This is another old one... I'm actually not sure when I wrote it, but I would guess that it was my Junior year of high school... coming up on fifteen years ago. It didn't get in the lit mag, because the principal wanted less stories involving explosives. Also falling into that category: the very first For Science! story.
In June the first one died.
The blackness of night lit up into noonday and even the crickets grew still and quiet as the ground hummed and the light deepened into red before fading back to midnight. The humming stayed and grew louder. At around five minutes past twelve the shockwave reached the first town, a small community called Southgate. The screams of frightened townsfolk awakened by the sound and the deep popping noises of stone buildings flying into pieces was drowned out by the bass rumble of the blast, which dissipated before reaching the city.
The mushroom cloud drifted lazily upwards into the night sky.
Some people said the bombs were too big, that we were overreacting. I agree the loss of human life was larger than strictly necessary, and the fact that high problem areas received a strike nearly every month was something we should have handled better, but if a few thousand people died, wasn't it worth the results? Within six months the number of sightings was down by thirty percent. The only people who didn't appreciate the numbers were fanatics, relatives of bomb casualties, and animal rights activists. They were the worst.
The Council assumed they were upset about the radiation problems that were caused by the first three bombs, which were nukes. We expected they were going to storm in and start complaining about how all their little furry friends would die if they got within ten miles of the blast site for the next hundred years or so, and that would be it. We would point out that we had already switched to smaller bombs, they would understand that what was already done couldn't be changed, and everyone would go home and get some sleep. It turned out they were angry at what we were doing to the targets themselves.
I understood the scientists. They were angry because our removal method didn't leave any remains for them to study. But all this drivel about living in peace and harmony is beyond me. Why would you even try? Would you attempt to live in peace and harmony with a hungry lion? Of course, most of those stupid animal rights activists never actually saw one first hand like I did. If they had...
It was laying there, looking relaxed and contented as it basked in the sun with it's wings stretched out, just soaking in the rays. A wolf in sheep's clothing. Some locals were watching it from a few hundred feet away, eyes wide with awe. They didn't understand the danger of it like I did. All they saw was shining green scales and a gently swishing tail, while I saw a two hundred foot long beast with teeth and claws meant for killing. Looking at those scales, I knew that just guns would not be enough. Not every gun in the state. Not enough.
Even though the locals died, I'm glad I nuked the bastard.
It's been a year since the first one. Almost one year exactly. Now the last one has been found and targeted. If only we had found it first. As it is, the surrounding countryside is packed for miles in every direction with those damned animal rights idiots, saying we can still live in peace. If they weren't there I could just push this button and go down in history. Councilor Jacob Adams, Dragon Slayer. But with this many people, thousands on each side...
I'm going to need a bigger bomb.