That One Soldier

A/N – This story is a tie-in to a larger project on the Spore Fan Fiction Wiki. Traffic has been a bit slow, and this little story is tasked with bringing attention to our rich, detailed universe there.

Jacob surveyed from his shattered window the clogged sidewalks below, and the busy men and women bustling about upon it. Every now and then, an occupier would stroll by with a confident gait, keeping a firm grip on their rifles. While the occupiers could be awe-inspiring when they needed to, the level of intimidation caused by a foot patrol was meagre, as the yellow creatures' almost comical height worked against the image that the young men attempted to project. It was painfully obvious, however, that the patrollers also knew of their short stature compared to humans, as the ones that looked a tad older normally sustained a blank stare ahead of them, intent on not interacting with the beleagured populace. Jacob walked over to his bed, and sat down, the springs creaking under his weight. He pulled a fine wooden guitar from bellow the frame, and began to play, with a minor degree of skill, a tune he had composed himself. It was a sombre tune he had written after the death of his mother during the second invasion. The only reason he had time in his normally-clustered schedule to compose a piece of music was that the school he attended five days a week was now nothing more than a pile of rubble serving as filler for a few craters. Most wide buildings little more than two or three stories in Bridgeport were in similar state. Still, there were a few schools still operating in the state, even after the colossal battles that had taken place merely months earlier. However, they ran far beyond maximum capacity, and now aimed not to teach the standard curriculum, but about the occupiers, their culture, and their reason for being here. Probably the most prominent lesson that the overburdened teachers were tasked with getting across was that the Eteno were not occupiers. Regardless of how far they went out of their way to aid the population of Earth and protect it from genocidal attackers, the title of occupier was still pinned on them. Foot patrols being harassed was a common occurance. Clobs of mud would be tossed at them, passers-by would shoot spiteful looks at them as they brisked past, and the occasional rebellious youth would try to attack them close-up. These odd attempts normally ended with disaster, as most Eteno were stronger than they look, and were given total authority to use physical force to subdue unruly civilians. Rare was the close-up attack that did not close with the whine of an ambulance. Jacob was torn from his playing when he heard the thumping of his father's work shoes coming up the old wooden staircase. He walked up to Jacob's door, and knocked twice.

"Jacob, I need you to go out and get some food for us at the park, can you do that?"

"O-of course dad, yeah."

"Good. I need you to be back in an hour."

"Right, right dad. I'm on it."

"Good."

His father's shoes thumped down the stairs and out into the garage of their tiny urban home. Formerly a mechanic at a small car repair shop in the middle of town, he was forced to move his work into their garage, as his shop had been hit by two artillery shells during the fighting that occured in Bridgeport several months ago.

Jacob walked out of his room, leaving his door ajar, and walked down the old, creaky staircase linking his small, cube-like room to the kitchen area, bathroom door, and the door to the garage. He entered his garage, and saw his bike leaning up against a tool drawer. He saddled up, and exited the garage, taking a right onto the mostly-undamaged street. Very little motor traffic was present, allowing Jacob to proceed with great speed and little heed for his surroundings. He rode through the streets and alleyways of his hometown towards Water View Park. Within fifteen minutes, he pulled off of the road and onto the fields of the park, gazing with wonder and awe at the massive alien supply ship. It swallowed up a quarter of the park, and a chain of alien soldiers formed a human conveyor belt moving boxes of food from the cargo bay of the colossal starship to an assembly of foldable tables covered by white tents. Hundreds of people stood in line waiting for their meals for the week, jittery and wary. With a resigned sigh, Jacob walked with his bicycle into one of the shorter lines. Quickly though, more and more people lined up behind him, seeing that the line that he was in was quite advantageous to be in. The staggered line of men, women, and children crept forward every ten seconds or so as each person informed the distributor of their allergies and family members, and received their wooden food container. For such an advanced alien occupier, the Eteno used curiously primitive-seeming materials. Still, one immediately forgot about this when they saw the scanner that was in place next to the alien handing out boxes of food. From previous experience Jacob knew that it was a sort of lie detector, and ensured that nobody lied about the number of dependents they had. Soon, the movement of the line sped up and Jacob was close to getting his box. To his left, he noticed a collection of shady individuals scanning the lines. He did his best to pay no mind to them, and continued to wait in line.

"Next!" The distributor said, music to Jacob's ears.

"My dad and I, no allergies."

"Alright." Mumbled the short, uniformed alien in heavily-accented English. If he wasn't an alien, Jacob would've assumed that he was from Russia.

It said something in its' odd language to a soldier standing beside him, who promptly handed him a box labeled "Potato, Corn, Beans, Chicken".

"Here you are. Next!"