The sun looks the same. Its red glare condemns a redder land, pours blood over the bloodless dead, stretches light amongst the shadows.
Yet all has changed. We have won.
Distorted bodies coat the ground with alien limbs. The guttering rattle of death has been subsumed by an euphoric silence.
I want to scream, or laugh, but my throat chokes, overcome with the beauty of it: their warped contours draped awkwardly, still. No longer grappling. Free.
Bending to study one close by, I suppress the instinctual flinch, the urge to reach for my holster; I am safe. Watery eyes, liberated from the malign stare which they once perpetuated, are all that confront me now. Oddly innocent in their blankness.
As if testing myself, I slide one arm under the stiffened body and pull it into me. Cradled so, the tiny form betrays nothing of its former self.
My mind wanders lightly over the landscape, littered with lost lives.
I remember watching these bodies gratuitously slaughter one another. I remember the holes into which they stuffed their mutilated peers. Crunching bones and compressed flesh, more and more…
and more and more.
I remember my bewilderment as I watched them rip gashes in the ground and stretch, with those odd, elongated limbs, holes in the sky.
I remember that particular alien. It looked just like the rest but we knew it was different. It had houses everywhere, where it was visited by all the others. It told them to kill each other. It told them to throw the bodies in the ground. It told the bodies to do the same.
Suddenly, the hard creature in my arms is too cold. I make as if to look at it but find I can’t. Instead, I imagine it thanking me, thanking us for saving them from themselves. Can these humankinds feel gratitude? I never really thought about it before.