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Todd Brier

Déjà vu

     It was only 104 degrees in the shade (yeah, what shade).   Just a few hours after sunrise, a cool March day in Ashland, Wisconsin, or should I say, in what was left of Ashland.  Things have changed in the past twenty years.  If someone had told me that one day I would be sitting in a bomb crater, taking my turn as a lookout, I would have told them they were nuts or on drugs.  But today I have my ass parked on a pile of rubble, keeping watch over what was once the largest fresh water lake in the world, now nothing  more than a gigantic mud puddle.  Boy, how things have changed since I was 14.  Back then, I thought I was a man.  I realize now I was but a boy, living on the reservation, playing ball, going to school, hanging with my buds, doing nothing.
     In those days everyone was worried about the end of the world.  It was all over the TV, on the news, talk shows and even the History channel.  Everyone was talking in a “Revelations” type of voice about the day in December of 2012 when everything would be gone.  Who knew all those prophets, the Hopis, the Mayans, Nostradamus and others that were considered cracks would actually be somewhat close in their predictions.  They simply hadn’t seen the whole picture.  Yes, we had the droughts, the floods, green house gases, wars, global warming, and chaos.  That was right on the money.  The thing none of them had predicted was the factor from outer space.  The end times weren’t begun by a God or by the Anti-Christ; the beginning of the end started with a visit from a race of beings travelling to earth from their distant world. The governments of the world had been too busy fighting over oil, water, land and religion to watch the skies.
     Their arrival wasn’t like it’s always portrayed in the movies, where the aliens come down blasting everything to smithereens right away.  The alien visitors came all the way to our tiny blue planet for something we had a lot of and they desperately needed: Water. They coveted the beautiful wet stuff that covered two-thirds of our planet.  They weren’t particular about what kind of water either: fresh, salt, even polluted water.  They wanted it bad. 
     The Mole Men was the slang term Earthlings gave the aliens because they looked just like six foot moles.  They were hairless pink creatures with wrinkled skin and they had small, beady, almost absent eyes.  Who could have guessed that this biped rodent would cause so much death, pain and destruction?  The little pink bastards plan was to steal all of earth’s water and enslave its people, killing those humans who wouldn’t “bend to the knee.”
     I couldn’t believe what I was seeing the first time I watched one of their tanker ships fly low over a lake and suck it dry in a few hours.  The Mole Men first attacked all the fresh water lakes, then the rivers and streams, and finally they went after the oceans and the ice caps.  Soon after that humankind was struck by a virus that started wiping people out in terrifying numbers.
     The scientists knew the virus came from outer space, but they didn’t know if it just hitched a ride with the aliens or if they released it on purpose.  We may never know.  The disease started slowly at first, striking down the old, those with immunity problems, and then everyone else.  For some reason manyAmerican Indians had a natural immunity to the virus.  The less-than-quarter-blood Indians didn’t fare as well.  It almost makes me laugh at the irony of it all, if it wasn’t also so damned sad: that what happened to the Indians of the Americas – genocide, ethnocide, and pandemic disease – was happening to everybody now.
     After three quarters of the world population was wiped out, the C.D.C finally came up with a cure that combined traditional Ojibwe treatments for gallstones and diarrhea.  My Father, Sitting Crow Sr, showed the scientists which plants to gather.  It gave me a great feeling of pride that the Ojibwe had helped save what was left of the human race.
      The Mole Men eventually started rounding up all the human “resisters” and placed them in so called “Relearning Centers.”  They actually were high-tech brain-washing camps.  Here, too, the Natives had an ace in the hole, especially the full-bloods, who were somehow immune to the process.  The Mole Men’s assimilation machines didn’t work on them.  The device was hooked up to the Indians dark-skinned, black-haired heads and turned on; it was supposed to make them compliant, but it did nothing.  The Indians still pointed with their lips.  And they still refused to sign the suspicious looking documents the Mole Men were always shoving in their faces.  Maybe Indians are just too hard headed.
     Son-of-a-Bitch, the time is going slow today.  I’ve only been on watch for two hours and it seems like a week.  Most likely it’s because I am hungry as hell, not much to eat any more without much water. I sure miss that good old, cold, real water, not this Hydro-Water we now drink.  It’s just not the same.  They claim it has no taste, but I can taste it - recycled piss, mud, the remains of the dead, and that polluted water from the Detroit area.  They say you get used to it, but I miss real water and this hydro shit is always warm.  But do you know what I miss more than an ice cold glass of water?  The shade of a big old maple tree.  Not many of those left, the bastards even killed earth’s trees.  They either killed them by not having enough rain or they used their technology to remove all the sap and water from them.  So now I have to sit here in the blazing sun, baking my brains away because of those wrinkly pink
     I miss TV too.  That was one of the first things taken out by the Mole Men after the battles started.  Then the cell phones, satellites, and the towers.  The whole communication network was destroyed by the Mole Men’s weapons; it all just melted away like commod cheese.  This didn’t happen right when they first arrived here on Earth.  They didn’t start out with killing, enslaving and stealing.  They came talking peace and trade with the humans.  All they wanted was a little water and a place to settle for a short while, and then they would leave for their home world.
     The world’s powers, the U.S., and even the U.N. didn’t like the idea at first, but then the Mole Men started sharing some of their superior technology with us.  They taught us how to use coal and not produce any greenhouse gases.  They gave us the knowledge of how to use the radioactive waste from nuclear power plants to make a safe fuel for cars  That sealed the deal, but it wasn’t long before this good thing started to become pricier.  Sure fuel dropped to 50 cents a gallon, but now the Mole Men were asking for more water and more land to settle on.  The governments turned a blind eye when the Mole Men started removing and pushing the humans farther away from their settlements, and pumping more water into their huge tanker ships.  More and more Mole ships kept coming from the stars, and the government still didn’t say a thing.  When the citizens complained the governments just said, “We are carefully considering all options.”
     Then the day came when a lot of humans just couldn’t take it anymore.  In America, some good old boys broke into a National Guard base and grabbed everything they could to fight the Mole Men. Spontaneous rebellions began to occur all over the world about the same time. Home militias were arming themselves and fighting the pink bastards.  But the humans never had a chance.  You can look back in history and see that the race with the more advanced weapons always wins.  The Mole Men’s lasers and their ability to block our electronic equipment and prevent it from working made it a short battle.  We were slaughtered like sheep; tens of thousands died in just a short few hours.  
     The world leaders finally opened their eyes from the sweet dreams they were having of a better, clean world.  All hell broke loose, alien ships filled the sky like the locusts in the Bible.  It was a nightmare of the worst kind.  The governments tried to use their armies but with everything dependenton electronics and computers, nothing worked.  The Mole Men just used their weapons to disable everything.  The rockets, tanks and fighter jets either stopped in their tracks or never moved in the first place. The space ships flew over the major military bases and melted everything thing in one quick sweep.  Even all the factories that made anything related to any kind of weapons were destroyed in a blink of an eye.
     The capitals of the world were the next targets - gone like the swat of a cow’s tail.  Now, with no leadership or major fighting equipment, the aliens went to town and started draining the world of its water.  I’m not saying we went down without a fight; we kicked some butt, too.  Bullets went in the heads of many of the pink bastards.  With small groups around the world doing hit and runs we did as much damage to them as we could, but it was not easy.  They had better weapons and equipment and out  numbered us 100 to 1.
     This was about the same time the plague started kicking in real hard and wiping out hundreds of millions.  In reality the Mole Men got rid of most of us without lifting a weapon at all.  The disease took care of that. 
     Life sure has changed since I was a youngster hanging with my buds.  Now I stand watch, go on raids for food and water, and attempt to kill some of the ranking officers on the other side.   That’s not the only thing: I cut my hair and I am in a unit with a bunch men and women from races that I never would have hung around with before all this.  I also work in an underground factory where we make bullets.  Some of us reloaded our own rounds for years for hunting.  Now we use those bullets to kill six foot pink moles.
     What a laugh.  We use to live above the ground with the trees and animals, enjoying life.  Now we eat and sleep in caves underground just like a mole or a rat does.  Makes a man almost laugh out loud, or cry like a baby.  Well, I see my replacement coming up the hill.  It’s bout damn time, because I am starving. I heard the cook had a treat for us today.  Someone caught a Mole Man, so we’re having fresh meat for a change.  You know those pink bastards taste just like chicken!