Mis watched the dead tear open the young girls abdomen indifferently. It was a funny thing, to watch the television, and see the portrayals of these creatures, as if it had never happened. He noticed that the newer versions of this film genre showed the dead moving faster, almost as fast as the live humans they went after. He thought back to the shambling horrors he destroyed so many years ago. No, they were nothing like that, they moved slowly, and unlike what he saw in the movies, some of them were clever. The elders discovered through much experimentation that they retained much more brain function than they had initially thought. They had even developed a method of communicating amongst themselves, a sign language of sorts. After the initial wave of soul eaters swept through their ranks, they learned how to signal a retreat, they learned they could not harm the eaters, but they did learn that they could protect themselves.
He still remembered the shock when he and four other eaters were doing a sweep of the countryside and came upon a band of dead fighters trapped and surrounded by a dead ambush. Mis let fly with a volley of bolts, and some of the dead fell, but many continued to fight on, despite direct hits. The eaters looked at each other, puzzled, and walked into the heart of the melee. They were wearing armor, and not only that, they moved away as a group when the eaters approached, and retreated with the armored ones covering the rear, absorbing most of the bolts the eaters threw at them.
It took much longer to find and destroy the rest after the initial wave of destruction. The dead leaders became more cautious, and dead raids became harder to predict. The ranks of the dead fighters swelled during this time, and soon each new town and outpost was bristling with fighters, and glowing with the infused weapons provided by the eaters. Mis remembered the long journeys they undertook to hunt down and destroy the leaders. It seemed preposterous to the elders, and to the dead fighters that such seemingly brainless and random monsters could possibly be capable of coordination, and subterfuge. The eaters knew better, they discovered that they could sense what the dead had seen after they took their souls. None of it was random, only at first, when it all began, but the dead had won their victories through careful planning, and the arrogance of the living humans who assumed they were direction-less creatures. The eaters knew they had to find these “necrolords” or this plague would never end. For despite their best efforts, the dead had been growing more successful, which swelled their ranks, and made them tougher to contain.
It took years, and many lives to finally snuff out the last of them. Mis had seen that many times before, the humans getting torn open, fed upon like slaughtered cattle. These films, they never quite got the scream right. That shrill shriek of terror that bursts forth when the flesh is ripped by those hands. It would always rise a few octaves right as the intestines were being uncoiled, the lucky ones fainted at that point. At times, it was unavoidable, there were not always enough eaters around, and they did tire, which would render them ineffective. It sickened him, but like anything, he became accustomed to it after a while.
He remembered poor Sir Jeffrey of Ironmoor, who had both limbs torn off and consumed while he watched in horror. The dead could be cruel at times, that is how they learned to tell the clever ones from the chattel. Sir Jeffrey lived and breathed up until the very moment his throat was torn out, he was able to see everything they did, which was unusual, considering that the dead savored human eyeballs, and normally ate them first.
Mis smiled, he could have done something, he was tired, but he could have done something. But Mis never did like Sir Jeffrey all that much.