May 29, 2012 § 1 Comment
They could not stop it.
It dropped down into the heart of their settlement, smashing into the ground with enough force to blast the debris up and out in a shockwave that consumed their buildings. Ten thousand of the Cenians died in that first moment, as the expanding fireball consumed vehicles, structures, and screaming lives. Cenians, being a fairly conventionally biological species based on organic molecules chained out of carbon, were easily killed by the wave of fire.
To a human watching, although none were, the Cenians would very vaguely resemble an elephant or hippo in terms of their thick, leathery hides. Their faces, with many small black eyes and an eating orifice that also handled breathing and speaking, would look unusual but not entirely incomprehensible, and their screaming laced the air with high pitched notes. These sounds would not be familiar, but their meaning would be clear.
At the center of the crater, where the very ground had been torn and blown away forming a bowl a thousand meters across, the black and red figure floated to the former ground level. It gleamed, even as trails of dust and dirt and pulverized ground fell away from it. The impact had done nothing to it. In fact, it had deliberately dropped itself from orbit onto the city.
Points of seething green light looked like eyes on what might have been a head. It had two lower limbs and two upper limbs, and that same human who was not there to see the Cenians die would have called it humanoid. As it floated, it changed. Massive plates of gleaming black and large red spikes flowed out of the surface, and a segmented tail with a huge spiked ball seemed to melt down and solidify as it drifted to place its feet on the ground at the lip of the crater.
The Cenians responded, mobilizing a military respected as far away as Daltor space. Even the Worldweavers had avoided Cenian space when they swept through the spiral arms of the galaxy centuries ago, and Cenia had not stood still. Their command of atomic forces made their weapons brutal and powerful, and several of their aircraft flew over the crater, targeting weapons on the attacker. They unleashed them. The very air bloomed into fire as its atomic bonds disintegrated, a strike that guaranteed collateral damage but which was expected to utterly destroy the enemy.
Instead, as the explosions continued, a black streak simply leapt into the air and through three of the fighters at speeds so great that the sound of the attack was louder than the explosions. The remaining drones did not even have time to turn before a wave of superheated plasma swept the sky clean of them. The initial exchange took twenty seconds, and killed more than a thousand, none of which was the black and red figure.
Cenia had been settled for so long that her many cities had grown into a very large structure that covered half of the planet. The rest of the world was deliberately cultivated, returned to as natural a state as could be arranged, and much of Cenia’s food production took place in vast greenhouses the size of mountain ranges, buried beneath the surface. The attacker found them. It punched holes in the ground and set fire to the food with its eyes, or toppled entire regions on top of them with gestures that controlled explosions of raw force. The Cenian army continued to send unmanned attack craft, whole fleets of ground units, and even weapons that used matter/antimatter reactions, but they only destroyed more of their own people in the process.
They could not stop it. It continued to destroy their food for hours, methodically flying from greenhouse to greenhouse, often deliberately allowing them to attack it so that their own weapons would do the work for it. When they stopped providing the means, it destroyed them itself.