The first surrendering Orthon damn near killed me. She had three extra arms sown into her back, moved like a crab and came out the woods in a scuttle. My dugout was a real tip by then. I’d been in it for weeks. Been drinking rain water for days. Thank gods for British summertime, eh?
Anyway, out she came. And I see her. And I grope for my rifle. Only it’s damp from the rain. So I try to clear it, but there’s no time. So I go for my blade, but by then she’s already at the dugout, twin mouths hissing and spitting, making all kinda nightmare sounds. And I think, Benny, m’boy, couldn’t even get your knife out of its sheath. What a way to go. Then I realise she hadn’t attacked. Not one bit. And the noise coming from her mouths are like words, but I had to listen real careful to make out what she said.
‘I surrender. Surrender. Surrender.’
Turns out she wasn’t alone. A monstrous thing, twin heads, no eyes, came crawling out after her, butt-naked. Then two more. And pretty soon, I had a whole unit of surrendering Orthons. A crowd of about thirty sat there, as if I knew what to do next.
Truth was, nobody knew what to do next.
Private Benjamin Harold Lee, Memoirs of a Journeyman.