art by Seth Alan Bareiss
by Erik B. Scott
***Editor's Note: Adult, violent story***
After the third knock, the door finally opened a crack. Jaren saw a scaled hand wrap around the door and a pair of narrow yellow eyes peek out suspiciously. "I've been waiting," his serpentine voice beckoned. He opened the door and led Jaren inside.
Jaren sighed, "We are sorry for the delay, sir. There are hundreds of construction projects going on around the city right now and most are in need of our services."
The Morgat scoffed, "I don't doubt that--my people actually take some pride in their progress, unlike you humans."
His voice betrayed condescending pride as he spoke, and although he had intended to offend Jaren's humanity, in reality his barbs had missed the mark. "I've always admired your people's commitment to progress, from the time I was just a young boy in one of your government's civil service camps."
"You were in a camp?" Inquired the Morgat.
Jaren nodded. "I expressed an interest in serving with the occupation forces, so I was displaced from my parents and put in one of the camps. My test scores weren't high enough though...."
"And so they placed you in the exterminators," interrupted the Morgat, seemingly unaware of Jaren's admiration. "Now let's get to this job you're going to be doing for me. I have a huge pest problem in the basement. They've taken over. I need you to get rid of them."