'Disorientation is a common side-effect to head injuries.' He rolled his head to the side, trying to fight down nausea. He couldn't feel his body, couldn't feel anything but the pounding in his skull. 'Amnesia is also frequent.' The words kept running through his head, mindless babble gleaned from the medical textbooks. It would be funny, if it weren't for the pain. Twenty-three and trying to make his way through college, aiming to be a doctor, and the only time he could actually remember his lessons was when he was suffering from the actual afflictions he was supposed to be able to cure.
He cracked open an eyelid and let the light filter in through heavy lashes, sending the throbbing in his skull to a new level, a quickened staccato that would make a drum core proud. Wretched life. What had happened? He rolled onto his back, coughing on his own spit, swallowing hard to keep his lunch down. Had he eaten lunch? Or was that what he was off to do? Yes, that was it. He was walking to the student union to meet with his girlfriend for lunch. She was a year younger and majoring in English. Pretty girl with long blonde hair. Very nice, always willing to listen to someone. That was one of the reasons he found himself so attracted to her, that and the fact she had a drop-dead gorgeous body. Maybe she had seen him fall or something. Was she by his side, waiting for an ambulance?
He opened his eyes all the way, expecting the stabbing rays of the sun to nearly blind him. They did not come, just a filtered grimy haze, the only thing that managed to penetrate the heavy layer of smoke that clotted the sky. Smoke? What was smoke doing on a campus like this? Was there a fire or something? Perhaps that was why there weren't people around him, pulling out cell phones to dial 9-11. He pushed himself into a sitting position, feeling bits of rock cut into his palm. The pavement was cracked and shattered, debris laying about him. He turned and gaped in disbelief at the remains of the building behind him. The fire was mostly gone, a couple tongues of green licking up from the ruined and shattered brick. Fire couldn't be green. That was impossible. But something had destroyed the building, blowing it to smithereens and sending gouts of oily smoke into the sky. He put one hand up to his temple. It was sticky right at the hairline and when he drew his fingers away there was blood on his fingers. A short distance away was a fist sized chunk of brick with blood and hair still clinging to the side. It would have made anyone else sick, but he was a doctor. Well, at least studying to be one.
Slowly, gingerly, he stood. Where were the sirens, the ambulances? Where were the paramedics, the police, firefighters? It was as if everything had ground to a halt. Then he looked around a bit more, taking in the horrible realization that this tiny little college town had been utterly devastated. Everything was in ruins. The familiar skyline was empty except for an occasional shell valiantly holding on, a curtain of smoke blocking off the sun. And there were dead around him. Crushed, ruined, burned bodies of his fellow students, their backpacks flopped to the side like a child's discarded toy. This time he did retch, falling to his knees and vomiting onto the barren grass. He shakily wiped his mouth, sucking in thick breaths of air. It tasted foul in his lungs and he fought down the instinct to cough or throw up again. Had Christ sounded the apocalypse already?
He heard voices. With a shudder he stood, swaying slightly, staggering towards them like the drunks that cropped up every Friday evening. It wasn't his fault. He had a head wound. Three figures appeared out of the scattered debris of this new battleground, this torn and broken campus. They were strangely lithe and he could not tell their gender from his distance. But he could hear their voices and so he stood there, transfixed until one noticed him. He or she pointed and all three stared at him. They exchanged words and the student slowly realized that they weren't speaking English.
Memory returned suddenly. He wasn't prepared for it and so he staggered and nearly fell as images flashed through his mind. Ships, dozens of them, sleek crafts that were impossible in this day and age swooping out of no where. Explosions, green fire consuming everything. And then, darkness. An invasion. Not the Second Coming after all, but an invasion of some kind. Earth? No, couldn't be. America didn't have this kind of technology, no one was even close.
Two of the figures broke into a run, the third snapped up what had to be a gun. He tried to turn and run but his depth perception vanished in a flash and he fell, catching himself with one hand and starting to stand again. He was too late. Something hard smashed into his spine and he went down, his ribs smashing painfully against the broken pavement, the breath being forced out of his lungs. He cried out, a sharp burst of pain, and the butt of the gun was planted firmly between his shoulder blades, pining him in place.
"What do you want?" he cried in desperation.
They didn't reply, just stood over him, talking to one another. They were human, their outfits like leather, loose and uniform in nature. Bulky guns with scopes attached to the top.
"I haven't done anything!" he gasped as one gestured down at him, not looking at his face, "I'm just a civilian."
The other nodded and leveled his gun, pointing the barrel directly at him.
"I haven't done anything!"
Panic filled his mind now, blind animalistic terror at this. Why was this happening? Was this some kind of cruel trick, a gamble he had lost against fate? His girlfriend's face flashed into his mind and he prayed she had died quickly. The gun barrel steadied and the invader caressed the trigger.
"I haven't done any-!"