Overlooking the vista of Merriland a city long ago built by humankind was the peak of Mt. Destiny. At its summit, a gathering of bloodthirsty crows was present in a circular formation. Within the centre of these enlivened bodies was a crow of great influence among its species; It sat cross-legged upon an unwavering rock. As the flapping of their wings settled down, a meander of dis-ease permeated until the dignified crow began to speak its mother’s tongue.
“My fellow crows… the Day of Reckoning is upon us.”
“What? Are you sure, Emperor? That time has already come?” Many distraught crows made known their surprise to the entity sitting on the unwavering rock. It wasn’t until it spoke again till they quieted down.
“Yes, my fellow crows, you’ve heard correctly. The ground feast is imminent; just as the prophecy foretold.”
“Emperor, could you be talking about the feast that All-Mother spoke of?”
“It is real? I thought that was a comforting myth told among the fledglings to assure our faith in All-Mother.”
“Yeah, me too.”
The surrounding crows whose appearances were similar to a dark mass of infestation blotting out the sky atop Mt. Destiny were once again riddled with disharmony among their particular phonetics. They questioned if the long-ago prophecy that was foretold by the prognosticators-of-prognosticators of their feathery clan was indeed coming to pass. Some accepted it with glee intent, others did not.
“The prophecy is finally coming to pass!”
“I’m so excited! My mouth is watering.” Numerous crows began salivating as they entertained the possibility of the Day of Reckoning. Thick drools trickled down the side of their protruding beaks until they moistened the surface of Mt. Destiny.
A particular crow among the group wasn’t as gullible as the rest of the gang. Being the voice of reason, it expressed, “Don’t get too excited just yet. This prophecy could be a fluke.”
“A fluke?” Some crows got upset after hearing what the other had to say. “All-Mother’s premonitions are never wrong. They are 100% certain. How could you even mention it being a fluke?”
“The future isn’t set in stone, dummy. Do you know how ridiculous you all sound?”
“Damn you, Yellow Belly for always being the sceptic. You’re the one who’s sounding ridiculous. You can’t apply logic to everything.”
“Yeah, Gar is right! Shut the hell up, Yellow Belly! We don’t want to hear your negative input right now.”
Yellow Belly retorted, “How am I being negative for sharing my point of view? It’s only logical to not put 100% of your faith in prophecies.”
“You’re beginning to sound just like those damn arrogant humans scurrying around down there like rodents.”
“Yeah, Yellow Belly. Shut your beak!”
Many of the crows started bashing a fellow member of their clan based on its shared opinions on the Day of Reckoning. They became so noisy that a higher ranking crow who was perched on a log abreast of the Emperor shouted, “Hold your tongues! Show some respect before the Emperor!”
Silence ensued shortly after the second in command spoke. Now, the Emperor could speak freely. “As I was saying my fellow crows… the ground feast is nigh. I had a direct conversation with All-Mother the other night.”
“A direct conversation with All-Mother?” The crows were surprised to hear this.
“All-Mother hasn’t made contact with any crow for a long time.”
The Emperor continued, “She was kind enough to inform me that our species are about to shift the earthly paradigm completely. No longer will we wait for our prey to die before we feast upon them! No longer will we lurk in the shadows and flee like aerial maggots! No longer will our intelligence be diminished by humans’ ignorance! No! We will take to the skies in droves and rain upon this world with mighty valour!”
“Yes! It’s about damn time!” The crows became very excited and riled up by their leader’s speech. Many of them were ready to take to the sky that very instant and fulfil the long-ago prophecy, except, Yellow Belly spoke again and interrupted them.
“That sounds very good, Lord Emperor. However, there is a major obstacle walking on the surface, the humans. How are we supposed to deal with them? I doubt they will just lie down, open their chests and allow us to feast on their stinking hearts.”
“That is a very good question, Yellow Belly.” Upon listening to what the sceptic in the clan had to say, the surrounding crows gave ear to the Emperor’s suggestions.
“You see my fellow crows. That will be the simplest task yet. The humans… will inevitably destroy themselves.” Many were dumbfounded to hear this, thus the Emperor opted to give them some verification. He flapped his left wing slightly until a bundle of blue feathers started rushing forth. They formed a glowing ring that caused many of the surrounding crows atop Mt. Destiny to squint.
“Observe, my fellow crows.” As the Emperor directed everyone’s attention to the centre of the radiant sapphire ring, vivid images started to come into view. “This link is connected to Jeago’s feed. I’ve sent him on a secret mission. He’s currently spying on the world’s elite.”
The crows’ eyes became fixated on the feed being broadcasted from Jeago’s link. Being cloaked in an invisible aura, Jeago was able to sneak inside the secret world conference currently being held by heads of government from all the corners of the globe. Jeago was standing inverted on the ceiling, looking down on all the world leaders who were having an intense discussion sitting around an expansive table.
Due to many of the lesser hierarch of crows being unable to understand human speech very well, the Emperor had to interpret what was going on at the conference. “The humans are plotting to annihilate themselves and us along with them. The governing bodies of the humans crave depopulation. They believe that the more the humans increase, the harder it will be for them to control them. Therefore, they are considering thinning down the flock, so to speak, in order to reign supreme.”
“What a crude thing to do to their own kind.” Commented a disturbed crow. “They disgust me.”
“Me as well!”
“Those humans have no shame!”
Back at the world summit, the discussions among the world leaders weren’t going so well. Jeago stood his ground and continued to record everything using his telepathic blue feather camera.
The president of the United States of Destiny was getting impatient with his eastern colleague. “We can’t condone your tardiness any longer, Mr Chin. How long are you going to hold out for?”
“I will resign my signature as long as I have breath in my body. I love my country and my people too much to agree to such a genocide act. I believe you should also withdraw your signature, Mr Klint.”
“Damn you!” President Klint slammed the table with the palm of his hand; obviously expressing his discontent with the opposition. “Don’t pretend to be such a saint, Mr Chin. Remember Operation Babies?”
“Huh?” President Chin expressed a bit of surprise when he heard this, but he still played it cool by sipping on his glass of water. “What might you be implying, Mr Klint?”
“Continue playing dumb. Our investigation unit is one of the best in the world. All of us sitting at this table knows about Operation Babies which was carried out in your country. Millions of newborns were injected with Almaconic Leukaemia. A very potent inoculation that hampers the 12-strand of DNA from awakening. This caused many defects in childbirth.”
Mr Chin didn’t deny a thing that Mr Klint spoke of, instead, he responded, “Yes, Operation Babies was carried out under my authorisation. However, that process was done low-key. What you and the others are proposing is using outright brute force to commit mass genocide. What will the public say?”
“To hell with the public!” Mr Klint's demeanour became more brutish. “We the government are the king of this world. Who cares about those weak bastards' opinions? They can’t contend with us. Our military and atomic arsenal are all we need to dominate them.”
“I agree. However, the kings are nothing without their subjects.”
“Mr Chin has a point.” Said another world representative. “I believe our approach to this is too outright and front centre. What will happen when the general public becomes knowledgeable of our plot? Too many of them will be a thorn in our ass. It is best we operate sneaky at first just until we get rid of most of them who might be capable of fighting back. So if they were to later find out the truth, it will be easier to handle them.”
“I agree with Ms Fernanda.” Another representative voiced their opinion. “The world population is around 45,000,000,000, not including the millions of stragglers out there who are unrecorded. I believe we should act swiftly and sneaky.”
Mr Klint inquired, “What is your suggestion, Prime Minister Noris?”
“I’ve employed a skilful group of scientists who have been working assiduously on a flesh-eating pathogen, one that I think might be able to spark a major uproar and quickly destabilize the masses. I was considering the release location to be south of Destiny this time around.”
“Why there, Prime Minister Noris?”
“Well, considering the given controversy surrounding the southern natives’ strong resistance to the global pandemic that elapsed a decade ago. I believe this might be the perfect place to start. We can weaponize the media to promulgate fear and hatred. These emotions are the basics for disease to spread rapidly.”
“Not a bad idea. I like it.”
“What do you think about this, Mr Chin?”
“It is quite a stable plan above what Mr Klint was proposing earlier.” Mr Chin look asquint at Mr Klint who was softly grumbling. “My signature will definitely be brought forward on this one.”
“Good, then it is decided then.”
“I assume your scientists are working on the vaccine as well, Prime Minister Noris?”
“Of course. What do you take me for, an amateur? The vaccine manufacturing process is currently in its last stage of testing. I believe it should be up and ready in a few more days. ”
“So when will this pathogen be ready?” Asked Mr Klint
“In 3 weeks, give or take a couple of days.” Responded Prime Minister Noris.
“That’s sooner than I expected.” Commented Mr Chin. “Alright, I’ll let my people know about this.”
Someone among the group wasn’t so please with this idea. “Wait just a moment all of you. Don’t you think that sort of pathogen is very dangerous? I mean, I have family and some good friends all over the globe.”
Hearing their colleague’s genuine concerns, Prime Minister Noris responded, “Not to worry Mr Roku. We’ll make sure that all your loved ones are taken care of. The preliminary vaccines will be ready in just a few more days. Now, are we all good here?”
Someone else had something to say, “Just one more thing before we conclude our little meeting.”
“What is it, Ms Fernanda?”
With a sinister smile sitting on her face, President Fernanda responded to the inquiry, “Why don’t we make this coming war a bit more interesting…?”
“What do you have in mine…?” Every world leader sitting around the table gave a keen ear to Ms Fernanda’s schemes.
Unknown to the elite members of the world summit, their entire conversation was being broadcasted live to a particular group of crows who had vested interests.
Atop Mt. Destiny, the crows who could understand bits of human language looked at their leader with worried eyes and spoke, “Ahm, Emperor, won’t that pathogen kill us all along with the humans?”
“Another good question.” The Emperor subtly answered, “I’ve been knowledgeable of this development for quite some time now. The specific pathogen these humans spoke of is being concocted to solely target humans. Although, due to the specific Gain of Function research, the pathogen can mutate after release under certain conditions. They are many variables at play currently. However, we will only be focusing on the positive here. Imagine if all living thing on this loving blue planet was affected by the human virus? What then would the remaining humans have to eat? They need us animals alive for food and that will be their own downfall. Crah-ha-ha-ha!”
The Emperor gave a burst of sinister laughter at the end of his speech. The others join in as well.