We had been expecting their attacks for some time. And yet, they had refrained. We had amassed our army in the time we had. Or, at least, a portion of it.
We would be aided by more extraterrestrial races, but only once the battle had been met. Not until we needed reinforcements. Not until we had turned the tide.
At this point, we remained untested. Untried. We had not tasted battle and were unsure of our resilience.
“I hate silence,” the general stated dryly, “the pain of not knowing is worse than discovery.”
“I agree, sir,” I answered, “the calm before the storm is always worse. But once that wave breaks, we’ll know their full strength—and all their weaknesses.”
“We have already learned much from them,” he affirmed, “plenty that they did not want known. Some that we had our suspicions about.”
“I still can’t get that poor screaming wretch out of my head,” I remarked without warning, “the one from my first vision of how the techno-zombies were made. And that poor scientist who pleaded, through a glance, for me to end his torture of having to attempt the creation of one. Apparently, he was unsuccessful and the aliens took over the process.”
“I can’t get over the first video of that process I saw,” he admitted, “truly sickening. And the video of how they wired up their non-tech non-mindless slaves. God, that was horrible!”
“I wouldn’t wish that upon my worst enemy,” I agreed, “poor saps.”
“Poor saps, indeed,” he nodded, then changed the subject, “I hope our soldiers have taken to your training. When that first wave hits, they will have to seem invisible enough to take out the enemy without being seen.”
“True,” I averred, “I hope so as well, sir.”
“We’ll know soon enough,” he sighed.
“And we will know soon enough if we have spies in our midst as well,” I reminded him, “the minute we send an order and the enemy anticipates it, we’ll know.”
“True,” he nodded, “God knows they can’t get such information from the empty heads of our ex-leaders. The president had never served. The vice president was just as in the dark as the president. And that Secretary of State! How the hell did he get his position?”
“He donated to the president’s campaign,” I snorted, “just like those who got other cabinet positions.”
“Ah, yes,” he mused, “and after claiming that the opposition was the goddamn swamp.”
“In coming!!!!” Came the alarm.
“Well, fuck,” he grinned, “can’t fault them for not trying.”
Missiles streaked toward us. They had used our own weapons against us. The act had not surprised me, since I had often stated that any who desired to defeat us would only have to do just that.
Still, it was a valiant effort. And a failure. After all, they had failed to arm the missiles.
All were either shot down or fell harmlessly to the earth. Then, again, it could have been a diversion. Thankfully, it had not been.
There was a couple hours’ pause, then they threw their warcraft at us. Their whole fleet. But we were able to shoot them all out of the sky at a safe distance.
Of course, we fought their warcraft with our own. Their hesitation had given us enough time to duplicate their technologies. And even improve upon them.
Finally, out of desperation, they threw their armies at us. Haphazard. Without a cohesive plan of attack.
Surprisingly, they were initially successful and won the first battle. The loss cost us a thousand men, casualties to a small blunder. But even small blunders had huge costs. And ours had cost us lives.
We would not make the same mistakes twice. Our human soldiers would follow the orders of their alien generals, even though they did not like it. They didn’t have to like it. They just had to do it.
We would break humanity’s arrogance even if it was the last thing we did as a race. We would learn humility no matter the cost. Or we would risk our own extinction.
“How did we do?” The general inquired meekly.
“Fifteen thousand wounded,” I sighed, dejectedly, “ten thousand killed. All because of arrogant stubbornness. Two of the worst traits in humanity.”
“How many of those were infected by the enemy?” He pressed.
“Don’t know yet,” I answered, “med techs and the scientists haven’t tallied them up yet. Don’t know whether we will have those numbers until tomorrow.”
“Damn,” he stated under his breath, “fucking fools. All of them.” He paused. “The cause?”
“A seeming lack of willingness to follow alien generals,” I responded, “even though these aliens are far more experienced in the extermination of these monsters.”
“Just exactly what we didn’t need,” he sat down and put his head in his hands, “a bunch of stupid nationalistic bigots. We don’t have fucking time for this shit.”
“Don’t worry, general,” I smiled, “once I am done with them, they will know what pain is. I will knock that bullshit out of them before the next wave.”
“I sure hope so, Jeff,” he looked up at me, “I sure hope so.”
“Your stupidity is to blame for fifteen thousand wounded,” I began, “and ten thousand deaths! This is unacceptable!
“But, sir,” one soldier interrupted, “these alien bastards are hard to understand.”
“Hard to understand my ass,” I snorted, “you don’t want to understand them. And there is where you seriously fuck us up. Your inability to get past the fact that they are human is going to be the extinction of the human race. You will go down in history as being the reason Earth will be uninhabited.
“Is that what you want? Infamy? Death? Extinction?”
“No, sir!” The chorus of voices rose in the air.
“Then,” I scowled, “get your heads out of your asses! You caused casualties! You caused the deaths of some of your compatriots! All because you didn’t want to take no orders from no alien!
“Tough! You will continue to take orders from the aliens we have made your generals. Not because you like to do so, but because it will save your lives!
“If you want to die so fucking bad, go out there and show the enemy where you are! I’m sure they have snipers just waiting for a chance to use fools like you as target practice! Or get yourself captured! I’m sure they are just waiting for a bunch of y’all to give yourselves up so they can make more soldiers on their side!”
“Please, sir—” one began to plead.
“I think a night of repairing the trenches and burying the bodies will teach you babies a lesson in obedience,” I started, cutting off the complaint, “it should also teach you ladies a little humility and respect for authority.” I noted their apprehension. “Well? I ain’t runnin’ no daycare, git to work!”
The soldiers scrambled over each other to get started. I watched their struggle to become a cohesive group and shook my head. If they were any indication of things, we were fucked.
“Is this a bit harsh?” An alien general inquired.
“Nah,” I shook my head, “they’re lucky I didn’t have them dig latrines.”
“Latrines, sir?” He/it looked over at me.
“Shit pits,” I clarified, “holes over which an outhouse, a portapotty, is placed. One either digs the initial hole or ends up digging the shit out of the hole or buries the current hole after the building is moved. The least likable job in the human army—aside from KP, kitchen duty or cleanup crew.”