All had gone so very well. Success would breed more success. Greater success. The ground beneath could be solid and stable or it could be the most capricious shifting sand it wanted, the Factor hovered over all. The Factor had returned victorious. The Factor had set in motion a plan. This first victory was mere proof of the plan’s efficacy. Greater victory was inevitable. The Factor would be a hero of the collective.
It allowed itself to fantasize deeper as it drove the stock before it to the hive. Cowed. Humiliated. Defeated. Harvesters. It would be a manager of lowly harvesters no more when this plan was complete. It would not even be a Factor of Factors. If all went well, and why should it not? The Harvesters it had dispatched would find the source of these prey animals. They would report. It would not sit and worry in another’s Collective any longer. It would lead and conquer. It would start its own Collective! Its own Hive! It would not be Factor, but Primate! No more fear. No more anxiety. It would be above. It would be the One-All-Feared.
The tip of the Spire of the Hive became visible on the Horizon as the sky was just beginning to lose the deep purple of night. It more than passingly resembled a harvester’s needle tipped feeding tooth. As if the hive had pierced the heavens and were drinking the ichor of god.
Where had that thought come from? When had the Factor ever had time for thought, much less poetry and metaphor? Never. Never had it been so flush. So full. So … foolish!