Prologue

Those ignorant fools… those blubbering idiotic simpletons… in all the world Aeka had never seen such stupidity. The humans, as they called themselves, were planning their attack strategy right in front of her. After all, it wasn't like she could become invisible at will. Even with all their security measures and cautionary tactics, the bafoons still neglected to look up. There she clung to the rafters, listening to their petty strategies of war against her and her kind. A balding man dressed in the midnight blue colors of the United Territories stood up to address the long table at which ten other officers, including himself, were sitting in near darkness. The light above the table swayed as he got up.

"My friends," he said, his jowls, very much like those of a bulldog, quivering, "as you know our past efforts to combat the enemy have been unsuccessful thus far. Our weapons are inferior to theirs, as are our numbers. Our chances of winning this war seem all but impossible…"

Aeka grinned, baring her small, dagger-like teeth. Ah, it seems humans aren't as stupid as they look. Murmuring broke out among the other nine people at the table. The Bulldog raised his hand for silence.

"However, recent breakthroughs in our research of the enemy have revealed a possible weak point that may yet save us from annihilation," he continued.

Her grin faded. What was this? How could humans, with their inferior intelligence and technology, possibly find even the smallest flaw in her kind's military offensive? What could the humans possibly possess that they could not thwart?

A bearded man on the left side of the table spoke. "A weak point? Where? How? Have we developed a new weapon against them?"

The Bulldog returned the man's eager stare with his own cold gaze. "The research is not yet complete, so I cannot disclose that information, Lieutenant. However, based on the data retrieved from tests done on our POWs, our scientists are optimistic that this discovery may just turn the tides in our favor." Damn. "Unfortunately," he went on, " the resources we will need for a full-scale offensive currently lie in enemy territory, meaning that in order for us to win this war, we must win those resources using our current ingenuity and skill."

A spiky haired red-headed woman from the end of the table said, "How can we expect to win these resources over with our current capabilities when past examples have shown how inferior we are to their military powers? Any mission into enemy territory you propose is suicidal at best." The Bulldog shook his head, ma"Our soldiers will carry a prototype of the weapon with them when research is complete. If all goes well, we'll have successfully field-tested the weapon and procured the resources necessary and in this way killed two birds with one stone."

"And if they should fail," a scarred and wizened man said from his right hand, "what then?"

The Bulldog lowered his head. "Then we fight to the last. Surrender is not an option… those bastards've made that painfully clear. We'll fight until the last man falls dead on the pile of soldiers that fell before him defending our homeland, and we will not cower, we will not run, and we will not! Back! DOWN!!!" Aeka rolled her eyes as the other members of the board applauded and cheered their general. He spoke bold words, but if her experience with humans had shown her anything it was that he would forget those false promises when faced with his demise. He would quake with fear… they all would. She waited until all the men and women at the table filed out and the light had been turned off before she came down from her perch, her sleek azure body landing softly on the wood grain, tendons absorbing the shock of impact without protest. They had no chance, she thought, we are superior to them in every way… physically, mentally, militarily… no amount of empty words would save them from their fate. She grinned her pointed grin again. No matter how powerful this new "weapon" would turn out to be, her kind would best it and make it obsolete. The stupid humans should never have entered into this war in the first place… should never have entered into their territory without consent… never expanded without approval.

They were such greedy beasts, these hairless apes, insatiable in their desires for more. More land, more water, more resources. It was disgusting how far below her these creatures were. They were all unclean, sullied with their baser instincts, their lust… their love. Her kind was above such petty feelings and wants. They were an evolved species, the pure embodiment of perfection. The humans had to be eradicated… they could not be allowed to besmirch her kind, the proud Shi'kal, with their unworthy presence, dirty their air with their exhalations. Luckily, the end for the humans was coming much sooner than they anticipated, even without the information she had come here to find… soon, they would all be dead and their rotting corpses fed into the incinerators that powered the mighty cities of the Shi'kal.