[Bah, I'm bored. This makes unlucky project 13. I don't know what it means yet, Its some sort of muddled...thing?]
The sense of freedom, yes...that wild sense of freedom, running through the dark Hiigaran jungle which no light penetrated.
Above the brush hints of sunlight broke through the thick carapace of trees and plants; to shine on the mossy cool ground in broken, random shards.
Gaal slipped through the trees and watched the sun fade away. Dark clouds of dust began to intermingle with the clouds, and as he approached his clearing above the Alkatai Mountains he looked down at the capital city from afar...expecting to see the giant towers of Primus...and finding jagged ruins.
From above Hiigaras skies the high pitched scream of flying projectiles from orbit. The distant thunder of artillery, all unknown to him-reached his ears, and he trembled at the alien sounds.
Yes, fear. That ancient emotion, the oldest and most essential to survival went through him like a wave of anxiety, his body preparing for what may come.
The boy only wore his summer clothes for this walk through the jungle, the routine walk to Up Here, his secret place, which had been rudely interrupted by something...
Fire rained from the heavens. Gaal looked up, a unknowning witness to the destruction of the Hiigaran empire. Small streaks flew through the sky and went for the Hiigaran cities. The distant thunder of fire and smoke went up over the main city.
He moved closer to the edge of the precipece and gazed to the bottom, and found his village, hidden in the trees. The vast acres of rice paddies nearby would mark the village for unseen eyes.
Sheer terror overwhelmed him as a box-looking flying thing, a giant...bird?...flew over him, and then stopped, slowlying descending on the village as the distant rumble continued.
Thunk! Something dropped from the belly of the metal bird and crashed into the village.
A blast of fire knocked him away like a toy, the explosive force tearing away at the small plateau he watched from.
Now he was intrigued now, unwitting to the fact his family was gone. For now his interest was in the flying metal birds of fire.
More birds screamed through the air, and he waved. Nothing happened, and the sounds of war continued to drift to his naive ears.
He sat on a rock as the guns fell silent...he waited...and waited...nobody came, and then he realized that nobody would ever return.
The boy in thin clothes stood at attention. Rescuers?
He turned around and looked about for someone, something that should emerge from the brush? His children-friends? An elder, his parents? Anybody?
The grass silently swayed to the dance of the wind. No sound reached his ears.
A mechanical sound. Now that could not be normal. What weapon could he select? Rock, branch? Rock?...Rock.
He looked for a rock, and found one. About the size of his hand clenched...would it work? He picked up the jagged thing and looked around.
As he felt his chest tear open against the hardened tungsten slug he dropped the rock and fell against the cool earth he had played upon for so many years. Weakened eyes gazed into the small clumps of moss.
And then he was aware of hissing. A dark mechanical shadow was cast in front of him, and the sudden weight of something on his neck followed.
Hard metal pressed against his skull. A sudden crack, and then the clearing was silent as before.
Two metal birds flew overhead, a pair of interceptors forcing down a small shuttle by riddling it with DU penetrators.
The large figure remained silent in its armor. A heavy glove reached for the rock the boy had dropped, and placed it in the sprawled figures hand, and clenched the dead fingers around it.
The man stood and looked around, and walked away.