War came on swift wings. Like a swarm of hellish locusts, the armies controlled by the parasites swept across the no man’s land that separated us from them. War was upon us.
Though empty, we had been scavenging those deserted cities between us and them for food. Those closest to their territory had been picked clean as had those between the Mississippi and the eastern hills. Those closest to us still held enough provisions to keep us fed for a good ten years while those east of the Missouri were almost depleted.
The loss of land to the east left us with everything west of our mountain haven. But there wasn’t much to the west. Just deserted farms and ranches that held cattle and rotting vegetables.
We reclaimed these abandoned sources of resources and place garrisons of resistance fighters near them to defend them. these, we would guard from both mountain ranges. To the west, along the western coast, in the mountains, we stationed garrisons of alien allies. Here, they would coordinate the western defenses of our territory.
I admit that we were trusting our allies more than we possibly should have, but we had no choice. There just wasn’t enough of us humans to put up a mostly human defense on both borders of our territory. We were forced to give more trust than normal.
But they had not given us any reason to not trust them. They had trained us to use their weapons. They had inoculated us with their vaccines in hopes of preventing us from becoming infected. most of all, they were helping us develop the weapon we would use to wipe them out completely.
After all, they were fighting to free their planets as well as ours. This was not just Earth’s fight. It was for the good of the universe.
If we succeeded, a parasite would be wiped out. If we failed, well, we would be wiped out. And if we were wiped out, the parasite might evolve to the point where it could perceive advanced and evolved races and become a menace to all, not just those unwilling to evolve.
And most parasites tended to evolve at some point, just as most viruses did. It was how they remained able to resist any vaccines or medicines created to prevent them. It was nature’s way.
But had this parasite been intended to be sentient? Had it been intended to become so complex that it could mimic another race’s expectations? Had it been intended to mutate to the point where it intentionally infected races it was never intended to encounter?
I doubted it. I had a feeling that what had been a natural occurrence had become an unnatural threat. This negated all attachment to the natural balance of things.
Thus, it was a threat that needed to be removed from the universe. Something that did not deserve to exist. Like hate, fear, ignorance, and greed. Among other things.
“We should expect attacks from both the east and the west,” the general began, briefing us on the current position of the alien parasite armies, “we will have to remember that any ‘human’ soldiers we meet are no longer human. They are infected with the parasite and no longer able to control their own bodies. Just as those who will meet soldiers of their own races will have to remember that they are no longer their comrades.
“It will be difficult to fire upon people you once knew. That is to be expected. But you must view every one that you kill as a mercy killing. You are ending their misery.
“Do not allow them to touch you. I have been told that allowing them to touch will put you at risk of becoming infected. And though you will be wearing body armor, it may not prevent such from happening.
“Remember that you are trying to prevent them from reaching our command center. We cannot afford to allow them to discover what we are developing or planning. Godspeed and God bless.”
“Sir,” an alien ally began, “should we carpet bomb their front lines as an initial contact? Or as a last resort?”
“Carpet bomb to enforce a distance between,” he responded, “in other words do so as an initial attack. Distance between our ground troops and theirs is a must. We cannot allow them to get close enough to spread their infections.”
“So,” One of our own began, “if they can infect just by touch, why did none of us become infected from the soldiers we captured early on?”
“They were not able to infect,” one of our scientists interjected, “The parasite has been evolving and adapting to human hosts. While their first victims had to be intravenously infected while being subjected to electroshock, the first hosts allowed them to begin the adaptation process. This process has made them a contagion that can be passed through touch.”
“Well,” the man breathed, “fuck me runnin’.”
“Can they contaminate the soil?” Another human soldier queried.
“That is not yet known,” the scientist admitted, “so we will have to treat it as if they will.”
“That is why our team of scientists are trying to come up with a poison or a cure for this,” the general answered, “that will wipe out the parasite altogether.”
“Why don’t we just nuke the bastards?” Another human soldier insisted.
“Because they aren’t affected by radiation the way humans are,” an alien scientist answered, “we tried radiation therapies in our first attempts to eradicate their threat on our planets. none of those therapies worked. Instead, the parasite adapted.”
“So,” the first soldier sighed, “it is basically unkillable.”
“not at all,” I stood, “I killed it with anthrax, malaria, and several other earthbound viruses and parasites. It can die from indigenous diseases which it has no immunity to. But it may be able to adapt to and gain immunities eventually. Especially if we overuse the viruses and bacteria. Besides. We also run the risk of succumbing to those viruses and infectious bacteria as well, so it is not safe to use them in mass quantities.”