The final battle was well planned. Executed to specs, we would possibly never know whether the offworld strikes would work. Everything hinged on it working here on Earth.
At least as far as finding out whether or not the other attacks worked. If it didn’t work here, we would never know. We would not survive.
It was determined that the cure was safe for human and alien use and so, they began inoculating all of us. Slowly. Just to allow our bodies enough time to assimilate the vaccine and replicate its antibodies.
I keep calling it a vaccine. It was more of an antibiotic. Something the parasite could not tolerate.
Something that killed the parasite. Destroyed its ability to control. Its ability to invade.
Behind enemy lines, our carpet bombers were laying the gas down thick, killing any larvae that might be on the ground. Our warcraft and planes were blowing their warcraft out of the skies. Our dirty bomb grenades were killing hosts on contact. Our bullets, too.
We were entering the final phase of our little war. From here on, it was either success or humanity was as good as extinct. This was our one shot. Our moment of truth.
“We need to send in a monitor of some sort,” I suggested, “to observe when the missile hits the alien ships.”
“I agree,” the general nodded, “and we can set up an observation system to the west to watch those ships as well.”
“Wish I could go,” I averred, “but I am needed here. In case this doesn’t go as planned.”
“Who says you can’t go?” He smiled. “After all, this is your baby. Your brainchild. You should be able to witness its success.”
“Or its failure,” I added.
“Have a little faith in yourself,” he advised, “it’ll succeed.”
“I hope you’re right,” I smirked, “I’d sure hate to piss off an unseen nest of hornets with a bad idea.”
“These parasites are basically vulnerable, Jeff,” he reminded me, “and rely on the infected host for mobility and sentience. They ain’t gonna live through this. Their slaves might, but they won’t. Nor will their hosts.”
“You’re right,” I chuckled, “I was just testing you.”
“”Oh, har, har,” He chided.
“We’ll win this thing,” I grinned, “even if we have to fight to the very last man.”
“Very true,” he nodded, “never underestimate the resolve of humanity. We will either succeed or die trying.”
I watched as the alien ships vanished in the blink of an eye. Those headed for the parasite’s homeworld. Those headed for infected worlds.
I pondered just how well our plan would work as I was sped to the south to observe the southern ships. And since I knew that the ships were basically defenseless, without guns or any kind of main defense, I knew that they were all pretty much sitting ducks.
All of the missiles were launched simultaneously and streaked in every direction. I, of course, could not see this as I had already been taken south, but I closed my eyes and imagined how it would have looked. It must have been a beautiful sight. Streaks of fire spreading out like fiery fingers, reaching for their targets.
Below my position, the carpet bombing continued. Behind me, the same. The armies of the alien parasites were being eradicated. Destroyed.
I felt for the hosts. Trapped. Unable to control their own movements. Unable to break free.
We had discovered that the neurotoxin the parasite used acted as an impulse inhibitor. It selected what it wanted its host to do and overrode the impulse so that it could guide its victim’s movements. They had no choice but to do.
Those who had rebelled had been killed by the parasites. And though it also killed the parasite within, the collective deemed it necessary. It proved to be a very motivating warning to the rest.
Do not resist or you will be killed. That was the parasite’s warning. And after a while, the host was so worn down that they could not resist.
Aware that your body was being used to do evil things and not being able to control it. It was a sad existence, really. If you could call it that.
I called it modified zombification. Living death. A true example of undeath.
Both living and dead, the host struggled with their dilemma. Unable to stop it, they stumbled on in hopes that some other being could. Most would die when their body could take no more of the parasite.
I contemplated this as I watched the alien craft to the south of me. My companion tapped my shoulder and pointed. I turned.
There were the missiles. Coming straight at the craft. I smiled.
I watched as the missiles struck each craft. There was a puff as the missiles slipped into the bubble. Then a loud thud as they pierced the saucer. And finally, a boom of sorts from within the ship.
I watched in disbelief as the ships disintegrated before my eyes. I looked behind me at the lines of alien soldiers. They disintegrated as well.
I ventured forth from my place of concealment with an air tester in hand, my guards by my side. There was no sign of any contaminants. No sign of the parasites.
A single blow seemed to have destroyed them once and for all. Still, I was leery. It seemed too easy. Too good to be true.
I was having a hard time believing that it was over. Nothing had ever been that simple before. Nothing had ended that abruptly.
“Jeff,” the general’s voice came over my communicator, “did you see that?”
“Yes, sir,” I managed, “and I am having a hard time believing my eyes.”
“I don’t blame ya,” he agreed, “never saw anything react that way in my life. They just—melted.”
“Yeah,” I averred, “I saw that too. Don’t know what to make of it.”
“Got your sensors going?” He asked.
“Yeah, why?” I returned.
“What are your readings?” He queried.
“Normal,” I responded, “no infectious materials, no toxins, no nothin’.”
“They’re gettin’ the same readings from the area to the east,” he stated, “almost as if the damn things never existed.”
“What of any reports from our alien friends?” I asked, interested.
“Same results,” he responded, “apparently, once the carpet bombing began on the parasites’ planet of origin, they began disappearing from the other planets.”
“So my hunch was right?” I asked.
“Apparently so,” he acquiesced.
I sat down where I was and put my head in my hands. My gamble had paid off. My theory had been correct.
Sadly, over a third of the Earth’s population as well as the majority of several other planets’ populations had had to die before someone figured it all out. Races had been erased. Planets destroyed. Systems drained.
My mind returned to Earth. What had been Earth’s civilizations, its countries, had been destroyed. We were now homeless. Without any form of government.
And yet, so many of us had survived from every country. Perhaps we could out back together what had been destroyed. But why?
That had been why we had ended up being noticed. It had drawn the parasite. Our greed. Our hate. Our fear of the unknown. That had been the death of humanity. That had been why the human race had almost been eradicated.
No, we needed a new government. A new path. Something that would lead us forward. Away from those things that we now knew would cause our extinction.