Dear Planet Earth,
We were about a mile away from the drill, scanning every inch of the landscape as carefully as a Where’s Waldo picture. The horrors we saw were universes beyond the colorful illustrations of children’s books.
“Jesus,” Karter said before passing the binoculars to me, the last but determinedly not least.
I saw a concave bowl of desert sand encircling the enormous drill. Random groups of people were scattered all around. I adjusted the focus to get a better look. I saw hundreds of people — maybe thousands — bound together in lines with large chain links connected to thick neck braces. The heavy steel covered so much of them it was hard to make out their dirty, tattered clothing underneath. Their faces were gaunt and emaciated, dead faces. Maybe some of them were dead.
At the front and back of each line was a short, round person, someone I might have mistaken for a dwarf or child five months ago. They were wearing gas masks of some kind, with glowing red eyes. They carried ornate rifles as tall as their bodies, covered with countless switches and pipes. This was my first real good look at one of them. The mole people. The enemy.
I’ve been calling all of this an “invasion” since the beginning, without really understanding what that term entails. But after seeing my fellow man shackled and forced to build their captors’ complicated machinery that would later be used on themselves, I felt just in my use of the loaded word.
This was an invasion. This was a full-scale attack on our entire world by a technologically advanced oppressor, their ultimate goals now abundantly clear — humanity’s complete submission and enslavement.
I took the binoculars away from my face and rubbed my eyes.