Oh how I wished I could make their deaths last.
Those…monsters, those horrid beings who would attack our home; the place where we grew up, where are families were, where everything was. I wish I could give them a death lasting years, decades, centuries, however long I could. I wish I could burn the same way they burned Kharak, oh how I wished. Instead, I gave them the next a quick clean death.
I hate myself for that.
They were coming for the cryo trays. I couldn’t allow my emotions to get the better of me. They were trying to destroy the remnants of my people. I would kill them quickly, cleanly, efficiently, and then move one. But I would hate it. I knew that much, much in the same way I knew Fleet Command’s words would be forever burned into my mind.
“No one’s left… everything’s gone. Kharak is burning”
And so I kill them, every one that I can see. The bits of debris floating in the void are mementos to for eternity; little markers of my hatred.
It’s not enough. It can never be.
My squadron is silent; not one callout, no catcalls, no confirmation of kills. It’s silent, a moment of mourning. The silence is comforting, the same way a blanket is. It protects you from the cold. But the cold remains. It always will, I think.
Eventually (I don’t know when), we’re called back by one of the communications officers, with a defeated and oh so old voice. I recognize it, just barely, that tired voice. It used to be from a one of those new recruits; so excited all the time, curious to a fault, and so niave. That kids dead now, more or less.
I don’t think anyones going to survive this. Not really. Even Command, famous for her monotone and emotionless voice, sounded empty. We all sound empty. Like husks, baring a resemblance to what we are, but are now just…empty.
Damn those things. Damn them all with their fire and their ships. Damn them all to whatever hell awaits them.
I eventually get out of my interceptor, on the Motherships docking platform, and I see the cryo-trays slowly being taken in by Salvage Corvettes. I see my squadron huddled together on one of the landed bomber’s wings just staring at them. I join them.
It’s still silent. Of course it is, what else could it be,
Kharak is silent, destroyed by firestorms. What was us burned too. So we are silent, both in memoriam and in recognition of what we are now.
Our homeworld is all that’s left to us. Most everyone has figured that out by now, I think. In that moment, that moment of both comforting and crushing silence, we all make a simple pledge, every one of us.
We’ll get them there. Us vengeful ghosts of a dead world, we’ll get those innocent people there, with our blood and guts and with fire and brimstone, we’ll get them there.
Then, perhaps, we can come back to life. Or perhaps, we simply stay dead. It doesn’t matter.
All that matters is the journey
This was my tentative attempt at a little Homeworld piece, looking into the mind of a pilot during the Kharakian Genocide. Please reply, as feedback is appreciated in all forms.