JM Williams

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Born of Struggle – What Pegman Saw


Sambor Prei Kuk Temple, Cambodia © Google Maps

Their lasers could not cut through the trees. If their drop-ships came too close to the jungle canopy, the smoke and ash from incinerated vegetation would kill their thrusters.

History had shown the Vietnamese to be quite difficult to defeat. After resistance was crushed in the rest world, they were the last ones fighting. A cradle of hope in a hopeless swamp of green.

Chau drove her squad mercilessly on, whipping them with words like a French colonial governor might have done to his servants with a switch. She led them across the old border–one that no longer mattered–to one of the last surviving ancient ruins. A place that still did matter.

Approaching the site, marching at the head of her squad like her grandfather had done, she saw the slime-black aliens clustered around the temple.

They had made it into an outpost!

*I think this is my first time doing the What Pegman Saw prompt. This picture really stood out to me. It probably helped that I am watching Ken Burns’  The Vietnam War on TV while I write. I am considering a larger project along these lines, perhaps a short story about an alien-invasion centered on the Vietnamese–or maybe Afghans–whose history is one of constant struggle and opposition, as the last hope of mankind. Does that sound like something you’d read?

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14 Responses to Born of Struggle – What Pegman Saw

  1. After all the people and war from fellow humans,now the aliens are after them. Talk about no end to war. Great imagination.

  2. Well written story JM. So glad to see you join Pegman this week.

    I think you’ve got a great concept–the people who were born and lived in struggle are best equipped to fight. Depressing? I suppose it depends. Redemption cures most every darkness. What if the aliens unite us in arms?

    Hope to see you again, really enjoyed your story!

    • J.M. Williams

      Thanks for the welcome! Regarding a larger project, the union thing would be one of the key themes, I think. As you say, the people who have hardened through the colonial age may be the best equipped to lead us all in repulsing another colonizing power. Depressing but hopeful at the same time.

  3. Great story. Glad you’re contributing.

  4. Interesting idea that the Vietnamese would be the last people resisting an alien invasion.

    • J.M. Williams

      I was watching the documentary which was talking about the resistance during the French colonial period, leading up to the Vietnam War. It was never ending.

  5. Lovely read but its hard to digest that this might be a fact somewhere.

    Click Here to see what Mrs. Dash Says

    • J.M. Williams

      War is an eternal part of what it means to be human, unfortunately. Which is why our literature is filled with war stories. I wonder if the space travel age can change it.

  6. Oh, dear! No rest for the wicked, I guess. Well told story.

  7. I’m betting that there are other places in the world that would be equally as daunting in a war.

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