Author : Jordan Miller

I only saw him once. It was a long time ago. We fought on the monsoon world of Ceeville. Our force was pinned down by our own brethren that wanted freedom. They claimed he was real and he was leading them. None of our officers believed in such stories. We trudged through the forest, rain pelting our green body armor. We stopped at the base of a ridge, waiting for the officers to decide what to do. I looked up at the ridge as lightning flashed. A lone figure stood in the middle of the road. A shout went up and fingers pointed but as it flashed again, it was empty.

Then the fighting started. Thunder boomed, but it was man made. Slugs tore through our ranks as the revolutionaries charged from their hiding places. We began firing into the darkness but they were among us. Blades dug into exposed joints and vulnerable places. We smashed skulls and slashed bodies with our stocks and bayonets in a brutal struggle. We were actually winning. Then he appeared.

He dropped from the trees. He killed with superhuman speed and precision. Soldiers fell before him as he carved a path through us. He took shots that would have incapacitated any normal man and strode on. He was covered in gore and each kill spurred the killing frenzy of his ragtag band of revolutionaries. He kicked a soldier off the end of his weapon then he was among us.

His hammer-axe smashed the first from her feet and sent her through a tree. He was lit up red by a laser pistol beam but he kept coming. I stood mortified as he kept coming. The axe split Major Kent from the top of his head to his groin and he fell in two pieces. He butchered the other officers then turned his attention to me. As the Fleet CO, I was given a sword. I held it in a white knuckle grip and my ineffective laser pistol in the other.

He stepped over their carcasses. Rain washed his face of the blood. Lightning flashed, I saw why he was unaffected by the laser beam. He was one of us. He cut my right hand off at the elbow and the pistol dropped to the mud. I went to my knees, clutching my arm. He squatted in front of me. He took my stump and bound it with medpack tape as I watched, numb. He gripped my chin and made me look into his eyes. I noticed the sounds of battle had dwindled.

“We are free.” He whispered, his breath smelled of alcohol. Thunder rumbled as he stood me up. I looked around, I was surrounded by the humans of Ceeville. I was the only one left. Of 200,000 soldiers, he had killed all but me.

“Go and tell them, that we are free.” He said. Then they melted into the forest.

I told Fleet Command what he said. They sent millions of soldiers to their deaths. I told them not to but nobody listened. We lost the war a year later. Ceeville won their freedom. Now there are reports of freedom riots on Ada. They claim he was among them. We are going to lose.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows