“This way Willy, I saw it crash over here!” Bradley called out, climbing over the sharp rocks surrounding the quarry. The older by was quickly outpacing his younger cousin, who was taking his time moving along the ledges as they scaled up to the edifice that allowed one to overlook the vast quarry.
“Hold on Bradley, I’m coming!” Willy called out, finding a solid foothold before he could move any further along the ledge.
Bradley didn’t wait though, instead choosing to climb up all the way to the flat open rock expanse that stood at the top of the edifice, whistling as he looked down into the deep algae green waters of the quarry. That was, at least, until he noticed the still smoldering wreckage of a large white and red vessel, an oval in shape, torn to bits as it had crashed in the forest and skidded along until hitting the hard stone of the quarry.
“Oh my god, Willy I think it’s a space ship!”
“No way!” Willy called back up, stretching out to reach a hand hold he was sure would support him.
“Yes way! There are a few fires around it, and it’s broken up into pieces, but it looks like an alien ship or something.”
“I’ll be up in a moment!” Willy called up.
Bradley just continued to stare in amazement at the gigantic craft. He could make out the rockets there… and over there must have been the cockpit, it had broken glass all around it. But what was confusing him was a large metallic orb that had rolled out from beneath the craft. Looking at it from where he was, it appeared as if the orb had been torn open. Large sheets of metal looked like they’d been rent apart, like some kind of machine had been here already and opened it.
Pulling his binoculars from around his neck, he peered through them, adjusting them to their highest setting. Sure enough, long grooves showed where the metal had been pinched and stretched apart, torn like linen. Following the marks on the ground, his breath hitched in his throat; there were tracks leading away from the pod… big tracks, leading into the water.
A low clicking noise, rapid fire as if coming from an automatic airsoft gun, came from below. Bradley pulled his eyes away so that he could take a look at what was making the noise.
He didn’t even get to scream before he was pulled over.
It held onto the screaming mammal with its stronger forelimbs, pulling silk from its glands beneath its fangs in long enough, and thick enough, strands to begin wrapping the noisy creature. It didn’t know if there were many others nearby, as it had encountered one lower on the cliff base that it’d been forced to deal with. It was on a backwater world at the edge of the known universe… it didn’t know what to do.
Scuttling down the rocks on six multi-jointed legs, the creature continued spinning its webs around the muted mammal, making it to where the little creature would be unable to escape, just like the other on it had sticking to the carapace on its back. Snipping the silk with a clip of mandibles, the creature leaned its head forward and sank its fangs into the wriggling pod of webbing, injecting several eggs into the mammal, as well as its own paralytic cocktail. Using its three fingered forearms, it lifted the bundle of slack meat over its shoulders and affixed it to its back, just above the other one.
Raising its longer antennae into the air, it didn’t detect any other mammals like this anywhere close, though it did detect a number of meal-worthy creatures it could take advantage of once it found a cave it could settle in. Scuttling along back up the cliff it began pulling at loose stones, tossing them down far below it.
After spending a few minutes digging suitable nests for the budding spawn already writhing within the mammals, it pulled each pod from its back and nestled it into the holes in the cliff. Multifaceted eyes looked over the notches in the wall with scrutiny, before finally deciding that this would have to do until it could find a cave. Crawling back down the cliff, it used its longer antennae to begin tracking something larger. Clicking its mandibles together, it ran into the woods with startling speed, zipping from tree to tree, long furry antennae raised high and bending every which way. It finally began to slow down after a mere five minutes, finding a large mammal eating the carcass of another large mammal.
A lot of mammals on this world, it thought to itself as it studied the creature.
The hungry mammal was big, probably as big as it was, though it was covered in a thick brown coat. It walked on four muscular legs, each of which ended in paws with long talons. The creature had a long, bloody snout and short, rounded ears. Its eyes were small and set in the front of the head, just over the snout. A large hump on its back made it seem larger than it actually was, and the creature reeked of death; it was a carnivore.
Good… I always prefer to eat other predators when given the chance, it thought as it watched the mammal tear a large strip of flesh from its kill.
The two smaller antennae that had remained motionless along between the two long ones twitched to life, spreading out and pointing in the mammals direction before beginning to vibrate. Nothing happened at first, but slowly the mammal stopped eating. It looked down at its meal as if it were something strange, and growled at it before swiping a massive claw into the side of it. Minutes, the mammal exhausted itself ripping and rending its meal apart, roaring in defiance of whatever it was the beast saw.
It chuckled to itself, maneuvering its small antennae back and forth as it telepathically tortured the large mammal. It watched as the beast began biting into its own limbs, tearing at the fur and flesh, fighting something only it could see. Clicking it’s mandibles together, it scuttled closer to the mammal, which was chewing off one of its paws. Once it got close enough, it clambered up and over the mammal, flexing the internal muscles needed to push the stinger out of its segmented tail.
Driving the foot of sharpened chitin into the side of the mammal, it bit into the back of the thrashing beasts body, injecting the paralytic toxin directly into the brainstem of the wild animal, causing it to go slack. Relaxing the muscles within its tail, the stinger slid back in quietly as the mammal slowly began to struggle to breathe. With each watery gasp, it slowly grew more and more calm until its chest finally stopped moving.
It chittered happily, using its delicate forelimbs to grab onto the mammals hide, pulling it up as the muscles within began to dissolve into a digestible fluid, the fur now sagging as the mammal was slowly being rendered down into a sack of fluids. It smiled and bite into the fur, sucking out the juices as they formed.
Maybe this planet wouldn’t be so bad after all…