23:17 Mon 02 Jul 2007
[, , , ]

I saw her when we were at the gates. Her auburn hair caught my eye, and I fell in love. I looked away when the Marine Captain fired into the air. The crowd moved back, afraid. But we all remembered: plague. And surged forward once again.

The Marines did fire, and kill, and some of us broke and tried to run. This time someone shouted it, “Plague!” and that turned the tide. I saw her again, running past some of those who tore at the fallen soldiers.

I followed the crowd through the ships, but knew better than to attack those. While some wasted energy fruitlessly, I followed the leaders as they gathered groups for the next obstacle. Some of us had acquired weapons. For a time she was beside me, and I felt a thrill above what was already there. Now we all shouted “Plague!” and the guards at the inner gates were cut down as they fled.

Inside, there were more Marines, and some of our leaders died. I didn’t see her, but I saw weapons lying free, and took those. It was smoke and flame and confusion, but I thought: plague. I killed four on the way through, but of us saw no others left beside myself.

In the empty command room, I remembered what the leaders had said, and knew what to do. Tripping the power shutdown in a precise order would damage the port irreparably. I opened the first panel and was stunned by terrible pain in my back. Falling, I turned to see her, pistol in hand. I struggled to rise as she approached, and when she was near could only gasp, “plague…”

But she said, “Fool.” And as she raised the gun I realized she did not love me as I loved her.

(300 words)

Leave a Reply