The weather was warming up and Jack was canvassing the hills in his area of the world. His mood was upbeat and he noticed that he wasn’t the only one out today. Many were walking along the same path as he, some at a rapid pace. Everyone seemed to have tunnel vision as they went about their way, each focusing on the task at hand and most didn’t seem to acknowledge one another as they crossed each other’s route on the wide open landscape. “Isn’t it funny how self-centered we are?” he thought to himself. As Jack drew closer to the new building site he saw more and more members of a large construction crew. He was sent by his commanding officer to inspect the site and be on the watch out for any illegal aliens in the immediate vicinity. The army’s purpose was simple . . . protect the citizens at all cost. “Maybe we should build a wall to keep them out,” Jack mused. As Jack was a little higher on the food chain than most of the crowd they would often nod as he passed by. It was a sign of respect but it could be interpreted as fear as well. Jack didn’t feel superior to any of them. In fact, he often wondered if he could have been a builder in another life. But, he knew that he was born to be a warrior . . . it was obvious in his physique and in the way he carried himself.
It was peacetime and the land prospered with economic growth and positive change. Jack’s father had told him that it would be like this one day. His dad had been a Field Captain and he had a lot of stories to tell Jack as he was growing up . . . stories of beings not of this world, with remarkable strength. Most of the stories were rather graphic and some were unbelievable, but Jack always believed his father and others who had survived the war. Most were gone now, including his father, and a new generation of soldiers remained to protect the homeland. Jack’s battalion had just completed field exercises close by and measures were being taken to prepare for an unannounced invasion. Jack and his unit were trained exclusively for mortal combat and they felt like they were ready for anything. After inspecting several other building projects, Jack returned to his own dwelling and fell fast asleep. It had been a long week.
Saturday morning came early and Jack was awakened by a vibration coming from deep within the ground. It was unsettling and he had never felt anything like it before. He quickly rose and ascended to the roof to get a lay of the land. He had a hard time of keeping on his feet as the vibration got stronger and louder. Once at the top he could see the source of the commotion right away. It was a large machine that looked to be bigger than his command headquarters! The machine was unlike any structure he’d ever seen before. It seemed to be destroying everything in its path and it was moving quickly. Others had followed Jack through the main entrance of the residency and he was pushed aside as they scurried frantically to get away. Jack’s jaw dropped as he looked at the large machine and all of the chaos it had started. Suddenly, his mind went back to a story his father had told him about such machines that had taken out most of his generation in the war. The story had been incredulous when his father had told it and Jack had given him a patronizing smile at the time. His father had said “Don’t be a disbeliever, son. Your survival depends on your total belief in their existence!”
Many of Jack’s comrades at arms lived in the same quarters as Jack and they now assembled to his vantage point. The machine was closing in on their location at a fast pace and they took a united stance as it started to roll over their “hole in the wall” domicile. The air pressure suddenly climbed as Jack looked up to see large revolving fan blades cut through the dirt and surrounding grass. Jack, and many of his comrades were lifted to the top of the blade assembly and then thrown clear of the apparatus through an exit window on the side of the mechanism. A bit stunned, Jack looked at the scene of his immediate surroundings. “Holy crap!” he thought. The dirt dwelling that he once called home was obliterated! Jack looked up to see something he had not noticed before . . . a creature that stood several stories tall, who was walking on two legs and holding on to the machine with two large, reaching appendages. “This must be the alien that is driving the machine forward!” shouted Jack to himself. Surprisingly, most of Jack’s companions were still intact. Without a word they attacked the alien at his feet. Working as one, the red-colored group stabbed, pinched, gnawed, bit, and chewed the flesh of the foreign beast. All of their training had prepared them for this engagement and it seemed to be working. The beast reached down and turned the machine off and all was quiet once again. He then left their world as abruptly as he had arrived.
Jack knew that it was time to re-group and get ready for another assault but he couldn’t get everyone’s attention. His unit was scattered and several worker ants were already beginning to rebuild the dwelling. It was organized chaos. The beast returned with a large container gripped in one limb and a can that read “Bud Light” in the other. Jack saw his life flashing before his eyes. The monster sprayed the whole area with a liquid poison that had an immediate effect on Jack’s hoard. All at once, it seemed, the red army succumbed to the liquid and became lifeless. With a loud “psssst’ noise, the man opened the Bud Light and swallowed. “Damn ants!” he exclaimed. With his last breath, Jack yelled “We’ll be back!”