could see the stars from my hole, my pit. It was really the only
thing I looked forward to. The days were brutally hot, and all
the sound that was heard was the hopeless moaning and crying from
the other pits.
The night was a blessing. Partially for the cool, partially
for the view, but mostly for the silence. By the time nightfall
came, exhaustion ruled the other pits, and no more desperate moans
and screams for help had to be tolerated.
The pit was cold and dusty. It reached fifteen feet into the
ground, at least. Bars covered the top and water was lowered in
pails a few times a day. As for food, on a generous day we were
dropped something that didn't remind us of Haggis Dung. I had
no blanket, no pillow. I dug holes to place my waste. I was running
out of room to dig.
The "Visitors" rounded most of us up in groups, but
the few of us that resisted ended up in the Pits. They landed
on our planet by surprise. We had no warning. Our technology could
not detect their technology. Their ships were totally foreign
to us. Their way was totally foreign to us.
I was worried about my family. What would become of them? I
couldn't remember how long I had been down here. My only solace
had now been filled with dread. The night, my peace, brought more
ships. I could hear the rumbles of their landings, the ground
quaking like the pit in my stomach. The beautiful streaks across
the sky looked as innocent as shooting stars, but they were not.
They were colonizing. They were here for good. The night would
never be the same. I had no more solace.
I remembered the day they came. It is the only different and
unique memory I have prior to my stale existence. My wife was
making my favorite dinner. My children were making noise, happy
noise. It was a beautiful day, like any other day. I was dreaming
of the future, our plans to sail around the world in the boat
I would make with the time I took off from work every summer.
Those dreams would have to be my solace now. I could not give
up hope; I could not abandon my family, my dreams. For now, I
would have to find solace in my mind.
* * *
"Captain Williams, Earth has new orders for us," the
"What are they, Corporal?"
"Sir," he hesitated.
"What is it, Corporal?" his tone expressing his impatience.
"We are to eliminate the creatures," he said with
regret in his voice. "Earth command says they pose too much
of a threat for the colonization process. Code Nero commences
at 0600 hours, sir."
The Captain looked out the window of his command ship to the
pits. There were miles and miles of them.
"This will be a new day for us, Corporal, a new beginning."