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Second Stage

by Shardvixen 4 months ago in Sci Fi

Science Fiction short story by Shardvixen

Plop, plop plop. Noise in drops. Sounds exploding in my head making my jaw ache. Opening my eyes, colors assault me like spears of light to my brain as it scrambles to decipher the input. My tongue feels heavy and dry. I find myself sucking on my tongue and swallowing repeatedly, to get saliva flowing. I try to recall simple information as I figure out where I am. Opening my eyes wider but what I see is confusing.

The picture I see makes no sense until the realization slams into my brain, I am upside down. My arms are hanging by my side, slumped in front of my chest. I registered in my brain, my head is tucked into my chest and my neck, where it meets my shoulders, is resting on a surface. A surface that I could not name. My hips are over my shoulders so that my butt is in the air and my tails are….……WHAT?......…my tails? I don't have tails……Deep breath, I'm dreaming or hallucinating. I tell myself "Just close your eyes and take another deep breath. Everything is so alien but the tails that is too much to take.

Panicking I move my hands, oh no I am feeling like I am going to puke. Ok, Ok, breathe….breathe…think…think. Okkkkkkkk. Deep breath. My head hurts, thumping with my heartbeat…….beats. I feel double beats. No, No, NO! Pushing with my leg, I fall over backwards, I lift my hands: Oh no, what is happening? Panic is setting in with shock ramming up behind it. I AM Not looking at my own hands. I see two digits thick and covered in flexible small needles on each hand. After a few dizzy movements of accepting the fact that I am not sure what is going on, I see I have six hands. I don't remember having six hands.

What is happening to me? How could I have six hands and not remember? I decided to take further inventory and get it all over at once. Checking my body and watching the tails wave in front of my body, I counted six of them and a trunk of a body that ends in one big.. toe? Foot? I am the color of mold, black, green. A yummy color….huh? What an old thought.

Ok, calm down, I am hungry. That is a nice solid, real thought. I focus on that. Why am I thinking about hunger right now….I need to figure where I am and what has happened. Looking up I see red vines and red light shining through. The light hurts my eyes, so I look back down. No toes….ok. This can't be a dream, I have never been hungry in a dream. The hunger is so real and demanding. I just can't remember what happened. I concentrate on the last memory before waking up. Ok so what is the last thought….green images, red blood, coated in shadows of black, the smell of blood then nothing. Did I die? Is this my afterlife? How come I can't remember? Maybe it is a dream, from something I saw, something I imagine. I start to panic. Oh…pant…...oh…pant…..oh…pant…...OH! Stop! I give myself a command, I need to center myself.

Who am I? Let's center on that and something to eat. Lying on my back was a bit uncomfortable. I rolled to my side and used my hands to explore myself. I am not wearing any clothes. I take inventory, make a list, helps calm me, I don't know why but it does. I feel on the top of my head. I feel no skin, just the same needle-like fur or hair the same as on my hands, and wow.... horns or something coming out of the side of my head. Horns with a very sharp point, razor-sharp. Wait….shouldn't I have more than two I am sure I had horns before. Right….. horns ok, just not the right number. Noises in my head concentrate make the sounds stop. I touch the surface I am on, it feels spongy. I am feeling really hungry. Focus back to finding out where I am. I see big, black pieces of some substance around me. I reach out with hands and tails and realize that I can use both to get a picture through my senses to get a picture of where I am.

As I move around on the substance and using my hands and tails, I make a mental list of all the many different sensations which are being transmitted all at once, ….silky, wet, cold, stretchy, thin. I move it to my eyes while my brain rolls around the data and comes up with a possible image based on some kind of deep memory. An egg sac, is it mine or something else's? If I somehow emerge or was born here, where is here and how did I get here? If that is possible, I was in a roomy egg based on the pieces on the ground and I see some hanging on the vines. The thought that bubbles up next is filled with anxiety. My thoughts keep circling back to who I am or maybe I should be thinking what I am? I seem to remember being someplace else, very faded memories.

Who/what am I? I feel unsure, unready…..do I belong here……anywhere?

The next thought, that I try to keep from popping in my head but failed…..am I alone. Not sure what is scarier; that I am alone or that maybe I am not alone. A faint feeling of emptiness rushes over me. I grab the feeling and examine it…… I feel relieved, I am hungry, really hungry. The hunger rumbles inside of me, demanding attention.

I spring up, wobble then hop. I hop again and some more. One method of moving is I hop. So I experiment a bit, a hop here, a little hop, a big hop, a backward hop, forward, backward. Up and down, higher and higher, faster and faster, I ride the enjoyment of the movement. Sideways and around and around, spinning first and slow. With each hop, I became more balanced and more secure, more comfortable. I relish in the movement, each hop filling me with joy and freedom. With almost a carefree glee, I force myself to stop hopping.

Well, the toe-foot works great. My mind grabs a thought, looking around if this is my natural habitat, then hopping probably isn't my only mode of travel. All of sudden I am hit with an overwhelming feeling of hunger. I shake my head to try to clear it. I try to get a more ideal image of where I am. I look around again. I am in a small patch of clearing surrounded by huge red vines. The space was roughly in the shape of a circle. The black pieces of the… (egg sac?).. decorates the edge of the boundary like it was roughly the size of the clearing. Red trunks of the vines populate beyond the clearing from all sides. The space could hold at least five or six of me comfortably.

I bounced towards one of the trunks. I wrap my arms around the trunk and to my surprise and delight my needle fur can grip the surface of the vines which are not as tough as I thought at first. I planted my foot on the trunk and my fur gripped the vine. I move up the vine. It was exhilarating, the power coursing through my body. But before I could move up the vine and view the rest of my world, I m crippled by the need to eat. I tried to take a bit of the vine but it isn't what I wanted and somehow I knew before I took the bite but I tried it anyway. I realized at that moment; I didn't have any teeth, so I couldn't bite much less chew whatever piece I could get into my mouth.

I slid to the ground and let go of the vine. As I stood looking at the vine, it seemed vaguely familiar to me, like I had seen it somewhere in some different shape. It seems like a memory or a picture I had viewed regularly. But the more I examine the memory the more it seems like it wasn't my own but something shared all by all like in a group or like many someones telling me about it over and over. The harder I tried to hold on to the explanation of the thought, the whereabouts of the original stimuli, the faster it slips away. So I let it go. I am getting hungrier and I seem to have trouble concentrating on anything but eating. Frustrate hits hard and despair follows afterward. I start hitting and bounce-kicking the vine, taking my frustration out on it. I feel somewhere deep inside me, this isn't who I am.

I am a being who makes lists and examines data. I am usually a very calm individual or I was when it was easier to access my memories and understand what was happening. I liked it when I could hold a fact and examine it to solve whatever problem it had. I like solving riddles, problems and finding out how to make something better. I need to solve this problem, to answer this question nagging at my brain.

What was I vs what am I, maybe this is the question I need to center on, the one I should answer. My head still hurts, though the cause has changed, now it is from hunger. The hunger was gripping me, causing me to want to forget, just to eat, eat, and eat NOW!

All right….hold on I feel here is food. Right here is a feeling, a thought, a knowing from the primitive part of my mind….I am struggling with two parts of my being. The here and now, new creature emerging with the need to eat, canceling out any other thoughts and cares, and the other me, the wiser, thinking me who needed to make sense of what was now happening to me. I fear the new "me" was winning, somehow I was losing the important part of self to the need for food. I need to maintain the struggle and not give in.

Food is here I know it, but where. I looked around but all I saw were vines, maybe I could push through the vines……as I moved to do so I am frozen by a thought…EAT NOW my brain screams at me. I hang my head in fear and failure and am shocked by what I see. The ground is now transparent and there appear to be streams pulsing just under the surface. I can feel the pulsing in me, calling me, moving me, building with a frenzy, driving out any other thoughts but…….EAT! With a motion so fast that didn't even register until it had been done I struck down, twisting my head to stab the ground with my horn.

As the point hits the surface and punctures through liquid pushed up and makes a geyser. Before my brain could consciously accept the smell which drove my primitive brain into overdrive, I plunged my face down and opened my mouth. My tongue was a straw and I sucked the liquid greedily slurped it up and at first taste, the sensation hit my mind overwhelming my senses so that all that mattered was the food I was getting. I didn't know how long I drank or how much until the spring dried up as the ground pushed back together to close up the hole I had made. I dropped down in a heap. My trunk was very flexible as I curled up.

I felt, like well, like nothing was wrong in my world, all was good and happy now that I had eaten. It was hard to hold on to my thoughts; they just kept sliding away with my happy, numb, giddy feeling. Somewhere inside though there was a part that kept pushing me to solve the mystery. So I pushed at my brain to solve the riddle of who I am and why I needed to know it so badly.

The realization hit me, I had drunk blood, it burned into my head. I had just drunk blood means….. no the thought was bizarre, too strange, too alien for me to compare…..I was some kind of animal or a different being or maybe just really sick. Which meant I was either very small or the creature was very big. All of sudden I could almost see the being from a different perspective. That left me excited and I bounced up with an ease belying how I felt in my body. I started to bounce in a circle, an almost kind of pacing, a leftover trait from the before time. It was time to list, time to solve. There was a nagging voice not wanting to let this problem go, but I was unsure exactly how to go about solving this puzzle at this moment.

So what did I know? I had emerged from an egg with memories of a before time. I starting to have a hard time concentrating because there came that faint buzz to eat. I couldn't be hungry again, could I? I just need to think; what did I need to know…..I needed to know how to stop……no, no, no. I needed to eat, not I don't, yes I..... shaking my head I was getting confused. If I need to feed all the time, how was I going to solve this problem? Do I really need to solve this problem, why me, why does it need to be me? Why am I so important? Why do I need to solve the problem? Because there was a nagging need, an insistent almost demanding external command to solve this mystery? Part of me doesn't want to let go but the other part of me, the new part of me says, " what mystery?"

Two sides warring with each, two different voices and one is becoming stronger. Eat…..how……eat…….to…….eat……….stop……this …..need? Panting I lean over and my brain, the old brain struggles with the puzzle and comes up with an answer. The mystery, the need to solve is all about how to stop the need. This need to eat. The pulsing was starting to beat, a drumbeat moving my body without my knowledge,….Eat, Thumping over and over. Eat, eat, eat, eat. No, I can't give up.. I ……eat!

I did give up and I ate. And I ate……again. And again. I savored the feel of the blood, that rich, sweet taste filling me up but left me empty and unable to control the urge. So I stopped fighting. I let my mind go….EAT, EAT, EAT!!!!

The old part of my brain knows I have failed so many. I am sorry to whoever gave me this task…..it ended up being harder than I anticipated. Eat, Eat, Eat. I don’t know how to finish or help. EAT, EAT, EAT! I can’t hang on any longer….the blood, the joy, the need to eat is all that is left. EAT!

Takern Laboratory: 3655 AS: Universal Time. Dr. David Coe addresses two sets of teams consisting of the best of the best, the Alliance Space had to offer to new races. Everyone in the room was staring at the large screen behind him.

“OK people, uh umm beings. That is the last transmission from Dr. Saturnie. He was the head of the last team which tried to tackle this problem. Apparently, in the second stage of a Flavverian, blood lust is overwhelming, controlling every part of their brain. Higher functions are controlled by this need driving out every other thought or need. Dr. Saturnie had hope that with the nanos we would have been able to get more information. At least we now know exactly how controlling the need is."

Dr. Coe touched the screen and all the different screens compiled together. Walking around the lab with the containment chamber in the middle of the lab and the creature who was once known as Dr. Saturnie and his team contained in it.

Dr. Coe spoke in a dry tone, with a bit of excitement, "The information we are now receiving is just animal thoughts of eating and territory rights. I for one believed this is too much for just the Flaoverians to solve and that is where all of you come in. The Flaoverians want to change their evolutionary dependence on the Trolivan Blood Worm. All Flaoverians will end up just like this unless we can solve it for them."

Dr. Coe waited for the information to settle in and then continue. "You may be asking why bother? I am here to tell you that except for this one little bump in their evolutionary road, these beings are intellectually superior to any other race thus far accepted into the Alliance Space. The technology they can offer is more than we can turn our back on. Their only requirement they requested for all their gifts and inventions is that we solve this one little problem in their genes."

Dr. Coe smiled a cold smile. "I know you are wondering if these aliens are so much smarter than us, then why do they need our help." He watched as a few of the scientists nodded their heads. " Because their religion won't allow them to study their people or use any of them as test subjects. We, on the other hand, don't have any such restriction." Pointing to the container in front of him.

"Dr Saturnie broke a very important commandment of his people and some of his fellow beings feel he is now being punished. There are some of the Flaoverians who are determined to ensure we fail, but they are a very small minority and are being contained by their government."

Dr. Coe nodded to a young Masskia who spoke through its translator. "Dr. Saturnie created, by artificial womb, copies of himself. His sibling/clones fell even faster to the lure of the bloodfest than the original being. For the last 100 years, our best minds have been working on solving this problem. If the Flaoverians are ever going to join us in space we need to change them and we have their permission.

Dr. Coe continued as he turned on the camera on what was left of D. Saturnia. "In thirty years from now the next wave of Flavorians will be changing and any information or ideas they might have will be lost. Three more members of the last team are left and as of now, everyone in this lab will be studying them on the worms and their transmissions. Good luck and let us hope we can make both the Flaoverian Race and our own people proud.

Endnote: Alliance Space landed on the Flaoverian Home Planet 3565 AS. The landing party was greeted by large furry green creatures that were very technologically based. They shared the planet with gigantic (larger than the largest blue whale ever recorded) red fuzzy worms that looked like caterpillars from Earth. The two species had a symbolic relationship allowing the Flaoverian people to live their second stage of life as primitive leeches. How this benefited the Trollian worms is unclear at that time and still hasn't been solved. The Flaoverian requested the help of Alliance Space's greatest minds because they wish to be free of the worms who are slowly dying and will eventually take the last Flaoverian as well. The Flaoverian people need the second stage because it is the only time they mate. Any beings made from artificial means tend to be very unstable and go into the second stage faster.

What happens is two stages of birth occur at two different times in a Flaoverian life. Flaoverians are born from eggs laid by the Flavorians that have entered the first stage called Laterns. The Laterns are clones of their parents. The Laterns need blood from older Flaoverians called Waherns.

The Second stage beings are bipedal creatures with two arms and hands with seven digits. They have a series of horns on their heads. They are covered in fine green fur that attracts the bouncing Waherns. Laterns lay five to six watermelon-sized eggs that are the color black. These eggs are attached to a Trollian Worm, usually, one that had been raised in the Flaoverian Pods. From these eggs emerge a child-like creature who in no way looks like its parents. The second stage creatures suck the blood of the Trollian Worms until one of the First stage creatures goes into heat and then comes close to the Trollian Worms that house some of the second stage creatures. The second stage creatures bounce from the worms onto the Flaoverian that is in heat and through the needle fur sent in its DNA and then it dies. Incubation is almost 2 years and then the eggs are laid and the first stage Flaoverian dies as well.

If Alliance Space could just get their technology and leave the Fuzzies to go on with their lives until they died, it would but none of the other races can figure out their technology that has great potential for warfare against the Bk’arns whose goal is to wipe us all out and take over our planet systems.

The plan that was designed by the top team of Cracse from Earth, was to insert nanos that could record the emergence of the creature into the second stage. The problem that the teams keep having is that no intellect seems to survive in the second stage. It was decided that a hypnotic command would be placed in the membrane of the egg to be passed like an instinct behavior. This behavior would pass on to the second stage creature. At this time, there has been no success in keeping the Second Stage from eroding the intellect of the creatures. And now we must work and wait for another 30 years while the war gets closer.

Sci Fi

Shardvixen

I love to create, and writing is one of the ways I do it. I also have two youtube channels; one for gaming and vlogs and the other one for my crafting. I also have a Twitch channel for my gaming. Pop culture prompts my writing.

Read next: Escaping Fate

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