My heart shall sing of the day your bring,
Let the fires of your justice burn.
Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near,
And the world is about to turn.
“Actually, the world is about to burn.”
The sanctuary went silent as the parishioners of Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel in New Orleans turned to see Kalea Kerner striding up the aisle, her long, dark hair streaming behind her.
“That was a beautiful opening hymn,” Kalea stepped beside the St. Jude Shrine to the left of the altar. “The Magnificant has always been my favorite. It’s prophetic, isn’t it?”
“Ma’am, we don’t allow women to speak in the church,” the Priest said softly from the pulpit.
Kalea smiled. “Didn’t Moses tell you to welcome the alien amongst you?”
“I believe the word is ‘foreigner,” the priest said.
Kalea shrugged. “It’s appropriate to pray to Saint Jude now. Humanity’s a lost cause. You’ve never been in a more desperate situation than the one you face now.”
“Save us!” a woman shouted from the back. She rushed up the aisle toward Kalea, but Kalea held up a hand, a blue force field surrounding her. The woman bounced off the force field, landing on her back in the center of the aisle.
“It’s too late,” Kalea said.
“It can’t be!” another voice cried out.
“I told you ten months ago that we were willing to cooperate with your government to deal with the cybernetic aliens. They chose to turn us away.”
“That was the government! We had no say in that,” a voice shouted.
“You elected your leaders. You put them in power. You are as responsible for their failures as they are,” Kalea said. She wandered to the pulpit, where the priest stared at her for a moment before shrinking away; allowing her to step to the microphone. “You did fine for a while. You cooperated. You even helped us discover more. The problem is, your leaders let your earthly enemies plant doubt in your minds. Once it took root, there was nothing that could convince you of the truth. Typical human beings. You start the course, but you can’t finish it. You aren’t capable of endurance. We thought you were, but we were wrong. Only the elite amongst you are destined to survive, and they’re too few to save the rest.”
“Whose side are you on?” a woman shouted.
Kalea leaned forward. “We’re on the side of survival. We want to save you, but you don’t want to be saved. You want your petty wars more than you want to preserve the sanctity of what you have, and now you will lose everything.” She stared at the Saint Jude shrine. “Say your prayers. Lift up your petitions. Cast your spells. Hold your fasts. Cling to whatever faith you hold, because it’s all you have left.” She stared at the congregation, her eyes glinting silver. “Only supernatural intervention can save you now. You’re too stubborn for anything but extinction.”
A gasp rose as Kalea stepped from the pulpit and walked down the center aisle. The woman from the aisle threw herself at Kalea’s feet.
“Save us!” she sobbed. “We don’t want to die. We’re sorry.”
Kalea shook her head. “We’ve inhabited our chosen ones, and the ones that accepted us have been taken under our protection.”
“What about the cybernetic aliens?” a voice asked.
“You waited too long to acknowledge the truth. They’re here.”
“You can beat them,” the woman said softly. “Can anything make this right?”
“We will fight them to the best of our ability,” Kalea said.
“What about the rest of us?”
“I hope it’s not too late.” Kalea held out her hands, pushing the doors open with a bolt of blue energy and disappearing in the sunrise on the horizon.