The lizards had their heydays during the martial law regime of the ‘Big Three’ comprising of Bruno the bee, Lazarraf the lizard and Spindle the spider, when hordes of bugs, roaches, and insects of all castes and creeds were killed in thousands.
The KKK was almost obliterated and only those survived who were able to escape. What followed was a reign of terror in the history of GK which lasted for four days in which innocent bugs and insects were dragged out of their hiding places and killed indiscriminately with the lizards and spiders of the walls and ceilings forming a coalition party. Scribes referred to those times as the Dark Ages in the history of GK. With the forced exile of their leader, Bruno the bumblebee, the coalition lost its power and gradually, its hold over large tracts of the land. Even now though, Spindle, the crippled spider ruled the area under the sink and also the area where the wall met the ceiling. His castles of web still had dungeons where many poor unfortunate insects lay trapped. It was rumored that Spindle was the only one besides Mak to have gone outside GK. He had married a foreigner by the name of Britney, a black widow spider that Monty kept in a glass jar. But he had to leave her after the honeymoon when the relationship turned sour. It was said that he lost one of his legs when Britney tried to eat him. The experience had left him bitter and resentful. Henceforth, he was dead set against interspecies dialogue or any sort of coming together. He had consequently ended the partnership with Lazarraf, which marked the end of the era of the ‘Big three’.
The last member of the big three, Lazarraf ‘lundi’ lapaitoo was a polarizing character. And the missing tail that grew back after every close escape only added to his mysterious persona and appeal.
Nobody really knew how and when he came to GK, but as far as analysts could tell, he had been part of the ‘Great Game’ during the rule of Bruno when the moths were trying to expand their hold near the lights. But with the exile of Bruno, the parting of the ways with Spindle and the coming into power of a democratic government under the KKK, the tacit support to Lazarraf died down as he was not very popular with the masses due to reports of him exploiting his authority and not discriminating between moths and the local insect population. There are still ‘missing insect cases’ in the GK court of justice in which he is a prime suspect. But there are some who consider him a national hero for defeating the moth brigade in the monsoon war of ’92. It is due to this grudging respect that he is still able to maintain a hold over the tube light, even though the monsoons bring fresh waves of moths and repeated attacks. The tube light is the highest battleground in the GK and the main source of light. The government of Bulgari lets Lazarraf stays on with the unspoken agreement that he will not venture down or kill any of the locals. There are reports that KKK came into power by brokering a deal with Lazarraf in exchange for safe haven near the tube light. But lately, dissidents and the opposition have started questioning the government’s policy of ‘good lizard, bad lizard’.
There are calls on the KKK government to break the partnership and send the military ants, led by their battle-scarred General Choonti after both Lazarraf and Spindle, the last remnants of the era of the ‘Cold War’ between the plain GKians and the highlanders or ‘clingers’ as derided by the land insects. The KKK is the first government which, under its crafty leader, unified the whole region, but it has always been a marriage of convenience, which of late, has started to come undone.
Mak is brought back from his reverie by Shakira, ‘Helloooo! I thought you were taking me on a tour!’
‘Sure hon, just give me a minute’, Mak turns to Gilly, ‘don’t worry about it mate! I’ve got it all covered, I’ve called in a party of fireflies from the garden; they’ll be coming in to celebrate our second week in power. The locals will love it, and they’ll forget all their problems, and we’ll be able to complete our term in office, trust me!’ he slaps Gilly on the back for assurance.
Gilly is not convinced, ‘I hope you’re right man, we’ve had two weeks of peace because Monty has been having his exams like you told us, which is why we have had no Krone attacks lately, but it cannot last forever!!’ Krone or ‘the death from the skies’ is the name that has become synonymous with fear and terror amongst the residents of the GK. Krone is the tall sweeper who makes daily appearances and unleashes powerful toxins as well as a ground assault that kills anyone foolish enough to be caught out in the open.
Although vehemently denied by the KKK government, there are reports that there is in place, a secret approval for the attacks.
The presidency has been stunned recently by the revelations of one of Gilly’s cousin’s who lives out in the lawn and who has seen the whole incident. Lombado ‘leaky weak’, so named due to the effects of a Krone attack when he was visiting Gilly, claims to have seen representatives from the KKK government meeting and sharing information with their counterparts in Krone’s mop bucket. If Leaky weak’s accusation is to be believed, the KKK not only approves of the attacks but also knows in advance when and where they will happen.
This is one of the main reasons why Bulgari had Mak sent out on a last-minute effort to secure the support of neighboring states. He tries one last time to convince Gilly, ‘Look man! I know what you’re saying and I agree, but look at the bright side of things, this ladybird has already diffused most of the tension, you’ve got to agree the crowd was pretty amicable considering the bombshell that your no good cousin leaky weak dropped,’ Gilly shifts around uncomfortably, Mak continues ‘but it’s ok man, once the fireflies perform, you’ll see how the people will forget all their worries and soon this incidence will be no more, you’ve been through this before, an entertained population is a happy population, so cheer up, ok?’
Gilly nods uncertainly, which seems to satisfy Mak, who puts his arms around Shakira and the two set off on a tour of the GK, leaving Gilly to worry about the arrangements for the concert after the meeting. He walks to the toilet seat, which is the main platform for all important meetings as well as the concert to be performed by the fireflies. Remi is already there, going over the seating plan and sequence of events for the ceremony that marks two weeks in power of the KKK. Giving Gilly a hurried wink, he goes back to the task at hand.
The two best friends will never meet again.
*Missed part one and two? Check them out, here.*