Last Person on Earth
a/n: This started out as a writing exercise, and went from there. Now, I'm gonna try and mean it this time: OneShot! As tempting as it is to write a Daniel in the hospital bay chapter... I'm not used to first person writing, but I kinda like it. Please be kind.
Warnings: Violence, some gory details, death, mentions of suicide... angst... Y'know.
I was the last person on the planet, and there was a knock on the door.
There was nothing I could do. Maybe pretend I'm dead? No, I'd stand out against the fallen soldiers and mangled villagers. They wouldn't buy it. They'd single me out, pluck me from the bodies and tear me apart.
The entire world had been wiped out, if not by the fighting, by the poison and the merciless mercenaries who scoured every corner and killed anything still remotely alive. Sometimes they used strange weapons, tearing savage holes through anyone on the receiving end. I've never seen anything like them. Some houses were burned whole, to hear the screams. Half-living, some victims would stumble from the house, looking like ancient fire demons as they howled, running and crawling until they crumbled.
I'm still not sure how I survived. I can feel blood dripping steadily down the back of my neck, and the burn across my ribcage has gone numb unless I move it.
I couldn't believe the thick layer of blood that seemed to cover the ground when it happened, turning the pale sand into dark mud. My stomach heaved constantly at the increasing number of horrific sights as I was dragged somewhere remote, somewhere they hoped I might be safe. The Stargate was too far, so I was dragged into a small hut, barely ten feet by ten feet, on the edge of a village. There was already close to twenty others hidden there, and I was pushed forwards, through the crowd, away from the front. I was the foreign diplomat, and the guards around me had seen the guns and weapons brought from Earth. They didn't want to incur the wrath of my people. We had only a split second of high pitched whine to warn us before shots ripped through the wooden door and everyone around me started to drop.
They're still waiting out there, surveying for anyone to kill. The small hut has only one room, and the guarded door is the only escape. I can barely move through the bodies.
My body guard, my escort for the ambassadorial trip is laying at my feet, nearly torn in half. I'm sure he's the only reason I'm still standing.
It was simple, diplomatic. Go meet them, introduce Earth as an ally, and suss out potential trade benefits. So simple that when the rest of the team was called away, they left me in the capable hands of the Security Advisor of their diplomatic leader. There had been some uprisings on the planet, with small violent groups making occasional attacks on the government. Earth had promised to help deal with the situation in whatever way we could.
I was stunned into silence.
Everything had escalated faster than any civil war ever recorded.
A sob choked into my throat, but the shred of hope that the predators outside the door would leave kept it down.
There's no way out.
I don't even know what I'm thinking about. It's all rushing around frantically in my head, trying to relive my entire life in a second, or find a way out, or know the meaning of life, and the tears are starting to sting where flying wreckage sliced my cheeks.
There's no way out. I know that now. If they find me here they'll kill me. There's no prospect of torture, of imprisonment or delayed rescue. This is it. They're making a final statement, and there will be no survivors.
If I sink to my knees, I won't get up. And when they kill me in submission, I'll already be that much closer to the dead faces around me.
I'm not pausing to think of anything substantial, or inspirational. I'm going to die, and I want to be home. I want to be somewhere familiar, I want to know 'why me?', I want to be someone else. I want someone else to be standing here, about to be the final casualty in the massacre Earth will pale at, will turn down their noses at and dismiss as barbaric alien affairs.
I can't stop crying. I'm still not making sound, and I have that much. I should be dying with acceptance, if not dignity. I'm not a hero when I die here, I'm an unfortunate accident that everyone will regret sending to this planet. A few people will miss me, I hope. They've dealt with my death before. Now they'll just miss my 23 languages and instant translations.
There's a weapon on the ground. Not far from me. My guard dropped it when he slammed me into a corner, shortly before an explosion relieved him on his innards. It only caught my shoulder. The gun is of alien design. I've never used one of it's kind before, but I saw it used. It's relatively simple. It looked painless enough, if you aim right, but my hand is shaking. Still, at such close range, it shouldn't matter...
My legs won't bend. I'm shaking. Why is it so far? My ribs are starting to burn- maybe I won't need the gun. Just a few seconds, and if I die before they find me, that's one more defiance for Earth. I won't have to be killed at someone's mercy. The shaking is worse, I don't know if I can wrap my fingers around the gun tightly enough to pick it up. The metal on the handle is cold, surprisingly, but it's slightly jammed under a heavy limb. I pull, with whatever I can, but it takes more effort, more time, and now the door is opening. Part of the musty dead smell escapes, replaced by fresher air. There's a gun in the doorway, and sound finally finds my throat in anguish. I couldn't. I didn't make it, and they'll find me with a shot through my head, piled among the other bodies, with barely a face to recognize me by. Assuming they find me at all.
"No-" Words are choking me, and they don't come out right. My voice cracks, and my last words are too choked and nonsensical to be anything memorable. Any last acts, any defiance won't matter. They won't remember if I die looking at them, or groveling.
I can see the gun, and it's human. It's sickeningly familiar, which is an odd comfort, because I know how to die by a bullet. It won't surprise me.
"Sorry," I don't mean to mutter out loud. Sorry I couldn't save the day, Jack.
But this isn't what dying feels like.
And I know the three people in the doorway.
And against more odds than finding me, Jack catches me when my legs give out, and Sam peels the weapon from my hand before I squeeze the trigger.