Once An Alien…!

Radick’s flaming locks fanned his chiseled tace. Prominent eyebrows bristled pewter above deep-set eyes the colour of deep oceanic pools, the foreboding obsidian belied the warmth of his soul. Angular cheekbones in his swarthy countenance made him look like a quartz outcropping on the distant hills. He had adopted a solid stance, rock solid on the uneven ground. His muscled torso gleamed in the bright daylight, like a hunk of hewn granite. Some would have called his figure squat, but he came from a heavy gravity planet and was built almost square. The spike he held beside his frame was thick, heavy and a trusty weapon. He doubted the locals would even be able to lift such weapon, they were puny, these creatures.

Als an alien invader, the indigenous creatures were wary of his kind; he was not harsh, like his leader who whipped any being not adhering strictly to the Laws of Invasion, whereas Radick was somewhat more lenient and passed on the finer points, more for a happier life.

He was tired of moving from planet to planet, subjugating the local population, if there was one, reaping the benefits that planet could offer his race then moving on. His partners were sat back on home world awaiting his return. That future seemed a world or twenty away. His children were growing without his guidence. He missed them.

Gazing into the distance, Radick watched the star disappearing over the horizon of rolling hills. The fading light gathered in his deep eyes, turning them a lighter shade for a few heartbeats, then disappearing into darkest obsidian once more. His hair lost the colour that the star highlighted, becoming gnarled in the growing darkness.

Soon it would be fully dark and he would rather be back at base, having sustenance and resting, discussing any events with the rest of his group of the invading force. Turning, squaring his impressive shoulders, he retraced his steps, leaping small rocks that strewed the terrain. It would be a short trek. He glanced at the skies filling with bright stars as the darkness approached. There were billions of them in various patterns, a lot different from home skies.

Strange shrieks assaulted his ears. A night-flying bird called from one of the high black plants to his left. His eyes, growing accustomed to the dark atound him, searched the black shapes, watching to see where the sound came from, what kind of bird it was. Some, if caught, were quite edible, in fact, tasted good. Trouble was, they were hard to bring down with a spike.

On this planet, the indigens were adept at hunting, or so he had found. He had coaxed a couple a while back to catch one of the flying ones. Not bird, but furry. It wasn’t too good to ingest. They spiked him a bird later which tasted better. They indicated it was a ground dweller. Radick liked it and shared it with the others.

T he bright star breached the horizon. Winds blew across the plain where tall plants weaved from side to side. A time of great noise. Those birds calling to each other. Dagrit came in, a small furry creature on the end of his spike. It was not the first he had caught and was soon busy removing the entrails and outer coat. A small fire glowed and a hot stone to the side sat awaiting the meat.

When they had eaten, the light was full. Radick waited instructions, listening for sounds from the distance. Dagrit grumbled. “We could be here all the day. The Leader should have been here during the dark phase. Why di we have to wait around getting tired, and with little to do?”

“You moan too much, Dagrit,” complained Radick. “Things are going well. No need for training, it is an easy conquest.”

“I want to be on the move. I desire to get back to Home world.

“And you think I do not?” Radick replied, wishing the Leader would turn up and give them all commands. The rest of the team, though speaking softly in the background, were agreeing with Dagrit. “Quiet the rest of you or you will be reported to the Leader when he comes.”

Their voices became more like whispers, but they did not stop. He wasn’t second so he had no control to exert. Radick moved from the fire, stepping over to the perimeter. A wind had arisen and although the star had plenty of heat beating down, he felt a chill sweep through his chunky body. He shivered involuntarily, gathering his outer apparel close around his masive shoulders. It was worn, brought little comfort, was whipped as the wind blew stronger.

Flames from the meager fire were battered, almost going out. “More kindling,” he called to one of the team. “The Leader will need a beacon. More kindling, quickly'” His comrades set to work, gathering a few twigs here and there. It was an open plain, not much burnable material. Every bit of burn material was shoved on the fire which burst into a blaze of light, only to die down once the flames had consumed it.

‘Not good enough,’ Radick yelled at them. ‘Go further, hurry!’

There was grumbling but the team got to their feet and loped off across the plain, searching for dead plants. Some covered the ground quite close to the camp site, making sure they had missed nothing. Others, in pairs, set off to travel far into the distance where tall branches grew around the base of low hills. Whilst they were gone, Radick stripped some if his under uniform and fed it slowly to the fire, trying to keep the flames going until the teams arrived back.

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