Dear readers, tonight with us is an antagonist, a most intimidating character. This creature is here to tell us about its existence as a member of the Kresh – or as we call them, the Horde – a rampaging legion of mutated horrors that managed to overthrow an advanced space faring civilization at the height of its power.
The interview is set during the interval between the end of the prequel and the beginning of the main series itself, and reveals surprising details as to what makes these entities tick.
Who are you, and what is your role within the Horde?
My name is Angule, and I have assumed the mantle of Prime Catalyct of the Kresh. Or as you humanoids might say, I am the Field Marshal of the Horde army. Not that I have any inclinations of staying at the rear to direct things when the heat of battle is upon us. When the Kresh march, we fuel ourselves on the soul-rage that compels us to crush and dominate any and all who dare to stand in our way. That’s why puny humans and your Ardenese cousins, who, even now, hide behind the denying walls of their most prominent city, will fall. You fail to comprehend how irresistible the urge to fight and consume is.
Do you have any memories of who you were before you became the Prime Catalyct?
Such trivialities are inconsequential. All that matters is that I was chosen to emerge and feed and ascend into a higher being. Whatever or whoever it was that granted me the privilege of demonstrating my zeal for conquest, I can’t say … though my thoughts are troubled from time to time by whispers from the beyond, and fading memories of an existence prior to my elevation. Such recollections are foul indeed, for they hint of lesser things involving feelings, emotions and doubt. Or worse still, alien concepts of sorrow, remorse, mercy and love.
Emergence? Ascension? What are they, and how does feeding affect such a condition
Emergence is the act of becoming a real person. Someone who leaves ignorance behind in the never-ending quest for knowledge and truth.
Ascension is the ultimate state of being toward which all Kresh aspire.
When we first gain a measure of consciousness, we are near mindless automatons driven by berserker frenzy to feed. And to do that, we are drawn to anything containing the slightest measure of vitality: plasma conduits; computer screens; fuel cells; weaponized energy beams; explosive percussions. The more potent the better, for such exuberance brings with it an ever greater degree of self-awareness; an understanding or cognizance that promotes the generation of Jînnereth crowns – esoteric concentrations of cosmic quintessence – that purifies our wrath and boosts the range and scope of our psychic arsenal.
As for humans?
Ah, you are nothing to us but screaming electro-chemical snacks. Raw and puissant, to be sure, but snacks nonetheless.
Wait! Are you’re saying that feeding not only strengthens you, but it somehow augments your aggression as well?
In brief, yes.
During the early stages of our metamorphosis, we are nothing but uncontained, undirected hurricanes of rampaging anger, as I mentioned. Think of a child of your species throwing a fit. A temper tantrum, if you will. Now apply that to a ten-foot tall, quasi-corporeal, multi-spectral concentration of hate, blessed with horns, fangs and talons the size of small swords. The mere sight of us inspires dread. And as we Kresh have come to appreciate, such fearful trepidation is tasty condiment that enhances your flavor.
As we nourish ourselves, we grow in bulk and gain an ever greater degree of control. The hurricane is transmuted, condensed into a single eye and held in check until we see fit to unleash it in a paroxysm of controlled fury. That control leads to the generation of the Jînnereth stars, visible manifestations of sovereignty that orbit the space between our horns above our heads. It is the Jînnereth that truly ennobles us, for they grant us access to the higher levels of consciousness through which enlightenment is assured.
Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? If the Kresh are so angry all the time, how can they be enlightened?
You are thinking in limited, mortal terms, human. Your minds do not have the capacity or the aptitude to grasp the full extent of the flawless mysteries of Origin. Life exists to evolve through glorious contention. Through conflict and adversity. Through the assured expectation of violence and the sweet release of all restraint. As we grow, we become better attuned with the core tenets of existence. That only the strongest survive. That only those who have mastered the untainted art of brutality, those who dominate and are able to do what they want, and when, without fear or consequence, are worthy of illumination. We are the Kresh. Born to feed and feast, to subdue and conquer. All else pales in significance. Our supremacy is all that matters. And only those who walk the path to enlightenment will truly comprehend the grandeur this entails.
Is there anything that scares you?
To be scared or frightened is a concept I am not familiar with.
Such things are for the craven and weak. And the weak are nothing but prey, destined to serve those who are stronger in the surrender of their life-essence. You will find none among the Kresh who are hampered by emotions, for nothing is more important to us – not even death itself – than submitting to our nature. To ravage and pillage and gorge is why we exist. Why we thrive. Why we continue to expand in the face of bitter opposition. For without such a release, we would surely fade into oblivion.
You are responsible for the death of billions. Do you have any regrets?
What do you think?
I’ve just told you that none of the Kresh are hampered by emotional deficiencies. Emotions are nothing but a crutch upon which the feeble are forced to lean due to their flawed characters. We don’t have to justify what we do. Not the lowly rabble of the Trianium Tier; not the awakening children of the Duarium; and especially not the enlightened stalwarts of the Uniam Tier.
We take joy in conquest and victory. If the notion of regret did ever manage to pick at my resolve, it would serve only to remind me of the ire I feel at not being able to exterminate the humanoid infestation more quickly. It took fifteen months to chase the Ardenese insects across twenty-seven star systems and more than thirty planets before I could isolate them here on their home world. Now it’s just a question of patience. They’ll either come out from behind their walls and face us, or die of starvation. Either way, they teeter on the edge of extinction.
And that’s my doing.
If anything, those billions of deaths you mentioned speak volumes of my prowess and ability to lead, for we have vanquished every obstacle in our path, until only this one last bastion of their civilization remains.
What does the future hold for you?
Sublime edification in uncorrupted darkness. For it is only after we have cleansed the galaxy of all lesser, unworthy life forms that we will have shown ourselves worthy of perfection. The ultimate state of being that will allow entry into the Halls of Vashenta, the crucible from which everything in existence sprang, and to which all will return following the next Omeganal event.
Can you share a secret with us, which you’ve never told anyone else?
It won’t shock the more astute followers of the IX Series to learn that, if I’d wanted to, I could have spawned enough Jînnereth Stars within my own plexus to rival the Hive Queen, Va-ákil, and her minions…
…but THAT would have been a very different story indeed!
Andrew P. Weston is a Royal Marine and Police veteran from the UK who now lives on the beautiful Greek island of Kos with his wife, and their growing family of rescue cats. As well as being the creator of the internationally acclaimed IX Series, Andrew also has the privilege of being a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the British Fantasy Society, and the International Association of Media Tie-In Writers. When not writing, Andrew devotes some of his spare time to assisting NASA with one of their remote research projects, and compiles educational articles for Astronaut.com and Amazing Stories.
Join us next time to meet a woman from a dystopian near future, facing down an alien invasion to an already crumbling planet. Please follow the site by email (bottom-right) to be notified when the next interview is posted.