“Why are you so loyal to that man? He’s a monster!” “Well, we get great health and dental plus Life insurance. Then there’s the mandated safety awareness so there’s hardly any accidents and if we get over our quota the wife of the evil overlord makes homemade dinner for everyone”
The sound of clashing swords filled the wasteland. The entire plain was barren; the ground was dry and cracked with not a single plant to be seen. The sky was clear, but instead of a vibrant blue, it glowed an ominous red. The land was void of all life, except for four figures from which the sound of combat radiated.
Three of the figures were large, quite larger than the fourth, and they all wore similar armor. A black, rounded helmet completely covered their face with only small slits for their eyes and mouth. Despite appearing in a human shape, the glowing yellow eyes suggested otherwise. Their entire body was wrapped in a black chainmail, complete with rugged looking gloves and boots. Each of them was sporting a massive, two-handed sword, whose blade looks as if it could slice through mountains.
The sound of combat had ceased, and the three large figures stood in a triangle, hands on the hilts of their massive swords, around the fourth figure. The fourth was clearly a human, and wore vibrant colors that seemed to represent a country, or perhaps a kingdom. The human wore no helmet, and the only armor to speak of was some silver chainmail that had been hidden underneath a normal, cloth shirt. He was kneeling, heavily out of breath, using his, significantly wimpier looking, sword as a crutch.
“Damn it…I can not fall here…I am…the hero…that will save this world…”
A deep voice boomed from underneath one of the three figure’s helmets. It was difficult to pinpoint which of them had said it, or had all of them?
The human stood up, shakily, holding his sword in a fighting position.
He charged. It looked desperate. This would be his final stand. This human, who had ventured far from his small town in hopes of saving this world from the treachery of the evil overlord. He had trained. He had trained so hard. Every quest that came to him he had completed with the utmost marks. There was nothing that he turned away from. He never failed. After years of gaining experience, he had decided it was time. It was time for him to defeat the evil overlord, and free more than half of the world from his tyranny.
He had not anticipated this, however. He had no idea that he would be on the brink of defeat shortly after entering the wasteland that marked the beginning of the overlord’s domain. It was just a few hours ago that he was sent off on his journey to a thunderous crowd. His morale was so high. His confidence was through the roof. And yet…here he was, making one last charge.
“I will free you all!”
He swung his sword as hard as he could in a downward, diagonal strike. He would rip through this puny servant’s armor, and slice him in half!
“Oh, for fuck’s sake.”
The figure deflected the downward strike easily, then delivered a punch to the chest of the human that sent him flying onto his back. The human coughed, desperately trying to bring air back into his lungs. He grasped at his chest, leaving his sword on the ground beside him. He appeared to be in a lot of pain.
The figure who delivered the punch walked up and kicked away the sword, looking down upon the human with pity.
The human was slowly regaining his breath.
“…did it come to this? How…how can someone as strong as you…serve such a tyrant?…”
“If you must know…”
The human looked into the gleaming yellow eyes behind the helmet of the figure. His sword had been raised, prepared to deal the killing blow. At least, before his death, he would know why such warriors had turned their backs on the rest of the world. He would know why these creatures chose the evil overlord, over the kingdoms of the civilized world.
“…it’s because the benefits are pretty surreal. Health, dental, retirement, workplace safety. It’s a pretty sweet gig.”
The once booming voice of the figure now sounded lighter and more human-like. The figure had also shouldered its sword, apparently not about to deal a killing blow.
“I mean, the perception of the job is pretty bad, don’t get me wrong. There is a lot of work our PR department has to do, but they’re working on it. I mean, we only kill a “hero”, what, like once a week now, boys?”
The question was met with shrugging shoulders, slight nodding, and a “yeah, ’bout right” from the other two.
“I tell ya, it used to be daily. Hell, multiple a day. All of them thinking they were the hero to save the world. Tsk. Poor chaps. Of course, a lot of them were smarter than you, they actually brought a formal party.”
The man on the ground had started to sit up, looking between the other three with complete bewilderment.
“Well, that’s rude.”
“Of course we can talk, you fuckin’ idiot. We’re human, like you, cunt.”
“Impossible! Your eyes! Your height! Those swords! No way!”
“Christ. Haven’t you ever heard of workplace attire? The helmet is enchanted to make our eyes look spooky, chest armor adds to our strength, and leg armor increases our height. Makes us look intimidating, ya know? Even an idiot like you has to know about enchantments.”
“Tsk, I guess that smear campaign lead against us really did a number, didn’t it, boys?”
“Yeah, they don’t even realize we’re people just like them, just with better jobs.”
“Yeah, really sad. Poor fellows.”
“Oh! Ain’t it Friday?”
“Yes, it is! Hell yeah, Mrs. Boss’ cooking is the best.”
“We better wrap this up, then.”
“Agreed, got to get that report in before dinner.”
At the attempt of being grabbed, the man on the ground screamed and flailed about.
“Would you shut it?! Look, unfortunately, we gotta kill ya, it’s our job. No hard feelings. 100% not personal…though you did attack us, not the other way around, just remember that.”
There was a scream that was suddenly cut short, and the three figures started walking in the same direction.
“You think we’d get more public support if we didn’t kill them all?”