The Humans Are Coming
by AJ Marks
Kleek walked into the room and paused, he looked hesitant to enter before another higher ranking person saw him.
“Well, what are you doing? Do you have something to report to the First Lord or not?” one asked, giving a flash of his mandibles showing annoyance. There were many things to do. “We have a schedule to keep in our conquests, do you have a report?”
“Ah, yes,” Kleek replied back in a squeaky voice.
“Let’s hear it,” the First Lord said from where he sat in the middle of the large room.
All around him people were working on battles, updates of conquered planets, new places to invade and this youngling who barely had a mandible was cowering in fear over giving a simple report.
“What group are you watching,” the First Prime said, moving over before the First Lord got to annoyed and started ripping the poor youngling apart for his hesitation. The youngling would have to learn to stand up, or he would be fed to the crathalors.
“Ah, Th-the Red Pincers,” Kleek replied finally getting over his hesitation, but still looked highly uncomfortable.
“Red Pincers?” the First Lord said looking over at his First Prime.
“They are responsible for one of the arms of the galaxy, sparsely populated and not much worth I’m afraid,” the First Prime replied back after looking at his tablet for the information.
“Don’t tell me they found something?” the First Lord asked sounding surprised.
“And a bit more,” Kleek said meekly.
“Well,” the First Prime said, thinking this youngling must really not value his life, or the First Lord’s time. “Can’t you tell there are more important things going on than us waiting on you?”
“I-I apologize my lord,” Kleet said, now starting to shake. “It’s just, well…”
“Speak up, we can’t hear you,” the First Lord said, now standing up and moving towards the youngling. Everyone now was watching what was going on.
“We’ve lost contact with the Red Pincer fleet,” Kleek finally said in a squeak looking at the floor. He couldn’t dare to look at the First Lord or First Prime. Such news was unimaginable and he cursed his commander at ordering him to give this information.
“Lost contact?” the First Prime repeated before glancing at the youngling for more information.
“Um,” here Kleek hesitated again unsure how the news would be interpreted. “The Third Prime of the fleet contacted us that he discovered a new planet which showed promise. It was inhabited by an undiscovered race.”
The room waited to hear what came next.
“The Third Prime was ordered to go ahead and begin a conquest,” Kleek said.
“I assume you’re not wanting permission to do what you’re ordered to do,” the First Lord said.
“No sir,” Kleek said quickly. “The fleet approached as per normal procedures, sending out the normal broadcasts in all known languages. Then invading the planet. The reports came back, different.”At this he held up his tablet activating it. A holo image of the Third Prime appeared.
“Report on the latest conquest of this planet. Its rich in minerals, sparsely populated. I assumed it was a mining colony for a new race, they are called, humans. They appear unassuming, small, bipedal, no natural armor. Conquest should be simple,” the Third Prime said in a recorded message.
Kleek looked at the others, the First Lord showed annoyance.
“The planet was taken, but these humans put up stronger resistance than anticipated. Losses were ten percent higher than expected.”
“Ten percent?” the First Prime replied. Even the First Lord seemed taken back. As Kleek continued on.“Yes, most losses were suffered on the planet’s surface. The humans used tactics we had never seen before. Explosives rigged to go off if you stepped on it, entering a building could result in a weapon coming at you, either blade or blunt. They learned quickly blunt weapons did more damage.”
“How does that explain the loss of communications of the fleet?” the First Prime asked.
“After subjection of the planet the fleet moved on to the next planet of these humans,” Kleek said. “The Third Prime overruling our council here to wait for reinforcements. He felt speed would be better.”
“Reinforcements for a backwards race?” the First Lord asked, almost sounding disgusted by the notion.Kleek had thought of these humans like that at first, but now, he did not.
“The fleet moved onto the next target, and there, well, this is the last communications we received from the fleet.”
Once more the holo image of the Third Prime appeared, but this time there was chaos around him, he appeared injured.
“Communications says this message should get out,” he said, taking a wheezing breath, his mandible cradled in his other arm, injured.
Behind him a support beam fell causing him to turn before looking back before back at the screen.
“We won’t last much longer, FTL engines destroyed. I thought these humans would be easy, that the intel was wrong. That they are a fractured race, easy to pick apart for the glory of the empire.”
He stumbled as his ship was hit again, reports of another ship of the fleet was destroyed.
“They are monsters. If this message gets out, beware the humans.”
With this the message ended.
“Is that it?” the First Lord said. “A Third Prime commander is scared of a fledgling FTL race with a few colonies? What was he babbling about a report and intel?”
The reprimand stung, but the First Lord didn’t understand.
“Right after this we lost all contact with those on the planet we had taken. The last message was a warfleet has appeared then nothing. It was the last contact we’ve received of the Red Pincer fleet,” Kleek said. “We then went through the intel we gathered.”
“And?” the First Prime asked.
“Well, it appears humans are highly adept at warfare,” Kleek said. “That they’ve been fighting themselves for tens of thousands of cycles, from primitive sticks to vast warfleets. We thought, they were fractured, but we didn’t understand they unite against a common foe. And we have become that foe.”
The First Lord thought about this before speaking
“What fleets are nearby which can be diverted?” the First Lord asked.
“Red Star sir, but it is wise to send such an important fleet against this group?” the First Prime asked. The Red Fleet was one of the six major fleets, used against strong targets. “Surely they are still a fledgling race, new to FTL.”
“We must send these humans a message, let them know who are the masters of war,” the First Lord said, looking over at the group which controlled the Red Fleet.
“Sir, I can have the…” the Second Prime of the Red Star fleet’s voice trailed off as he got some new information.
He paused looking down at a communication coming in on his screen. Suddenly he looked over nervous.
“I’m afraid we have a problem, the Red Star fleet is currently under attack by a massive fleet calling themselves humans, they say numbers in the thousands, ships easily a match for our own, the fleet is being overrun.”
The words echoed through a now quiet room before another Second Prime spoke up, their fleets were encountering massive humans fleets as well.
It was as Kleek feared.
The humans were coming.