There is a lull before every battle. A calm that almost makes you believe that there won’t be one. It is almost unnerving.
It can fool you into making mistakes. Or into becoming impatient. It can be a source of false hope.
We had entered that short period of time. And yet, none of us seemed to be fooled by it. None of us let down our guard.
We knew our enemy was building up their forces to the east. We knew they had forces to the west. But would they use them all? Where would they strike first?
I had my bets on a united attack, one that hit both sides simultaneously. But were they really that coordinated? Could they pull that off?
I was unwilling to discount any possible move. Their intelligence relied solely on the intelligence of their hosts. Though sentient, they could not be expected to do anything more intelligent than what their hosts could comprehend.
Thus, with those now infected from Earth, The European slaves would be intelligent enough to coordinate an attack while those that had taken our own president and politicians would possibly not be so inclined. After all, they had been less than unified before their infection. Why would they change?
Still, I knew that Yah and Yam were more intelligent and would possibly be in the lead. Had there been a Yah and Yam in charge of the Euro set? What of the Asian set? Or the African set?
Which aliens would be commanding? Which would hide behind the soldiers and allow their puppets to be slaughtered? Would they even care?
And just how sentient were these parasites? The questions seemed to have no end. And no answers. Yet.
My only hope was that the scientists would find some secret weapon we could shoot into the ships and wipe out these abominations. But they would have to make more than one. But how many?
I figured that there was one ship per capital. Maybe one per large city. Byond that, I had no clue.
Did the scientists know? If so, were they developing something they could easily duplicate? Or were they just as in the dark as I was?
“What’s bothering you, son?” The general saw that I was puzzled.
“How many ships landed?” I returned.
“From initial accounts,” he began, “one per capital. Perhaps the parasite believed, and not exactly or fully wrongly, that all would flock to the capitals when called upon to do so.”
“So,” I grimaced, “approximately 195 ships. That means 195 dirty bombs.”
“Yes,” he nodded, “and all sent out as a simultaneous attack.”
“A clean sweep,” I mused, “providing we don’t have any spies in our midst.”
“There’s always a risk of that,” he admitted, “even in the most coordinated and tight knit armies.”
“So What’s the plan?” I asked.
“We release commands every hour on the hour until the first wave,” he stated, “the, when they attack, we begin sending orders as needed. No daily routine. Just every hour.”
“And once the enemy is engaged,” I filled in the blanks, “we allow the field commanders to do what they have been trained to do.”
“Pretty much,” he averred, “but under advisement.”
“With the main orders being simply to defend and hold their ground,” I nodded.
“For as long as they can,” he acquiesced, “then they are to retreat only far enough to regroup. There is a ‘do not surrender’ order included.”
“I doubt they will ever surrender, sir,” I shook my head, “most are determined to either defeat this enemy or die trying. There is no surrender in them.”
“Good,” He praised, “let’s hope it stays that way until the very end.”
“I believe most have the impression that this will not be a brief battle,” I opined, “but an extremely long war. Maybe centuries rather than decades.”
“And they still stand shoulder to shoulder?” He was incredulous.
“Yes, sir,” I nodded in affirmation, “they do.”
“Well,” he breathed, shocked, “I’ll be damned.”
“It surprised me too, at first,” I stated, “but like them, I am not willing to allow some parasite destroy my planet. Not after what some of us have been trying to do to fix the damage we have already caused.”
“I really can’t blame you,” He allowed, “besides. You’ve faced worse foes than these in the form of some of your own fellow humans.”
“Very true, sir,” I smiled, “but hopefully, after this, that will be a thing of the past.”
Our objective was to keep our enemy blind to our plans. There were no written plans. No maps. No clue to what we were up to.
Only those at the core of our command knew anything of what we were planning beyond the day at hand. We sent out hourly rounds of commands to our frontlines. Nothing past the hour.
And since the enemy had yet to attack, the front was only concerned with setting up and readying for the eminent attack yet to come. They had been ordered to stand at the ready, but not to attack. Should the attack start, they were to defend,
At noon, the first wave hit. Our casualties were light. Theirs were not.
I had been correct in assuming that the alien parasite army would try a multi prong attack. They hit us from all sides. North. South. East. West.
Their tactics were weak. Their attack, uncoordinated. Without cohesive leadership.
They were using the human slaves as the coordinators of the battles. Bad choice, but apparently the only one they felt would win the war for them. Distrust among their puppets, though, caused dischord and the inability to make a single cohesive strike.
It seemed that the old rivalries, the old political differences, caused the most problem. None of the human hosts could agree on the most direct way of attacking our front lines. Nor could they agree on which weapons to use.
The resulting chaos was both entertaining and a warning. We had to remain cohesive. We had to continue in our trust of each other. No matter what.