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It went like this:


A chamber under the soil, dimly lit. The air is thick with musk.


Their thin bodies are notched with old lacerations. 


One tends to the armor, wafting burning foliage over its brass-like and glossy surfaces.


It gleams in the light, adorned with spirals and swirls of magnificent colors and draped in shimmering fabric.


The other pours sludge into a basin, and mixes it with pigment. They smear it onto its skin in silence.


I held a vessel filled with inky fluid. Its stench was overwhelming.


I felt compelled by their powers to step forth. The vessel was seized from my hands, and was sucked down by the warrior.


Its hide was stained with vivid colors and tones, and from this distance I could see its muscles ripple under its grey, worn form.


They were going off to raid. In my mind, they showed me the rows of skiffs, teeming with their ilk. Anticipation was in the air.


I was reminded that I should be grateful. 


The other carefully adorned it with its armor and garments. It blew smoke in its face, walking around it in a circle.


I was going to ask, but I heard the answer reverberate around my skull. It wasn't my place.


The other gave the warrior his rifle, and compelled me to stand still.


My body seized up, and I fell straight to the floor. It works, they said.


It gripped my collar, and put me on my feet.


They found my hatred amusing.


I reveled in the thought of their legions being shot apart. I focused hard on their bleeding corpses. Smashed-in skulls, bullet-filled thoraxes.


It didn't like this. Death was not taken lightly by them.


They had taken everything from me. My imagination was my only place for resistance. Irritation, at the very least.


It slammed the butt of its rifle into my teeth.


For a race of backward simians, it thought our resilience interesting.


But it sensed that I knew the truth. I could put on fronts, but I could hide nothing from them.


They knew I knew these halls would be where I spend the rest of my days.












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