“The permission slips for this trip took forever to sign, considering that Earth had countless armies and weapons of mass destruction, and there certainly was a chance that my classmates and I would be dead by the end of this field trip.”
Roughly translated to English
The permission slips for this trip took forever to sign, considering that Earth had countless armies and weapons of mass destruction, and there certainly was a chance that my classmates and I would be dead by the end of this field trip. We were an advanced alien elementary school class, after all, not gods. When my dad saw the slip, he immediately began to rant. “Gorp, I remember my first invasion; we did it on the planet Vaksmeeg. Ha, I remember there was this one little girl, she was crying and crying, until she wet her pants. I shot her then — what a way to go, huh? Oh, oh, there was actually this club meeting that me and a couple of my friends stumbled upon, and they were reading one of my favorite books, Microwave Down, translated to Vaksmeegian, of course, and, so me and your uncle #$@#^*&#^^$ decided to have a bit of fun, so we lined all these people up, and we would ask them questions about the book. ‘On which page does the microwave go down?’ You know, stuff like that, and if they answered wrong, we shot them.”
I decided to leave the room at this point. There was no telling how long these things could go, so I had my mom look over the slip. “Oh, is Korg going?” she asked me before signing.
“Of course he is, Mom.” Korg had been my best friend since we were little, and we had been discussing our first invasion for as long as I could remember. He was even more excited than I was, and he wouldn’t miss it for the world.
She finished signing after about an hour, and I was all set. Later that night, just before I was to begin my evening hibernation, I looked out my window and out into the city of Bondex, the place I had grown up in. The sprawling skyscrapers of The Egley district, the low rundown building of The Booga (I’m not allowed down there, because apparently that’s where bad people sell gog). Despite its flaws, Bondex was home, and I was going to miss it during the invasion. I went back to my bed. I had a big day ahead of me after all, and at least from what I’d heard, the overthrowing of a planet required a good night’s sleep.
The room of teaching was buzzing the morning of the trip. How could it not be? None of us had ever done this before, and this elated confusion continued to spark between us until we got to the ship, but when it came into view, everything stopped. It seemed as though all noise had been taken from the world, because the great black mass that lay before us seemed to require all the energy that had been in us moments before just to look at it. And then the silence was broken, and we all started to run toward the ship.
I was one of the first people on board, seeing as I was one of the fastest in the class, and I was absolutely shocked when I stepped inside the craft. The space inside was cavernous, and it seemed more like a hangar than a ship itself, seats sprawled evenly, none of them within five feet of each other. It was like each of us had our own world. Korg and I quickly grabbed seats and sat down next to each other (or as close to each other as we could be) and began talking excitedly.
Once all 900 of us had sat down and we had taken to the sky, an automated voice came on. It was soothing and monotonous as it began to talk slowly. “Hello, welcome aboard the vessel. Seeing as this is your first invasion, I’ll be taking you through some safety tips. First, try to kill the scarier humans that have guns while the confusion is still setting in, then move on to the more panicked ones, as they will cause less threat.” I thought about what the voice had said for a moment. I’d never killed anyone before, so the announcement spurred a sort of unease in me, but these feelings quickly became mixed into excitement. The announcement continued, encouraging us to have fun and really “take in” our first invasion, see the sights, relish in the humans’ fear. And also that we should just relax, because Earth has one of the least advanced life in our universe, so as long as we stayed calm, the invasion should be a smooth ride. After the announcement finished, it was quiet for a bit. I supposed that everyone was taking in what we had just heard, when a new voice, that of our teacher, came on.
“All right, kiddos, right now we’re entering the Milky Way galaxy, so if you’d all please stand up walk over to the windows and check it out.” I unlatched my buckle and moved to the giant window in the wall and looked out. Many of my classmates gasped in awe at the sight of the galaxy. I thought it was fine, but I again found myself distracted by the task ahead of me, the massacre I would soon commit, and suddenly I began to feel ill. I rushed back to my seat where I curled up and tried to forget about how sick I was. Korg, who had been reading Microwave Down Pt. 2, Multiple Microwaves Down! turned and saw me.
“Gorp, are you okay?” he asked, worried.
“I’m fine, just a little nervous, I guess.”
Korg wasn’t buying it. “Gorp, an invasion has never, ever failed before, all right?”
“This is gonna be great, and when we get home, we can tell our parents about it all. Man, you’re gonna love it.”
My stomach pain calmed down, and I felt better right away.
I fell asleep eventually but was jolted awake soon after by a final announcement. The lady with the smooth voice came on. “Now that you have landed, suit up, go out there, and have fun.” I looked around to see my classmates freaking out and screaming and rushing towards the battle station. I followed suit, and so I rushed to the small cubicle with Gorp etched on its door. I went in and saw what I had seen so many times in pictures, but I had never been so close to touch: the Bondexian suit, in all its shimmering glory. It was a lightweight titanium thing with a complex helmet piece covered in designs native to my home planet. I then picked up a light rifle and walked back to the seating area where some of my fellow classmates waited. I could feel the craft descending and hear the faint screams outside. Just as Eegee, the last of us to change and the student widely considered the runt of our class, had come out of his dressing room, I felt the jolt of the craft landing.
The screams were loud now outside, and I heard a ripping screech as a car tried to avoid the crash that came moments later, giving off its own terrible noise. We were all instructed to line up horizontally, facing the front of the ship. This took little time, as we had been training for months, and after we had all lined up, there was a sharp hissing sound as the front of the ship fell away, and a ramp extended down towards the ground in its place. We began to march towards the ramp, and as we moved forward, I took in the surroundings of the outside world.
I saw that we were in a metropolistic area, and despite the fact that the sky above was dark, there were thousands of glowing screens mounted to buildings, advertising strange people and things. A man with rosy red cheeks and a flowing white beard with a bottle of brown substance that looked like gog tipped over his mouth, and a dark-skinned lady was staring out of the screen. Under her picture was a name, Be once? When we began to walk down the ramp, all of us in a line, in perfect unison, I could now see real life people standing below us either running in terror or staring at us curiously. Korg leaned over and whispered to me, “The ones that ran, those are the smart ones.” I chuckled at the thought, but all of a sudden, the feeling I had felt before, on the ship, came back, the feeling that my brain was being shredded to pieces, and it seemed as if a wave of guilt had crashed down on me, crushing my body with its power.
But then the feeling passed. I could hear my teacher telling the square of people exactly what we were doing, but not why we were doing it… Why were we doing this? For power is what I had always presumed, but is genocide the best possible way to go about it? I could feel the guilt coming on again, but I was once more jolted back to my senses, this time from the sharp report of a light rifle. Near the front of the crowd a huge human man fell down into a pile of dust.
The invasion had begun.
The next hours went by in a blur. We were split off into groups, Korg in mine, luckily enough, and roamed the streets of what I found to be called New York, destroying the buildings around us, watching them crumble like sandcastles, being diminished to dust, just as the man from the crowd had. Before I demolished another building, I looked inside and saw through one of the window a flickering screen mounted on some sort of box. On the screen was a man with a blue suit on and a greasy wad of hair sticking out of his scalp. He seemed to be talking fast and distractedly, and behind him there were pictures of our ship. I knew he was reporting about us, about our invasion. Then the screen abruptly succumbed to static, and so I backed up twenty feet and shot at the building twice, and it was no more.
It almost made me sad, doing all of this. I couldn’t imagine my own home being wrecked like this, everything I had disappearing with a couple shots from a light rifle. I was being too nice; empathy is not the correct invasion mindset for invasion. With that, I looked back in the direction of the ship, almost a mile away now, and I saw what looked like a hallway of flames and ashes against the dark night sky, framing the streets we had walked. I turned back, and I realized how far I was from my group. I began to run towards them, but after I had gone only five steps, I was stopped in my tracks, for I saw a dark shape in the sky, coming towards my own group far ahead of me. It was a dark flying machine, with a spinning wheel on top, and the sharp chopping noise it made jolted me back to my senses. I ran towards it trying to shoot it, and so did my groupmates far ahead, but they seemed to have no effect on the plane, or whatever it was. Then, from the machine was released a bright yellow shape, flying through the air, down towards my friends, and then it reached them.
I was thrown back by the blast, and I skidded across the street like a rag doll. And when I managed to stand up, I realized I was crying. The helicopter flew away, and I could hear similar sounding blasts from far away, the sounds of more of my friends dying. I stood in the middle of the street, petrified, for a very long time. All I could see were flames, from our destruction, and the humans’. I took my helmet off, and I felt the heat on my cheeks; it hurt, but I ignored it. I thought I could make out the mangled bodies of the others in my group, singed arms outstretched in terror, mouths stretched in frozen screams. I thought about what my dad had said the day before, which seemed like so long ago, about the girl he killed who wet her pants. “What a way to go,” he had said. Not with my group mates though, no sir. On a foreign planet, with no warning whatsoever, it was just, snap, and then you were gone.
The street I stood on seemed all of a sudden like a road straight to hell. I thought about how I could get home, if there were, by some miracle, any survivors, and about how Korg and everybody else was never going to get to tell their parents about how fun the field trip had been. How did this happen anyway? Earth isn’t even advanced, so how is it that so many of us are dead? Too many questions.
I realized the aircraft was coming back around, searchlights swooping across the ground in an arc, and unless I hid, I might join my classmates. But why shouldn’t I? What was there for me? I was never going to get home. Who cared, right? So I raised my hands, felt the light pass over me, burn my eyes, and then the plane-type thing landed. I looked towards it, confused. Men without faces, wearing yellow suits, were hustling towards me. Why hadn’t they shot me? The men grabbed my arms and started to drag me toward their ship. I kicked and screamed. Why hadn’t they shot me? I stopped struggling, and they removed the plate of armor on my arm. I suddenly felt a sharp jolt of pain in my arm, and then everything got blurry, then black.
The table I lay on was cold on my back, and the sharp objects that lay around me on racks shined in the empty white light of the room. I could feel my own blood running down my stomach, a lot of it, so I too could feel myself drifting in and out of consciousness. After the invasion had failed, after all my friends had departed, strange men had brought me here, where they proceeded to cut me open, sift through my insides. I didn’t know why I hadn’t died, but no fate was worse than this. At least if I died, I might have been able to see everyone again. At least if I died, I wouldn’t have to think about the fact that I was never going to get back home.
The blood kept on flowing, and I grew tired. I thought I’d just go to sleep.