Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language, violence, and mature content.
A man collapsed tiredly in front of his rinky-dink television in his disheveled home on the south side of town, where all the factories are. He had been working a long, 12-hour shift, the fifth one this week. It was time for a well-earned rest. He clicked his television on and scratched his scruffy face, wiping up an oil stain with his burly, crusty fingers. He wasn't going to bother taking his second shower that night, as he was lucky to have earned a 2-day weekend. It was going to be a time of rest and relaxation.
Putting his focus on the TV, he decided to watch the news. It was that or old war movies with his cable plan, or lack thereof. He didn't really care about what was happening on Goo, as it didn't concern someone such as him. He was content with what he had. Even still, there were certain things to enjoy while watching. The live fire demonstrations were interesting, and the parades always excited him. Something about the music pumped him and the whole family up enough to where they would all dance in front of the TV. This was a rare occurrence, one he lamented on.
The news was calm. Stories about the ongoing construction of the statue depicting Hieronymus Sweej, the founding viceroy to the great Goo colony. A military parade in honor of the many Aryan children born in this fine June, which the man made sure to remember in his head.
"Addy! Addy, is that you in the living room?" The man's wife called. He usually wasn't home this early-- it was only 10 PM.
"Yes, honey," Addy replied in his gravely voice, before turning his attention back to the TV. He groaned exasperatedly. Kicking his feet up, he sat back on the couch and lazily motioned to his wife. "Beer me." Nodding, she rushed to the fridge and dutifully handed him his homecoming alcohol. Instead of leaving to do her own thing, though, Addy's wife wrapped her arms around his neck, her hands resting on his beer gut.
"2-day weekend already, huh?"
"Well, what do you say we... you know..." Addy's wife giggled and hugged him from behind.
"I'm exhausted, babe." He mumbled curtly. Addy's wife then frowned, her head hanging low.
"W-well, I didn't mean now... I just thought, well... you know... maybe we could do something tomorrow..." The tall, skinny woman trailed off, sighing. "It's, uhm, fine if you want to rest, too. It's okay."
Amelia jumped for joy. "Oh, wonderful! Thank you, Addy, dear... oh, I can't wait!" She smooched him on the cheek, giggling. She idled in the living room for a few minutes more, trying to spark conversation, only to be met with silence. Sensing his indifference, she absconded silently back to the master bedroom to do more jigsaw puzzles. Addy didn't much mind.
His attention was back on the television. A breaking news story had popped up in the midst of him and his wife's conversation. With intent, he leaned in to the plasma box to hear about this juicy tale. On the screen, there were pictures and videos of utter carnage. Burnt out husks of vehicles, investigative photographs of chewed-up, gnarled corpses, and streaks of blood that stretched out as far as the eye could see. It was genuinely hard for Addy to look at, but at the same time, he couldn't look away. The footage cuts to a reporter standing amidst the wreckage, surrounded by soldiers and passing investigators.
"All passengers and escorts were ritualistically slaughtered and eaten. Were it not for the papers detailing the amount of and names of the people involved in the escort convoy, we would have no way to identify how many lives were lost. We interviewed several investigators from the GIU about the incident, and what exactly happened that night, including chief GIU investigator, Dana Wilson."
The footage cuts to a sweaty man with a straw hat on, the sun glaring into the camera. He was out of breath and clearly stressed.
"At least 40 people were involved, I mean, the escort operations are never supposed to have lower than 30 civilians per caravan. Our boys are often given the order to join in the escort on short notice, so they don't always have time to mark them down. I'd say, uhm, about a dozen could have been involved, and, y'know. This was not a raid, or a uh, a scouting party. The bugs attacked the convoy with intent to kill and eat. Not a single identifiable body is left."
The footage cuts once again to the reporter. "When asked about the potential of this being a declaration of war from the chitterbugs, investigator John Mikkelson had this to say about the matter."
And again, a swift cut to a different investigator, this one letting the sun bear down on his pale face.
"The thing you have to understand about the chitterbugs is that they're pretty smart. So, like, they're intelligent, correct? But here's the thing-- there is no, and I will repeat, no documented evidence that says they even understand the concept of war. This may have been a disgusting display of primitivism, but seriously: they're bugs. They're not humans. Think of them as you'd think of a tribal. They don't think like we do. They think like bugs. The GISF have this under control. More than control-- nothing like this will ever happen again."
A sudden cut to the viceroy, Ernhard Geschutz, addressing the situation on a monitor.
"Grand Viceroy, His most Aryan and Pious, had this to say about the massacre this morning."
"I think..." The old man's jowls shook as he spoke. "I think it is necessary to take this tragedy as a lesson. Not only should this be a case for the overwhelming superiority of the human race, on both moral and intellectual ground, but it should remind any of you utilizing the chitterbug labor force to keep their leashes tight-- the innate savagery within these beasts is all the more reason to deregulate the industries that allow our economy to splendor. Should we give these things an inch, they will take a mile, and not stop from there. These roaming bugs-- ferals, indeed-- are nothing but a blight on the pride of the human race, and should only be allowed into society insofar as to produce."
With that, Ernhard disappeared, along with the reporter. It was back to the news stand, where two anchors sat forward.
"Wow. Powerful words from His Most Aryan and Pious."
"Let this be a lesson, right?" One anchor cheekily grinned, shuffling his script.
The other anchor laughed. "Oh, is it ever right. Filthy things--"
Addy flicked the television off. He sighed. Another attack.
"Addy, what do you want for dinner, baby?" Amelia called from the other room.
"Chowder," he called back, sipping the last of his alcohol. "Beer me!" He bellowed.
"Right away, dear," Amelia rushed to resupply her husband. Then, she stayed in the kitchen to cook. Addy spoke up to her as she cleaned dishes to prepare.
"Whaddaya make of the bugs?" He asked.
Amelia shrugged. "I'm not sure. They scare me."
"They just killed 40 people."
Amelia expressively gasped. "Oh no! That's awful!" Addy cackled at her response.
There was a bit of silence before he spoke up again. "Might join the army again," he said.
"And lose another leg?"
Addy shook his head. "Naw. These things have spears. Any railgun could cut through one of the bugs."
"I don't know, I threw poles really good in school... you can get those things pretty far..."
"Don't care," he said unemotionally, not bothering to say anything else to her.
Amelia pursed her lip and got back to doing her duty. "Yes, dear."