What would resistance to an alien invasion look like to a group of surfer stoners?
Tony took a long toke, held his breath and looked out upon the pacific. A small fire burned a few feet away. It’s warmth reached out like warm fingers lightly caressing him. The rhythm of the surf soothed his soul, the coolness of the night air felt good after the day’s heat and fighting.
A couple of lights blinked far out on the ocean waters, bobbing up and down slightly with the waves. Crazy, that, he thought, advertising your position when there is a war on. Then he looked at the fire. Well.
He heard the wings of a seagull beat on the wind as the bird took flight, bringing him back to the moment. He let out his breath, releasing the remains of smoke from his lungs, and fiddled with the hemp bracelet on his right wrist, turning the ends with his fingertips.
“So, this plan of yours …” He passed the joint to Di.
“Yep,” said the new guy, “what I was saying is these guys congregate in specific points in a city, in the battlefield, if you will. Once they have routed a place they bunker in. They’re hierarchical. And we can use that against them.”
“The aliens? Congregate? What do you mean?”
“Once their advance forces get through an area they set up a base of sorts. They grab a building and set up office. The rest of the troops come in behind and use that as a base. I’m guessing a bit, but I think that’s where their brass give orders from.”
“How do you know this?”
“Seen it before, Bakersfield, Solvang.”
“A base for what?”
The new guy fidgeted, waved off a hit on the joint, ran his palm over the sand and then picked some of it up.
“Probably bring in supplies: ammo, food, and medical, maybe.”
“That would make sense,” Tony told him. “So, how do we use that against them? Last thing any of us wants to do, man, is walk into a well supplied hornets’ nest.”
Di snickered. “Better in one-offs, small group stuff.”
The rest of them nodded or mumbled agreement.
“No, no. I mean, I agree with you, yes, about the small group stuff. But you’re missing my point. We can predict where they might make camp and use that info against them, especially in small towns. If they stop, that is.”
“Ok. Keep talking, dude. You’re on a roll.”
The new guy let the sand roll from his hands and then dusted them off. “We know the aliens have been pushing down the coast and that there’s a military group in SLO, so a big battle is coming there, I would guess. Anyway, the armory has a lot of explosives — untouched and unguarded for now. We grab it and get to Morro Bay immediately. The downtown area is really small. It seems like they will get there around nightfall tomorrow. So, most likely, they will stay the night before moving onto SLO. That’s been their pattern. Should be easy to pick a couple of likely buildings and arm them with explosives.”
“Then,” said Di, “we wait until they come into town and blow the place.”
“Understand, this is all guesswork. But it might be worth it.”
Everyone nodded. “Cool,” said Tony. “Might even work. Be fun anyway. What do you guys think?”
“Could be a rush, dude,” someone said. Everyone nodded.
“Well, then,” said Di, “let’s fuck with ET.”
Tony stood up and stretched and began walking off. “I’m going to sleep with Mary Jane,” thinking of the spot where he had stashed a board and wetsuit. “Someone wake me when it’s my shift. In the morning let’s amble off to the armory. Aliens shouldn’t make it here until the afternoon, I would guess.”
The new guy was fidgeting and marching around early. It took until mid-morning for the group to finally get organized and march off. Di was wearing a green sarong with black boots that stopped just below the knees. They weren’t army but they looked sturdy enough. She had a bandana wrapped around her head, holding back her hair. A joint poked out from the side. Others looked just as motley, some in swim trunks and flip flops, coral and shell jewelry hanging from necks and wrists. One guy with skinny legs and knobby knees wore an old football helmet with the face guard missing. All of them carried backpacks, automatics rifles and out of place grins. Kids, most anyway, the others at heart.
The armory was a couple of miles away. There was no driving. The alien tech was able to detect anything motorized — combustible, anyway — and their drones would swoop in and make a mess of things. And even though they were in a relatively remote place no one wanted to put that to a test. The group had survived by keeping things small and as simple as possible. No need to change that now.
As the new guy predicted, the armory was unguarded. There weren’t enough of the regular army or police left to worry about out of the way places, the cities were where the authorities were focusing resistance. This was an old National Guard storehouse, unoccupied now.
It took a while to break into the place. The fence was easy. A pair of bolt-cutters did the job there. The new guy produced a small bit of C4 explosives and blew the lock to the building after all of the other efforts failed. “Righteous job, dude,” said someone through the smoke and tar smell. New guy had a nickname now.
It was the C4 and radio detonators they went for, aside from loading up on ammo for their personal kit. A couple of the bigger, fitter guys double bagged it with the explosives and the remainder of their lives that they carried in their backpacks. Someone had scavenged a kid’s old red wagon along the way and that was packed and then covered in canvas. By the time everything had been loaded they could hear gun fire and the strange noise the alien weapons made. Couldn’t be more than a few of miles away. Time to move.
Righteous Dude identified the buildings likely to be used by the aliens, three in a row right on the water. The group got to work. They were a little skittish around the explosives. They weren’t really soldiers, after all, just a group trying to survive. But eventually need — and the idea of killing a large group of aliens — buried their fears and let them get on with the job.
Di opened two packs of C4 and shaped them into a cock and balls and placed them on a shelf in plain site. It looked like a sculpture. Tony, standing behind her as she did this, could only shake his head. “There are no words, Di.”
She looked over her shoulder and said, “Told you, gonna fuck ’em up, Tony.” Then she moved off, business as usual for her.
Once they had armed the likely buildings in the small town they took to higher ground and waited. A few hours before nightfall the first of the soldiers poured into town. It was just shoot and move for them. They couldn’t stop. The aliens were right on their trail. The first of the aliens entered town a few minutes later. There were maybe a dozen more of them than the hashed together army. They, too, were on foot. A quad buzzed around and then moved off east. Recon. Troops, it was believed, had gathered in SLO, and they probably had sent the quad.
None of the group fired a shot, just as they had discussed. Secrecy had always been their best weapon for survival. They watched the scene play out. The regular army and police — maybe thirty strong — beat it out of town, east towards SLO. The aliens hunkered down with nightfall, picking two of the three wired buildings.
“Righteous Dude,” someone said in praise, “right on, man.” The plan was on.
By midnight the aliens were bedded down. Less than half a dozen guards patrolled the area. The aliens were cocky because they hadn’t been tested, really, since knocking out the air force and navy from above, just after they destroyed the satellites. This was just clean-up to them, sport.
The rest of the group moved into position and awaited the signal. One of the aliens walked past Di who had taken cover on a rooftop in town. The aliens were similar in height and in build to humans. They wore thin grey exosuits that made a swishing sound when they moved, and small masks to aid their breathing. There wasn’t really anything extraordinary about them. They didn’t even look imposing. Their tech was better, more advanced, but they didn’t seem any smarter. Just another job for them, or so it seemed. God, she thought, they reek. The alien relieved itself on the side of the building (seemed all too human in that) and went back to its rounds. They were keeping a small radius about their new compound. That should make things easier once the shit hit the fan.
Just past midnight, Tony handed the remotes to Righteous Dude who smiled and started flipping the switches, no hesitation at all. The explosions lit up the entire area and the bay.
Christ, thought Di, that’s loud and hot. Then she rose and got into position at the edge of the roof. The alien guard was twenty yards away, standing in the middle of the street. It could have been screaming or crying, could’ve been cheering, even. Most likely, it was disoriented. Regardless, her first shot was a bullet in the back of its leg. The alien buckled and went down on one knee. Next, she put one in its neck, the kill shot.
“Like I said, gonna fuck me up some alien.”
Di looked over the area and then moved off to her left to help whoever might need it. But it wasn’t necessary. The rest of the group took out the alien guards quickly, no doubt those guards were in shock — if not killed — from the explosions. Easy prey. Tables turned, for once.
After a few tense moments everyone realized it was over and then there was a lot of whooping and cheering over the radio.
Back on the hill Righteous Dude was staring intensely at the scene below. “We’ve got to get to SLO,” he said, excited now. “Gotta go now. We’ve got to let them know about this.”
“Relax, man. We’ve got time.”
“This is important,” Righteous Dude said, near hysterics.
But Tony was thinking about the board he had stashed down by the beach between here and Cayucos, and the moon that hovered over the pacific, and the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline. And Mary Jane was out there, too, riding the waves, calling his name.
“Fuck, dude, chill!” Tony said. “Gonna be a long, drawn out war, man. It’ll be a while before any more aliens get back here. Besides, dude, it’s only Monday.”