The infant and the burning night

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Sparks of flame fly through the dark night's cold air, smoke billows into the atmosphere above the flaming huts of the tribe while unflinching bodies litter the blackened grass. In amongst the pain and fire, a young infant sits terrified in the centre of it all. It cradles its mother in its arms as it rocks slowly back and forth. An unusual, grey mark decorates its forehead.

It doesn't hear the approaching footsteps behind it.

"There's another one here. Small. Maybe a child" the hidden entity taps into a sensor in its helmet.

Quickly a reply comes. "The mission is still at hand. You know what to do".

The entity steps forward and snaps a plant under its heavy foot, causing the infant to turn immediately. It is both shocked and scared.

"Aslo! Cammena tu-" it whispers in a weak, panicked and pathetic voice.

"Too late, insect" thinks the armoured entity mercilessly and before the infant can utter another word, its body bulges and explodes. Not the quietest of attacks, but certainly the quickest. Brown blood splatters onto the body of the female that was once a mother and wet scraps of black skin decorate the floor.

The shadowed soldier steps toward the female body on the ground, kneels and with one sudden flick, decapitates the head from its neck. The chop is clean and straight without flaw. The soldier shows no remorse or pride. It is simple procedure. Nothing more. Who cares about the death of vermin? He had done what he must and after another comb of the burnt tribe, he will leave.

No tears will be shed, no smiles will be had.

With the decapitated head in one hand and using a device in its arm, the head of the female is held up and bathed in a blue glow before being tossed back onto the ground and kicked away by the shadow.

The soldier then taps into his helmet again. This time only once. Instantly its body then ceases all movement, slumps over before it drops to the ground; just as lifeless as the bodies around it. It then breaks into pieces like ice smashed with a hammer before flying into the dark sky; as if pulled by an unnatural, invisible force.

All, but the flames on burning wooden shelters, is silent. The stars seems to shine in tribute. But it is not enough. They are too late!

Only she had seen this, she was sure of it. However, she could not decide whether to be thankful or be horrified by this vision. She sat puzzled on the edge of a grey rock slab that acted as a shelf above a hole filled with mud and water; a soft landing. Why though? Why was now the time that her vision came? And who could she tell? She was not the tribe's psychic or even the ancestor of a psychic so her vision was likely to be dismissed whilst the true psychics would look upon her with mocking disgust.

Gently, she squeezed and breathed heavily. This pain would only be temporary, she reassured herself, whilst digging her nails into her legs. Brown liquid rose from the cuts and dribbled down and dripped into the small pit below her. She snarled and her fangs bit into her lip. Her toes curled and her second pair of hands clenched. It wouldn't be long now, she could feel it slowly leaving her body, with one more great push it would be out and she would be free.

She pushed with great power, her nails digging deeper now. Her sharp teeth grinding against eachother. Her energy draining.

She moaned loudly before the sound of gentle impact below her as her egg hit the soft mud and she was finally free. A sigh of relief left her mouth before her body fell back onto the rock that she sat on, her nails leaving the brown sockets in her leg as her hands dropped to her side.

When she finally awoke, she noticed a wooden ceiling above her and the face of her brother looking down at her. She must've been back at her tribe, which also meant that her brother had done the job properly it seemed. To wait for the mother to lay her osa and then return the mother and egg to the village. This was usually the job of the mother's pandu, a word for the one she chosen to bond with for life, but unfortunately the one that she had bonded with had been dead for a while now, killed by the Hymugba that lived in the heights of the nearby mountains.

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