She looked up. The sun bearing down, and not a cloud in the sky. To her left and right, there was nothing but sand dunes, endless sand dunes. “Might as well get it over with,” she thought to herself, and began drudging her way towards the oasis to finish her chore. Ever since they blew up all the water, every human soul who could afford it lived near an oasis. There were only a few thousand spread across the world, and not nearly enough for everyone. To make matters worse, the sand dunes felt hotter every day. She looked up into the sky, across the great blue expanse, and wondered, “How many of them are watching me right now? How many of them are there?”
A hundred years ago, or at least that is what her Grammy would say, the world used to be a better place. Lush green lawns, and trim copy-cat houses sat side by side. There were magnificent cities with their reflective shining towers, and a mess of people roaming around on autopilot. Then came the Invasion. Without even a warning or a single airship in the sky, missiles began droning out, crashing and razing whatever they encountered. Thousands of missiles, like an expensive fireworks show gone all wrong, battered nature and humans alike till there was hardly anything left. Great nations fell to the invading power, but they were not here to settle our world or to make us their subjects. No, they were here to destroy for the sake of destruction. She wondered if they enjoyed hearing the squeals of dying children, or even worse, the squeals of mothers who had seen their children die. Perhaps they were as cold-blooded and inhuman as her Grammy had made them out to seem.
To defend the towns against the raids by the Invaders, the nearby cities had banded together and formed a group that called themselves the Defenders. They were staunch men with a belly for a fight, who had been warriors for their respective villages and probably could have passed off as criminals in another situation. As the war dragged on, with casualties amounting heavily on the side of the Defenders, they became more desperate to recruit. What started off so innocently, turned dark so quickly. There was a couple that had refused to support the Defenders’ cause. They had brutally murdered the husband in front of the wife, sparing no bit of humanity for the man. The entire town was abuzz the day it had happened. When it had reached her ears, a knot of fear had formed in her stomach. Evil seemed to be intertwined even with the best of intentions.
The oasis was almost in sight now. As a bead of sweat rolled down her face, she couldn’t help but be excited to be so close to water. Water always felt so sweet to her tongue, little by little curing her parched throat. She glanced up at the sky, a slight bitterness in her cold stare, and began thinking about the Invaders. “If only those bastards hadn’t destroyed our governments, and removed our leaders, imagine what world I could have lived in.” The sky above her seemed to glimmer more than usual, as if there was a mirror to reflect the Sun’s rays in that spot. She moved towards a tall dune near her to get a closer look. First came the glimmer in the sky, then came the stream of vaporized air, and it was followed by a large explosion as the missile hit the village in the distance. Stricken with fear, she realized they were coming. But they were coming in too fast, and she was caught with nowhere to hide. It was her turn to be brought down by those cold hearted bastard. She shivered, a cold shiver, the type that happens when you know it is the end. The glimmer shone right over her now. She felt bare and naked to the glimmer’s attack. She waited to be brought down, obliterated, smoked into oblivion, and then instead of a missile, the glimmer transformed into a saucer. The saucer was burning, flames engulfing the engine. It had been hit. She wondered if it was crossfire that had brought it down. Perhaps, it was the work of some divine force, giving her one last chance to avenge her community from the destruction the enemy had caused. To kill those that had destroyed her world. She bounced back and positioned herself to charge the alien ship once it hit the dunes. It smacked into the tall peak like a meteor in water, and as the dust settled, there it lay, helpless, defenseless and at her mercy.
She could feel the vengeance rise in her breast. All those years of struggle, all those years of pain, all because of these aliens that have been burning her world to the ground. And she could at least momentarily make all the pain vanish by capitalizing on this pilot’s misfortune and kill him. With hate burning inside her, she walked up to the saucer. She peeled off the cockpit lid. With the ship flickering in the sun and light bouncing off the pilot’s helmet, she braced herself for the moment. What will the alien look like? Perhaps with an extra arm, vicious slanted eyes, talons as sharp as a hawk, and a hole where the heart is supposed to be. She reached out for the pilot’s helmet, uncorked the screw that kept it in place, and with a swift move filled with animalistic passion, she twisted the helmet till she heard the grinding of the bones in the pilot’s spinal cord. With a hard jerk, she detached the head from the torso, leaving the neck oozing a pool of boiling red blood. As she pulled, the helmet’s visor flew open revealing two beautiful blue human eyes staring back at her.
She gasped and stumbled backwards, flinging the helmet away from her. But it couldn’t be, Grammy had always made the aliens sound inhumane, and distant from humanity. Her stomach was twisting. The guilt of killing was gripping her. How was she going to live knowing that she had ended the life of another human? She had to see the pilot’s full face, and confirm that he was human. She picked up the helmet with the detached head inside. She peeled off the helmet, leaving the pilot’s head in her hands.
Like the boys from her village, he looked far too young to have his life cut short. Like the boys from her village, he had that same youthful face, and that brown flowy hair. He really was just that, a boy. A sweet young boy. A boy who probably had no idea of what war even was, or how his small finger could alter her life with one little twitch. She wondered if he had a mother like she once did. Perhaps, his mother was praying that he would come home safely. She could feel sympathy swelling in her heart. But this had also been the same boy who stood for the Invaders, stood for their evil. This boy was just as guilty for the evils in this world even if he hadn’t committed or hadn’t understood the destruction the enemy had caused. But, she too had killed, killed out of vengeance, out of anger, and out of impulse. She too had killed for killing’s sake. Her eyes went cold, and her body stiff as she realized she was no better than the Invaders.