Qu’lintu stood atop the temple-spire and watched the gods burn.
Great clouds of smoke billowed out of the forest-havens and shrouded the horizon–the gods final gift to Qu’lintu and his people, a veil to shield them from the pyre.
The human standing behind Qu’lintu adjusted its weapon and released a blast of air from its face holes. “Goddamn you fuckers reek when you’re sad. Smells like stale piss and old puke in here.”
“If the scent of our grief… troubles you, perhaps… you should avoid causing it,” Qu’lintu replied, his mandibles making the words difficult to form.
“It’s just a bunch of trees.”
“No. They are more. They are our source… our birthplace. We evolved among their bark. They gave us food… shelter… a foundation for social interaction. Every Scarabae alive can trace its lineage to one of the god-trees. We will… never forgive this.”
“Well if you’re looking for revenge, you’d best get in line. Humans still kill each other over the gods.”
“Did you burn yours also?”
The human gave an amused bark. “Nah. Mine got nailed to a stick, stabbed, and taunted ‘til he died. Ask me, your trees are getting off easy.”