Monday, June 14, 2010
Judy winced as the sand creature first conformed itself, then sank it's lower tentacles into the base of her index finger. An unpleasant sensation crawled up her arm. First numbness, then burning pain. Judy cried out loud as the pain hit her elbow joint. "That was plenty loud enough to be heard over the com," she thought to herself, hoping no one was listening. She had promised herself to not be a crybaby, regardless of how painful this procedure might be. She did not expect it to hurt this bad.
For a moment, Judy wished she were back on earth - to be off this over-baked, poor excuse of a planet - curled up in bed, plugged into her VPod, experiencing a virtual adventure. This was no VPod game. For one thing, the pain would have already triggered a shutdown, and the pain was getting worse as the burning sensation crawled up her arm and into her body. The puking would also have triggered a shutdown, as the fire reached her stomach. Down on her knees, she caught herself before she fell completely forwards. "A little more gravity on this planet, and I would be face-down in my lunch," she thought to herself.
Judy placed her other hand on the ground to brace herself, "Why did I choose this assignment in the first place?" she though, "I had seniority. I could be exploring the lush, blue Kanthar moons right now. But no, I had to prove that I was up for any assignment...they are laughing at me right now...I am such a fool!" Judy deposited the remainder of her lunch onto the gray-black sand.
The creature attached to Judy knew exactly what it was doing: It had been lying in the sand, waiting for decades, perhaps longer, for a potential symbiont brave enough to stick an appendage into it's burrow. "Probably not brave, just stupid," Judy thought as she weakly stood up, noticing that her finger was dripping blood, spiced with streaks of a pale-green substance, onto the warm sand.
The creature attached to her finger had protruded four upper tendrils and was groping the air, searching for something else to cling to. Judy had a sense that she was groping the air. When the creature felt movements in the air current, or when it's body was stretched as Judy made a fist, Judy felt these same sensations. She was feeling what the creature was feeling. If she concentrated on the creatures tendrils, she could make them stop moving, or make them move from side to side - losing her concentration, the tendrils would again blindly grope the air. She also had a an overwhelming, almost sensual desire to attach herself to something else. "This is so disgusting," she murmured - quietly enough not to be heard on the com system.
The sand creature was becoming part of Judy, or was she was becoming part of the creature?