Scourge sat in the confined safety of his command vehicle as his troops deployed. Though active sensors indicated no threats of any kind, he had begun to distrust such. How could these damnable resistance fighters continue to inflict such telling losses on the Confederation? He knew he must nullify their threat or lose not only his position but his life.
|Photo courtesy of Maciej Lewandowski|
Intelligence gleaned from tortured rebels indicated some significance to these crumbling ruins. Scourge surmised a weapons cache or something similar concealed in the long-abandoned graveyard. Whatever was here, denying the resistance possession of it was tantamount.
At length, his sub-commander reported the area secured and, only then, did Scourge dismount. He grew apprehensive as his soldiers swarmed over the ruins, failing to find anything of note. Two hours and seventeen minutes into the operation, that changed.
With no forewarning of any kind, the grave marker in the center of the yard flashed with an eerie eldritch light before beams lashed out in all directions. He watched in stunned disbelief as an entire battalion of troops were transformed into smoldering husks.
Briefly, Scourge contemplated whether his best chance of survival lay in reporting the incident or in defecting to the opposition.
This story was written for the weekly Flash! Friday flash fiction photo prompt.