Canto Sixty-Six – The Arboretum Again
Senator Tedhkruhz entered the arboretum with a glum look on his smug face, but it quickly blossomed into a smug smile as he viewed the scene before him. In fact, his smile became so smarmy and smug that his smirky grin gave off waves of puerile smugness.
“So, Makkhain, you have succeeded in our little quest to kill the planet savers, have you?”
Makkhain, cradling Sizzahl’s apparently lifeless body, looked at him with a glare of pure hatred. The two naked Earthers, both children, glared at him also. He also noted the little Telleron sitting against a huge yellow, red, and green flower thing.
“Where’s your conquering army, Senator?” Makkhain growled.
“I don’t need them. We shut down this base, which I believe controls all the atmosphere restorers on the planet, and we have won. The world ends, and we are the winners.”
“Aren’t you afraid that without your army, I will turn on you and kill you for what you’ve done to me, my family, and my world?”
“Oh, certainly not. You are a clone. And you’ve been thoroughly programmed to do what I ask you to do.”
“Is that so?” Makkhain laid Sizzahl gently down and stood, knife in hand. He carefully balanced it in his right hand for throwing.
“Go ahead. Try to throw the knife at me.”
He cocked his mighty lizard arm to throw, and then started to whip his throwing arm forward. But he couldn’t release. The knife clattered harmlessly on the floor.
“You see? You are completely in my power. Now destroy the controls of the atmospheric instruments.”
Makkhain smiled. “I can’t overcome your programming, it’s true. But I no longer do your bidding.”
“Oh, but you have to. Destroy those controls now!”
Makkhain continued to grin. The two Earthers and the Telleron were smiling now too.
“What is this? Why are you not doing what I command?”
“Because I can’t, fool. I don’t know where the controls are, and Sizzahl can’t tell me because she’s unconscious and probably dying.”
Senator Tedhkruhz lost his smug smile. A look of consternation crossed his ugly lizard face.
“Are you sure you can’t kill him?” the Earther male said.
“I can’t. But others in the room can. And I can’t harm him, but I can dance with him.”
“Dance with me?” the Senator scoffed.
“By your command,” Makkhain said. He moved up to Tedhkruhz and took him by both hands. They began to whirl around each other, Makkhain leading the lizard dance and forcing the Senator to go tripping along. The Senator grimaced as he realized how he had uttered precisely the wrong words at precisely the wrong time.
“Is Lester still hungry for Galtorrian flesh, Brekka?” Makkhain asked.
“Dance him this way,” said the Telleron girl with and angry-eyed grin.
It didn’t dawn on the lizard-man overlord until too late that Makkhain was steering the dance directly toward three big moving blossoms lined with what could easily be interpreted as teeth. He obviously should’ve ordered Makkhain to stop dancing and let him go, but nothing came out of his throat but a hoarse, frightened croak.
The plant attacked with all three blossoms. One grabbed Makkhain and took two bites and swallowed. The other two grabbed Tedhkruhz, one by the head, the other by both legs. They pulled him into two pieces before each happily munched on their half of the wishbone.
The children who remained in the arboretum, three awake and aware, one lying unconscious, were stunned into silence by the sudden end to violence. It was then that they heard and answered the anxious voice of a former old Sunday school teacher turned young war leader. The rest of the Telleron army was suddenly at the arboretum door.