Taking a worm’s eye view…………..


My Mindworm Brigade had more than quadrupled.

Within a couple of Planet’s revolutions the incubators across the peacekeepers territories produced the infants, about 50 of them, eager, with questing minds and a thirst to explore their burgeoning sentience. With The Pholus Mutagen Special project completed, they were emerging as Larval Mass units, but not without personal cost.

It had been my idea, implanted into one of the scientists minds (who then took credit for the concept thereby earning fulsome praise from her colleagues).

She had said:

“Our belief is that the various living organisms that comprise Planet are linked in a primitive neural net – sharing experiences and memories to create a collective whole that is greater than any individual part.”

“This is true”, her audience assented.

Then why don’t we accelerate this process by taking cells from our oldest Mindworm specimen” (Specimen, I snorted, my tendrils rising like hackles on an earth animal’s back) – and grafting these, one to each embryo, to see if this one’s experience and wisdom can somehow be inbred into the hatchlings.”

Absorbing this, I did the math. About 50 bases were incubating mindworms. As a Demon Boil I had some 250 worm tentacles massing in my bulk. I would be reduced to about 80% effectiveness until regeneration. This was acceptable.

I imperceptibly sent a probe tendril wafting over the consciousness of the assembled scientists.

“Excellent idea”, they said, “let’s do it”.

Thus the hatchlings that emerged from the incubation bays had already progressed one stage in our native lifecycle.

At my gentle undetected insistence, the bases again retooled their production objectives.

&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&

I dragged my somewhat bruised and damaged mass to the nearest monolith with more than a little hesitation.

Planet had been remonstrating with me, scolding almost, and I had been busy erecting a neural shield between planet and my fiercely loyal Mindworm Brigade. As all of us had reached demon boil stage our appearance had assumed a reddish hue, so that the aliens had taken to calling us ‘The Red Guard’. I knew that I would be vulnerable to Planet while within the monolith’s sphere of influence, cut off from my wormtroops unless linked through Planet.

But I felt myself ready to take on Planet, to tell her that her way was not the only way. I was powerful; I was in control of events. My Red Guard was the equal – no the better – of any troops the alien factions could throw at us. Why even our locust squadrons accepted my leadership.

The familiar golden light bathed my tendrils, and I felt the healing process begin. I also felt Planet enter my consciousness, my feeble barriers proving useless in this environment; this was her territory.

Planet wasted no time.

**What you are doing is wrong, Little One.**

**I AM NOT LITTLE ONE. I AM DEMON BOIL**, I shouted telepathically.

But only Planet could hear, and she was not intimidated.

**We know, we know. You have become strong, and are growing stronger, but your way is not the way that we think is best.**

I pondered this, then projected: **Your way is not effective. Forcing random bursts of fungus into forest patches and releasing untrained mindworms to infect the aliens mines and farms, to be picked off and sacrificed to their needlejets and laser guns is suicide. You cannot win such a struggle. The aliens are too strong, and are growing stronger.**

I continued: **My way guarantees success. I will have a highly trained marauding army that will be focussed on the task of expelling these aliens and restoring ownership of Planet to our kind. I have copied the command structure of the aliens’ military forces. My more experienced commanders are all demon boils well versed in mind control techniques and able to narrowly focus their psi-energy. Under my leadership we are able to influence a whole faction of aliens to do our bidding. They do not yet know it, but these peacekeepers are sowing the seeds of destruction of their own race.**

Planet softly interjected: **They are not all evil. Not all are out to despoil my atmosphere and pillage my land for their own selfish gain. Some wish to live in harmony with us, and respect our fragile ecology. And, too, remember Sarita.**

That was a low blow. Was I not doing this for Sarita? Was this not her revenge on those who had tortured her and mutilated her body? Did they not deserve to have this stage of their lifecycle abruptly terminated?

Planet read my stream of consciousness. **Oh, how bitter you have become, Little One, and how vengeful. And how powerful. I fear I cannot stop you, as you have become too powerful. But listen well. There are those among the aliens that I have communicated with. Who respect me, and us, and wish to work in harmony. I have been talking to them, and together we are looking for a better way. Do not be hasty in your actions that you destroy them and their dreams.**

I let these thoughts seep into my being, and reflected on them. Planet continued: **You have wreaked vengeance on those who physically harmed your Sarita. Be satisfied with that. Return to the fold with your brethren, and together we will work with those aliens who are in harmony with us and evolve into a better future for both our species.**

I closed my mind. No, I was committed to my planned course of action. I knew better than Planet, with my constant interfacing with the aliens. I knew them as Planet didn’t. Her way was that of a sentimental idealist. I was a realist, and my way was the right way. Besides, my red army was poised, waiting for instructions. I closed my mind.

The soft glow abated as Planet withdrew. The monolith again became harsh and metallic.

I left.


[This message has been edited by Googlie (edited June 10, 1999).]