Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Invasion - Picnicus Interruptus

The war was over, had been over for decades, but everywhere we looked there were remnants to remind us of how close we came.

I spread the picnic blanket out and Sam put the basket on one corner. Our perch gave us a bit of a windbreak if we sat down, but a freak gust could still flip the checkered plastic fabric up. Better safe than sorry. I stood and stretched my long limbs, luxuriating in the bright sunshine. The plains stretched out as far as I could see. I knew they went on for miles at least. Mountains were a gray blur at the very edge of the horizon going east.

"Hey." Arms came around me and Sam's body heat radiated into me, chasing the chill of the cool breeze away. "Whatcha thinking about?"

I grinned. "How lucky I am to have you in the midst of all this." I turned and we hugged until the embrace became lingering kisses.

Sam giggled into my mouth. "We do this too much longer and the food is gonna get cold."

"Can’t let that happen." Things were still scarce and good food was one of those. The waving grain forty feet below was testament to the fact that food production was coming back online. This generation was the first to come up looking like something worth eating.

We sat in the bowl made of the mecha's gun platform. The soy noodles and sauce were still warm. Freeze dried veg made up the bulk of the nutrition. Clean water from a jug tasted better than any wine and my appetite was whetted by the fresh air. We ate and drank noisily, slurping and smacking. I leaned back against a console and belched loudly.

"Gross. And thank you." Sam grinned at me, mouth and eyes wide. A flash of red light reflected in those pools of green and white.

The roll of what sounded like thunder rumbled across the open sea of grain. It wasn't thunder, though. The sky was as bright blue as it ever was. I popped my head over the metal lip. "What the hell?" A massive ship of some kind was landing about a mile away. I'd lived on these flat lands long enough to know my guess of distance was good, even if just a guess. "Give me the..." The telescope slapped into my outstretched hand. I brought it up to my eye and focused on the thing.

It was all shards and angles, like some broken glass and barbed wire sculpture. Not human make, at least not any human I knew about. There were stories about aliens, we told over the campfires. Could this be them? Fire licked at the grass around the landing site. It would soon become a blaze eating up so much of the precious resource. Of course, if whoever was in that ship wanted us dead, it wouldn't much matter.

"What is it?" Sam's voice was afraid, but not terrified. We were both soldiers, or as close to it as anyone was. We'd fought hard for our supplies and our home, killing when we needed to.

"Hard to say. A ship obviously, but I don't know who or what..." That's when I saw them start to crawl out and down. They had four limbs, like we did, but they were attached at odd places, nearer central mass than the four corners. "Can tell if they're creatures or 'bots." Either way, this meant our picnic was over.

Art Source: Summer Love on
Story and Characters (c)/by Scott Roche

#action, #Suspense, #PostApocalypse, #Invasion, #Love