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Jan 20
******* looked with bulging eyes at the planet just visible in the star plains ahead. His neural-scope zoomed into the surface and confirmed his gut instinct. It was no time to contact his base and confirm the sighting. ‘Observe before commitment’ were his orders but the hell with that. Glory first was his creed. That and money and neither were for sharing with cretins.

Very subtly and with great precision he landed his craft just on the crest of a mountain and checked the nitrogen levels. All was well and within the range of his brains nitrogen- survival index.

His synaptic rifle was in his hands already. A brilliant piece of instrumentation that fired an electron charge which neutralized the amygdala and neo-cortex of all known species in the nebular complex of Neural Nineteen.

Still, ******* was light years from Skylon 15; his military base in that complex.

What if it didn’t work? The old ruse of an alien from space was enough to frighten some civilizations on other planets. He smiled when he recalled the first time he kidnapped an Earthling. It was priceless and the commander roared with laughter when he brought the captive in.

The Earthlings brain had short-wired with the shock. Way too small in capacity to be of any use to the scientific community. A primitive species whose very existence was a mystery to them. What good was a small brain in this universe?

If it had not been for that then Planet Earth would have been considered for an invasion.

Yet here he was now and staring at a different species.

They dwarfed ******* by a gargantuan figure. Their heads were ****** enormous. If I can only get one he thought.

He considered his position. Their heads were huge and yet their bodies were way too small to carry them; so it seemed they moved at a pace slower than Earth’s snails. What kind of a skeleton could support that weight? They moved in herds.

He was overthinking now he realized. Just shoot the ****** thing.
******* looked through his sight and fired a round.

The target reeled over in shock and looked up at ******* with rage.

That’s when ******* realized he was in a vulnerable position.

All of the herd suddenly gathered and instantaneously became one.

All of the heads merged into one unit and centipede -like ran at him with the speed of a demon possessed.

*******’s first instinct was to fire off the nuclear neuron destroyer but this would contravene his orders.

Overthinking again. *******’s survival instinct took over and he cursed himself for getting too far from his craft. He ran like blazes.

Hurling himself in he closed the hatches just as a monstrous head was closing in perilously near.

Hitting the power extreme- acceleration button he took off in the nick of time.

**** it! This would set him back big time. Now the cranial giants were alerted and would be on their guard. It frightened him to recall the intelligence in the eyes that had focused on him after the failed shot.

‘Dumb creatures my ***’ he thought. Someone in Command would get a tongue lashing over this.

How in hells name did they merge into one creature?

He made his report.

I have found the planet of the mythical large cranium creatures.
There are huge herds of them and we have underestimated their intelligence.
They can merge into one being at will. The synaptic rifle is useless.
Visual recording successful.

******* waited for a response from Command. Had it not been for the visual recording he would have been accused of drunkenness and dereliction of duty.

Still he thought ‘perhaps I will get a hero’s welcome on return?’

‘Overthinking again, *******’ he thought. ****** overthinking again.

Then he set his altitude for a megamillion metres and looked into deep space. It was beautiful. As far as he knew he was alone.

Unknownst to ******* a craft had pursued him; with a Cranium headed giant at the wheel.

******* had become the hunted.
Harriet Cleve
Written by
Harriet Cleve
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