I had never seen an alien invasion movie that remotely resembled what was currently taking place. Not even the television series V came close.Most movies and television shows pictured aliens as either openly destructive, seeking to wipe out humanity in order to use the planet’s core as fuel, or seductively deadly–seeing mankind as simply food. There seemed to be no in between.
And yet, in the movies, man is smart enough to see the aliens for what they were. Invaders. Predators.
Not one movie could have predicted the reaction our visitors received. around the world, the religious communities had been pulled in by the aliens and made to believe that they-the aliens-were the gods returning to lead man into the next age. Even the world’s politicians and government leaders fell for the whole “God come to redeem man” act. Perhaps it was because of their greed that they fell so hard for it. Or, maybe, they were hoping for something that had been a lie all along.
Only those who had left the religious life behind saw through the illusion being cast. Many began fleeing from the capital cities as the extremely religious flocked to them. Those who fled began collecting in the outlying cities at first.
When alien influence began to spread, they retreated to the interior. Once there, they sought us out and joined with us. Many felt guilt as they could not reach their elderly family member and had to leave them behind. They felt as if they had sacrificed them. Left them to die.
Perhaps they had. But it had not been their choice. They’d had to leave quickly or become a slave themselves. Or a meal.
Even they realized that. Still guilt played upon them for a while until they had come to terms with it all. But those left behind would not be forgotten. They would become a part of our battle cry.
Amid this, the aliens and our government officials continued to televise updates on supposed peace accords. Every televised update lacked one human, though the number of aliens remained the same. Then, that person would reappear in the next update–though there was something very different about them. They were almost–robotic.
It had begun. The disappearances. First, the public officials. And the religious leaders. Then, those who had bowed to the aliens.
I studied the officials who returned to the televised updates closely, searching for something I could definitively claim as a change.At first, I could not find anything. And when I did, I was unsure that I had not imagined it.
“Am I imagining things?” I asked Dr. Hargrove. “Or does it look as if there is a headband around Representative Turley’s head?”
“You’re not imagining things,” he responded, “and you can see the LEDs blink periodically from beneath his hair along the sides of his head.”
“In other words,” I began, “he has been enslaved.”
“Yes,” he agreed, “as have all who have returned to the telecasts.” He turned to me. “We need to watch some of the Sunday broadcasts to see if the preachers and priests have found the same fate.”
“I agree,” I nodded, “though we will have to be careful. Never know what they will try over the airwaves.”
“True,” He averred, “and we have no idea what kind of subliminal tricks they might try.”
Our ploy with the EMP had worked. We had been able to send at least three S.O.S. messages out into space, each describing our attackers and our plight. We could only hope that those who received the messages would be friendly, or at least a foe of our attackers, enough to come to our aid.
We held no illusions. It was likely that most alien races would be hostile. Perhaps even similar to our current invaders. But we had to try everything we had at our disposal to rid ourselves of our current invasion. Even if it meant inviting a second invasion.
I only hoped that the latter was not the case. I hoped that we found friendlies, not hostiles. We didn’t need to become an opportunity for some other militant race.
We were desperate. We were running out of time. If we could not find allies, humanity would be destroyed.
“Don’t Worry, Jeff,” Dr. Hargrove assured me, “we’ll find allies. Somewhere.”
“I sure hope you’re right,” I sighed, exasperated, “not sure we can take these fuckers by ourselves.”
“It is always darkest before the dawn,” He smiled, “it always seems the most hopeless before we succeed.”
“Yeh,” I nodded and smiled sadly, “my grandpa always said that when things seemed hopeless.”
“He was right, you know,” he admonished.
“True,” I chuckled nervously, “Things always resolve themselves.”
“Of course,” He nodded, “It is nature’s way of resetting itself.”
Every single leader had been subverted. Our public servants were no longer ours. Our leaders were now under the control of the aliens.
While wars between nations ceased, there was an unnatural feel to the whole process. Refugees were no longer turned back at what had been the borders of every country. Many disappeared, never to be seen again.
Those who remained fled from Europe, Asia, and Africa in search of some open coastal region in the eastern US where they could land. Some were even seeking entry to the west. And to the south.
What had been strong militaries were now reduced to small groups of resistance. Most supplied a defense for those seeking asylum as they fled. The tactic seemed effective enough, no matter how weak it seemed.
They slowly filtered into our little haven. The military collected in one area, the civilians in another.
“We’re going to have to ask the military to begin training the civilians in warfare,” I stated, mater-of-factly. “if we’re to survive this invasion. there can no longer be any civilians. Not even I can remain a civilian.”
“You’re beginning to sound like that hero-type you claimed to never be,” Billy chided smartly, “and you’re damn good at it.”