The Pit – Level 5 (Pt. 1)

“My name is Gordon, but my Master calls me dog. Worlds collided at the end of the last century. At first no one noticed. Years passed. Nothing out of the ordinary seemed to change until the day when the world turned Red. Even after the seepage began, we behaved as if nothing was wrong. The red tide didn’t seem dangerous. No one became ill with an unknown pathogen. No one died. Back then we couldn’t figure out what was happening so we fooled ourselves into believing everything was normal. Self delusion stopped when the Centipedes showed up. We thought they were merely statues that never moved or spoke. We knew the statues were alien, perhaps a gift to our burgeoning civilization. We couldn’t quite grasp the enormity of the situation. People began to disassemble and act irrationally, but when the alien gifts remained quiescent everything went back to normal. The statues stood in the shadows between buildings, vaguely humanoid with several extra appendages. They seemed to shimmer and reflect distorted images of the places where they were ensconced. Within three years large cracks appeared on all the statues simultaneously. The cracks increased, widening and spreading across the surfaces of all the alien artifacts. We discovered they were cocoons.

The old man spoke to Billy like a lover. The teenager didn’t understand. The old guy swooned over the boy, “Dear Billy, I have so much to tell you. You have to be warned.” Billy was scared but also intrigued — what in hell did this troll want. It began with the game — an intergalactic war game with super realistic effects controlled by an N-state AI. The game constantly morphed into a variety of alternate scenarios. “What do you know about death,” the old man croaked. Billy didn’t know what to say. The man continued, “Death and sex are the two greatest mysteries.” The boy felt a hand on his thigh. The old man screamed, “I’m you Billy. Stop playing the game!” The scenario shifted and Billy was on Level Five, the Alien Nemesis.     

The cocoons broke apart and the bugs slithered out into the open. They were covered in red, gelatinous flesh — no longer humanoid, but insectoid — centipedes, seven feet tall, with hundreds of writhing limbs, tentacles, and artificial appendages. There was a peculiar musk that wafted off the creatures bodies, an indescribable lust.  When it began, Gordon was terrified like all the other humans. Panic raged. The centipedes dug pits in the earth and stayed far away from the riots and devastation perpetrated by self-destructive humans. They monitored the situation and determined deferred acquisition costs against future prognostication. They writhed in their pits — bodies giving off a horrible smell, like decaying flesh and deadly nightshade. The smell had a strange effect on humans. The violence and panic tapered off — people went back to work and pretended everything was normal — there were other effects as well, stranger and more complicated.

“I can’t help it,” Gordon explained to his wife, Dalia, “I have to go. You know I can’t resist and either can you. I know you watch.” Dalia slumped back in her chair, resigned to a mortifying reality. She always followed Gordon to the pits. It didn’t happen often at first, but now it was every night. She watched. As the activity escalated, she began to participate by helping the monsters. She squirmed with self reprisal. The aliens regarded humans as dogs. Dogs were useful. The aliens enjoyed dominating the weaker, less intelligent humans. Humans also enjoyed the activity. It was an addiction. The smell emanating from the creatures acted like an aphrodisiac. Humans were in love. (to be continued)