Good evening! And a good Tantamount Tuesday to you!
I will start by giving a/my definition of tantamount: the same as, equivalent in value to.
Some of this story required some research, hence the later post (that and my full time job), but hopefully the details will make the story more believable (even though I found the information fairly shocking).
Also, the way this is written has been an idea of mine for a while, but there is far too much work involved to make it a full sized novel, so this was the perfect excuse to try it! Enjoy.
Settlers and Slaughter
The dry wind blew at John Chivington’s back. He stood on a rocky over-look above a lush plain. Bison grazed as herds below, fat from the plentiful nutrients in the soil.
We need this land. John thought, It’s plentiful, bountiful and it will make us rich.
Vasseth gripped the onyx armrest of his command station. He was at the head of his battleship, surveying the green and blue planet they were orbiting.
“The Emperor informed me of the minerals here.” Jassid, his general hissed. His reptilian tongue tracing the fangs protruding from his jaw. “And the liquid.”
“Indeed.” Vasseth replied dryly.
“This conquest will bring you much glory, my prince.”
“Colonel!” I have… a message… from John Evans.” A slim man barely in his twenties bent over to catch his breath.
“Out with it boy.” John downed a mouthful of whiskey. He found the rest of his troop to be gathering around to listen in.
“Everything is in place.” The messenger straightened, seeming to have recovered, “The treaty was successful, and Black Kettle along with his followers have moved to camp near Fort Lyon to hunt and settle.”
“And?” John’s wrinkled face twisted into a grin.
“And to continue as planned, imeidately.”
Vasseth stood and turned to face the kneeling communications officer, “Report.”
“The Emperor wishes to speak with you.”
“Do not keep my father waiting, bring him up.” Vasseth snapped. His anticipation had taken hold of him, as well as his Varrillian bloodlust.
Blue crystal shards hovered in the space before Vasseth, shifting and grinding against each other until the formed the familiar, scaled face of Emperor Furrian. “Vasseth.”
“Glory to Varrillia!” Vasseth knelt before his father, grinding his fangs as he bowed his head.
“Rise my son, this is a glorious day for you.”
A test. “It is a glorious day for Varrillia and for my emporer.”
“Indeed.” Furrian bore his fangs and hissed to remind his son he was still his superior.
Vasseth remained kneeling, Furrian could wait. “What are my orders?”
John lead his troop casually to the Cheyenne camp. They had a peace treaty, and they maintained a trading relationship. There was no need to expect violance.
Once the troop were in the middle of the camp, John nodded to his lieutenant. He and a third of the group wove their way through the camp to the perimentre.
“Why are you here?” A tattooed and bare chested elder stood before John.
“I want to speak with Black Kettle, he and you with him have breached the treaty. he responded.
“You invade our land, but we make peace with you. There is no problem.” The elder gripped his staff, his knuckles whitening.
“Where is Black Kettle?”
“The Chieftain hunts.”
John looked around at the camp, other Cheyenne’s had gathered to watch events play out. More than half of them were women and children. His troop were all gripping their rifles, ready.
“That’s a shame.” And with that John pushed the bayonet of his rifle through the elders gut and pulled the trigger, the bullet ripping through what was left of the mans flesh, out through his back and lodged itself in a man behind him. He ripped his gun free and began to reload. “Kill the savages!”
Vasseth stood, the communication with his father terminated, crystal shards falling to the floor. “Open a link to the planet.”
“It is done.”
An image on a flat screen replaced Vasseth’s view of the planet below.
“Greetings on behalf of Earth, may we humans be the first to extend a hand of friendship.” The soft creatures looked frail, light skin that was not scaled like a Varrillian’s, closer to the texture of Asteroid Worm.
Vasseth attempted to mimic the shape the humans were making with their mouths and round fangs. By the reaction of the humans, he didn’t do very well. “I am Vasseth, of the Varrillians. I will accept your hand of friendship when you weapons are disabled.” This worried the humans. Especially the one in green. Military.
“Surely you don’t expect us to do that!” he exclaimed.
“Surely,” Vasseth hissed, “You realise that you have ended this peace talk.”
“Forgive my friend, it was a missunderstanding!” The central human stood up abruptly.
“That was foolish.” Vasseth turned to his general, “Fire the charged plasma cannon.” he grunted in response.
The decorated man in green glowered, his skin turning crimson, “Fire the warheads!”
At the sound of the fired shot, all hell broke loose. Rifles and pistols joined the chorus, knives were pulled and blood was spilt. The troops at the edges of the camp ensured no one escaped, while the rest killed every savage in the camp.
By the time silence settled over the camp, 148 of Black Kettle’s followers had been slaughtered, only nine of Johns troop had been killed.
John walked through the bloody carnage, drinking from his flask of whiskey to numb to guilt creeping up his gut.
His lieutenant approached him, “What are our orders sir?”
John wiped the blood from his knife, “Cut up the bodies, set the whole camp alight.”
The charged plasma beams tore through the earth, each ship of the Varrillian fleet firing at key locations on the planet; ensuring the ripples of destruction would travel through every electrical and liquid body on the planet.
There wasn’t a single creature or even piece of technology that would survive.
“The humans destroyed a scout ship with their warheads, nine Varrillians were on board.”
“Send the news to their spawn, they have brought glory to their bloodline.”
“Yes my prince.”
“Scan for life.” Vasseth knew what the results would be, but procedure required it of him. “We have minerals to harvest.”
Wow one minute to midnight when I finished this! Technically still Tuesday!
Thanks for reading, feedback welcome, I’m going to bed.
Until next time, Anti-Greetings!
-D. Rhys Graham