Monday, December 12, 2011
She awoke on something hard and cold.
Reaching back behind her with one claw, she felt the nubbed surface, otherwise smooth metal. Industrial, the thought came to her unbidden. maybe a hangar, or an assembly yard. She craned her neck to see beyond the lip of the recess that sheltered her small form, nictating membranes flicking dust wetly from her eyes. The wan, dust-choked air still admitted enough light for her to be able to see the tangled wreckage of machines around her. Yes. Definitely industrial.
Random pictures, words, sentences flooded her mind. Images of a past life, dreamlike in quality. She was a soldier, and she'd died. The men had overrun their position, armored shapes moving swiftly and violently through the half-built, half-destroyed vehicles littering the factory floor. They'd fought to the end, been overwhelmed, and been massacred for their trouble.
The men had not been thorough, though, and the seeds of her people were left to grow, gaining sustenance from the corpses of their mothers. The night after the battle, she was awake again. And angry.
The fight had moved on beyond the industrial park, but flashes in the twilight sky and the constant dim rumble of thunder told her there was a battle raging within walking distance. She gathered herself up and stood, young muscles and ligaments singing with the exultant pain of new effort. She knew, with the certainty of instinct, that others were being born around her, that a cache of weapons was nearby. There was always a cache nearby.
She reached behind her once more, into the moist fragments of the cocoon that birthed her, retrieving a long, wicked bone blade. Blade of my own flesh, she thought. It would taste man before the dawn rose.