In the catacombs that spread like cancer beneath the big house at the bottom of The Mall, the lizards stir. They are by nature nocturnal, but have trained themselves to emulate the primates they have learned to impersonate so convincingly. Night hunts are saved for very special occasions. After sunset tonight, the lizards will be at their dreadful sport in the streets of London, celebrating their final, long-sought victory.
Snug in the middle of a protective mass of consorts, the Queen awakes, the tip of her tail vibrating with pleasure. Gently, she slips free, saving a loving flick of her barbed tongue for the grizzled raptor that has been her chosen companion for the best part of two hundred years. His dorsal spines lift slightly from their sheath, but he otherwise shows no signs of being disturbed.
Soon enough, she will have to leave the warm confines of her caves and return to the cold, over-bright brick box that serves as disguise and gateway to the true kingdom below. Already, her handmaidens will be oiling and stretching the skin that it is her duty and punishment to wear amongst the primates. She shudders at the thought, and decides to delay the moment when the cold, plastic sheath is laced onto her for as long as possible.
They have been here for hundreds of years, planning, plotting, waiting for the right moment, the right victim. The last scraps of a dying race, the lizards fled here to realise only once their ships had irreparably crash-landed that they were not alone. Worse, that the indigenous monkeys that infested this place were far too numerous to defeat in battle. Lizard technology is advanced, but incapable of ending an entire species. They needed a brood army, stronger, more vicious warriors bred for one brutal purpose. The Queen laid hundreds of millions of eggs in the catacombs, awaiting the genetic spark that would bring them to life and send them raging out of the earth to cleanse it for the lizard race.
They had been close with the blonde. How were they to know that she was a double agent, sent by their direst foes to destabilise their plans? But the end result, the Heir, had been a success beyond their wildest dreams. The Queen had tried unsuccessfully to mix lizard and primate bloodlines. The resultant offspring had been weak, venal, flawed. The Heir was different. His thirst for conquest almost matched that off his grandmother. Mixing that alien blood with that of an aboriginal would give her the result for which she had been striving since she had worn Victoria’s skin. A new, merciless strain of soldier, cruel and thirsty for monkey blood.
In a hotel close by, The Bride would soon be awoken. Kept in a state of induced chemical somnambulance for weeks now, raised from coma only when absolutely necessary. Silly, frail thing. It’s sanity had broken at the first sight of the true face of it’s mate. In a frenzied desire to breed, the Heir had shown himself too soon. His lust, while understandable, had nearly ruined his Queen’s preparations. The scar he bore on his snout shows the extent of her displeasure.
Soon, though, it will not matter. Soon, now, the Queen will have the genetic material she needs to rouse her brood army, to rule without the need for disguise. The days, centuries in the making, is finally here.
Her dorsal spines lift, rose-pink and sharp as needles, quivering with delight. Behind her, her consorts and subjects rise, the thick air filling with pheromones, their excitement as plain to taste as good red wine. One last ritual, and this world will belong to the lizards.
They do so love a wedding.