Chapter 43.1 – The Path of Hatred
It boiled and burned in my essence.
I despised the Madness of the World. The desire to crush it and erase it roiled inside me. It had laid its dirty hands on me, infected me…violated me. All the terrible things it did to me made me want to do terrible things. I wanted to hurt it just as much as it had hurt me…no, I wanted it to hurt more, to suffer, to regret ever laying a hand on me or my lizard. The pain I felt would be payed back 10 fold, and then some.
Hatred was the culmination of many feelings: lashing out in anger, plotting in wickedness, bliss in the pain of others. Such terrible things I desired. And these desires would infiltrate the family heart, infecting all the lizards in its darkness.
The darkness spoke to me, ‘Let it come. Let it wash over you. Let it release your darkest desires. Let your pain be known, and let all others know that you will not stand for it. Let it in.’ Such sweet, delicious, poisonous words.
All I had to do was give myself to the hatred, let it fill the hole in my heart. It would give me purpose, it would give me revenge.
It is the course of nature. When something is out of balance, the world will right itself. If the world becomes too hot, then it will freeze itself. And so, when a hole is left in a heart, it will seek something to fill it to maintain balance, even if that something is the opposite of what was there before.
The hatred filled my heart. It felt relieving to feel again, to have purpose. Even though it burned, it made me wonder why I wanted to feel nothing at all before. This was so much better. I could still feel without thinking as my emotions moved my hand.
And then it spread. I could feel it as it coursed along the threads that connected me to every one of my lizards. They had never encountered our enemy, but they would know it when they saw it; the heart would tell them. And they would hate it. The creatures controlled by the others would be the subject of their ire, while the other Overseers would be mine.
I urged them on: craft armor, build armaments, create weapons; protect, fortify, destroy. As the hatred ripped memories still forgotten from my unconsciousness, I imparted upon them all the primitive designs within their capacity to recreate. Then would come strategy and tactics, and in their dreams I would show them battlefields and war. The emotion I once stifled in them now fueled their every action. They worked with a vigor the likes of which I had never seen before.
Before the Surveyor had been shot down, the lizards had not yet created bows and arrows; thrown javelins were their long-range weapon of choice. But I knew the bow was needed, and when the time came for the conflict to begin, it would not be the near-humans who loosed the first arrow in anger, but a lizard. This was the first of many weapons I gave them.
Swords and shields, followed by leather and plate armors, all the way to catapults and ballistae. Technology surged in the colonies as they prepared for their first true war. War engendered technology at a haste unrivaled by peace. Battles with predators could never prepare them for the front-lines, but I could. The dreams I gave them at night, the directions in which I guided their hands, all were leading toward that fateful day. I would not fail them a second time, I would not let them be caught unprepared.
Day turned to night, and night into day, over and over. The hammer of blacksmiths, and sounds of effort echoed over the forests. The colonies under the waves, with their strong and agile bodies, spent their time rehearsing shoreline ambushes. Those from the mountains put their wings to use and kept communication strong between each colony. Every day was spent becoming ever more prepared.
Bright days filled with life and laughter clouded over as the mood changed to one of anxiety. Tension was raised, and all scales stood on end as they prepared to meet their enemy. Those that were weak were put to work to help the strong, and children were now raised with battle in mind, being cultivated into fierce warriors. Never mind that the arts suffered, pay no heed to those that did not listen to the hatred of the heart. War was coming, and they would be ready. They had to be.