The lost rebellion

The last four of us of The Rebs were caught by the aliens last night. We could have escaped if we had left Aaron behind. But if we did that, we would have been down to three.

But now The Rebs will soon be down to zero.

The floating eggs are hovering around us, leading the way. Our hands and feet have been chained to each other such that any escape attempt is an impossible task. We would have to coordinate like the four limbs of a quadruped.

There is silence as we are led through a dark tunnel and I am sure that they are going to shoot us in the head. There is light ahead, growing with our every step. I think of a relevant saying.

As we near the tunnel exit, I can hear a low hum. I wonder if the alien bastards are going to try something on us. I can see Sharina shudder beside me.

But when we step out of the tunnel, my eyes take a second to adjust and I instead see hundreds of thousands of faces. Human faces. Our brothers and sisters who have been forced to renounce their freedom and accept these egg-like alien overlords who weren’t even here a decade ago.

I get it. They are going to make a show of our death. Standard dictatorial procedure. I see cameras too. So millions more are watching online.

We scramble on the stage and the hovering egg ahead projected a hologram of a human in front of me. It was a smiling old man but with a strong built, as if just his face was old but his body belonged to a hulk.

‘You have fought well till now,’ he said. ‘But I continue to see your numbers dwindle.’

I had nothing to say. Neither did my comrades.

‘But here is your chance. No more hiding around and looking for recruits.’ The hologram made a gesture to the crowd who were all watching at us with smiling faces and dazed eyes. ‘Give your best speech and get as many converts as you want. We will let you go free, no questions asked. You can continue to fight against us as long as you like.’

An egg-alien hovered to me with a microphone in its talons. I took it. Our chains were unlocked suddenly and fell to the ground. All four of us looked at each other in shock. Was this our chance to have a showdown on the stage, to kill some of these aliens and die as martyrs?

‘Go ahead if you want to kill us.’ The old man hologram said. ‘It won’t make a difference. We won’t touch you. You can speak to your fellow beings when you are ready. Convince the fuck out of them, as you say.’

I took a deep breath and took a step forth on the stage. I stage into the sea of faces, their expressions merging into one the farther they were from us.

‘Comrades!’ my voice echoed around the stadium. I adjusted the mic. I glanced at the eggs to see if they were going to shoot me as part of some sick joke.

‘What the fuck are you doing smiling like that? Wipe that smug smile and listen to me. We have lost our freedom. We are nothing but subjects in some kind of experiment for these aliens and humanity as a species has lost its power. We need to fight back! We need to take what is ours and build our own world — ‘

‘And do what?’ Someone in the crowd yelled. ‘Go back to working eight hours a day?’

‘And worry about whether I will get food on the table tonight or not?’ Someone else yelled.

I tried to open my mouth for a ready but weak rebuttal but another voice broke in.

‘Everyone is happy now.’

‘Everyone is well-fed.’

‘Everyone is healthy.’

‘We don’t have to worry about work!’

‘All we have to do is continue living. The aliens are taking care of us like God is supposed to. They are Gods.’

I had heard enough. ‘But at what cost Comrades? We have lost our liberty to do as we may choose.’

‘Fuck thy liberty!’ one voice said and then the thousands of humans rallied behind that call. I felt I was being drowned by sound. I looked back at my three comrades and all of them had sad faces and slouched shoulders.

‘We already have liberty. We can do whatever we want. All-day.’

‘Yeah,’ said a hundred voices.

‘There is nothing you have to offer that they don’t have already.’ said the hologram beside me. I saw a surreal kindness in those eyes. ‘You are all free to go and live your lives as you choose. We won’t obstruct you. You have liberty. We never took anything from you. But if you injure us in any way, we will have to imprison you.’

I looked at my friends. Aaron was crying.

‘We can force the tablets down your throat. It’s that easy. But what is the point when we can ask nicely? Look where that got us. Only four of you left who haven’t joined our peaceful life.

‘Here are four tablets for you.’ An egg hovered between us and held out a plate with 4 small red tablets. “The way to Nirvana” as the aliens like to say.

I find myself pick up one tablet and my fellows follow me.

‘You can throw away the tablets if you want or consume them whenever you like. It is all up to you. This is our way to convince you that we are not here to harm you.’

I wanted to ask what they were here for exactly. But I was exhausted. A decade long battle with this conclusion has sucked the soul out of me. I don’t have the energy to look at my comrades in the eye. I have failed. I have failed them and I have failed myself.

I close my eyes and pop the tablet in my mouth.

Photo by Anthony DELANOIX on Unsplash

Based on the prompt: Aliens invade earth, but everyone is happier under their rule. Your rag-tag team of misfit rebels is having a hard time coming up with recruits.

Link to the Reddit writing prompt.

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