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Mindworm, Part 2

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  • Mindworm, Part 2

    A worm by any other name…..

    The neural prod produced excruciating pain.

    Although no words were spoken, I knew immediately what I had to do. Sarita just inserted the thought right into my consciousness, and if I did what I thought, all was well. If I deviated, I felt the mental shout, which if I ignored it led to the application of the neural prod to a tentacle or two. I usually complied. The training initially was obedience training. If I did well, Sarita empathed such joyous feelings of accomplishment and wellbeing that in my immature sentience I reveled in. I wanted that approbation, so I was an apt pupil.

    I could cover about three clicks through fungus at a burst before having to rest and recharge for a like time. Through forests or over barren or rocky terrain my progress was slower, just one click. Strangely, over the aliens' roads, I could move at my fungal speed.

    We detoured en route to the base where the brood camp had been set up, in preparation for the development, in vitro, of the first mindworm bred in captivity. I would be 'midwife' at the birth and would participate in the training. The detour that Sarita had in mind involved a visit to one of the ancient monoliths. We stopped outside, as a gentle humming began, and a soft glow emanated from inside the monolith, bringing its dull metallic finish to life as a soft golden color.

    I sensed Sarita's snort of satisfaction. Her thoughts entered my consciousness **As I thought. It was silent the last time I passed through, but I had already visited one. It makes sense though that it would work on you - after all you are part of an ancient ecosystem that saw these getting built. **

    She commanded me to follow, so I slithered off the rover and across the surface to the monolith. We went inside. The hum intensified, and a soft interior lighting bathed us in a feeling of extreme wellbeing. In one corner was an alien couch, metallic and grey, with consoles and robotic arms.

    I sensed Sarita looking expectantly at me, and felt her probing question **well, what now little hatchling? ** I felt her sense of anticipation, of expectancy, of almost palpable excitement. What now? Indeed.

    Then pure joy suffused my being as I felt my mind opening to Planet. **Welcome, little one. We have been waiting. It is now time to start your training. Come to the center of the floor and relax and listen and learn.** I slithered over to the center, as Sarita stepped back and observed. I don't know how much of this she was following. Her telepathic link seemed to be with me alone, as I had not been aware of any other empathetic contact with any of Planet's other manifestations.

    As I entered the center, the light intensified and focused on me. I felt my sentience expand, as I was swept into the whorl of Planet's consciousness itself. Voices spoke to me in my mind, and suddenly I was reliving experiences of current and departed brethren. I participated in attacks and retreats, experiencing the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat of all. I shared in the breeding experience, and the birthing, and experienced the deaths of countless at the muzzles of the aliens' flameguns. I sensed the creation of the sought after "Planetpearls" when these flamegun attacks succeeded. I was in the stacked attacks where several mindworms joined for greater effect, and then I was aware of the awesome presence in my mind of the locusts and isles of the deep.

    I absorbed it all and as the light intensified and the experiences embedded themselves into my consciousness, I could feel a change coming over me. The individual worms in the cluster that comprised my corporeality began to expand, as cells split and multiplied. I could feel my psi energy intensifying and suddenly the change was on me. I writhed around on the floor, and sensed Sarita's questioning probe at the back of my consciousness, but I was helpless to respond to her concern. The individual worms began to braid together and I felt stronger, more powerful, and more aware. The transition to Larval Mass ended suddenly, as the light dimmed and I sensed Planet's withdrawal.

    **No** I wailed, sending Sarita to the floor clutching her head in agony. Planet's reassurance was swift. **We are always with you, little one, for we exist as one, you and we together. You must grow with this earthwoman, bond to her and include her in our sentience, for we have much to do together. **

    I relaxed, and Sarita slowly picked herself up. Solicitous I queried into her mind ** OK you are? ** I sensed her gaping in wonder at me, as she realized from where that thought within her mind had come. **You can think, and articulate thoughts? ** Her question materialized in my adolescent mind.

    **Yes, think we. But not as alien humans think we. We are one, collectively think**

    I sensed that I had lost her, but she surprised me. I sensed her giggle, and then she said audibly "I have plans for you Little Hatchling. You'll become famous, you'll see. Well, not exactly see, but you will know." Into my senses came an image of me in the fungus, with a neural prod attached to a bundle of tentacles on one side and an alien flame gun in a bundle on the other, herding a flock of mindworms through the fungus. The concept had a label that Sarita inserted into my mind.



    But first I had an exciting assignment. Sarita empathed to me the fabulous news of a new base being established at the outskirts of the peacekeepers territory, closeby a fungus patch. I saw through her mind the formers preparing the way, (and sensed planet's disturbance at this change to her/our ecosystem as the fungus was cleared; then the joy as it was apparent that forest would be taking its place, adding to the rich diversity of Planet's experiences). I saw with pride the colony pod lumbering along the surface and shared vicariously in the excitement as the colonists disembarked and began the assembly of the new base, Zeta Sector Base. The military academy was established, and the armourers began the task of outfitting for the expected force that would garrison the base.

    Then disaster. From the sky came a Hive platoon of shard drop troops, to occupy the new base. They terrorized the population and diverted a huge sum of energy credits away from the Peacekeeper coffers to their own energy banks. I sensed Sarita's indignation and shared her vengeance thoughts.

    Then she melded with me. **Little Hatchling, we have a mission for you. We are the nearest units to Zeta Sector, so we have been asked to win it back. Are you up to it**

    **What's with the "you" bit? ** I telepathed, getting daily more comfortable with the language nuances as I spent more and more time inside Sarita's head, and her in my being. **Won't I just be observing and experiencing how you humans deal with this? **

    **Unfortunately, no.** She sent back. I cannot fight. I am not trained in the martial arts, nor have I the weaponry to defeat this threat, and my Psi weapons are infantile compared to yours. They will be defenseless against you. I will be with you in mind and spirit, but not corporeally.**

    We made plans for the attack to repossess Zeta Sector.


    I approached cautiously through the fungus, senses flaring, with all of Planet willing me on. Their advice to me, in the form of thousands of voices impinging into my consciousness, were driving me insane **…remember to focus your attack…go for their will…don't let them reach for their weapons…project fear and terror…mental images of worms slithering in and out of their every facial orifice… **

    **STOP**, I commanded. **Let me handle it my way. How can I be victorious if everyone is giving me contrary advice?** Planet's calming presence suffused my being. **Little one,** I felt the thought, **don't be too harsh. We are only trying to help. If you recall your time in the monolith you will know that you have already experienced every victory we have had. Now go and put this knowledge into practice, and add another chapter to our glorious book of collective wisdom.**

    I probed the base with my consciousness, aided by Planet's presence in the very air the guards breathed. There was one drop garrison unit that had occupied the base, and their guard was up, but expecting a human military response from the Peacekeepers. Zeta Sector had not yet had time to build base defenses, so I approached right into the base.

    I flung out a bolt of psi-energy catching the garrison unawares. Marshalling my energy, I focused on their wills, implanting visions of horrific deaths and utterly paralyzing them. Unable to reach for their weaponry, held in my neural handcuffs, they were powerless. I struck, going straight for their unprotected heads. As I laid my larvae in each, allowing them to burrow right into the brain, I felt again that transformation occurring that I had felt in the monolith. My compository worms writhed and unbraided, twined and intertwined as the larval mass metamorphosed into a pre-boil state. I rested content that I had done well and sensed ten thousand approbations through Planet's voice in my mind. **well done, Little One**

    Sarita arrived the next day, to formally take possession back for the Peacekeepers. As she ran her fingers through my tendrils she communicated to me **I see that you have changed again, Little Hatchling. Before you become too powerful a fighting instrument we had better get you on that recruiting drive.**

    We left the next morning for Mount Planet, an area rich in fungus and the reputed home of many mindworms. There I would commence the recruitment of the Mindworm Army of the peacekeepers.

    To be continued…….