the planned killing of a race of people
Written by GAGE
Illustrated by KKC Bauder
I really like just looking through the dictionary. People say I'm weird because I like it, but it's kind of fun. I mean, there are a bunch of weird sounding words that I want to know. There's a bunch of definitions, too. Did you know schizophrenia is a sickness of the mind?The End
How about sesquipedalophobia? That's the fear of long words!
Or eellogofusciouhipoppokunurious? Which means simply, "good."
Okay, maybe I'm getting a little crazy here, but I like it. Any word I come across, I try to memorize it. So it's no mystery I'm good in spelling.
Anyways, there's one word that I will never forget. A word so horrible it should be removed from the dictionary.
Genocide is the planned killing of a race of people. I can only imagine something as terrible as that. A whole race, destroyed. So many deaths. I mean, that was something like the Holocaust, right? Hitler and all that?
Well, turns out, genocide wasn't anything good. I experienced it first hand. And let me tell you. What you're about to get into...it ain't pretty. So proceed with caution. And those brave enough to read this...you're in for a ride.
So I woke up that morning NOT like any other day. I was freezing. In my house, it is warm and cozy. So when I was brave enough to take off my bundle of covers and stand up in the cold, I knew something was wrong. My feet were so cold they were nearly sliding across the floor.
I traveled into the living room and checked the A.C. Eighty-two degrees. Why was I so cold? Maybe the heater or something was broken. I stepped into the living room and looked at my mom and dad. They were both on the couch, staring at the T.V.
Mom grabbed me by the shoulders and hurried me to the couch. "Hey, Mom," I said awkwardly. Dad whispered, "Son...look." On the T.V. I saw a sky. Nothing but blue sky. "Wha--?" I started. "Shh," Dad scolded and kept staring. Suddenly, I saw a flicker of something on the sky, and a news reporter said, "Now you will see it in freeze frame."
A much slower view followed. It showed a narrow valve shooting across the clouds. It had jagged edges and a long spike on top. It went by really quickly, even for freeze frame. "That," the reporter said, "was the first sighting of the UFO."
UFO?!?! There was no way there could be UFOs around on earth? And that looked nothing like a UFO in the movies! Well...those were movies... But still--
"A UFO was seen today, Kevin," Mom said quietly.
"But now they actually have an alien captured..." Dad said. I was shocked. "Is that why the air conditioning says eighty-two but it's so cold?" Dad nodded.
"They think the UFOs are interfering with metal products. But I think...I think we are being infected. I think we're all contaminated... The aliens are making us sick..."
I shuddered at the word 'contaminated.'
Contaminated. Infected. Sick. Quarantine. Separated. Such scary words.
But not as scary as genocide.
Later on the T.V. the news reporter said they had spoken to the alien and interpreted its language, which they said was remarkably like English, but with a few differences. The foreign creature had told them the other aliens, the Achrids, were coming for him.
And declared genocide on the planet Earth. My mom and dad paled, and looked at me. "Genocide means--"
"I know what it means," I interrupted quietly. We urgently locked ourselves in the basement and gathered in a corner. We had brought food and water and telephones, and all the other essentials. Our basement is really small, so it wasn't very comfortable.
For days, we ate, drank, and slept in one small space, with a T.V. that turns on if you crank it. The news was constantly updated with the alien sightings. More and more ships were discovered by the day. Crashed or working, dead or alive, friendly or hostile, the aliens and their ships were coming.
It was late at night, and my parents were asleep, but my legs were a mixture of achy and numb from sitting in a cramped position all night. I stood up and walked around in the little space we had. I saw a light sweep through the window and out.
I was freezing (I believed my dad that we were contaminated. If I wasn't warm in my blankets, I would freeze to death. The aliens were literally trying to cryogenically freeze us) so I grabbed a blanket and huddled up near the window. I looked out the fogged glass and couldn't believe my eyes.
The aliens had affected the weather. It was the middle of summer, and here it was snowing! Flurries were falling on the white-coated road and leafless trees. A giant machine with six long steel rods for legs, clamps for feet, bendy wires for arms, and two glowing beams for eyes.
But on its head was a giant rainbow-colored ball and an atom-destabilizer with green streaks surging through it. The ball over loaded the cannon with strange substances and the whole mess jerked back in recoil as it disintegrated a whole house. Then one wiry rod smacked into a house, tearing a chunk out of the cement.
Trees caught fire. Chaos ensued. I ducked from the window and jolted my parents awake. "What, Kevin?" my Dad asked sleepily. "Our neighbors are dead!" I screeched, and nearly dragged them out the door. I leaped out the door and landed belly-first in mud. So did my parents.
The alien machine turned our house in to dust in a flash of light. In a wink of the eye, our whole house...was gone. Then the terrible machine turned in a 360 degree radius with a red light turning on inside it. "A thermal detector!" my Dad whisper-screamed. "Cover yourself in the mud!"
We didn't argue. Making no sound, I rolled around in the mud and covered my self with big glops. The coldness was unbearable, but if it would fool the heat detector...
After the heat-sweep, the machine turned away and clanked to the next house. The whole family exhaustedly trudged to our neighbor's house to look for survivors. We climbed through the rubble and destruction until we found a body. It was gruesome. Not bloody-gory gruesome, but sickening. Where the beam had hit the body a big red welt had formed. All the insides had been sucked to the welt and had exploded into pus.
These alien crafts were just to make people sick. People would just get sick and die.
Vomit was spattered on the walls and a few people were mangled on the ground. My Dad ran to the fridge and gathered food. He ran all around the house gathering supplies. "Clark!" Mom exclaimed. But I knew Dad's military senses were heightening. It was instinct. I myself felt the adrenaline pulsing and throbbing in my veins.
I guess women just aren't like that.
I knelt down and touched a body. It was scalding hot. I actually burned my finger. And I was cold. So I tried touching it again to gain warmth. This time it burned so badly I screamed and held my hand. It was singed badly and some boils slowly spread across my palm. My fingers stung like they were on fire.
My parents rushed over but we all froze when we saw another machine. This one was different. It was a lot bigger and sharper. And smack dab in the middle of it's face was an alien. Brown, scaly skin covered it. It was locked by chains and steel covers. This alien obviously had a deadly power. They were using aliens as weapons. And I knew this was genocide. They were going house to house. Murdering.
The alien shot a clamp from its hand and it painfully plowed into my Dad's chest. I heard a few ribs crack. A surge of electricity jolted through it into my poor father. He twisted around in agony. Then a big screech from the machine, and the job was done.
My deformed Dad looked at us and I started sobbing. "Don't let them..." he started, then slumped down onto the ground. I saw the world spinning. I was going insane. I heard a thick, raspy voice say, "Sev the uthers." It sounded just like 'save the others.'
I buckled and touched my Dad. He wasn't hot. Cold as ice. I looked at the infection on my hand. Then the dark stopped eating at the corners of my eyes and took over. Last thing I saw was pus filled welts.
Two giant aliens were hovering over me. They were holding weird-looking weapons. Another one came up and looked at the two others. "Yu can leeve now," it said. The other two shrugged and walked away. Then the alien checked my pulse and my eyelids. It realized I was awake and put its head close to my ear. "Yu fainted. Jus like yer muther. Yu ar being sent too a concentration kamp. But befour yu go..."
His salty tongue whipped at my ear as he talked, and when he was done, he presented a large syringe of fluid. The needle looked painful. "The tranzfourmashin iz a little jarring." He jabbed the needle in my arm. I felt a sting. The alien finally stuck his nose inches from mine.
"Yu hav lost all powur. Wen yu wake, yu will be captive."
When I did wake, I was in an isolated room. My whole body had an unusual sensation of lethargy. Why did I feel so...? I sat up. My room was black. A window was right in front of me. An alien stood there. I looked at him.
"Where am I?" I tried to say, but realized no sound came from my mouth. Instead, my thoughts were in red type on the glass.
[Where am I?]
The alien spoke, and his speech was slow with a pause after every word, and it as blue text on the glass.
||No. Where. Good.||
[Why are you doing this? Where is my mom?]
||You. Forced. Us. To. Do. This. Your. Mother. Is. In. The. Next. Room. With. The. Other. Prisoners.||
[We didn't do anything to you!]
||Our. World. Was. Destroyed. We. Were. Taking. Shelter. Here. You. Were. Hostile.||
[Of course we were! You were foreign. We're only human!]
||That's. The. Problem.||
Then I guessed there was a problem with the computer. Because the text glitched. And I couldn't communicate.
||12#hjlfc&^^ jkkg)**$#@! (o.O)||
So I sat there for a long time until another alien approached. He opened the door and motioned me out. I obeyed. When I was out, he had a bizarre drill-like instrument. I looked at it and started to panic. But the hideous alien spoke.
"This givez yu yer voice bak. Doo anythin rong, and this gits takin away permanintly."
He carefully placed the drill in my neck, (which I noticed had a hole in it, like an alcoholic does when their voice gives out) and I felt a sensation of rebirth in my throat. It was like cold water pouring down my voice box.
I coughed a bit and tested out my voice. "Thank you," I said roughly. The alien ignored the comment and shoved me forwards. "Yu git too see yer mom fer too minutes. Then I will ezkort yu out," he said. I felt myself pushed into the room. Then I saw my mom. She was bruised and scarred, and very weary-looking. When she saw me, mom burst into tears and held me tight.
"My boy should never go through this," she whispered. I sobbed out, "Is Dad...?" Mom looked at me and nodded sadly. I looked at her. "We have to get out," I said. "We have to find a way." My mom started to say something, but a giant hand painfully jerked me out the door.
"Follow mee," the alien commanded. He guided me outside. I realized their base was the old abandoned factory down the block. They pushed me up against a wall and I looked at the kids next to me. "What are they doing?"
"Killing us," whispered a crying boy. I cried even harder. I braced myself, preparing for that final sting. I looked up. Why? Why now? Why us? I saw the edge of the wall. It was pretty low for me, because I was taller than all the other kids. I was also the most athletic in my P.E. class.
I could climb that, I thought.
I heard an alien command 'FIRE!' I jumped up and felt my wrists catch the edge. Quickly, I jammed my feet into the wall and lifted my weight up. After sliding over, I heard one boy scream, "Take me!" I stuck my hand down and pulled him up.
Blaster marks shredded the space he was moments before.
I saw a few kids drop down, and I fought back tears. They were killing children. The boy and I jumped off the ledge. I looked down. My cell had been at the top of the factory. We dropped a good twenty feet. I landed the way I was taught, and luckily nothing broke or fractured. Although I was consumed by ground shock.
The other boy had it far worse. He didn't roll when he landed and I heard a pop and a snap when his wrist hit the ground. He gave a cry, so I picked him up. Luckily he was light. I saw a few aliens exit the factory, and I started sprinting.
Ah, now this is what I was good at. I was the fastest kid in the eighth grade, and boy was it paying off! I felt the wind rustle my hair, heard the whoosh of the speeding air. My legs were happy to be moving so fast. I put on one last burst of speed and looked back.
No one there. So I put the boy down in a destroyed home and rested. After a few minutes, I asked him his name. "Drake," he answered. He held his hand. "I think it's broken."
"Don't worry," I said, checking over his hand. "My dad taught me something about checking broken bones." I got quiet. "My Dad taught me..."
His hand had been badly fractured. "We need to get you to the hospital," I said. We silently ventured out to the open. Sidestepping all the wreckage in the cold, cold air, I realized how bad this was. Every building was only a third of what it had previously been. Cars had been crashed into buildings and into each other, badly damaged.
Corpses were littered throughout the street, lying on the ground, or thrown like ragdolls on cars. I was careful not to touch anything. We entered a hospital. I didn't dare use an elevator, so we exited the quiet lobby up the stairs. Floor by floor, flight by flight, I didn't hear anything but the moaning of Drake. When we had reached the top, it had still been empty.
As we trudged back down, I heard a pensive voice say 'They're coming!' and some hushed gasps. I followed the sound. "Hey!" I shouted. "Hey!"
"It's humans!" Drake tiredly said. I saw a head peek into the slit of a barricaded door. I knocked on it. "Just us!" I said. I heard a few screws being drilled out of place. The door swung open. I didn't have time to see the fist collide with me eye.
"Oh, oh, I'm sorry," a bald man said and helped me up. "I thought--" I pushed him up against the wall, ignoring the dull, throbbing pain in my face. Drake said, "Woah, Kevin, just slow down..." I uncollared the man and turned away. "Is it swollen?"
Drake nodded. Without warning, I started speaking. "Does anyone here have an idea how to destroy the aliens?" One elderly man rose his hand. "If only we knew where they lived, we could call in an airstrike!" he suggested. The group of people cheered.
"Calm down!" I yelled, taking charge. "Drake, you and me both know where they are," I continued. Drake grinned. The group started whooping. "But they have people captive there," I announced. "So we need to evacuate them."
One woman started to be courageous. "I'll kill 'em all!" she chanted. I settled her down and calmly addressed the group. "Does anybody know where to call the army?" I said. One person raised his hand. Drake. "My dad works there," he declared.
Drake pulled out a cell phone and while he dialed, I realized my pulse had lowered and I was freezing. I shivered and looked for clothing. "Dad?" Drake asked as I ripped some curtains off the hem and tied them around myself. "We need an airstrike."
I felt good and warm now. "Yeah, at the old shoe factory," Drake confirmed. Then he added, "But we need to evacuate some people first." I saw Drake frown. "No troops at all? Well Dad, we can't do it, we're not trained like they are. Wait--Dad that was a joke we really can't do it..."
Suddenly I didn't feel too good. How would we evacuate all those people? "My Dad says some weapons will be dropped by here," Drake said. "He said that we needed to evacuate the prisoners and call him and he'll send the airstrike."
"But we're not armed soldiers--" I began.
"But we are the only hope," said Drake.
A few days passed. We survived in horrible conditions. Neck-and-neck. Finally some high-tech guns arrived. A box dropped right outside the door. Twelve heavy machine guns lay in it. When we were all set up, we headed towards the warzone.
We all quietly hid in the outside of the factory. Waiting for several minutes, I prepared myself. This was a good chance for me to die. I needed to be extremely cautious. I whispered, "Three...two...one...go!"
And it began. We all rushed in, flanking the aliens by all sides. A few aliens fired back before slumping to the ground, their skin penetrated by the bullets. I pressed my back against a wall before blindly firing. Every alien went down, and a few of the humans had been killed in the battle.
We continued to do this through every corridor, freeing the helpless captives. When we were almost done, I saw an alien point his gun at Drake. I fired, feeling the gun kick back against my shoulder. The alien dropped. I freed my mom, and before she could hug me I yelled, "Run!"
Drake called in the strike.
I stood back and watched the beauty of the burning building collapse to the ground. My mom kissed me. "I love you." A few days later the survivors found a cure to the infection. The remaining members of the group, me, Drake, Mom, and all the prisoners were gathered together at the White House for dinner.
Two years later, everything had been reconstructed and re-populated.
That was thirty-two years ago. I'm forty-six now. Mom died a few years back. The world has changed. Drake lives in a state far away from me now, and I haven't seen him for a long while. The next generations have forgotten all about that day.
I am the exception.
So now I'm in bed, looking at a dictionary. Skimming over the words, I found a particularly strange one.
"Xenophobia? The fear of anything foreign?" I whispered to myself. Foreign. Unknown of. Different. Alien.
Suddenly, I felt cold. Freezing, in fact. I checked the heat. Eighty-two degrees. Very curiously, I sat down and turned on the news.