how to start here. None of this makes any sense.

I grew up watching the old Superman movies on tape. I grew up wanting to be like the man himself; I always thought I'd do what he did if I ended up with his powers. I remember fantasizing about it maybe a week before first contact; it was a thought I had often.

I told myself I'd skip the subtext and buy an actual Superman costume online before I went flying around the world chucking nukes into deep space and putting out forest fires. So that when people saw me coming, they'd know I was coming to help.

There are a few problems with that now. The first one that comes to mind is, there's no one left to impress like that. The other six survivors don't need or want Superman right now, besides, you guys are all as invincible as I am.

Second, I'm not as good a guy as Clark Kent ever was. I see that now; let me explain. There are seven human beings still alive on Earth; the rest of us were wiped out by aliens. They brought colony ships the size of the Moon, dozens of them; you can see the whole fleet at night. I can't imagine how many of them there are. Hundreds of billions? Trillions?

Trillions of them against seven of us, and we're winning. One of us brought down a colony ship yesterday. Again, this thing was moon-sized and filled with billions of aliens. She took a running start and jumped from the Earth's surface hard enough to punch a hole out the back of the ship. The whole thing just shattered into scrap metal.

I think we should surrender. I haven't said so out loud, not to any of you, but I still think it. Seven of us against trillions of them, and why are we fighting? I don't think it's for revenge, but it's something close. It isn't to save the world; we got these powers too late for that. Therein lies the problem. Nothing we do to these invaders will bring back the people they killled. Our actions from now on can only decide what happens to us and the aliens. I think a trillion lives are worth more than seven, no matter how we ended up in this situation. No matter who those lives are, human or otherwise.

I dunno if you agree with that or not. I dunno which choice Superman would make. I can't even picture him thinking of a moral dilemma like this. To Superman, the right thing to do is instantly obvious. Me though; I have to think on it.

So I thought on it, and I realized something. Whatever the source of our powers is, whether you call it magic or mana or Light or a million other things; there is a source. It's something only humans can use. And we can be reasonably sure evolution just doesn't do this.

I think there's a God. I never believed in Him before first contact, and for a while afterward I kinda figured the existence of aliens confirmed it. I read a book once that had this line about evolution. There were only two known causes of purposeful complexity. Natural selection, which produced things like butterflies. And intelligent engineering, which produced things like cars.

This magic, whatever it really is, it didn't evolve. It was created, and whatever entity has the resources to create a source of magic must, by definition, be a god. One that specifically took interest in humans for a number of possible reasons, including ones suggested by a few of our religions. And those religions usually also claim that God has been here, to Earth, and spoke in person with His creations. Wherever He is now, he hasn't been paying attention.

One inference leads to another. If magic, then God. If God, then Heaven. If Heaven, then afterlife and souls and one possible chance to undo the extinction of the human race and end the conflict with these aliens without murdering them all. God isn't paying attention though, so someone has to go find Him and tell Him to look this way.

I'm leaving. I don't know what will happen to me if I fly too far from Earth or the Sun; maybe the magic will cut off and I'll need air again and I'll die out there in space. I don't even know where I'm going; which way God went; so I'm relying on faith and that sounds like a shitty plan, but I have to do it.

I leave this note to you, the six of you, and I hope you forgive me. I hope you do what you can to spare the enemy's life, and I hope I come back one day to fix this. If not, this is my suicide note. There are worse ways to die.

I have to do this. The chance to save seven billion lives, however slim, is worth the risk to my one life, however great. Now that I think about it, that does sound almost like what Superman might say.

Goodbye.

[–]BenTheGod321 27 points28 points  (8 children)

There were some that called it a sign from God, another purging of humanity like the great flood. I never cared, all that I needed to know was that they were smart, and didn't like to go underground, best place for safe houses in my opinion. I was in one of these so called safe houses, if a sewer tunnel filled with lamps and sleeping bags counts as a house, that I first heard these claims.

Left that particular house after that conversation, it wasn't safe. The bastards killed everyone there, by the time I returned the tunnel had collapsed. No signs of life anywhere.

4 weeks ago humanity was attacked by a race of unknown origin. Humanity fought back but it was useless. These things, or "clickers" as the survivor colonies refer to them due to their habit of releasing a strange clicking sound, ever seen that movie Predator? Like the predator clicks. Anyway these clickers were ruthless and brutally efficient. Russia was the first major nation to go down, falling in only 7 hours, soon all of Asia was conquered. Fast forwards 4 weeks and humans have become rats, running through tunnels, breaching the surface only for food or water.

Under earth is safer than above it. I don't know why but they hate it underground, they won't search through tunnels too often. But if they know someone's there they will come.

On this particular day I was sleeping in an above ground safe house. More accurately in one of the cars of an abandoned military train. The thing was perfect, armored, still functioning partway so it was warm and could lock up very tightly. I was bundled in my sleeping bag in a car that had the doors sealed tight. I had awoken from a sound I had heard outside. Namely the gunshots.

That was about 30 minutes ago. But 2 minutes previously I thought I had heard a familiar clicking. I inhaled and sure enough the stench of motor oil and salt water hit my nostrils, an odd odor that clickers emitted.

Suddenly the side of the car rattled as someone, or something, tried to open the door. It rattled a few more times before there was a bang that blasted the door into pieces.

The clicker regarded me, I don't actually know what the things look like, they're always wearing the same armor, rectangular slabs of metal. It raised a serrated blade and charged.

I stumbled backwards and my left hand fell into an open control panel full of wires I had to cut to disable the alarm systems on the cars. There was still electricity in those cables. I was expecting a massive pain, I'd maybe to blackout. What I wasn't expecting was for the energy to travel down my arm and then blast from my other hand straight into the clicker. Whatever metal that armor was apparently conducted electricity as the clicker shrieked, then collapsed into the ground, smoke pouring from in between the plates.

I looked at my hand, blue energy danced from my fingers, suddenly a loud howl broke the eerie silence, a howl that meant a clicker had heart the blast. The things were slow, I likely had 5 minutes. I had packed my bag and was about to go when I glanced at the dead clicker. Curiosity struck but I still needed to get away.

Do I: Run or Investigate the Body Edit: continuing story.

I ran over to the thing, maybe finally a chance to see what they looked like, that metal was probably valuable as well. I looked all over the armor and finally found a small blue pad on the neck, I pressed it and with hissing steam the plates folded away revealing the front of the thing.

I understood now why they covered their faces. The skin was like tanned cow hide, it was covered in what looks like blisters. The eyes were dark and hollow. The worst part was the mandible jaw. Strangely if the mandible jaw was closed the creature might look human.

The howling got louder. I remembered I was on a schedule, I grabbed anything that looked useful. An odd device that looked like a flashlight with a grip and trigger, a few plates of armor, and the blade it had held. A blade that resembled a knife sized serrated Khopesh.

Now I had picked up a few tricks since this whole thing went down, one of which was that most clickers with the exception of a few that has been wearing red plates instead of black, seemed to be blind. A scientist I had met in the first week said the clicking was echolactation, wait that wasn't it... Oh who cares.

They relied on smell to distinguish each other and that armor still had the salty oil smell. I put the plates back into place, with a groan hoisted the dead clicker out, lay down in the armor and pressed the blue button.

The layers closed down and everything was dark, of course if these things things were blind a visor wasn't needed. The second thing I noticed was that there was still a LOT of electricity surging through the armor.

Now I'm no scientist but I'm fairly certain I should have been cooked alive. No time for that now. I tried to tear the helmet off and somehow succeeded. I sprinted out of there, the armor surprisingly light, snagging my pack under my arm as I ran.

7 years, and many incinerations, electrocutions, crushings, and drownings later the clickers finally retreated. Leaving behind only a strange gold box, oddly resembling an Egyptian coffin. Nobody could open it. I walked up to it and slid the blade I'd carried for seven years into a small slot in the box. It clicked and opened and I was staring at my own dead body...

Roger woke with a start. "Okay that's it, no more pizza before sleep."

[–]your_faces_lord 5 points6 points  (3 children)

This is excellent, but the ending seems a bit trope-y.

[–]BenTheGod321 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Endings have never been my strong suit...

[–]BlackFalls831 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Investigate the Body. Might use the weapon it had.

[–]jttass 26 points27 points  (2 children)

"Hang on, so there's some fixed amount of power and it's divided equally among all humans?"

"Yep."

"And you, a strange alien creature, have culled the human population in order to increase the power granted to any one individual?"

"Exactly. Do you want to try out your new powers?"

"I've a few questions first actually -- as a more advanced intelligence you're certainly aware of evolution, of the fact that all life forms here on earth share a common ancestor, of the fact that distinct species arise by a process of natural selection, where only those which adapt best to their environment survive?"

"Go on..."

"And you're telling me that the human species possess some special access to magical powers, with the magnitude of each individual's access depending explicitly on the number of other alive humans?

"Yeah. Is there a problem?"

"You bet there's a problem. What we call human life is unavoidably arbitrary. If we draw up the family tree showing the ancestry of all humans, at some point we make it back to some gross slime that definitely isn't human, and so at some point between today and whenever the slime was around we need to choose some generation and say 'Ok, after this we're human'. Maybe before we were neanderthal, or what have you, but neanderthal is just a label we made up too, every species is. You're telling me that whether or not an organism is labeled human actually has (1) some effect on the organism, and, worse, (2) some effect on every other organism we call human. But as I've argued, these labels are completely arbitrary."

"You know you can fly now? Don't you want to try that out?"

"We even have a maximally human organism, against which all other organisms are compared to test their human-ness? It's Carl Linnaeus -- in honour of all the work he did on species we locked his skeleton up somewhere#Lectotype) and granted him the title of Ur-human. Which means that everyone alive today is slightly less human than some family of Swedish nerds in the 1700s. And if we'd happened to have chosen someone else, we'd have a different ordering of humanity in terms of human-ness."

"You can teleport! You could go somewhere else, somewhere far far away, right now. Wouldn't that be fun?"

"Worse, we haven't stopped evolving. At some point in the future we'll be so far from Carl Linnaeus that we'll need a new label to describe us. Do those powers disappear then? Once we arbitrarily decide to call ourselves something else? Seems hard to believe really."

"Oh My God do you know this is why no one has bothered to contact you people all this time? I'm leaving. Do us all a favour and don't go developing any sort of space exploration program. If I see a human come anywhere near our star system I will see to their Zapping myself."

"How will you decide whether the organism is human or not?"

See also

[–]colduu 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah, a more lighthearted and humorus approach to the WP! I enjoyed this a lot! 😸

[–]Kashekechick 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I was grinning like a goof halfway through this. Nice job!

[–]conqueror-worm 5 points6 points  (0 children)

We didn't acknowledge there was anything strange going on - that was, until the second-gen power armor started being able to curve bullets during testing. Right after the Alpha Event in Eurasia that wiped out almost 70% of our population.

The strange thing was, neither the smartrifles mounted on the armor nor the munitions they chambered had any sort of guidance technology. It was almost as if the soldiers had simply willed the guns to hit their targets, even with the silhouette boards 10 feet under a window. Not long after the second generation were deployed, the remaining 2.4 billion members of humanity were treated to some very uplifting news on their vidcasts.

The Enemy's soldiers had not been able to hit their mark. Footage showed human soldiers, in their black, skeletal armor, advancing fearlessly towards their lines, pulse rifle rounds and shrapnel arcing out of the way at the last second to avoid collision with Earth's chosen. It would only be another several months before they were pushed back to a tiny hold in what was formerly Mongolia. But by then, we understood. We had realized our awakening had occurred, and as we always do, we weaponized it. We razed their last bastion here, and we chased them to the ends of the stars, burning their worlds as we came across them. Yes, there are few of us. But our wrath is terrible.

[–]engersion 13 points14 points  (1 child)

Kevin listened to the Oracle while sitting on the cloth that covered the pile of rubble beneath it. He's heard the tale more times than he can count: on that fateful day, 25th December of the year 2017, fleets of starships darkened the sky, and leveled the human civilization.

The oracle spoke of times when humans were plenty, the time when people would gather in the weekends for drinks, the time when people fought amongst themselves over petty differences… They're all gone now. The aliens wiped them all out. All those years of hard work, all the things they have learned over time, the monuments they managed to build were all erased when the fleet arrived, and, according to the Oracle, “glassed the planet”. The oracle never spoke about how many were killed, perhaps even he doesn't know. He did however, spoke in detail as to the destruction of civilizations: How the tallest buildings erupted in flames, how the people simply turned to ash without even burning, how none managed to find out a way to deal with the aliens despite many of them spending thousands of hours practicing how to fight them…

The next part always dreads Kevin. The oracle would move close to him, ignite the candles in the hut with a motion of his hand, and tell Kevin it is his destiny to overthrow the aliens, before telling him to put out the candles without leaving his seat.

Kevin sat as still as he can. This is going to be another failure, another time he would disappoint the Oracle and his people… It's not like he doesn't have any idea on what the oracle wants him to do. Kevin knew the oracle meant for him to create a gust of wind with his mind, similar to how the Oracle lit the candles with his mind.

“Oracle…” Kevin said while lowering his head in shame, “you know I can't do it, I've been trying since the first time I was here. There's just nothing I can do...”

Kevin remained in his seat, concentrating on creating a wind to put out all the candles. He had been doing this dance every week since he was ten. And now, five years later, he still hasn't been able to accomplish this simple feat.

Kevin continued to think of the wind, a strong breeze came through the door, blowing out all the candles. Just as Kevin was wondering whether this meant success for him, the Oracle signaled him to hide under the rug he was sitting on, before doing so himself. Kevin knew the alien patrols are nearby. Unlike putting out the candles, hiding from aliens is never something he had trouble with. Although he is having a tingly feeling, something is not right.

And then he realized, none of them packed the candles. He pondered what he should do, as he heard the footsteps of three aliens jumping onto the ground. Each step they take, their greaves make a sound that warns everyone nearby of their presence. The message is clear -- be out of their sight, or be killed.

The footsteps growing ever closer. The aliens will search the area when they see the candles. Kevin thought of his next step. There are none. Had he been able to put out the candles earlier…

The scream of the Oracle pulled Kevin back to reality. As he peeked from a hole in his cover, he saw one of the aliens, in his shiny silver armor, holding the Oracle in the air. The other two were stand next to him, crossing their arms, probably enjoying the sight of their comrade killing an old man.

Kevin thought of what he should do: continue to hide, and let the aliens take his mentor? Or would he try to fight them, and die. The Oracle would never wanted him to throw his life away for anyone, that he knows. He is important to overthrowing the aliens. But what good would he be if he didn't save the man that taught him everything. What good would he be if he died here...

Another scream. Kevin two pieces of debris, got out of his cover, and hurled them at the aliens. The aliens stood steadfast, letting their armor deflect the rocks. Kevin picked up another one, threw it at them again, nothing. Another one, and another…

Until his arms grew tired and his couldn't pick up anymore rocks. The aliens looked at one another, as one of them produced a pistols from his holster, and began taking aim at Kevin…

Why am I so useless

Kevin thought to himself as he stared the alien in the eyes, prepared to die, he is useless anyway.

The alien squeezed the trigger, a blue bolt of energy launched at Kevin. He instinctively raised his hand at the bolt. Just as the bolt was about to hit him, he felt a warm wave of energy concentrate on his hand, flowing to his palm, and outward to the incoming projectile.

The bolt hit his hand, but it didn't hurt. And the feeling of warmth continued flowing through Kevin.

Kevin concentrated, looking at the aliens who are going to kill his friend. He let the energy wave concentrate on his hand again. Except this time the feeling is much more intense. He looked at the aliens one more time, and unleashed the wave of energy at them. He watched as his assailants come into contact with the wave of blue energy, and burned to ash in mere seconds.

Kevin rushes towards the Oracle and helped him get up. Together, they packed up their camp and headed home.

[–]Frootlupps 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Good story, but it's jarring to read when it switches between past and present tense.

[–]azurensky 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Waking up it felt as if i was on fire, like electricity was burning my soul away. Piece by piece it was being ripped away in time with the rhythm of my heart. As soon as i felt that i could not go on something resonated with my mind. All of a sudden that burning was replaced with a tempered heat as if my soul itself was being reborn within those fires.


As i laid there for the next couple minutes it felt as my body was rebooting itself, my senses slowly turning back on. The first thing i noticed was the smell of smoke all around me. Struggling at first, i pushed myself off the ground to try to find the source of the smell. Walking closer to my front door the smell increased in intensity as i neared. As I opened the door i felt a rush of hot air to meet me. Outside the embers of the world that i once knew danced upon the wind like the stars in the skies. The city i had grown up in was on fire, blazing like the gods themselves dropped hell fire upon the world. Suddenly there was a massive explosion and i felt a new way of heat as i was forced to close my eyes against the light. As i the light subsided i traced the sound to the rend that part of the city once occupied.

Looking up from the destruction my heart stop, on the horizon a colossus of a ship had teardrops falling on to the ground that the city once laid. Ice filled within my gut as i gazed upon the damage that the ship had brought. Dread gripping my heart i could only think of one thing, escape.


After that night i began to question myself, what right do i have to live with all those that surely were lost within the eradication of the city. Why was i still alive while all those people were dead. After a few more days i began to hears whispers as the tempered heat came back to me filling me with someone. I did not know what was happening but those whispers started to cooing me into comfort. They whispered that what happened to those in the city was not my fault and that nothing i could've done could've changed what took place there. This soothed my worries some but i kept feeling i there was something that i had to do.


A week later i was stopping at a river to drink, i do not know which one anymore as i had lost all form of direction due to my hunger which was a constant pain for me. After finishing i sat on the river bank staring into the water. This was becoming increasing common lately. I do not know if it was the lack of food or the shock of destructed all those days ago but as i stared into those waters the whispers that had been my constant companion began to grow louder and louder. With there musings i began to lose myself in their words, drifting in and out of myself. As i regained myself i felt a cool blanket wrapped around myself. As if nature itself embraced me the sight around me breathtaking. Lilies sprouted around a red maple tree that wrapped around me as if to comfort me. The whispers did not silence as they once did before. Now they murmur in a chorus that clearly rang through me. The warmth that always felt now began to bubble as they spoke. "Through our sacrifice you preserve us." With that the heat within me began to rapidly cool within me, hardening into steel. I knew what i must do in that moment. Without though i heard the words "Retentat ligni vitae, e pluribus unum" come to my mouth. With that i took off, back to the ruined city.

[–]Could_have_listened 5 points6 points  (0 children)

could of

Did you mean could've?


I am a bot account.

[–]DanceFiendStrapS 5 points6 points  (4 children)

You could feel static in the air. Vibrations rippling the surface of the ground. Like a droplet hitting calm waters. Her eyes pregnant with tears; cascading down her dirty face. If you had heard her screaming, you would feel the exact moment your heartbreaking into a thousand pieces.

She croaked out the last of her voice. Sobbing her heart out, she clutches the remnants of her younger sister. Trembling and whispering so low only angels could hear "Fuck no, Jesus please. Bring her back. Fuck. this isn't fair." If given the chance she would have sat there and repeated that last sentence over a lifetime. Over and over again. If only she had been there. She would have found a small momentary haven for her and younger sister.

Gemma's lifeless eyes that had once danced with a playful light despite The Day of Broken Skies had wreaked havoc on our broken world under a couple of years ago. Had now been snuffed away. Stolen from her.

Sophia had never felt rage this chaotic before. The sound of her blood coursing through her veins drowned out the distant screams and please for help.

Nearby a Senty had rounded the corner, the low baritone humming as it's tracks glided over crumbling walls and rusting cars. The dome glistening as it housed this other worldly species. A language unknown warbled excitedly as it spots Sophia. Sophia couldn't hear the mechanised alien's weapon start to whir. Only when she felt searing hot air whoosh past her arm did the ground around her stop pulsing.

Sophia's sadness had erupted into a deafening war cry. She abhorred them. Every last one of them. With every last molecule of her body.

She went to stand up. Instead the ground rushed away from her. She was airborne and as her rage brought her to near madness. What can only be described as the sound of a sonic boom. Darkness.

Sophia struggles to wake. She feebly pushes herself onto her knees. She knows she needs to run. She looks around to find shelter, only to find 100 metres of scorched earth surrounding her. What was left of the Sentinel, was a puddle of molten alien metal.

"What are you?" A terrified voice called from somewhere close. Sophia could only muster a whisper "please help"

Darkness.

Sophia woke to the sound of metal clanging and water rushing. She couldn't see much but a sliver of light. Her migraine made her double over, groaning as she's struggled to make sense of her surroundings. The pitter patter of tiny feet and giggling could be heard running away. "She's awake", "she's weird", "she looks like my sister" "she's superwoman" little eyes peered into the safety of Sophia's darkness.

"GET AWAY FROM THERE" A fierce growl scattered the kids in different directions. The huge metal door creaked open.

A giant with a barrel chest stoops to let himself into the room. Light burns Sophia's eyes as she struggles to keep them open.

"So you're a Surge?" His growls rumbling as a billow of smoke floods towards Sophia.

Hey guys, This was my first attempt at a writing prompt or anything really like this. I don't know the etiquette on how long or short they are supposed to be. My grammar sucks, so if you have any tips that would help, it would be appreciated! Could you let me know if I did ok?

Apologies on mobile.

[–]squant000 1 point2 points  (3 children)

This was honestly my favorite response on this post. Keep it up!

[–]Chakrum77 3 points4 points  (0 children)

[Part 1]

When they came, it was not nearly as one would expect; at least not what the average Joe, Jane, Tom, Dick, or Harry would have expected. Aliens meant fantastically futuristic, didn’t it? They were supposed to have arrived in spaceships descending from orbit and raining death upon us with technological supremacy. They might have landed their ships and been humanoids upon emerging from their crafts, wielding laser guns, or something similar, and decimating us with that technology. Perhaps they would have been more beast like, like something from a Geiger painting…right; charging forth in a beast-like frenzy?

For all the world, back in early 2015—still very much a technological age for well over 90 percent of the Earth’s inhabitants—they had come sailing through the skies in what looked like ancient clippers, schooners, and similarly designed ships of wood. Fantastic all right; as in what had resembled the dark peoples that might have made up Sauron’s army from The Lord of The Rings trilogy. There were Orc-like creatures, and those with pointy ears and grey skin like evil Elves, and beserker men and women had come off those ships, washing forth upon our continents with sabres, swords, and bows, slaughtering those who’d gotten in the way. Far worse were the Warlocks; men and women in flowing robes of varying black or red hues, depending on their bent for different schools of magic.

Even with the common soldiers, their armors—we’d come to understand later—had been gifted with runic magic, protecting them as they butchered any careless enough to not run away, who thought glocks and shotguns would save them. Of course, governments around the world ordered jets and attack helicopters on those ships, though their machine guns and missiles exploded harmlessly against lavender colored energy shields. When that didn’t work, larger missile strikes from military bases were tried—again, having no effect on the spelled-ships. It did take well over two years, but the Earth’s population had shrunk drastically with each passing month. Of course, something strange had been realized by the dwindling population. Magic of our own was still there, and much more present as 7 billion became 5 within the first year, and to what must be perhaps less than 1 billion now, though technology had all but ceased to function with destroyed satellites, power plants vaporized, and manufacturing plants amongst the first targets of the invaders. We’re fighting back though, with our own magic, as best we can. Our magic manifests differently though, from person to person. While runes are woven with intricate hand gestures, and spells of power are worked when invoking the right words from our enemy, ours manifests quite differently.


[Part 2 coming right up, after THESE messages...]

[–]cmShepherd 4 points5 points  (0 children)

We fought for diplomacy, for cohabitation. They had no intention of hearing our pleas. They had given us a warning: vacate the earth in fourteen days or be eradicated. There were over seven billion people on earth and no space or science organization had the means to transport even a fraction of that number to a different location, let alone the resources that it would take to sustain them.

So, in the face of their ultimatum, we fought. Independently, as first, one nation at a time, launching waves of attacks at their hubs. The United States, Russia, China, Britain; they all fell short of even damaging their ranks. Eventually, the UN announced a global alliance between every country and sovereign power on earth working together towards one goal: survival.

Under normal circumstances, finding out that most countries were harboring weapons of mass destruction would have been cause for war in itself. Under these circumstances, leaders bit their tongues, and organized attacks with weapons so devastating pieces of the world were no longer identifiable. The earth beneath them suffered, wilted, and caved, but they did not. Not even nukes, a omnipresent threat to humanity since their invention, could damage them.

It did not take long for them to realize that we had nothing bigger to throw at them, no other trump cards in our pockets. They began their offensive, and within weeks, over 6,000 years of human civilization was reduced to rubble. Seven billion shrank to seven million, and then seven thousand.

It was at this point that those of us who remained began noticing the changes. We were more in tune with our surroundings, with nature, with the earth around us. We began leaning closer and closer into the fires that kept us warm, finding that it no longer burned our finger tips. Wind no longer chapped our skin, and blizzards were cool breezes against our faces. We were becoming more than what we thought human was.

The seven thousand of us that remained were split into three separate groups, in order to prevent ever being taken out in one assault. We were somewhere in Africa, two thousand of us trekking through a desert. We knew that we were exposed, but we hoped that the vastness of the sands would be cover enough to get us closer to Europe, where we were to meet with one of the other groups to stage our last stand.

I never was a lucky man. I never won the big poker hands, found myself in the right place at the right time. I can't recall a time I ever won a scratcher either. The luckiest thing I think to ever happen to me was finding a wife who would put up with me. She was perfect, and I knew when I married her that if she was the only bit of luck I ever had in my life, that it would be more than enough.

She was killed. Two years ago. Our house collapsed right on top of her when the invasion made it to our city. She didn't have a chance to scream, or feel any pain. She was luckier than I was, and luckier than many of the thousands or millions who suffered slow deaths in the invader's wake.

I could have used a bit of her luck in that desert. We spotted their ship heading toward us in the distance, probably ten minutes before it would make it to our ranks. A few moments later, news that the other two groups had been killed blared through our radios. We looked to each other, no fear left to give, and readied ourselves for the fight. Only some of us were lucky enough to have guns. High caliber rifles in the very back of our group. The rest of us donned spears and swords. We unsheathed them, children grasping their plastic swords to ward off intruders, and raised them in the air and shouted together.

They flew closer, droves of them jumping down to the sand, standing at least two heads taller than an average human. They were faster than us as well, covering twice the distance in their long strides. We knew this scene of pale beasts hurling themselves toward us was likely our last. Still, we charged, and as instinct took over we all learned that there was nothing more human than our inclination for war.

I lead the charge, raising my rusted longsword in the air, thinking back to all of the high fantasy stories I used to enjoy, knowing that there would be no allied army making a last minute entrance to save us. Whenever I would watch those scenes, goosebumps would flood my skin, and the hair on my neck would stand straight up. I felt the same thing now as I ran toward my death.

It was euphoric. I thought about the flight or fight response, and how whenever we are put in that situation, our bodies release chemicals that make us less responsive to pain and wondered if this was my body in action. I understood how our ancestors would have fought beasts larger than us. The feeling coursing through my body was like nothing I had ever experienced. As I drew closer to them, the euphoria seemed to concentrate in my hands and feet, and I could begin to feel the earth shake harder and harder beneath me.

We closed in on one another, and the yells went silent as I jumped higher than I ever thought I could directly into the ranks of the invaders. A primal instinct kicked in, and I dropped my sword halfway through my jump, raising my fist at their leader's head. The moment before it made contact, a bolt of lightning cracked into the creature's flesh and cracked in half before falling to the ground.

As I stood in confusion, I looked behind to the last of my people. Lighting crackled and fire burst from their palms as they maintained their charge. Their fists landed as true as my own, and one by one, after years of fighting, we were finally able to witness the beauty of our enemy’s death. It was as though earth itself was fighting back. Two thousand humans remained, but we were no longer the humans we once knew. We were what humans had been millennia ago, what legend and folklore was based on.

We were the people of earth, and as we would come to find out, had a deeper connection to this planet than any of us could have guessed, let alone any foreign invaders. We had grown with this planet, and long ago, learned to harness its raw power. But power is finite, and when so many of us shared the planet, that power began to grow thinner as we prospered.

Bringing us down to our last stand, dwindling our numbers to so few, triggered the final fail safe that humanity had repressed for so long. We beat them for the first time that day, in a scorching desert that our ancestors avoided. They felt the sting of defeat for the first time, and retaliated with their full force. They had the numbers, but we had the power, and it was time for us to take our planet back.

[–]Serkisist 2 points3 points  (5 children)

When it first showed up to our sensors, everyone thought it was just an interested asteroid. Sure, it was oblong, and one of the first we'd ever observed, but it was hardly anything special. People speculated that it was an alien ship, but no one really believed it.

That is, until it spontaneously reversed it's trajectory. One day, it was headed out of the solar system faster than any man made craft. The next, it was hurtling towards Earth with unnatural precision.

The impact alone wiped out Canada and part of the USA. Debris clouded the atmosphere, and the world went dark. It was few month before it began to spread.

It wasn't just a space rock or a ship. It was alive. And it was hungry. It spread like rot, sucking the life out of everything it touched. Concrete disintegrated, steel corroded to dust, and flames did nothing. Wherever it went, it spewed noxious, toxic gas. Scientists recognized it as a terraforming device. We called it the Plague.

People died in their homes, refusing to leave. People stuck in the traffic of evacuation found themselves trapped in a ring of the creeping rot. It seemed to seek out life, so that it could trap it and kill it. High altitude flight was impossible due to debris, and low altitude was incredibly dangerous, because the gas that permeated the atmosphere above the Plague was impossible to filter.

The human population steadily shrank, until the only free continent left was Australia. There were less than 10,000 of us when it happened. People began exhibiting strange power. Some could read minds. Others could teleport. Still others controlled the elements. I had the ability to fly. One thing that everyone had in common, however, was to share their energy with each other, from any distance, to boost one another's power.

Eventually, one man was found with the power to destroy the Plague.

His power was unique. It looked like raw energy, and it erased any Plague it came in contact with. He fired it from his hands as beams and blasts of blue or yellow light. Humanity immediately knew what they had to do.

I was one of a team sent with him, comprised of myself, two other fliers, a wind mage to clear the air, a telepath to communicate remotely, and the man himself. Our mission was to fly to the source of the Plague to destroy it once and for all.

The flight was short. In less than a day, we reached the origin. It was the only feature in a smooth, shiny black wasteland. A pillar of darkness, like a monument to humanities destruction.

At his command, the telepath broadcast his speech to the rest of humanity. I was the one flying him, and I'll never forget his words.

As he raised his arms above his head, he bellowed at the top of his lungs.

"PEOPLE OF EARTH! LEND ME YOUR ENERGY!"

Fukin' weebs.

[–]-SagaQ- 1 point2 points  (2 children)

Fukin' weebs

?

[–]Serkisist 2 points3 points  (1 child)

It was a poorly concieved attempt at a Dragon Ball Z reference. Don't blame me it's 1 in the morning here.

[–]-SagaQ- 1 point2 points  (0 children)

1 in the morning

Fair enough. It's only 11 something at night here.

[–]SlowSeas 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Holy shit the end. Hearty laugh from me gut.

[–]JoshinYoBagels 2 points3 points  (3 children)

There was a shiver creeping its was up my spine, slowly poking at every nerve it crossed. The frequency of the shivers has kept increasing... I’m I think I’m starting to figure out why.

A few days ago, my squad and I had retraced our steps while crossing the Alps, seeking refuge is a cave just a couple hundred feet down the western mountain side. A major blizzard heading toward us, there was going to be no way for us to push through to the Eastern War front in Austria without some of us freezing to death. Anyway, that night is when the Awakening happened. Half of us were asleep, the others on guard, waiting, watching for signs of extraterrestrial life; Zens to be more precise. They showed up only a couple of months ago and already an estimated 880 million people have died. I don’t know the true scientific name for them, but I do know they are a force to be reckoned with. Twice the size of the average human and five times as strong. Bullets can hurt them if you hit the right spot, but even then, they don’t go down easy. We just carry our rifles around to feel a bit safer.

As the night shift took their posts, the rest of us took to our sleep, but not for long. After just 2 hrs of our bodies shocked us awake. I myself awoke to a small fire balls dancing around my finger-tips.

“Oh shit! Jesus, somebody help!” I shouted, flailing my hand around, trying to pat out the flames on my blanket, but it just burst into ashes.

Nobody came, and for a moment, things went silent for me. I took a look around the room. Some of the watch and some of the sleepers, all reacting the same as I was. Stan was bent over, hold a hand full of icicles. Marks arm was sparking with electricity. Jack was trying to calm Stan down, but Jack’s body was filled with purple spots. Each spot was like looking at a flowing river of dark purple sludge. Richie was keeping his distance from the rest of us. It was in that moment that I looked down at my hand and realized the flames didn’t burn. After using common sense, I realized they weren’t even touching me. As soon as it became clear to me, the flames vanished. I turned my attention back to the group who had all realized the same thing. Everyone had calmed down, but we’re breathing heavily.

“What the hell was that?” asked Mark.

I looked at my hand once more, “I have no goddamned idea.”

“That was fucked up man!” Richie shouted, cowering in the back of the cave, “you guys stay the hell away from me!”

“Richie nobody is gonna hurt you man, just take it easy all rig... Richie... your... shit...” Stan muttered, covering his mouth with one hand and brushing the other over his head.

My head turned to Richie. A circular spot on his blue jacket was darker than the rest, and right in the middle, sticking out of his gut, was an icicle.

Mark and Jack rushed to his side, throwing Richie’s weakened arms out of the way as he tried to block them. All I could do was stand there with Stan. We’d seen death before, some of our closest friends had succumbed to it, it wasn’t new to any of us. Mark and Jack could try anything they wanted, but that icicle was too big, and he was losing too much blood.

Mark was the calm one, “Honestly Rich, it’s not that bad, it’s just a flesh wound,” he tried saying with a smile.

“You really think so Jack, it must feel worse than it looks then,” Richie said with a light chuckle.

You could see it in his eyes, the light fading away. His body and mind going numb. He was accepting his fate... being killed by a friend.

“Richie, stay with me man!” Jack yelled, putting pressure around the wound, “You’re not dying on my you got that!”

“Ha... this ain’t a move Mark... words can’t magically heal me... kill some Zens for me will ya?” Richie spoke his last words.

Richie’s body went limp, his head dropping to the side. That was the first shiver. It was different than the normal shiver of death, it was more like a small shock running from my tailbone to my neck, like a shiver of life. I know everybody else felt it too.

“What now?” Stan muttered.

The others all looked at me, “We move on, and we kill some Zens,” I said, looking down at my hand, the flames reignited, a bit bigger than before.

Part 2: Eastern Battle Front If enough people want it.

[–]Jacksonpophunter 2 points3 points  (0 children)

At first, the aliens came in hordes. Wiped out everyone and everything they sensed a heart beat in. I lost my whole family within days, my father was the first to go protecting my older brother, then my mum protecting both of us. My brother and I were on the run for months until we got sloppy, stayed in the same place too long and he died protecting me. Somehow started a fire and took out 6 of those bastard aliens at once, made me proud to be related to him. That was 2 years ago, I’ve been alone ever since. . The blood curdling screams of those found make it hard to sleep, the goosebumps that used to cover my skin everytime I heard that scream don’t appear anymore but the knowledge of what is happening to those screaming is a horror in its own. In an effort to drown out those screams I remind myself of the golden rule, move to a new spot every 3 days. When that doesn’t work I focus on my surroundings and close my eyes,I can almost see my surroundings identically in my head. I close my eyes and hope to get some rest for tonight, tomorrow is when I find a new spot. . I jolt upright, I swear I heard a noise. Everything in the room I slept in has moved around, somethings been here. I get up slowly, crouch low and move around the house. Searching each and every room, i feel different. As if I feel that the room is empty before turning into it. Through my travels I’ve bumped into other people, traded items, bought weapons and been given food. I’ve also heard stories of survivors manifesting powers, magic even. The ability to summon storms or move water, throw fire or read minds. After determining the house is safe I sit down and close my eyes. I picture the house in my mind and focus as hard as I can. A blueprint like imagine appears in my mind, turning and growing, a 3D image replica of the layout. I can see myself sitting next to the tv, my mind zooms into the room in in. This is some crazy shit, I wonder what else I can do. I picture the tv next to me exploding and I focus as hard as I can. BOOM.

“Kid! Kid! Wake up!” Struggling, I wake up but keep my eyes closed. Fuck that was dumb, blowing up the tv right next to myself yeah, nice one idiot. “Oh thank god he’s awake, he blew up a tv next to himself” I can see the young girl sitting next to me, another man pacing in the corner of the room and another, older female sitting down in a chair. I try to open my eyes and the searing pain becomes obvious in my left eye. “Glass cut your eye pretty deep, hit the cornea and maybe sliced some nerves. I was only a nursing student so I’m not too sure” the girl says apologetically, I look at her with my right eye and ask her how she knew I blew the tv up, her mother tells me her daughter was a mute her whole life but a couple of months ago she talked for the first time, but it wasn’t with her mouth. It was with her mind. She’s telepathic. They tell me they’ve heard of a colony of people that are gaining powers in the north and that they are heading there, I’m welcome to go with them....

Part 2 if anyone wants it available

[–]OldManGravz 2 points3 points  (0 children)

"Nobody knows exactly how long they've been here. By the time they revealed themselves on that fateful day, it was too late. They had infiltrated every facet of our lives, from our neighbourhoods to our government.

Shapeshifters.

They had been our friends, our co-workers, our in-laws. A small colony had landed originally, but their numbers had increased exponentially. We were outnumbered. We were outfought. We were almost completely eradicated.

Until the awakening.

As children growing up in the Western world, we had heard stories of magic, of witches and wizards. Arthurian legends of Merlin. In the East, tales of Genii were abound. Dismissed as folklore for generations, we had assumed it was all fairy tales, a way for our ancestors to explain what they did not understand. How wrong we were.

There is speculation as to why magic has returned, but nobody really understands. One theory I hear the men discuss is that as the number of humans decreased, their power increased. I saw a film along that premise once. I wonder if I'll ever get to see another film, read another book. I wonder if I'll ever be able to relax again at all. Some think that magic returning is God's way of saving humanity. I'm not buying that. I can't believe in a higher power after what I've seen. Where was their fucking God when the aliens first landed? When their numbers grew? WHEN THEY BUTCHERED OUR FAMILIES IN OUR OWN HOMES?? Fuck God. We are the gods now.

Our resistance is small, but it is not the only one. We like it that way. No outsiders. We had been unable to fight them at first. Against their natural, bug-like form, our bullets are useless. In their human form they could be shot, but they acted just like us, looked just like us. You could never tell who was one of them, at least not until the power returned. It gave our eyes a reddish glow, marked us from them. Their alien eyes hadn't been able to pick up on it, and we had taken advantage. We butchered thousands of them before they realised we could tell them apart. It wasn't enough. It's never enough.

Some of us have learnt to harness our power, our magic. We can fight the bugs in their natural form, which is how they spend all of their time now. We can break through their carapaces. We can call in the elements at will, rain down fire and brimstone on them. WE CAN BURN THESE UGLY MOTHERFUCKERS FROM THE INSIDE USING ONLY THE POWER OF THOUGHT!

But they are many, and we are few. And so the battle rages on. I am sending this message out, in the hope that anyone is still listening. In the hope that anyone is still out there at all.

Let us not go down without a fight. They may have us on the back foot for now, but the human race is stronger than you or I ever thought possible! Harness your power! TAKE AS MANY OF THESE ALIEN SONS OF BITCHES DOWN WITH YOU AS YOU CAN!"

End Transmission

[–]Chakrum77 2 points3 points  (0 children)

[Part 2]

Joe Takada hadn’t been much of a man, not really; he’d been a 120 pounds soaking wet, had glasses, and his brain was the only muscle he’d really developed over his 19 years of life. He liked more intellectual pursuits, and that was all that had mattered to him, before the invaders had come. One his favorite passions had been anime; he almost could not have gotten enough of it. With few friends, and little to no love life to speak of, the intricate stories and fluidity of those anime stories had been more of a friend than most people had been. Dragonball Z, Bleach, Naruto; he would much more like to befriend Goku or Ichigo rather than the real people around him. That’d been in 2015, of course. He would have guessed it was close to the end of 2017 now, and his life was much different. Actually, in a way, he’d like to think himself as something like Trunks though, harkening back to Dragonball Z. He wasn’t in the future, but the present was desolate now, with more buildings hulking piles of rubble than whole now—to Joe it seemed as a mirror to the future Trunks had come from. He’d even taken to wearing a sword on his back, and wearing a purple jacket, much like his favorite character from that anime. After all, he was very much like a character from the pages of Toriyama’s magna.

Joe was powerful now, though not of muscle really, though swordplay had been developing his upper body more than he might have thought. Lots of cardio too; you needed that, when marauding hordes of Orcs, Elves, and humans from another world were out to kill you and everyone else on this planet. There were fighters though, some were wielding magic much like their enemy, some had become something like super heroes, and had even taken to wearing costumes like the tales told through comic books that people had once read and watched in the movie theaters.

He’d almost drifted off to sleep, when the shifting of rubble from what must have been seventy or eighty feet down the hall had sent adrenaline surging through him, instantly rousing him into wakefulness and with a heightened sense of alertness. Uhl’Threka’s band had finally found him. I would have liked to meet them tomorrow morning, but it seems like they can’t wait for their death any longer.

Reaching down to the leylines of magic that had crisscrossed the Earth, Joe had drawn upon it until power surged through him. The only way he could think to describe it was a system more akin to the stories of Naruto. Chakra and chakra gates must have been a real thing, as the magic within him seemed to have manifested in this way. His legs and arms were stronger, and he’d been practicing martial arts, as best he could—he could throw punches and kicks far faster and more powerfully than should have been possible. It was a clumsy system, or style he supposed he should say, developed only through books pilfered from now defunct or destroyed libraries. Masking his power would have been useless, Uhl’Threka was one of the more powerful Warlocks in Oregon; he’d be able to detect the life force of one of the myriad number of rats scuttling through the building, so of course he’d be able to sense even a disguised power such as Joe might be able to make himself appear to be.

“You’ll come out now, Takada-san, so we can have a chat, yes?”

“Actually General Threka, I was going to ask you if you’d care to step outside?”

Joe didn’t let the Warlock make the mock choice though, as he flashed through a tear in the wall of his makeshift room of the week, and out into the night. Though he could see quite well in the dark, a few fires raged in buildings around him, casting a feint red and yellow glow, as well as a nearly full moon casting its own light. So there’d been plenty of illumination to see Uhl’Threka and his minions, as they came outside moments later. Two towering Kordens, the Orc-like creatures that were the true muscle of the invaders armies, stood near to eight feet tall, wicked curved swords in hand as something like smiles played about their brown, brutish faces resembling pigs more than men. Threka even had some magic underlings as well, as three Luden women trailed behind the Warlock, their thin hands already weaving runes about the lumbering beasts. Uhl’Threka himself was slight in stature, though the Warlocks’ magical might was the intimidating factor about the Luden man in a robe of dark scarlet. Even with runeic might playing about them, Joe was concerned little about the Kordens. A moment later, he let Uhl Threka know why.

Joe pushed himself nearly to the limits of his power, and performed flashing leaps, hopping on the chest of the first Korden in less than a blink of an eye, and slashing through its neck in another two or three milliseconds, the head falling to the ground in what seemed as such a slow speed as to be nearly perceived as not moving at all. Joe’s sword flashed again as he vaulted off the now dead Korden, and plunged his blade deep into the brain of the other, making a few dozen slices through it just to be sure. A bolt of purple energy almost touched Joe as he flashed back to almost exactly where he’d been standing before killing Threka’s bodyguards, but it wasn’t quick enough. What must have been a dozen more magic bolts might have killed Joe, if he’d been as weak as Uhl’Threka must have thought him to be. In a blur of motion, he deflected the magic away as if they were mosquitos of light that might have been trying to feast on his blood, deflected away and sent careening into the night.

“Listen Warlock, you know your lackeys can do nothing to me, and I see that your Korden are just about useless to you now, so let’s make this about you and me already.”

Uhl’Threka guffawed loudly at the thought, and Joe let the moment of imagined supremacy be the undoing of the Warlock’s flunkies. He brought a large amount of power into his hands, and threw out green energy beams at Threka’s female mages, felling them in quick, precise strikes. He’d thrown a few more out at Threka himself, in what Joe had hoped would be quick enough, though the Warlock seemed to become as a ghost for a moment, the beams passing harmlessly through him and into the night, destroying parts of a building behind the Luden man with loud crashes of energy meeting stone. The Warlock manifested himself a moment later in the same place with a wicked smile.

“You underestimate my mastery Takada-san, how unfortunate for you. You’ve been quite a bothersome insect, more a wasp than the worm I once thought you to be, to your credit. Wasps can be exterminated almost as easily though, as I’m sure you’re more aware than I, being a true denizen of this world.”

“You know Threka, there are species of insects that can kill a man? Yes, there are ants and wasps, and other insects, that are so poisonous tha,” Joe hoped the talking would be enough of a distraction, as he launched an attack at the Warlock. He’d flashed behind the Luden, only to be knocked aside by a massive flaring of purple-red power. Slamming into a broken down diesel truck, Joe might have slumped to the ground, had the Warlock not materialized in the spot where Joe would have fallen, and clutched at Joe’s throat.

“You’re buzzing and stinging ends here Takada-san. Know that now, even as your life ebbs from you, that I respect you. Until the very end, that’s what the san at the end of your name means in the culture of your homeland, yes…”

A red gloved-hand erupted through Uhl’Threka’s head then, and as Joe hit the ground, panting and gasping for air, he looked up to his savoir, and a smile bloomed across his face. Why hadn’t he reached out to her earlier?

“Well Joe Takada, looks like I’ve forced the argument upon you, haven’t I?”

Linda Johnson, though she referred to herself as Lady Red now, smiled down at him as he still massaged his neck. Joe realized then that she’d been right all along, that there was strength in numbers, that it would take everyone with power to have even a chance of sending the invaders back to wherever they came from.

“Yes, “ his voice still pinched a little from lack of air,” I suppose your right. I suppose it’s time you take me to the Revolt. Let me gather my things, and w-well…thank you; thank you very much.”

[–]JenariMandalor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

An excerpt from Stephen Colbert's award winning interview with Sergeant Major Johnathon Stewart- Veteran of the "Dead Contact War"

Colbert: Whenever you're ready, please, tell us what it was like for you- an enlisted man- when the war broke out, and when the tide changed.

John: Rocks. Everything began, and ended, with rocks.

First it was rocks from the sky. In the early days of the invasion the aliens redirected asteroids onto a collision course with Earth. Not big enough to ruin the planet for colonization, but big enough to kill an eighth of our population in the first attack.

No one is sure who said it first, but soon after we realized who was responsible we started calling them "Stoners". You'll never hear that in anything official of course, it was just something we started saying around the FOB- I'm sorry, that's Forward Operations Base to the layman. You can take the soldier out of the suck, but you can't take the acronyms out of the soldier.

After the first wave softened us up, they started bringing in fighters. The Skipping Stones, or Skippers, were faster and more maneuverable than anything we had. in days they had shredded anything that wasn't hidden, lucky, or buried underground. And they never stopped dropping rocks on our heads. After the sun got blotted out by the smoke, sometimes the only light you'd see at noon was the glow of cities on fire. Two months in, and we were down to about five billion.

So there we were. Out gunned, out matched, and morale was in the shitter. I went from a Private First Class to Sergeant in a matter of weeks because so many people above us had already been taken out. Whatever was left of leadership skipped right over the draft and went straight to conscripting anybody with two working legs and at least one arm and an eye. It was looking like the end times, and some of the religious nuts were into it. Wasn't long before you had crazies in the streets saying that we ought to surrender to what was clearly "God's wrath". Those guys didn't last long.

Around the middle of the fourth month, the Stoners started deploying ground troops. Big fellas on four legs most of the time, two legs when they wanted to shoot you with those big ass rifles. But they were slow upright, like a bear. Covered in armor. White stuff that made us think that they were color blind, cause they would hide, but stick out like a sore thumb wherever they took cover. It was the only advantage we really had. And they realized about the same time we did that it didn't really matter if we saw them or not.

Small arms fire had no effect on the stuff. So they abandoned subtlety and would just waddle onto the field and lay us out. We lost another half billion before the "Sense" kicked in. And finally, things started to turn.

People started to have "dreams". They woke up and KNEW where they were massing troops. KNEW where they were storing munitions. And it didn't take much to confirm these dreams, because everyone was starting to have them. And of course we acted on them.

I had my first "dream" in August of 2038. About four hundred Stoners were massing in what used to be Spirit Lake, Iowa, USA. I sent it up the chain of command they launched an offensive. We caught'em with the space trousers down. It was a Stoner hospital triage for the few that were injured. And we wasted 'em all. I'd seen about a hundred fire fights and never seen one go down. To watch 'em all die like that... it still makes me wanna cry. It was beautiful, and I got another promotion out of it. And we paid for it dearly.

The Stoners retaliated with a fury. The asteroids picked up all over the globe. Stoner troops came in at twice the number they needed. Skippers swarmed around like clouds overhead. And in two weeks, the killed two billion of us. We were all ready to give up. Throw it in. Go to whatever god wanted us.

And then somebody threw a rock.

Private Jordan. Conscripted by the Army while scavenging in what used to be L.A. Skinny little seventeen year old white boy. Skiddish by all accounts. His unit got pinned down on the Northwestern front of Old Canada. Went to fire his first shot of the war, and his rifle jams. Then he realizes that he dropped his sidearm in the crossfire when he ran for cover. He looks up and sees a nine-foot Stoner standing over him, leveling a shot. He panics, grabs a rock, and chucks it as hard as he can right at the things chest plate.

It should have pinged off and got him killed. Instead it shot out of his hand at what some egghead tells me must have been something close to the speed of light. It punched a hole right through the Stoner and blew apart the roof of the building behind him. BOOM!!! "Like God was beating on the biggest, deepest drum you ever heard." That's what I said when I told the Master Sergeant.

I saw the whole thing. The jam. The Stoner. The rock. And, unfortunately, the shot that Stoner put through John's chest in it's death throws. Poor kid. He had just won us the war, and he never even had a chance to register his first kill.

So. I looked around. Found a rock about the size of my fist. And the second I picked it up, I knew why John chucked it. It was like I was meeting an old friend. The first weapon. Just an old rock. And I knew that no matter how bad a throw I was, she would hit whatever I was aiming at. So I picked my target. Cocked back my arm, and threw that stone for all I was worth. Suddenly I felt like I wasn't just throwing a rock. I was hurling all my being at them. My love, my hope, and all of my sorrow. Boom!!!

Some nine or ten of them died when their comrade took the shot. One second they were there, the next they were all replaced with a glowing crater of slag.

So I kept grabbing stones and throwing. Soon the rest of the unit was throwing. Quarter of an hour later, and the score was 14 dead on our side, and 90+ on theirs. We were alive. And now we had the the Stone on our side.

Of course it took a while to catch on. No one believed us at first. We tried to show our superiors on controlled ranges, but the rocks just went as far as we could throw and plunked to the ground. Like regular old rocks. It was about intent. Need. It came to us when it was necessary. And even after enough of our superiors had seen it in action, it was hard to convince people to tell their men, "Hey! Stop shooting and throw rocks at them! Trust me!"

But finally they did. With just over a billion people left, and scattered resistance fighting around the globe against an invading force larger than the original population of the planet. And there it was.

We killed them on the ground, in the air, in the sea. And once we realized that there was no "maximum effective range", we shot them right out of local space.

Soon we started putting communication together. Started regrouping and rebuilding. Ten years later and we could finally start to breathe easier. People started having kids and putting together schools. About five years after that, and you could see the sun through the ash clouds. Things were still cold and harsh, but it was over.

I lost a lot of good friends. I lost my whole family, except for my cousin in Nebraska- she still lives with me today, we just... can't handle being separated again. A lot of families are like that still. But we made it through. And it was all because a scared little seventeen year old Private threw a rock.

Yeah. It all came down to rocks.

[–]Time_Animal 2 points3 points  (0 children)

When they came the excitement lasted for almost 24 hours. Our first contact with the stars led to speculation of travel their ourselves, and of what wonders these mysterious visitors would bring. They might cure disease, end world hunger, introduce technology to make all of our most far flung fantasies realities. However, the only thing they'd brought for us was death.

Three hours and fifty seven minutes after they arrived they started sending down shuttles. These shuttles didn't go to our political capitals or any scientific or spiritual centers. They didn't even go to our military installations. They went to Tokyo, Delhi, Shanghai, Manila and Mumbai. Their goal was to kill the most human beings in the shortest amount of time.

Two minutes after they launched, they touched down. As people saw the shuttles incoming they'd begun to gather. They surrounded them and shouted greetings in their native tongues. The shuttle doors began to lower, and before they'd even touched the ground the first barrage of energy blasts had fried dozens of onlookers.

Social media posts of these attacks crashed all major website servers, but the word was out. World governments leapt to action and fired nuclear missiles at the landing sites and at the ships in orbit around the planet. They never reached their targets.

Nevertheless some people remained excited. A cohort of mostly younger men began to speak encouragement, derived from their delusions of grandeur, about how surely they'd find a weakness. A virus, a weapon, an almost magical field emitted that would shut off their technology. In truth, maybe there was something, but the rate of elimination was such that anyone truly, objectively considering the situation knew there was no hope.

Many in the Militaries around the world came to this conclusion. Each of the enemy troops came with a personal shield that normal caliber bullets and normal bombs could seem to penetrate, or at the least, any human weapon that had the capability to do so was destroyed before it had the chance to reach them. They seemed to almost be mocking us in this way. Ground troops were allowed to approach, it made them easier to slaughter. Most planes and missiles were shot down, and convoys carrying anti-tank guns destroyed.

We couldn't win, but we knew that we had weapons that could hurt them. Sixteen hours after they'd landed in the first cities, they boarded their transports and left. As anticipated they were moving towards a second wave which included New York City. Hours before planes had been launched, many going towards Washington DC as a ploy to convince the aliens that the politicians were mostly concerned about themselves. Aircraft Carriers moved towards the north east, and all military bases in the country began to trickle vehicles and weapons towards New York. Had they been paying attention, they might have noticed, they might have noticed anyway and not truly assessed the threat level. The end result was that when they touched down the United States, and their allies, launched the largest military assault in human history on New York City. Even North Korea fired their full nuclear arsenal in our support. The alien's defensive capabilities were overwhelmed. By the time their ships sliced through the last weapons that posed a threat to them, they'd lost half their force in the area.

They pulled out, but not out of defeat. Once their troops were destroyed they fired at the city from space. They vaporized the city, and enough layers of sediment that not even the island remained.

The cost for half of one of more than a dozen attack squads was the capability to mount an effective attack upon the enemy ever again. The effort did have one more important gain for humanity, one that has kept us alive even till today. In the few hours that the enemy was overwhelmed, the Military began dispersing tactical nuclear weapons to the surrounding communities. Only a few hours after New York was destroyed, they touched down in Philadelphia. Twenty minutes later they lost a third of their force that happened to be too close to a nuclear explosion.

They adjusted. They changed strategy. They wiped out all major military installations and all potential nuclear arsenals over the next few days. They had, had complete surveillance of the planet since they'd arrived and had gone back and figured out which vehicles leaving certain military installations were likely to have had bombs on them, and where they had gone. Anywhere with a small population and no significance in regards to infrastructure they destroyed from space. This had been anticipated, however, and the bombs had been moved several times by several vehicles, often to quite inconspicuous locations.

They eradicated the populations of Canada and Mexico thinking, correctly, that Americans would protect their own first. Similarly, they destroyed Eastern Europe and Germany. They realized that Pakistan and India had not sent out their bombs, destroyed their facilities, followed by the population. China had so few weapons per population, fewer that were small enough to transport, and fewer still that had been moved without being tracked. They whittled down large population areas they considered to be low risk.

Two weeks in Africa was gone, Australia and all of the island nations of the Pacific were gone. The only country in the Western Hemisphere with a population was the United States. France, the United Kingdom, and Russia remained in Europe. 1/4 of the population of China was all that remained of Asia. Israel was all that remained of the Middle East. All in all around 750 million people remained.

No one should have been surprised by the next move, everyone warned everyone else against it, but in some areas there were no alternatives, and humans are creatures of habit. They poisoned all major water supplies. Within a day half the remaining population was lost. At the same time any vehicles on the road were being destroyed from orbit.

Humans spent most time indoors. Small communities centered around clean sources of water were formed. People learned to live off the land, what roots and berries were edible, and how to hunt deer, squirrel and other game. Winter came to the Northern Hemisphere, and tens of millions more died.

A rumor spread, that a functioning military intelligence base was reporting that nearly a hundred more ships had arrived. They were sending down hundreds of transports that must contain hundreds of thousands of aliens a day. They were apparently colonizing. One colony, in a now abandoned but still mostly functional Beijing, erupted in a mushroom cloud about a week after arrival.

The retaliation was swift, three of the largest remaining population areas left were attacked, and two of them became nuclear wastelands. Then hostile activity stopped. Then the diplomats arrived. The remaining human population would be left alone, they said, if they abandoned the coasts, abandoned all areas heavy in natural resources, all cities, if they moved inland to the country, and if they gave up all electronic devices. Humanity would not come within 50 miles, roughly, of any colony, and if any alien came in contact with a human, the human's life would be forfeit. Many argued. It was clearly a stalling tactic. They might have ground installations that could detect the presence of a nuclear bomb, or they might decide that the remaining land that humans held could be forfeit, vaporized in the name of their own safety. However most agreed to go. The ones that didn't were killed, though two groups managed to get off two more nuclear bombs.

Two years after the fact those that had left were mostly left alone. The aliens were mostly busy with establishing their colonies, integrating their technology, implementing key economic pillars. They seemed to stay in their cities, though they sometimes visited the same monuments and natural wonders that humans used to appreciate. A few of their leavings made their ways into human hands, mostly trash though.

The human population continued to decline, partially due to inability to adjust, partially due to the infeasibility of maintaining certain populations with only so many resources, and partially, at least if you believed some, due to sabotage efforts by the enemy. For instance, a water supply may suddenly go bad. Fears of the water going bad became so great that all across the world certain special humans were thought to have a special power, that they were able to bless the water. Many laughed at this practice, acted as thought they took part as a joke, but many took it seriously, almost matter of fact. Soon enough it was common practice to have a priest bless a water supply every morning. Those that laughed, continued to laugh, but, they did not get sick.

[–]TemporalTailor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I once led men to greatness. Until our race became too powerful, and they came to cut us down. We designed weapons and ships, specifically engineered against the invaders, but it wasn't enough. In the end, the surface was ravaged, and only a few thousand survivors, those who had sought shelter underground, remained. For their own sake I have sealed all the paths to the surface, and all the paths between shelters, so that humanity may never again band together or become noticeable enough to provoke another attack. I sincerely hope that they will come to forgive me for this...

It has been 200 years since the Great War. All the old tunnels are still sealed. Perhaps humanity has become content with their underground lives. Perhaps they have all perished, and I am the only one left, kept alive only through the energy I used to fight with. It does get so lonely on the surface. Perhaps one of the old genetic engineering facilities survived the war. I could use some company...

It has been 1000 years since the Great War. My creations have been culling any humans they find on the surface, but recently they have been overpowered in combat. One of the humans has even stolen a mech from my men. None of my officers know how a lowly human can pull it off, but I know Spiral Power when I hear about it.

I ought to keep an eye on this "Kamina" person.

[–]skyjet777 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Bruce stood against the wall, his whole body shaking with fear. Glaring at the creatures with hate filled eyes, he knew his end was near. The Wub had lined up 10 people along a wall execution style, ready to slauter and rid the earth of the human pest. Bruce had a welling feeling in his gut, could this be the powers the people were talking about? The Wub troopers aimed there weapons for the final part of the execution. Bruce couldn't hold it any longer, it was happening and he knew it. Gas filled the street with a toxic purple and yellow haze. The prisoners survived and had only one side effect, the putred smell of sulfer. Bruce looked at the back of his jeans. A giant hole on his butt. " Dear God I'm going to die from that smell, I'm scared for life now" spoke the young girl next to Bruce. His power was growing stronger again, or was it all those chalupas he ate yesterday night? Either way it was time to move. Bruce ran down the street, his pants flayling behind him in the wind.

[–]HenryKissmyassenger 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Our first official contact with them was the day they descended like wasps onto every major metropolitan area and began sucking motherfuckers right off the street. I'm talking people being vacuumed straight up outta their loafers. at first it was a funny sight, but then the drones came down and scoured the entire earth. They processed all but the finest specimen. I was among them , thank Xenu. There were about 1 million of us, they quarantined us in Las Vegas, or what once was Las Vegas. It wasn't long before people started noticing strange happenings. Some claimed to have bent a spoon with their mind, others could share thoughts silently. As the days went on peoples abilities became undeniable. This caught our overseers' eyes. They immediately conducted tests and operations on us, often to fatal results. But as the specimens dwindled our powers grew. We took note of this, but did our best to keep it under wraps. Our shrinking mob had no hope, no leader, no organization, not even a common language, but perhaps these powers were our secret ace in the hole. A power shared by all mankind might be enough to do away with these tentacled bastards. I myself had been vivisected twice by this point, among countless other ordeals and probes. Needless to say I had had enough. I was also, by that time, able to lift a car with my mind. Ever so slightly, mind you, I would focus all of my will on raising a car on the street just a few millimeters of the ground. so as not to garner suspicion from the eyes in the sky. We all could feel the surge of power when one of our own succumbed to the brutal treatments those monsters put them through. Everyone could feel the power within them, but now it seemed only I was willing and able to use them. The fact that I killed them all so easily is a testament to that. None of them had the power to defend themselves, and had resigned themselves to whatever fate these hentai monster looking sons a bitches had in store for them. But I couldn't let Humanity go down like that, without a fight. I knew if I had the entirety of this power I alone could take them out. I didn't want to kill my own, but its better that it was one of us than one of them that did it. I plucked several of their ships from the sky and plunged them into into the ocean. It was an amazing sight. So satisfying. I almost came. But then he came down from upon high and explained the truth of it all to me

[–]Down_Devious 1 point2 points  (0 children)

We do not know the exact year, since time has long been an abandoned concept. But we presume it to be around the 22nd century.

There is 500 of us left now.

500 humans, out of a world population that used to be over 7 billion. We were outnumbered and outgunned. It was total genocide of the human race itself.

What could've provided such unadulterated manslaughter, you ask?

Aliens.

First came the scouts, in their UFO's in the early 1990's. Satellite's and early photography gave us this weird disc shape that was flying in the sky, we thought them to be oddly angled airplanes. We were wrong.

Then came the army, or the "droves", as we like to call them, around 2050. The world was free of war for the first time in the life of country superpowers. Terrorists and acts caused by such were no longer a thing. The world finally got it's peace. That was when the aliens decided to strike. The time to eradicate the human race was when they were at their most peaceful.

Unlike a normal genocide, where prisoners were taken into concentration camps, there were no prisoners. Everyone and everything was destroyed on sight. At first the military all across the world gave a fighting chance. Everyone banded together for a common cause; to avoid human annihilation. But they kept coming. And coming. And coming. Not only were their weapons several ages more advanced than ours, but the mere numbers they had on us gave us no chance in hell.

When the world started collapsing, leaders of government banded together to create the 1st allied world leadership. They told us we had to start hiding underground, to avoid eradication. So we did, and we were able to live and survive for a few years before getting hunted again. This time, the end seemed inevitable. Until a bright light came cascading down from the sky and forced itself into all of the remaining humans, turning them into Angels of War. We call them Angels because they had wings made out of pure light, and shot out holy beams from their fingertips.

This was the turning point in humanity.

This was when we started winning the fight for good.

[–]theKovah 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This is my first short story. Please be kind. Feedback is highly welcome. :)


Marcus stood there. The smell of the burnt remains of his civilization made it nearly impossible to breath. People, animals, cars, buildings. Absolutely nothing was spared by these creatures that arrived some days ago, out of space. Before trying to kill anyone they started to destroy the infrastructure. Internet, power plants, water supplies and fuel depots burned down before the people started to realize what was going on. And then they became the target. Now, on the 7th of August 2018 Marcus was one of the few survivors that were able to flee or hide in underground bunkers. Nobody knew how many actually survived but Marcus was all alone with his dad, his little sister and his girlfriend. The three only got through the inferno by hiding in the small bunker his dad was building for decades. He told anyone that they were coming one day. “It’s written down, everything, in here!” he said now and then while pointing on a weird old book he got from his grandfather from Germany. It was such kind of book you may expect to see in fantasy of medieval themed movies. Written in Latin and with a lot of weird pictures of creatures, animals, the devil and so on. Marcus was interested in the book and his contents but learning new languages was never one of his strengths. Shortly after the alien attacks his dad went crazy, telling Marcus that his time finally came.

A walnut-sized blue, shiny ball, half transparent and looking like a large drop of water hovered in Marcus’ right hand while he was watching the huge alien spaceship heading in his direction. He was calm. He never felt more calm, stronger and self-confident than ever before. After a short glimpse at that blue ball in his hand his view turned to the right where his dad and his sister stood. Both were fixed on the spaceship. Both had this expression on their faces that could be literally translated to “Payback time, assholes!” Marcus took a look to his left, to his girlfriend Mina. He smiled at her as she turned her face towards him. She smiled back. Time slowed down. Space and time seemed to bend around the four, standing on that small hill. Marcus turned back to the spaceship, took a deep breath, raised his spread right hand above his head like the other three did and all four shouted the same weird sentence. “Ne quid in rerum natura mater opus”. Let mother nature do her work. And so she did. The blue ball in Marcus’ hand became bigger, like the size of a baseball, then a basket ball. Mina’s dark brown ball, looking like a pile of dirt did the same. His father held a ball of lava and his sister was surrounded by a small cloud. The four elements. Earth, Water, Fire and Air. Mother Nature was alive and the mana running trough the bodies of the four was able to call her powers. Like it was written in the book. Magic. And this magic now turned against the foreign enemies. The four balls began to pulse. Slow, then faster, before glaring strings rose up to the clouds, where the four elements merged and became one, a thick white string, winding like a weak tree in a heavy storm. Just a second later Marcus was hit hard by something that felt like a shock wave, throwing him off his feet and knocking him out.

A cough, then light. Marcus opened his eyes. The clear sky and the bright sun were blinding him. His dad held his head, asking him if he was okay. After some seconds Marcus realized that fresh smell of grass and the slight breeze around him. “Is that a bird singing?” asked Marcus. His dad laughed. Mina kneed besides Marcus, with a lovingly smile on her face. “We did it honey. We did it.”