Perched high in the tower, he watched as two figures stumbled clumsily into view. The sun was just rising and through the hazy air, their features were difficult to make out. He sat patiently and waited for them to come into focus.
This morning, like the previous 782, would prove uneventful. All threats had long been eliminated and he wondered why they even maintained this post. Tradition? No, they kept no traditions. That was something that had been characteristically native.
The two figures now fully visible, he noted M-16s loosely slung across small frames; a gas mask flopped sloppily on each head. Amused, he watched as they enacted a battle on the debris left among the dunes. It was as he thought, merely some podlings playing.
The masks would’ve given it away if the outdated weaponry hadn’t. There were no beings left on this planet that would benefit from those respirators. And even if there were, the equipment would be useless. Sure, it would filter out the impurities; but oxygen levels in the air were so low that even filtered, it was insufficient to support life in the native with its flawed bodily make-up.
It was genius really. They’d locked onto this planet mere centuries ago and had slowly introduced technology to break down the atmosphere at a progressive rate. Trains had chugged along spewing black smoke; factories had churned out machinery as cities plotted along under a smoggy blanket. And cars! Those had been a real deal sealer! Boy were those contraptions adored!
They’d thought the plan was at risk when a native came up with a version that didn’t need the fuel they’d continued to pump from the ground. But alas, the natives had some primitive attachment to their metal chariots. A few had tried to warn that they were headed for destruction, but it was pointless. Fate had been sealed; their days numbered. One more planet collected.
“Tower Delta report!” the receiver chirped.
“All clear. Always all clear,” he replied.
Word count: 333
Written for the Trifecta weekly writing challenge prompt:
a (1) : a cover or partial cover for the face used for disguise(2) : a person wearing a mask : masker
b (1) : a figure of a head worn on the stage in antiquity to identify the character and project the voice (2) : a grotesque false face worn at carnivals or in rituals
c : an often grotesque carved head or face used as an ornament (as on a keystone)
d : a sculptured face or a copy of a face made by means of a mold
a : something that serves to conceal or disguise : pretense,cloak
b : something that conceals from view
c : a translucent or opaque screen to cover part of the sensitive surface in taking or printing a photograph
d : a pattern of opaque material used to shield selected areas of a surface (as of a semiconductor) in deposition or etching (as in producing an integrated circuit)
a : a protective covering for the face
b : gas mask
c : a device covering the mouth and nose to facilitate inhalation
d : a comparable device to prevent exhalation of infective material
e : a cosmetic preparation for the skin of the face that produces a tightening effect as it dries
Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
The word itself needs to be included in your response.
Stay positive & love your life!
Listening to: Rebelution – Green To Black
Random fact: It’s always hard to imagine the language that would’ve “stuck” in a post-apocalyptic or dystopian tale. Would the new inhabitants think or speak at all like their predecessors….us? I’d like to think that at least some thread would remain by which to tell we were once here.