Mare sighed and ambled around the dingy basement, ducking under and pushing through cobwebs as he went, “You're just too young and innocent I suspect.  You have never had to witness the cruelty of which the humans are capable, perhaps.  But mark my words, Luther, once they set their sights on us, we are doomed.  Humans are frail and stupid, yet they possess this dogged tenacity – obsessive really – and once they make up their insignificant little minds, they cannot be dissuaded.”

He chuckled, “Much like a mangy dog with a bone.”

Mare circled the basement, never breaking contact with Luther's eyes.  His gaze was strong and intimidating, but as much as Luther wanted to look away, he was too frightened to break the link between them.

“Once the humans declare open season on us, there will be no stopping them. They have suspected our existence for centuries, dark alley whispers and deathbed confessions, but they have always remained too scared of what lies in wait for them in the dark to want to open their eyes to primordial things they cannot possibly comprehend.

“But those days are fast drawing to a close.  Humans, for their myriad faults, are strangely clever – especially concerning warfare.  It will be no time at all until they develop a weapon with the single intent of wiping us from the planet.”

Luther finally found his voice.  He prompted, quietly, “And this army you're building... does what exactly?”

Mare leveled his eyes at Luther and scowled at him through heavy lids. One corner of his mouth twitched, and his lips parted enough to allow his tongue to slither through and make its way up the side of Mare's face.  It tickled the Ancient One's eyebrow, as if grooming it, before continuing on to thoughtfully tap one of the two horns budding from his hairline.  Suddenly, it disappeared in Mare's mouth with all the expedience of a snake which had spied an eagle overhead.  It was almost as if Luther had imagined the whole thing, and he wondered how much he could trust his senses.

Finally Mare spoke.  He still regarded Luther with those cold, contemptuous eyes, but his voice remained soft enough, “We must prepare for battle, young one; simple as that.  The day is coming when we will need to fight to survive.  If  individually then we will perish, but with a strong united front we will be victorious.”

Luther smirked, “Just as long as we fight in the dark.”

Mare shook his head, “Soon it won't matter where we fight.  As I said, humans are clever – whether by intellect or by accident.  They will find a way to ally with the darkness, use the night against us.  We have to unite to save our species, Luther.  Even you must be able to see that.  We are forced to make a preemptive strike while we still can, before they overwhelm us.”

Mare was compelling – and intimidating – but Luther shook his head slowly, “I cannot join this cause, sire.  You should know better than anyone that we would fail on any sort of offensive game.  Our kind are secretive, stealthy.  We are most effective when our opposition is unaware of our presence.  At times like that we can use our superior strength and speed to our advantage.  But a frontal assault would fail.  Your proposition is suicide, my lord.”

The End

3 comments about this story Feed