Author : Tim Rouse

It’s been eight years. I suppose it had to happen sometime.

They’ve been here longer than that, of course. Just shy of a century, they say. But eight years ago they revealed themselves, thousands of people enslaved, with aliens in their bodies, and suddenly they wanted the rest of us to welcome in an alien guest.

And people lined up for the opportunity. Maybe it was something in the water, but I drank that water and I never wanted an alien put inside me. I suppose when they saw some of the people the aliens already had (the president, hell, they had the president) they didn’t think it was worth fighting no more.
‘Course, lots of us did fight. Didn’t matter, for the most part- one of them inside the camp was all it took to open the gates, so to speak. And once they were in, it didn’t matter how hard you fought or how fast you ran, you ended up in the back of a van headed for Processing.

That’s where everyone ended up. Processing. Didn’t matter if you’d fought to the last man or if you’d welcomed them with open arms, there were only two ways out of that place. Death for the fat, the terminally ill, or whatever- we still don’t know, to tell the truth. My guess? They were just thinning us out. Maybe they didn’t need eight billion bodies, or maybe they just wanted to make sure Earth survived once they took over.

Maybe it was the lucky ones they killed. The rest got taken. One of their grubs down your gullet, and two days later they’re sat in your stomach, latched onto your spine, and it’s them running your brain now. They claim it’s like motherhood, but I always figured they were more like zombies.

A few of us got away. Not many- one in ten thousand, maybe? Probably less. Might be more overseas, where there were less people- Russia, perhaps, or Madagascar. Round here, most live in the hills, on old farms or in caves.
And then there’s us. Domestic terrorists, they call us. Freedom fighters, we call ourselves. Bombings, vandalism, straight-up execution sometimes. We’ll do anything to rid this planet of these monsters.

But sometimes… sometimes you stop, just when the crowbar should be smashing into the skull of a pretty teenager, just as the cold dead eyes of the alien inside betray, just for a moment, a flicker of fear, of humanity long since smothered.

It’s been eight years. I suppose it had to happen sometime. You stop, once too often, and the police
are onto you, and it’s no mercy, the aliens don’t know the meaning of the word.

So there we are. Two of us are already dead. The rest are battered, beaten, on the ground. The police aren’t paying much attention any more, busy with the growing crowd. But there’s no way we could get away now, unless…

I look over at Owen. Sure enough, he’s already got his slim wrists out of the cuffs.

“Go on!” hisses Cassie, a girl I thought I loved, once. Whatever happens to me tonight, I’m fairly sure I’ll never feel love again.

Owen looks unhappy. “I can’t leave you all… to them…”

I cut him off. “Just go, Owen. The fight must go on!”

Resigned, he nods, rises, and darts across the street.

As he walks up the road, mingling with the passers-by, I can’t help but think.

They look so like us.


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