Finish That Thought: Drums of War (Pangaea)

“I thought pegasi were tough to ride until the Army got their first shipment of wyverns,” Flaxx groused while swallowing his braised nightworm. It wiggled down his throat in a pleasant manner.

“Tell me about it,” Anteraxx commiserated. “We’ve been using the damnable things in the Flotilla for a while now. ‘They’re better armored’ the pols caw at us. ‘Greater survivability when facing the featherless demon-fire.'” His throat-feathers rose in disgust. “Bah. I don’t see them diving into a clutch of humans while trying to bank a beast with the maneuverability of an out-nest.”

Flaxx tweeted his agreement around the regurgitated remains of his meal. The nest-brothers strode the streets of Teryx, capitol of the Aviar Empire. Merchants hawked their wares while bright-plumed citizens bustled about their business, many harrying their dull-feathered slaves.

Anteraxx chirped as one such slave, smaller than he by half and blinded by her master’s purchases, bumped into him. His talons clenched and his fist lashed out, sending her sprawling. “Mind your betters!”

“My apologies,” she screeched. “I abase myself before you and beg forgiveness!”

Flaxx shot his sibling a quelling glare. “Easy, brother. Act befitting your station.” He knelt and gathered up some of the scattered packages. “We serve to protect all the Aviar Empire, even the slave-caste.” He handed the fledgling’s burden back to her. “Run along, little one, but mind where you’re going.”

She bowed and backed away four paces before stepping aside to let them pass. Anteraxx waited until she was out of listening distance, then turned to Flaxx. “What was that all about? Helping one of them! Have you taken leave of your senses, brother?”

Flaxx craned his head to and fro before answering. “There are rumors, Anteraxx,” he began quietly.

“What rumors?”

Flaxx nodded at a slave auction occurring in the park nearby. “That some of the slaves are leaving the nest to join with the human interlopers. I hear there was a riot down in Alandra not two weeks ago.”

Anteraxx spat on the ground. “Bah. They can have the worthless seed-eaters.”

Flaxx fell silent as they neared a flock gathered around a raised platform holding an orating senator. “…the human interlopers profess to want peace, but their actions brand them as liars! They take our lands, our slaves, our very livelihood!” The senator twisted his neck to gaze at those behind him. “We must resolve ourselves to fight this barbarian menace ’til the last feather falls! Our very way of life depends on it!” His neck snapped back to its normal position. “Are you with me!”

A chorus of chirps and tweets greeted his pronouncement. The senator shook his head as if dismayed. “I asked you, people of Teryx, height of civilization, ARE YOU WITH ME?”

The cheeps turned to a cacophony of screeches, none louder than Anteraxx’s cry. Flaxx bowed his head. “I guess it is to be a full war then,” he muttered.

Word Count: 487

My entry for Finish That Thought #26 over at the Musings of Alissa Leonard blog. The challenge: Use the sentence provided as your first sentence and create a 500 word or less story out of it. She also has extra challenges she throws in: This week’s Special Challenge is to make the protagonist non-human. The “Festive” Challenge is to use the words “resolution” or “resolve” anywhere within the story. Check it out and enter your own. The challenge closes at midnight Eastern time.

This particular story takes place on Pangaea, the world I created for the Daily Post’s “Interplanet Janet” prompt. You can see the world creation process here and the introductory story to the world, from the human side, here.

Looks like it’s time for another folder.

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Reading and Writing!

J. Milburn

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