Every good leader knows that a war can't be won by sheer strength alone. There have to be strong brains, too. That is what the few remaining humans have left in Jared and Avis. Jared is the young, tough soldier who fights the alien invaders out in the ruins of what was once the flourishing city of Detroit. Avis is the youthful doctor who struggles to keep what is left of humanity surviving, while trying to figure out what make the Outwarders tick.
That's not their only enemy, either. Their biggest adversary may be within their own ranks. Will it tear Jared and Avis apart just as they finally accepted their feelings for one another? Or will it make them grow closer together?
Ten years after the Outwarder invasion
Everything came down to one shot. If it was too far to the left, then they would be attacked and if it were too far to the right, then it would hit his second-in-command, Eddie, in the arm. Call him crazy, but Jared preferred a straight-on shot. Both because he liked his face right where it was--thank you very much--second, Eddie is his friend. If Jared were to wound Eddie, then he'd never hear the end of it. Eddie always held a grudge and never let you live something down. Jared still hears about the time he hit Eddie with a baseball bat in the head and that had been five years before the Outwarder invasion. Damn, you put a small dent in a guy's head one time and he never lets you live it down.
Something was out there, watching them and it wasn't human. Jared's gut screamed that. The motherfucker just hadn't had the balls to show itself yet. That didn't surprise Jared, though, the Outwarders were only brave when they were in multiple numbers. That, and when they had a damn mothership flying over them. Then they became brutal, killing everything in their path and showing no mercy, leaving behind a trail of blood, gore and destruction.
"Come out, come out, wherever you are," Jared called.
"I don't know if you're perpetually stuck at seventeen years old or if you just refuse to grow up," Eddie replied through his headset. "For all you know there could be a hundred of those things out there and you're only egging them on."
"There's not." Jared saw a flash out of the corner of his eye. He quickly turned around, gun aimed, but whatever it had been had already disappeared. Damn, the Outwarders could be slick when they wanted to be. That was one of the many things that made them so superior. One would see just a flash of a grey shadow before the alien was on them, viciously ripping them apart.
"What makes you think that there's only one?" Eddie challenged.
There was no response to that. One of the reasons that Jared had climbed the ranks of leadership was acting on his gut and Eddie damn well knew it. He fought head-on, without thinking about the possible outcome. Of course, another reason was because of the high human death toll--they were simply running out of commanders. The situation was making it necessary for the military to promote soldiers faster than a spider pouncing on a fly.
A blast came from the right, hitting Eddie and sending him flying back. Not even pausing long enough to give out a I told you so, Jared spun around and shot off his assault weapon, raining the alley with bullets.
Just as Jared thought, he didn't hit the fucker. It wasn't because the Outwarders wore high-armor. In fact, Jared had yet to see one with even a stitch of clothing on. That gave humans a big, old, eye-full of ugly. The bastards were over ten feet tall, with a slimy, grey skin. Their mouths were peaked outward, giving them a bird-like appearance. Except when these creeps opened their beaks, one was met with row upon row of razor sharp teeth. Then there was the sound they made when they approached. One would expect to hear loud footsteps or even a flip-flop sound on the ground, since they had such huge fucking feet. That isn't the case, though. It'sfar more sinister than that; they make a sound that almost sounds like a long drawn out yaaaaawwn.
Then Avis, one of the smart people left in society, figured out a weakness in the fighting. They always attacked in the same pattern--two zips to the right, then one fast zag to the left. That left the soldiers with a small opening where they knew the creature would be. The tricky part was, because the fuckers move so fast, the men had to fire off the shot before the creature landed. If they were even one millisecond off, then the creature was on them.
Good thing Jared never missed--well, at least almost never. This time, however, Jared's aim was off and he missed. Damn it! Jared hated it when that happened. The invaders get pissed when someone tries to kill them. Go figure. The Outwarder sent an atom surge toward him. Jared had just enough time to lift up his shield arm. Since it was made from scrap metal they'd collected from the invader's downed motherships, the surge harmlessly bounced off. Besides that, the soldiers had no other form of protection. They simply wore old SWAT uniforms and helmets, which left so much exposed.
Since Jared knew that it would take the Outwarder exactly ten seconds to recharge its juice enough to let off another surge, he acted quickly. He let out another blast of his gun. This time, he hit the right spot. Yes!
An unholy scream echoed through the rubble-strewn streets as the alien's bulbous head shook violently from side-to-side. Then the Outwarder's head flew off, leaving behind pieces of grey flesh and bright red innards. For a few moments, the creature's body ran around in circles before it finally crumpled to the ground, right next to what was left of its head. Not the prettiest sight at all.
As always, Jared felt bad for killing the invader in such a horrendous fashion. Then, as always, he looked around at the city that had once been Detroit. What had once been a booming area, full of life, was now empty and dead. Rubble from downed structures and shells of buildings were the only things he saw. Nearly every human and animal had been murdered by the Outwarders; the few remaining survivors had run to old underground tunnels for shelter. While the smell of decay that had once rolled from the destruction was long gone, Jared still swore that the stench was burning his nose. That's when his compassion evaporated and he needed to kill more of the invaders. To kill all of them. Then maybe they might just be on their way to getting even with those alien bastards.
Cursing under his breath, Jared rushed over to Eddie. Eddie was doing a lot of moaning, but he was alive, so that was a plus. Then Jared saw the long burn mark on Eddie's arm. Not only was it still sizzling, but the wound was deep and the skin around it was black and crispy. Jared didn't have to be a doctor to know that these were third degree burns and that Eddie was in big trouble.