Brother

It was simple. Humans had put a settlement on Kurthyak-04. However, Kurthyak-04 was assigned to us Kuzzik by the Galactic Coalition. Not that they’d know that, they left the Coalition, the fools. Since the closest Coalition ship was more than four hundred astronomical units away, we decided to take matters into our own hands.

We had heard about humans. We knew that they wouldn’t leave unless they were forced to. So, we put together a small raiding party to “remove” the human settlement. I was the leader of one of the strike teams that would attack the settlement on foot while our airships gave us cover from the skies.

It was simple. The humans had almost no defenses, it was an easy victory. The sight of the buildings burning, the sound of humans screaming in terror as they fled, it made me proud to be a Kuzzik. A race capable of routing the infamous humans. I was so lost in my pride, that I almost did not notice that a human charged at me, brandishing a sharp weapon in his hand.

His attacks were easy to deflect, and I quickly threw him to the ground and eliminated him. As I stood over my defeated foe, another human ran towards me, but he did not attack me. No, he fell to the ground and clutched the body of my foe, a liquid streaming from his orbital receptors. He called my foe his “brother”, a strange human word, like most of the human language. He turned to look at me, fury contorting him, and yelled all kinds of human obscenities at me.

Pathetic. There was no point in killing him, he could do nothing. So I moved on and his continued tirade of profane language faded into the distance. We toppled their buildings, burned their reserves, and watched their escape ships fly off into the cosmos.

It was simple. We had won. We had removed the humans from this sector of the galaxy. They shouldn’t have come back. But they did. More than we could have possibly conceived.

At first, we believed the reappearance to only be a rumor. After all, the only reports of them were from merchant ships coming from the far reaches of our perimeter. But the truth soon came crashing down upon us. They marauded their way through our territory, destroying our buildings, burning our reserves and forcing our people to escape ships, the monsters. The overwhelmed us, and the time soon came for me to take up arms to defend our chief planet from them.

I had heard stories of the size of the human invasion force, but they did not live up to the truth. Their starships blotted out the skies, there were more airships than I could count, endless waves of soldiers stormed our cities. We had no choice but to flee. I was assigned to cover our retreat and protect our people from the barbaric humans, and as a result, I was forced to watch our homes burn, our culture be destroyed.

A strike team of humans charged the back of our retreat. They shot down many of my allies, and our bullets merely deflected off their armor. If I was not already terrified then I was when I saw the leader of this strike team. It was the human’s “brother”. I recognized him and he recognized me. He charged at me at what I thought to be an impossible speed, his strike team following after.

I had just barely made it onto an escape ship and avoided him. I could still hear his muffled human words through the door as we were taking off. So there we were, a once proud race that had control over a large sector of the galaxy, to refugees cursed to wander space.

For a time, we traveled together as one nomadic species. But as the cycles passed, more and more ships broke away from our fleet and landed on other planets. We were now immigrants to other civilizations. I continued my life, worked in an honest trade, found happiness on my new planet. But I could not forget.

That “brother” haunted me. I had horrifying visions of him in my sleep. Him pursuing me endlessly, screaming human words I could not understand. As time went on these visions became more frequent and worse. Each time they ended I would wake up terrified and shaking. I, as well as many others, were concerned I was losing my sanity. Until I would have the worse encounter with him yet.

No dark visions plagued my sleep for several cycles, I was gladdened. My torture had ended. Until one lunar-half cycle. I had once again a sound sleep, no visions in my mind. But I was awoken by something cold pressed up against my skull. I looked up and my orbital sensors widened.

The “brother” stood over me, one of his human firearms pressed against my cranium. I panicked and begged for forgiveness, pleaded for mercy. But my cries fell on deaf auditory sensors. Just like I could not understand him, he could not understand me. Or so I thought. Until he spoke in my language, and he said only three words.

“For my brother.”

It was so simple. And then he pulled his trigger and everything was quiet, and everything was cold.

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allosaurus and stegosaurus battle in Planet of Dinosaurs by Tom Simpson