Mark Ethridge’s Picture Choice: One
Title: If It’s Just A Dream, Let Me Dream (Part 4)
I didn’t ask if the suits worked during the flares, I knew they shielded their wearers from the solar radiation of the flares.
“We are ready when you are, General!”
“I’ll need you to distract them.”
One of the blue beings laughed, “We have a plan for that.”
I knew the best time to act was during the flares, when others like me would feel safe, protected by nature. I knew that’s why I had the suits. Oddly enough, they were zip on suits, made of type of plastic. They were not metal. Once I pulled one on, and zipped myself in, I saw a series of control panels on the display.
There was a war within my people. A widespread war. On one side, they fought as God’s Chosen, believing it was their God-given right to rule the universe, and do whatever they wanted to other worlds, and other people. “They are animals. Non-believers. They are in the way of God’s work.”
On the other side, my side, we fought to defend life. All life. Not because we were God’s children. We fought because life was life and as such, sacred. We fought because life was a gift, one to nourish, protect.
It was one of my nightmares come true. I’d always imagined a time when the people of the church and the rest of us could no longer live in peace. It was always started, as history always said, by religion. A hundred worlds had fallen. Untold billions had died. By the hand of Christians. God’s people.
We’d tried to stop ourselves using peaceful means. Negotiation. Laws. Economics. Nothing worked. Religious intolerance overrode every action we took, everything we tried. And the bloodshed continued, world after world. “In God’s name.”
Lacking any other option, we’d gone to war. With ourselves.
It was a war for the soul of our people. A war with no winner. There could only be losers. And death. Never ending death. Until one side destroyed the other, or both sides died out. And in either case, the stars would be filled with our blood
“I’m guessing they took her to their base.”
Their base. How typical of them. Mow the surface flat for square miles all around. Build houses, and stores, and whatever they wanted to build. Destroy the life of the area. Stand boldly against nature, protected in armored buildings, as if that were normal. Don’t blend in with the world. If what you wanted killed all life on the planet, it was the will of God.
And they’d be armed. Of course, they were well armed. It was their God-given right to carry weapons of every kind. We’re not talking guns. Guns were so 21st century. Everything was a smart weapon. Designed to kill, with on-board intelligence that continuously refined its aim, guided it to its target. God’s people had nearly mastered the art of murder.
We had our defenses, and our weapons. All based on energy and quantum mechanics. We could turn the air dense, like stone, so their weapons never reached their targets. We had our own weapons, every bit as deadly as theirs. And they had their defenses, every bit as capable as ours. Conventional warfare run wild, pushed to its extreme, to its limits.
We planned our assault on their base, the distractions, the feints, the traps. With me slipping in, using my ability to blend in. I’d locate her. I’d free her. We’d escape. And God’s children would go berserk as they hunted us. They’d destroy everything in their path.
No one knew how many of God’s children would die in the traps we’d have set for them. We knew they’d be coming. We counted on it.
With our plan in place, it was time to eat, and rest.
That night, I slept in a bed, in the caves. Normally, my wife would have slept with me. The next night she would, or I’d be dead. Either way, God’s Children would pay dearly for what they’d done to her, and to the people of Blue’s world.
I slept. And waited. It was almost time.
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Mark woke up in 2010, and has been exploring life since then. All his doctors agree. He needs to write.