She stood in front of the gate, and remained still, listening for the sounds that the oracle had described.
Around her, the trees were silent, there seemed to be no bird or other living things, but the trees.
Then she heard the low grumble, a sound so faint that only her training allowed her to recognise.
She shivered a little, soon they would be here, invading her world, their hideous chariots and spears spreading terror among humans.
But she only had to throw the bomb at her feet, to silence the thousand wheels of hell, and seal the gate.
She stood in front of the desk, her eyes turned down to the floor, waiting, afraid that the officer would notice her heart beating so fast: how incredible it was that her application had gone thus far!
The officer stood up and told her to undress: she was expecting to be searched, as her comrades had explained, and as she stood, naked, two women in uniform entered the room and searched her body thoroughly.
“You are number five” the officer said, “now that you are cleared, you will next meet the Leader, and you have the instructions”.
Two guards took her, still naked, through a long corridor, then opened a large door: surrounded by two lines of his henchmen, the Leader stood, erect, looking at her, a reptilian smile on his thin lips.
She knelt, and as she had been instructed, crawled to the Leader on all four: when she was close enough to lick his boots, she looked up at the hated creature, and, as she had rehearsed, bit on her tooth: the lethal poison immediately killed anything living on a radius of two hundred meters.
Photography: © Frank Rheinboldt