Virgil’s Salad

800px-The_Blue_Marble“Commence firing sequence”.

The Zarian Armada stood poised over the planet Earth, its anti-proton particle beams lining up to center on target. The small green amphibians didn’t really seem all that intimidating, up close, but these cruisers packed more than enough firepower to get the job done. And I meant to see those guns used.

“Aye aye, cannons warming,” the frog-like Executive Officer repeated the command. “Ready to fire in 180 seconds.”

You may call me Galactic Overlord Bill Jones. The Zarians had recruited me some years ago, chosen by their psi-scans as the Being Most Likely to lead their Armada to ultimate victory. Reflexes, tactical and strategic ability, hand-eye coordination…I had the whole package.

I drummed my fingers impatiently, while waiting for the APC’s to charge. At my side where the Zarian’s holy offerings; a cold can of Caffeine Cola and a large bag of French Onion Salty Crunches, my favorites. I cranked the volume, and the wail of the Sado Sirens latest death metal filled the bridge.

The Zarian Armada had plowed a swath across the galaxy, quickly conquering and destroying their opponent’s puny navies one by one. None could stand before Overlord Jones–my Armada found no worthy opponents and the Zarians enslaved hundreds of races and stripped the resources from thousands of systems.

Now, only one race remind the be ground under their flippers. My own, the miserable Humans.

While my patience was nearing its limit, I saw North America rotate under the cross-hair, and my thoughts turned to home town America, where I grew up.

Virgil wrote a short poem (well, short for Virgil anyway) titled Moretum. Translated literally, Moretum would be pesto, or salad or garden herbs. The poem describes the preparation of lunch, in effect.

It manus in gyrum; paullatim singula vires
Deperdunt proprias; color est E pluribus unus.

Spins round the stirring hand; lose by degrees
Their separate powers the parts, and comes at last
From many several colors one that rules.

“Moretum,” lines 103–4, The Works of Virgil, trans. into English verse by John Augustine Wilstach, vol. 1, p. 123 (1884).

How fitting, that America adopted for its motto the recipe that will describe its final demise.

I munch my chips until the Executive Officer announces, “Cannons ready, sir.”

“All right, all cruisers follow my lead, no resistance here to worry about. Going in 5…4…3…2…1…”

So I took the joystick in hand and initiated a victory roll as I pressed the fire button. And the planet Earth disappeared in a massive Hollywood special effects pyrotechnic explosion. And I laugh the required Evil Overlord Victory Laugh™.

Cheerful 8-bit victory music. GAME OVER, roll credits.

RecDave Seal

Salad Shooter

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