A Beautiful Disaster
Tegan Palombi, Grade 9, Burdekin Catholic High School
Finalist in the 'Spread The Word 2017' competition
I remember it vividly, as if it were yesterday. Hearing the wailing sirens and humans alike. It was simply just wailing, an endless moaning, but I couldn't block it out. Noise I couldn't just hear, but feel. I could feel their hopelessness, their injuries, their loss, all in that pitiful sound. The stained Earth, tainted by humanity's greatest war. Their disaster of our own creation.
Coming to Earth wasn't the hard part. We had soldiers, we had warships, we had technology well beyond their days, greater than anything they could even begin to imagine. These simple-minded creatures, Homo sapiens, humans, had achieved so much in their short reign over our planet. But, ultimately, we were always going to come back. They just didn't know that.
It appears that humans believe to be the prominent species of Earth, our Earth, and the whole universe. I guess for simple-minded creatures, they aren't too far from the truth. All that stands in the way of that is us.
Humans, these strange beasts with small brain capacities and weird societies, believe they are better than us? We all laughed at the belief. But on that day, when we took back what is rightfully ours, I wasn't so sure. I'm not so sure now. Maybe I will never be again.
We started a war. A war for them to obliterate themselves off the face of the Earth. Nuclear bombs, snipers, destruction. Our own beautiful disaster.
I remember taking my best shooters to a small refugee camp. We were ending the last remnants of humanity. I remember setting off the motion alarm and the wailing siren starting. I remember survivors streaming out, guns pointed, shooting. I remember shooting back. I remember her.
The squad took the sea of bodies around us as a sign to leave. I hung back, making sure no one remained. That's when I saw her. Crouched down, hugging a corpse, a wail escaping her lips, adding to the siren of the alarm we triggered. Something changed. Her wailing unhinged me. I knew we were more advanced than humans, but only in some ways. They had feelings. They had emotions. They had love and hate, they had right and wrong. They had each other.
They also had hope, born anew from the ashes of our blood-stained Earth. She proved that to me, as when she saw me, she reached straight for a discarded gun. She shot at me until her bullets ran out. I walked towards her and she glared at me with defiance.
"I will not run from you. You do not scare me." She snarled.
Hope is a brave and rare thing. It is also quite foolish.
I shot her in the head. She wouldn't have made it now that we had arrived on Earth.
It didn't matter if I’d let her go, or shot her.
I will never forget her and the disaster she wreaked upon my entire existence.
She made me feel more than the emptiness within my soul.