Author : Grady Hendrix
â€œWait!â€ he said. â€œLook at that!â€
â€œWhat the hell is it?â€ she asked, slamming on the hovercar brakes.
â€œYouâ€™ve never seen one?â€ he asked.
She shook her head.
â€œYouâ€™re in for a treat,â€ he said, bouncing up and down with excitement. â€œCome on.â€
He scrambled out of the hovercar and onto the blasted earth.
â€œI havenâ€™t seen one of these since I woke up,â€ he said, jogging over to the green patch. â€œItâ€™s called a tree.â€
â€œI thought they all died in the Great War?â€
His knees buckled a little and she caught him. It had only been two months since heâ€™d been cracked out of his hundred year cryo-sleep, one of the first old growth humans to be brought back into this postwar world, finally judged capable of leaving the Citi-Dome and going on patrol with Sara-10.
â€œSteady on,â€ she said.
â€œThey havenâ€™t given me much history yet, but I havenâ€™t seen a tree or a plant since I woke up. Look,â€ he said. â€œIts leaves change color with the time of year. See those tiny green things? Theyâ€™re buds, new parts of the tree will grow from them. Theyâ€™re capable of so many things that we canâ€™t do…â€ a tear slid down his cheek.
Then a high pressure stream of burning liquid fuel hit the tree and it exploded into a fireball.
â€œWhat are you doing?â€ he screamed.
Sara-10 ignored him and burned the tree until her flamethrower was empty.
â€œWe lost a lot of good men to bastards like that,â€ she said as the tree crackled.
â€œThatâ€™s maybe the only tree left alive after the Great War and you killed it?â€
She slapped another fuel tank on her flamethrower and hit the tree with another blast.
â€œWho do you think we fought the Great War against?â€ she asked. â€œFucking trees. Taking up all the land, breaking up our cities with their roots, killing everyone â€“ â€œ she broke down crying. He reached to comfort her but she slapped his hand away. â€œLetâ€™s just go,â€ she snapped. â€œI have to report this.
The tree watched them depart, cursing the mobile ones.
â€œWeâ€™ll be back,â€ it thought as it died. â€œThere are more of us…we will water our roots with your blood…â€