The Final Sleep of Xena

I grinned as I turned to face my sibling. That ought to deter them because the barrier was finally finished. I couldn't help but believe, though, that I was being overly optimistic. We had put in a lot of effort to erect this electric barrier, which was 100 feet tall. We were certain that electricity was a Vizard's worst fear because it instantly killed them. So the tool of choice was going to be electricity. The Vizards would be in for a rude shock when they arrived because it was only a question of time before they smelled us out. All the electricity in the station was redirected towards repelling the imminent Vizard attack.

They came in waves, thousands of this species attacking at once. The first attack came from the south. They were very fast creatures, in the blink of an eye they were upon us. The fence worked like magic. The second wave came from the east, but the fence held up very well. The final and most vicious attack came from the North. The scale of the attack dwarfed the first two, even the electric fence fell in the face of such an assault. My platoon was the only thing that stood in their way now. ‘Captain, what should we do?’ My brother asked in a small voice as he watched our great fence fall. ‘Remember your training and you’ll be okay,’ I said unconvincingly. I knew in my heart mankind was lost unless…. Captain Kyra.

This species of horrid arachnids scoured the cosmos in search of carbon-based life to devour. Additionally, every planet they inhabited, they left only chaos and destruction in their wake. The Vizards were a species whose metabolism entirely depended on the conversion of chemical energy to light. Thereby, they fed on every plant and animal on their way. We met them head on and managed to contain them because of the fact they couldn’t all fit through the fence but our numbers were dwindling very fast. They mauled our soldiers like rabid beasts and hunted down the ones who, luckily or unluckily, escaped their jaws.

This war against the Vizards has run on for about 20 years now. Every last human outpost and base has been decimated save for Fort Wallace. Just when all seemed lost, a young Captain Kyra had come up with an ingenious idea. He had a theory, his theory was that such a large hoard must have a queen that was not only spawning fighters but also controlling them. He had a team of six of our best agents had been given the assignment to find and destroy the Queen of the Vizards. He was our last hope because we were losing. My platoon has just been overrun by the arachnoids and it is only a matter of time till they break the last defenses on the Fort. The last hope for humanity was to defend the fort with everything we had until Captain Kyra successfully executed his mission. His scouts had found the Vizards’ queen and they had set out to destroy her and hopefully end our imminent extinction.

But as I lie here dying, I can only dream of how far as a species we have come while hoping that Kyra will succeed as I drift into what our ancestors must have called sleep. As hard as it is to imagine, there was a time when humanity had yet to make contact with other intelligent beings. My grandfather used to tell me stories of our former planet. Although he made it sound like it, he could not have been alive during the Earth’s days. I still remember the skin on the back of his blotched and wrinkled hands as he gestured animatedly amidst one of his tales. He spoke of how the sky would shift every twelve hours from light to total darkness. How an entire planet filled with billions of bipeds like me would be cast into darkness. The latter would automatically put them into low energy modes they called sleep.

Essentially, my Xena curriculum taught me that our ancestors on Earth were merely inferior beings who lay in hibernation for almost half of their entire lives. As a child, I always found it hard to conceive the idea of sleep. I tried to fathom how underdeveloped our minds must have been to lie in stasis for eight hours a day. Then, it must have been because of the weird solar cycle. Here on the planet, two red dwarf stars flanked each side of the orange horizon to bathe the leafy planet in a perpetual sunset. Probably as a mere adaptation, humanity for once became fully awake creatures that could now haunt planets throughout their entire life spans.

It has now been two millennia since our ancestors departed Earth in a space rush to flee the overpopulation on our mother planet. Xena was one of the 93 colonies inhabited by humans since the Great Interstellar Migration. However, once a beautiful paradise full of tall lush flora, she now lay in what seemed like an everlasting shroud of darkness ever since the attack by a hoard of Vizard warships. The latter had taken us by complete surprise. Reports of the annihilation of the other colonies had reached us too late. For millennia, we had lived in ignorance that other intelligent life forms existed. Now we were paying the ultimate price of our ignorance. ‘Captain! Captain! I opened up my eyes and looked at my little brother; he was smiling. ‘He did it!’ he shouted. That could only mean one thing. Captain Kyra… Slowly I drifted into the darkness.

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