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Eorapst stood in front of the cave. His mismatched skin was accentuated under the two moons of their world. His tail whipped the cleared-out ground below them. A platoon of twelve raptors stood in a semi-circle around him. They all looked very similar. The only feature that broke their monotonous looks was special battle wounds, or scars. The platoon murmured to themselves, unsure of why the platoon was called. Eorapst raised his claws into the sky. They glistened and shined bright. “My soldiers!”
They turned their heads to him.
“For too long we have been merely the humans boogermen,” Eorapst said. “We hide in the shadows and eat one for one. But today one of our own was brutally killed. We cannot let this stand. We must show humans why we are at the top of the food chain. No some multi-colored monkeys!” The raptors hissed and screamed in excitement. “We shall charge, us,” he pointed into the cave, “and show them our true nature. Our true force.”
“I hope you consulted the Counsel,” said an articulate voice. The raptor soldiers parted away for a gray raptor with a large green circular birthmark on his back to step forward. “The portal can only accept so much energy in and out. If you push too hard it will be destroyed. That would leave us without a food source, or home for those on the other side.”
Eorapst snapped to salute. “Sargent Nyasan this is just a small force, sir.”
Nyasan walked forward to Eorapst. He examined the platoon while he walked. His movements were precise, measured. “I can see Lieutenant. Did you at least tell the Colonel about this?”
Eorpast looked away from his gaze.
A sly grin curled its way across Nyansa’s face. “I see, most unfortunate,” he said. His tail coiled around Eorapst body. “Well, it seems I was too late to stop you from going. It is too bad really. I would have really chewed you out. Maybe literally, maybe metaphorically.” He whipped his tail against Eorapst back. Eorapst shook, holding his ground and trying not to collapse. Nyansa looked at the platoon. “If you come back heroes, you will be overlooked as the Counsel come in. If you fail, you will not return.”
“Yes Sargent!” the raptors and Eorpast said.
“Good, good to hear it,” Nyasan walked away. “I hope you have a great hunt!”
Eorapst stood. He held his arm up. “Single file, on me, men.” He turned and walked into the cave with his platoon behind him. His muscles twitched as he held back his drive to go at full speed. His knuckles twitched in anger over Nyasan’s entrance and taunting of him. Once he comes back a hero, he will rise above Nyasan to Captain and drive Nyasan into the ground. The echoed clicks in the cave created a menacing march. The portal to the human world was down the first hallway on the left. He entered the room and stepped aside to send his men forward. They leaped into the truck-sized portal with no fear, no burden, only victory in their head. It will be what sets them apart from the animals, the meat, the food. Eorpast entered after the last man jumped in. He felt his skin try to peel itself away, and his bone shake to their core.
Eorpast pulled himself through the plastic wrapping trapping him and through to the empty warehouse. The sun was setting and cast a long shadow from the roof. He cracked his tail in front of his men on the concrete ground “We will find you, Dieous and the three teenagers.” He paused “Ow. Now to the roof.” They leaped to the roof. The river’s cool air sent shivers down the raptors’ spines. “Now one of you show me where the teenagers live.”