The burning wreckage of the colony was a scene from the Nth Hell of Kranish. Bodies were scattered everywhere. Burnt corpses. Dead sentients. Scorched rubble. Shattered dreams and rendered nightmares.
I contemplated the symbology on the wall before me. Simplistic and meant to be pedagogical. The scene, my AI assistant informed me, was meant to have a positive charge for those still underdeveloped, not yet fully aware or maximized.
I moved forward through the shattered building. This place would be ripe with the scent songs of the recyclers within days. The bodies were plentiful and we would make no attempt to interfere with the natural cycle of things. That was not our way.
My battle armour hummed maneuvering me through the areas still intact enough to have a roof. There was very little of that. The biomimic mechanical tentacles of the suit lashed out to grasp the walls and progressed me through the ravished ruins.
So many dreams shattered. So many color songs ended. So many acoustic scents never to be wafted. I was not at ease.
Our invasion was a resounding and overwhelming success. We had taken this world. The resistance was easily overwhelmed. We had crushed our enemy.
Yet the more I toured our victory, I, the grand commander of the Unformed's army, my internals shifted from uneasy to worried to fearful...to...
I was placing a pseudopod on the feeling when I overheard some of the soldiery, low rank and undercultured, only having had fifth hand bio-mental sharings with the grand thinkers. They were discussing the victory as grunts from a million cultures had done before and would do again until the sky grew cold and the last sentient scent summoned us home.
I stopped to listen and caught the final comment as to why we had won and taken this world, this colony, won this victory.
The sentients, after all, were "Only Human."
I knew the feeling I had felt and my formless form shivered. For I could finally place the tendril on the tenuous feeling I had had over our victory.
I left the creche, the 'kindergarten,' and feared for my life, my spawn, my people.
For those we'd had taken this world from were "Only Human."