"We won the war, now we need to make sure we win the peace."
~ David Pringle
“Will you look at that?” the General said to himself. He drank in the cold air heavily, and allowed a pause, “All of those filthy creatures, sleeping in their dens, not knowing what’s to befall them.”
He eyed the distant city hungrily. Only a black patch in the darkness of midnight, and tiny pinpricks of light dimly shining out of windows and on the headlights of cars could just barely be seen. As the minutes passed, the pinpricks would all but fade and the Army would destroy everything.
Merciless. Unfeeling. A blood lust racing in their chests. They would have the Humans begging at their feet, and the Queen would reward the General handsomely. The Gateway to the Empire – that was what the General was looking to.
The lieutenant rushed up behind the General, “Sir! Sir! All our forces are ready.”
The General tilted his head, a subtle smile wrinkling his already hideous face, “Excellent. Give the order.”
A raven glided down and perched on the General's shoulder, and it preened its black feathers with its sharp black beak.
There would be a feast for the scavengers tonight, the General thought with grim pleasure.
The lieutenant regarded his master, not knowing whether he should do as he was told or not, “Sir…”
The General frowned at the lieutenant’s hesitation. “I am not a man to entertain questions,” he pointed at the dark sky above, blotted brilliantly with celestial bodies scattered in flawless beauty.
“Look!” he bellowed and the raven cawed in unison, “The planets have aligned. That is our sign and the Queen’s mark. Let’s send those Humans to their Maker.”
The lieutenant gazed at the dark heavens, and then looked back at the General’s gnarled face, with a slight pity glinting in his eyes. But as quick as it had appeared, it left.
He said, “But what about the Pact of Ceasefire?”
The General guffawed, “Pact? It's been fourteen years since we made that foolhardy agreement! We’ve grown stronger,” The General raised his hand, as though cupping the distant city that was to burn and decease beneath it. He closed his fist, and smiled, yelling into the night “And through it: we shall conquer!”