raygun by wintersixfour


Traci Kenworth



The raygun shook in my hand as I peered around the beefy middle of the tree, its heavy branches bent by the weight of snow. Where had my enemy gone? The pinpoint of my shoulder suddenly felt warm and I lifted my arms in surrender.

            Aculus appeared out of nowhere. “That’s twice today, Kiera. You’re off your game.”

            I shrugged. “Guess it’s just that we used to play with these types of imaginary guns as children and now, we’re using the real things.”

            “It’s not called Aerohead advancements for nothing.”

            I adjusted my ear muffs. “When do you think we’ll move out?”

            “Have my suspicions it’ll be today,” he said.

            “Think we have a chance against these creatures?”

            “Since I have a family to come home to, I’m hoping,” He eyed me. “You’re different from my usual partners. They’re all cocky and in-love-with the idea of bringing these things down.”

            “Maybe it’s because, despite our differences, they have families too.”

            “Don’t go thinking like that. Stay stony-hearted. It’s us, or them.”

            “But what if it didn’t have to be?” I asked. “What if we could find a way to co-exist?”

            He shook his head. “We’ve tried to civilize other planets before. Doesn’t work. They can’t handle what we look like, we can’t handle their barbarity.”

            I sighed. “You’re probably right.”

            “Probably has nothing to do with it girl,” he said. “Besides, orders are orders. Now let’s get back to base.”

            Once inside the shuttle bay, we headed for the debriefing room. I listened half-heartedly at the commanders’ reasons for the invasion and why the planet must be destroyed. Was there a reason underlying all these? Like gold, perhaps? Or even more precious, unpolluted water? I glanced sideways at Aculus. He seemed absorbed in the details of our assignment. As I should be. I thought of Pogo, my only other tie to home. I would miss him greatly should things not go as planned.

            Then my heart turned to Stevan. He was one of our targets.

            Could I do it?

            Destroy the man I loved?

            When the meeting finished, we prepared ourselves for the invasion.

            “Still having soft thoughts for the people of these lands?” Aculus asked.

            I kept my smile plastered to my face. “A momentary distraction, I assure you.”

            He grinned back. “Good. Because I wouldn’t want to have to report you to the authorities.”

            I stiffened. “No need for that. I will do my duty.”

            He nodded. “Let’s go then.”

            Our landing proved rough. As always.

            I gritted my teeth. “You think they would make an easier flight experience if they can create weapons such as this.”

            “All things in good time, Kiera.”

            I released myself from my safety belts. My knife in its holster, I turned to Aculus, raygun in hand. “Ready, sir.”

            He motioned me to move out behind him along with the rest of the team. Other space crafts nestled down in the snow, the extermination plans in place.

            My heart thundered in my ears.

            We only walked a half-mile before we met resistance.

            During the skirmish, I lost sight of Aculus and my team.

            Just as planned.

            I slipped behind enemy lines and moved into Stevan’s embrace.

            “Here goes,” he said.

            I gave the co-ordinates for the ships.

            One by one, they bombed them

            When the last exploded, cheers of victory went all around.

            My path chosen, I moved into place beside Stevan.

            I felt the clink of cuffs around my wrists and drew back, eyes wide.

            “You didn’t really think we could co-exist, did you?” Steven said. “You’re species is far too ignorant to master ours.” He handed me off to another. “Welcome to the planet, Kiera. First stop, hell.”






5 thoughts on “Winterescape

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