Tagged: drill

That Time I Saved Us All

Dear Planet Earth,

I wish I had seen a trail of smoke arching toward the devious drill snake from my Shoulder Mounted Ass Wiper. A translucent line leading up to the gaping hole under the beast’s belly — that’s all I would need to truly know that the shot came from me. That I killed it.

The way it really happened, there was just a loud hiss and then a big BOOM a second later. The mole man weapon groaned and twitched. It moved and sounded as though it weren’t a machine at all, but something alive, something conscious. It fell to the ground with an earth-shaking THUD. Sparks and smoke came out of its many new openings.

I struggled to get up under the weight of the SMAW and the shock of just shooting a freaking missile into a freaking tank equipped with drills, saws, and Gatling guns. My allies quickly surrounded the drill snake, keeping their rifles drawn on it. They yelled things out to each other that I didn’t understand, if I heard them at all.

A small door opened on its side followed by a small man. He landed on his back and began coughing through his red-eyed mask. The soldiers yelled louder now, slowly inching toward the writhing mole man. He reached at his leg and pulled out a strange-looking pistol. It was huge compared to him, covered in blinking lights and steaming pipes. He was riddled with holes before he could get a little finger around the trigger.

When it was all over and my last drop of adrenaline had gone, I fell back to the ground. I looked at the grey Seattle skyline and the iconic Space Needle framed on all sides by fire and testosterone. And then I passed the fuck out.

The Pit

Dear Planet Earth,

I finally finished my debriefing with General Talpa and the other nerds who saved my life. They gave me a lot of new info to think over, but for now, I just want to finish uploading all the pictures I took from the battle.

Here’s a good one I got just as we were pulling away in the transport trucks full of former slaves and (hopefully) new allies. You can see the mole people’s drill peeking up from out of the top of the labor camp.

I didn’t get any decent pictures of the fighting actually inside the camp itself. Just try to imagine the sarlaac pit from Tatooine on fire, screaming, but a hundred times more frightening.

In and Out

Dear Planet Earth,

In between my tumbles into the past and present, life and death, a face appears — a face I know can’t be real. It’s a memory, a shadow of the sanity I once had.

He wasn’t there.

Back in the past, on the border of the mole people’s slave labor camp, Maria, Karter, Halston, Linares, and I take swigs from a whiskey bottle I swiped from a store in LA. We check our rifles and cover our faces with black makeup as the sun sets behind the colossal drill.

“We’re ninjas,” says Halston. “We’re scouting the area, that’s all. In and out. Find vulnerable points, memorize patrol routes, and get back up here.”

Karter takes a swig and snickers. “Easy peasy,” he says.

We enter the camp as soon as the last ray of sunlight disappears and the mole man guards are nowhere to be seen. Not much of anything can be seen, really. The area had thousands of slaves and slavers roaming around just hours before, yet it now stood almost completely deserted. A small part of me wondered if they all went inside the drill or under the ground at night, while the rest of my mind stayed focused on swerving between the strange structures ahead of us and not curling up into a ball weeping. I remember thinking ninjas was an apt word as we ran along in a crouched, silent formation.

And in a matter of seconds, everything changes.

Horrors

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.

“Jesus.”

Humans

Dear Planet Earth,

I was out of it for awhile here. I ended up puking and shitting all over the floor of my cell. Maybe man wasn’t meant to live in an underground room the size of a closet. Maybe they’re starting to poison me.

Whatever the perpetrator is, my weakened body and mind reminded me of another recent situation when life and death were not so much choices, but random destinations stemming from heated conversations. It was right after we caught sight of the drill south of LA (now this is what I call a segue).

Lieutenant Halston quickly stopped the car, turned it off, and got out. The rest of us exchanged some confused glances and then followed him. He kicked the front tire.

“Fuck!” he yelled. “Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!”

Private Karter leaned over the hood, resting his head on his arms as though he was about to go to sleep. “Something on your mind, man?”

“They’re dead! We’re dead. We’re all fucking dead.” He touched his temples and began to rub vigorously. “You guys wanna charge in there with no weapons and absolutely no clue if those old farts are even there and alive?”

I was about to mention that Rachel was just a little girl, but Maria protested first.

“And what’s our other option? Go back to the city? The library? That base that’s probably a pile of dust right now? Those ‘old farts’ are our friends. Humans. We can’t turn back without first seeing what’s there.”

“It can’t hurt to scout it out,” Linares added.

The lieutenant whispered back, “You don’t know that.”

“No. I don’t.”

So, we voted. And it was unanimous. And now I’m starting to remember that it felt a lot like a suicide pact.

Horizon

Dear Planet Earth,

We drove all through the night, heading in a single direction to find our missing companions. It was a long shot, even by global mole men invasion standards.

We started having real conversations about what could have happened. Sure, mole people could have kidnapped them, but why? Why leave us? Why use ninja-like skills to take everything but my broken walkie talkie, but keep us alive? Did our friends leave on their own? It seemed like we were all getting along just hunky dory, all things considered. Yeah, the army guys made all the major decisions, but no one seemed to complain about it.

The word “tyranny” came up. Along with “abandoned,” “suicide,” “spy.” “Rapture.”

I was squashed in the back seat next to Maria. Our bare arms touched each other several times during the bumpy trek, and I felt like I was back in middle school, wondering whether the contact bothered or excited her. Portly Private Linares crushed me on the other side. He didn’t smell nearly as good.

Then we saw it — 90 to 100 miles away on the horizon. The rising sun illuminated its silhouette, instilling an otherworldliness that it already had enough of on its own. Our first Californian drill.

Sinking

Dear Planet Earth,

Our escape from LA drags on. Lieutenant Halston tells me it’s barren out there. The entire city seemed to just pick up and leave. They’re going to continue searching for at least a couple days more. Our group came to the consensus that we’d stay in places for no more than a week — any longer than that, and we’ll get lazy and vulnerable.

Mrs. Bing’s slowly improving, or so Maria tells me. They were in one of the suites for six hours together this afternoon. I sat outside the door with my laptop, trying to find any useful news online. Apparently, China tried to bomb one of mole people’s drills in Beijing back when they still had bombs and a military. It didn’t work.

The door opened suddenly and Maria emerged with her usual stoic face. She took a long, deep breath and didn’t seem to notice me sitting on the floor nearby.

“She needs rest.”

“She needs a straitjacket,” I said.

That got her to look at me. She gave me a hard stare, a glare really, filled with an intensity that usually only comes from a mother, not a potential girlfriend (as I’ve been laboriously working on).

“Maybe you’d need a straitjacket too, if your husband and two daughters had been killed in front of your very eyes. Maybe you’d try to off yourself when you realized that everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life was gone forever. Maybe you’d develop a fucking heart and realize that you’re not the only person in this crumbling mess of a world.”

She let that sink in, and I guess I did too.

I whispered, “Did she really try to kill herself?”

“She needs rest,” she said again. And she walked away.