Lily wanted to warn her police station but that was a dumb thought to have. It was highly likely that the entire planet was already on high alert and every abled body was prescribed to do something.
The police station was in disarray as every officer in the building was getting ready. Dawning bulletproof vests. Arming themselves to the teeth and walking to their garage with a hundred and one choice of riot control vehicle available.
“WILLIAM!” That name made Lily twitch. “Where the hell have you been!? Get your ass to the armoury and put a vest on. You’ll be on dispatch duty!” The lieutenant said as he kept his string of commands never breaking a sweat. But she could tell. There was a nervous twitch in his eyes. Well… actually the whole room was like that. Unsteadiness. Uncertainty. Fear. Doubt. Everyone understood this might be it. This might be their last day.
“Boss, I can help! Please!” Lily protested but the Lieutenant was having none of it.
“You’re a weak link in our operations William. Need I remind you of your impressive and ever growing medical track record?!” The guy snarled back making Lily pause. Ouch… She supposed there was nothing she could say. He was her supervisor. Her boss. She could only stand there and watch as almost the entirety of the police station emptied out leaving just her, Brook and two other women in charge.
Lily bitterly dawned a vest and found herself a rather old helmet. An old standard issue. How were they legally allowed to have these on hand, on a FORTRESS world!? She scuffed and rolled her eyes knowing nothing here was ever truly functional, All of it just being her delusion of security and peace as chaos ran through the streets.
She then went into the armoury and geared up with whatever was left. A sidearm, cuffs, taser, baton and a shotgun. Lily would later regret ever deciding to arm herself. Oh, how badly she would regret her decisions that day.
With her fully packing she finally sat down behind a dispatch table and listened. Calls were going out on all channels as cops flooded the radio signals, wi-fi, satellite uplinks (those that still worked). It was all just a mess. Nothing made sense and everyone was yelling.
It took Lily all but 5 seconds to simply drop the radio and step away from the coms table. Her eyes fixated on the room. A female officer was looking through the window, her gun at the ready. The fear in her eyes telling Lily she was about to shoot anything that moved. The other gall was nowhere to be seen. Lily wanted to look for her, however that attention was suddenly shifted towards Brook.
The poor girl was practically shaking her mind out, and only then did it hit Lily. Oh fuck… they were royally fucked weren’t they? This planet was about to be glassed into extinction and she could do nothing to prevent it. Holy fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!
Her mind was spiralling out of control again. Just looking at Brook made her realize just how bad it was. Defences were disabled. The Terran fleet was probably moving into position by now but by all means… us and what army… It felt futile. Useless. Like everything Terran kind built in the last millennia was but a worthless piece of scrap compared to the advance and innumerable force Affini presented them with.
Lily slammed herself against the wall right next to brook. Her hands, fishing out something from her pockets before producing a round white pill and offering it to Brook. “Here. This should help you calm down.” Lily said as she took her own dose. “It’s a sedative. Just enough to get those thoughts rolling again.” She added, all too familiar with how a spiralling mind felt.
“T-thanks…” Brook replied almost too quietly.
The two looked at each other for a good while. Either it was a mutual attempt at wanting to calm down while the drugs kicked in or a wordless exchange of worry. They both couldn’t really tell.
Silence was suddenly broken as the only other officer in the room called out to the two.
“Civilians on the streets guys!”
Lily shot up. What?! What were they doing there? Fuck… This was not good. Weren't they supposed to seek bomb shelters? What were they supposed to do? What was the protocol they were supposed to follow in such a situation? Lily forced herself to snap out of her lapse in judgment, or was that just the pill talking? Who knows. She definitely wouldn’t eat anything tonight. THAT fact was very clear to her with those pills in her system.
Lily quickly dashed to the door. Grabbing a megaphone that was left behind for some reason and opened the building’s front entrance wide open.
“Civilians are to take shelter! Please If your homes do not have designated bomb shelters seek refuge in the police station!” Lily called out before turning to her two colleagues. “Lock the door to the armoury. I don’t want any civilians arming themselves. FIND OUT where the other officer went. There were supposed to be four of us.” Lily hissed, quickly making way for the sudden barrage of civilians that came in.
“Please stop pushing! Walk in in an orderly fashion!” She shouted out hoping anyone would even care for her words at this point. Her eyes scanned the streets for the people that were left in it. Some walked away while others hesitantly looked as people began to cramp up into the station.
Lily was by the stars glad that her station was rather spacious, plenty of room in the back with spare in the roofed garage as well. By the time everyone was settled in, Lily paused as an unsettling sound came from the sky. Her breath was stuck in her throat as she dared not to look up to the heavens. Yet, she did. And boy did she regret her decision. Centurion of the 26th defence force. What happened?! It wasn’t but an hour that had passed when the Terran capital ship of the 26th defence force began to crumble and fall from the sky.
This wasn’t all however. Ships were now flying in. Affini ships! All Terran vessels were simply stationary, not a single shot fired.
“Brook! Get everyone to the back!” Lily shouted as she went to her desk to grab her shotgun. She second grabbed a radio and dialled it to the police force designated frequency.
It was gibberish. Of course it was gibberish, everyone was talking over everyone and no one made any sense. Lily looked up to the sky, as that looming mass of ships stood still. What were they doing? Surely by now this planet has seen how insignificantly it will get stomped on. Were they just rubbing it in?
Lily clicked her tongue as she loaded up the shotgun. If she was gonna go down protecting civilians, so be it. It was at this moment that her mind started to trail off. Drugs had started to kick in, flooding her worried mind with the most insignificant of things. While watching the approaching ships coming in for a landing her mind recalled random junk of her life. Like what she had for breakfast yesterday. Soft crepes with jam. Would she be able to eat it again? The weather forecast for the next few days, sunny all week! With a chance of invasion... The number of points her hometown scored in the previous games.
The radio was going absolutely crazy. Jumbled messes of people talking over each other as the fleet of smaller vessels ever so encroached on the big settlements.
A large sound pieces through the air leaving the coms temporarily silent. Everyone went quiet. The whole world probably, as that booming voice spoke though every radio, every speaker, every siren on the planet.
"Terrans! You have nothing to fear! Please surrender willingly or we will be forced to subdue you. Drop your weapons and none will have to suffer. Your army has been disabled and the crew is safely aboard our vessels. Surrender to the Affini Compact-"
The thing went on and on talking about wanting to have a passive victory while JUST demonstrating their terrible power. Lily didn't even notice when the nearest ship touched down but the coms were going absolutely crazy now.
Lily scuffed and turned it off. She wasn't going to get anything useful out of that gibberish except a panic attack.
Holy fuck! Lily ducked under the concrete railing of her station's stairway. It just now occurred to her how massive the ship was. Spanning the entire central park three football fields long and two wide. Lily crawled backwards and tuckered behind the door, her gun at the ready, her nerves firing on all cylinders. Her hands were shaking but that was to be expected in such a situation.
And so it began. The ship opened up letting loose hoards of… plant… people? Lily wasn’t exactly sure of what she was seeing. They were tall. Very much green in appearance and made of vines. With a mirage of glowing eyes looking around for any sign of life.
Oh shit, some of them were going straight towards the police station, or was Lily just imagining things again. Her body pressed up against the door, trying her best to hide her presence while the large masses of vines passed along.
Was she not their target? Armed personnel didn't interest them? Or did they simply not see her?
Gunfire broke out in the distance. A fight had started, yet somehow just as suddenly as it started, it died out.
Lily wished she didn't need to find out what was happening but yet the quieter it got the more irksome her nerves became.
She dialled down the volume on her radio before turning it back on.
There was nothing, no sound, just an eerie static she couldn't get past.
"Officer William Pine of UnPD reporting!" she said into the radio hoping for an answer. "Do you read me? Over."
Nothing. Just quiet meowls and moans she couldn't quite understand. They were mumbling something yet she couldn’t quite understand what it was.
The cop poked her head out again only briefly to assess the situation. A mistake on her part. Her eyes locked onto a particular shape in the crowd. Beautiful leafy colours danced in the wind, shrouding the bound and weaved light green vines that formed their body. The bark was unlike anything Lily had ever seen, mixing several shades of white and pink acting as plate armour for the weaved arms and legs. Her chest plate was even more radiant than the rest being half decorated by bark and half by vines and leaves covering the elegant dress of white below. Every part of that thing had strange flowers poking out from its body. From black to blue, to red and orange. Yet the most prominent of colours had to be a faint rose colour that filled most of its right hand, while the left was covered by a leafy cape of autumn coloured leaves shrouding whatever flowers that might be living under it. The creature's face was made of complex patterns of vines, bark and leaves all seemingly blending together, a larger rose coloured flower decorating the side of its head giving the xeno a rather beautiful complexion she failed to see in any other. Lily began to question how it was she saw so many details in such a short time. Or was it that she was staring for so long to notice it all? Those eyes; a dim rose gold seeming to draw Lily in just by the sight of them, as they waved their vines around presumably discussing something with their fellow comrades. It was then that the Affini noticed her. Their eyes met. Shit! Lily ducked for cover under the marbled wall that made up the staircase to the station.
She saw her. Lily was sure of it. Their eyes met. Probably. Maybe? Lily took another peek discovering the large plant was now walking- more like gliding its way towards the police station along two other Affini.
Shit. Simple statement. Fuck! Denial in her mind. Stars. What are we going to do?! Lily was going through her phases of questioning herself. How was she so stupid to give out her location this easily? Her mind raced as she tried to think of a game plan on how to evacuate the civilians from what might turn into an all out war for the police station. was she going to die? Right here right now? Protecting the frontlines as a 21 year old? She needed to do something. Anything!
Quickly she crawled back into the police station. "Hey." Lily nudged the office that was hiding behind the window looking just about ready to have a panic attack. "Lead the civilians through the backdoor. Find the next nearest shelter." Lily commands, pushing the officer to encourage her to go.
Lily then looked at Brook who had the same look in her eyes. That non verbal exchange of ‘are you gonna chicken out on me?' They had before Lily stood up. Determination in her eyes. She was already a fuck up in life. Best she could do was go down fighting while saving a few civilians from the horrors of war. "I'm going to buy us some time." She said, opening the front door wide and stepping out onto the marble stairwell.