We are a Legion. An unstoppable army, that destroys everything that stands in its way. We are the locust of the galaxy, killing, pillaging and burning on every planet we visit. All of the species in the universe tremble under our power. But we were different. Every one of us remembers the olden days, the days of intergalactic peace, the days when we were more concerned about our own conflicts than by conquering the vast space. We are not mindless brutes starting wars without a reason. Everyone would love to go back to those old days. But we can’t. We fly through the space, killing innocent for our own goals. And even if many of us question the morality of this choice, we never look back, we continue our campaign knowing the evil we bring to others. We are united in one goal, survival.
It all started in the year 2050, when the first truly functional space engine, allowing travel to the distant galaxies was created. The creator of this invention was an English scientist, living in London. The name was lost in the depths of history, not that it matters anyways. The invention brought joy to many people, millionaires were holding parties, scientist all over the world drinking champagne, “A great step for the mankind” they all said. Finally after all those years of being trapped on our motherly planet, we could start exploring galaxies. Create new colonies, meet other species. It wasn’t a surprise that soon NASA wanted to send man out of the solar system. Finally, break the final frontier. Only four years later we found out that our great step for the mankind, was a step towards its doom.
The expedition we sent came back with great results. New materials, minerals, even life on other planets was found. And with that life, came new diseases we never knew before. Soon our whole world was in ruin. The nations were falling, the people were dying from hunger, sickness and cold, the epidemic was spreading on animals and plants, slowly killing all life on our planet. The viruses and bacterias were everywhere. In our water, in our air. And there was no cure. Well, at least we thought there wasn’t. We turned to our science in desperate call for help. We started changing our bodies for mechanical parts, trying to cut off the way for diseases. Soon, we stopped resembling humans, we became merely machines, only shadows of ourselves. But even if we managed to slow our decay down for a bit, there was one part of our bodies that we couldn’t exchange. Our brains. We could cut off a hand and make a new on from scraps of metal. We could change our hearts into simple pumps, we could exchange our blood for simple synthetic substance. But in our brains, was our consciousness, our soul, our whole being. But somebody found a path.
I was a scientist, working in an underground facility, it was located somewhere around the territory of the old France. Or what was left from it. I was currently working on an surgery of one of the soldiers who got infected. He was lucky to have survived so long without changing his body parts. I was already a machine. Yellow mechanical eyes, looking from behind a steel head with a gasmask built in it.
“Now” I said with a squeaky mechanical voice. “We are going to put you into narcosis and before you know it, it will be done.”
“Doctor” He asked me in his human voice, something that I haven’t heard for a while. “Will I look anything like my older self?”
I did not respond, he knew the answer already. There was nothing but sadness in his eyes. I began the procedure. I put him into narcosis, waiting till he will fall asleep. I’ve taken a scalpel and cut his skin on his head open. My job was not to change every part of his body, only to get his brain out so I can put it in a ready preset. To do so, I needed to literally cut the skull to pieces. I needed to put him into a sitting position and make a clear cut thought the middle of the skull. To do so, I had to take skin off his head….
“Hey, Johnny” I was greeted by a familiar robotic voice behind me. I turned around to see a bulky creature with a large shirt with blue and white pattern. “Get moving, Edward wants to see you.”
“Sorry, George, but it isn’t the best time” I said pointing with my metal hand at the soldier. “You see that I have work to do.”
“Don’t worry, another guy has been assigned to it” He said calmly.
“Wait… what?!” I asked with surprise and annoyance in my voice. “I’m supposed to just leave him like that? How do I know that that other guy doesn’t fuck shit up?”
“Chill dude.” He said, trying to calm me down. “They say he is good, and Edward really wants you here, he says that he found something good.”
I sighed in annoyance, but I had no control over this. If the research director wanted me here, I had no right to refuse. I left my scalpel on the floor, and left the room. Outside was an another “human” waiting here already. He looked exactly the same as I did, as there was no time for making invidual parts for every person. Only thing that he could be recognized with, was his ID card. So were I. I followed George to the labs, making a horrible clanking noise when walking. It was a minor malfunction and I didn’t yet have time to fix it. When I’ve entered the room, I was greeted with happy voice of my boss.
“Johnny! Good to see you!” His speaker squeaked happily, which surprised me for obvious reasons.
“What is up with all this joy?” I asked gloomily.
He would probably smile if he could.
“I have something for you.” He squeaked happily. “You must see this, come quickly.”
He led me to another dark room where he closed doors behind him. There was someone else standing here.
“Examine him.” He said with excitement in his synthetic voice. I listened. I examined his vitals and made my judgment.
“Not much hope.” I said gloomy. “He has maybe three months left.”
I knew that I was really harsh on the whole subject, but I didn’t really care. All those years made it normal for such sort of thing to happen.
“Now, look at that” He said as he pulled out something weird from his pocket. It looked like a red ball of light, floating above his hand. I looked at it curiously.
“What is that?” I asked following the trail of weird luminescent ball.
Then he just released the thing onto the guy who was standing here with us. As I remember, he never spoke anything. The ball circled around him as he followed it with confusion, and then it just… went into him. I remember how he was trying to touch the area where it entered, trying to find a hole or anything that would rationalize this event.
“Now, examine him again.” Said Edward.
I quickly did, with great interest. Whatever this thing was, it must have been something big if Edward was so excited about that. I remember my shock when I found out that his sickness was again in the most early state of the development.
“I… But…” I said in confusion as I looked at my colleague. “He is fine! It’s back… How?!”
The recently cured “man” was just as confused as I were.
“Johnny. This is the cure for the epidemic. No, this is the cure for all the diseases that exist. What you just witnessed was life energy in it physical form.” His speaker squealed with excitement.
“But… is this even possible?!” I asked in shock of what I’ve just witnessed. “That… that is big Edward! This… this could save what’s left from humanity!”
I still remember the words I’ve spoken then. And to this day I remember the cheering of all the “people”, the great feeling we’ve all felt. And the disappointment when we found out that a non-intelligent species were producing not enough life energy to heal a single “man”. Even if we killed an entire planet. We all were battling in a debate what to do. But the truth is, we already knew. We built a ship and we went into the galaxy looking for intelligent life.
Right now, we are living by war. Killing other species to gain their life energy. We take slaves, only to breed them for our own purposes. But we never kill everything, we always leave some, we wait for them to start again, and come later to harvest our crop. We know we are doing evil, but we are doing it only to survive. We don’t start wars to gain colonies or territory. We are like pirates, claiming the men and cargo, leaving the ship be or burning it down. But now, there is one world that we’re heading for, one world which may have enough energy to finally put end to our suffering. I called us a Legion before, but this isn’t true. We are not a legion, the truth is, we are a horde. Chaotic pack of robbers, killers and rapists. Once proud species now degraded to simple criminals. We are all lead by one of us…
I stop writing and look around my quarters. I feel tired and confused as I wonder, what made me stop writing. I look around and see light from the lamps shining into my room. There stands a giant bulky, metallic body.
“Come Johnny.” Says George. “Captain Razorbeard wants to see you.”