General Cortax crawled to the front of the crowd to address the brave soldiers under his command. He took several deep breaths, then reminded himself that it was most unroachly to lose nerve in the face of possible annihilation. We shall all die in service to the Clan. He told himself sternly. Not an insect alive can ask for more.
Yes, they could die. After all, this was the twelfth consecutive Roach March, and eight out of the previous eleven had all ended in tragedy. But now, gathered with his followers behind the massive container the humans addressed as a 'Trash Can', the General found hope in the eyes of the brave bugs that waited on his words.
"My fellow Roaches," He began, voice booming with a powerful squeak. "You all know why we are here. This is unlike any other Roach March in recorded history. In the past, we have only sought to rattle the humans. Irritate them. Make it known that despite our grave disadvantage in size, we will not by any means give in to their rule! And in my heart, this is what I desire to do today!"
His proclamation was met by enthusiastic squeaking. Listening to it, Cortax once more questioned the Roachly qualities of the Council's decision. Was not the very purpose of the Cockroaches to wage war against the despicable humans? How could what they were about to do be anything less than a going against their very nature?
"But it is not to be, my brothers," He spoke again. "For our leaders have made their decision. We are to attempt to.....Negotiate with the humans. The Council believes that a recent viewing of the Unholy Box, the box that, through witchcraft, shows conjured images upon itself, has proven that the humans are becoming more tolerant of Roachkind. The images in question are said to contain a clan of Cockroaches aiding a human in the cleaning of her home! And singing!"
Gasps, along with cries of indignation, were the response. Cortax was inclined to agree with his soldiers. In his opinion, the Roaches who had allowed their images to be displayed on the Unholy box were nothing less than disgraces. And it appeared his opinion was shared.
"If these images are truthful," He said, quieting down the uproar, "There is a possibility that peace can be achieved here. We are to attempt to speak with the humans, despite the language barrier between our two races."
He inhaled deeply once again. This was the part where he defied the council. This was the part where he asked for the unbridled trust of his companions. "Officially," He said, "If a human attempts to crush us beneath a Foot or any other heavy object, we are to dodge and continue the negotiations." Cries of outrage peppered the crowd of militants. Cortax eyed them firmly. "Unofficially," He spoke, "If there is so much as a hint of danger, you are all ordered to crawl out of there as fast as your legs can carry you. Understood?"
"My brethren, it has been an honor and a privilege serving with you. Should we die, we die with the honor that comes with being a true Cockroach!" The most noble last words he could think of. General Cortax turned then, and crawled to face the opening between the 'Trash Can' and the 'Counter'.
And reader, they did march. Cortax surveyed the gargantuan room in despair, as he saw not one, but two giant humans close by. And the reaction of both of them was a disgusted shriek. It had all been lies. Why, oh why had the Council ever been foolish enough to trust anything shown on the Unholy Box?
The brave General didn't even have time to cry out before have of his army was crushed underfoot. "Evasive maneuvers!" He yelled in despair, knowing that it was a hopeless cause. "Retreat! Retreat!"
He felt an agonizingly heavy Foot crush his protective armor. It did not kill him instantly, and this he was grateful for. It gave him a moment to look back on his life. He had served well. Hadn't he, after all, been the General the Council had entrusted this mission to? His own thoughts came back to him; Should we die, we die with the honor that comes with being a true Cockroach.
And so he did.
And I, the Night Writer, by request, have recounted this tale to you.