jexia: (Me me)
[personal profile] jexia
This planet is not our home. We came here thousands of years ago, in a failing ship. The flickering remnants in the reactor core were barely enough for us to fire off a call for help, and guide the ship to earth as best we could.

Though the planet seemed to bask in blues and greens, our scarred ship landed in a brown dustiness. We could not survive here, not in our true forms. The gravitational pull was too fierce, the atmosphere too oxygenated. Our ship was nearly drained, and help was a million light years away. We had no choice; we had to meld.

Melding is an emergency procedure, used only in direst need. If lifeforms are compatible, we can integrate our consciousness to form a shared symbiont, where we can bide our time, passing from host to host with each generation, waiting for assistance to arrive.

Earthbound, we could only scan the nearby area, hoping for a suitable host animal. Should it be those spotted creatures, with claw and tooth and the fearsome speed of our nf'anda at home? Or those small, darting animals in their underground colonies, taking democratic turns to bask in the sun and stand on guard? Or the voiceless, angular beasts that graze on the treetops?

Eventually we settled on an animal with size, intelligence, and strength, with social behaviours that mimicked our own. Its grey, wrinkled skin offered protection from sun and foes, and its faintly ridiculous facial appendage was nimble enough to be useful. We used the last dregs of power to entice a herd closer, broadcasting their own calls back to them.

They came. We shifted, and merged, encoding ourselves into their very cells. They welcomed us, in their basic way, and we learned the rhythm of the seasons, and the way of our new world.

It was brutal.

Life came and went with sudden redness, with fear and pain. It was strange to us, but we persisted through the years, passing from parent to child.

We survived, nothing more, waiting for help. Then, a thousand years ago, we heard it; the faintest signal, getting ever closer. Help was coming.

The realisation struck us hard. We had no way to respond, to show that we were still here. Helplessly, we listened as the signal peaked and then faded again, sliding into an orbit around the sun.

Despair drove some of us mad. Our mental anguish festered in the host animals; they rampaged across the dust, devastating anything that lay before them. The rest of us could only watch in horror; the other hosts learned to flee until the madness had passed.

Every year when the temperature drops, in the period of time they call "winter", the beacon comes around again. We listen powerlessly as it drifts past us. Each year, it is quieter; each year, that knowledge drives some of us mad.

I've never succumbed. Not yet. But if one day, winter comes, and the beacon does not... then, I will truly despair.

Date: 2015-01-14 09:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ochenpryatna.livejournal.com
You are so good at this!

Date: 2015-01-15 06:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-17bingo.livejournal.com
Though the planet seemed to bask in blues and greens, our scarred ship landed in a brown dustiness.

Isn't that always the way?

I really enjoyed your explanation of the behavior--and this particularly specific topic. You covered all the bases, from the seasonal factor to the way it only affects some elephants, to the furious aggression. Long story short, this is really cool.

Date: 2015-01-15 08:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-17bingo.livejournal.com
Well let's just say it's "equal to"...

Date: 2015-01-15 10:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] i-17bingo.livejournal.com
Typo. You wrote "bad," but it's supposed to be "badass."

Date: 2015-01-17 06:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
Hold on, I seriously thought you were going to write that thing! And I was looking forward to reading it!

Date: 2015-01-15 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] roina-arwen.livejournal.com
I like the Sci-fi turn you took with this. :)

Date: 2015-01-16 04:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] suesniffsglue.livejournal.com
I like how dreamy this felt to me. It's a beautiful concept. I really enjoyed this.

Date: 2015-01-16 05:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleodswean.livejournal.com
A very inventive take on the prompt!

Date: 2015-01-17 06:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] halfshellvenus.livejournal.com
I could believe that elephants are somehow alien, even if only in regard to what might be hiding inside them.

I loved the description of the cheetahs (?), giraffes, and meerkats as possible hosts. The cheetah would have been awesome, but apart from it the elephant is by far the most durable in that unforgiving climate. :)

Date: 2015-01-18 10:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hosticle-fifer.livejournal.com
Pretty clever explanation for the phenomena! Certainly the details of these Musth events SOUND alien enough. :)

Date: 2015-01-19 06:18 pm (UTC)
drcuriosity: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drcuriosity
It reminds me of this song, as if the song was a poetic explanation of what was happening.

Date: 2015-01-19 06:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] swirlsofblue.livejournal.com
Oh, absolutely love this. Brilliant idea. There's such a sense of longing and loss, it's heartbreaking. And that definitely would be maddening, a repeated taunting of home.

Date: 2015-01-20 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] crisp-sobriety.livejournal.com
I just love the sense of hopelessness in this, and how the narrator will only go mad when the signal *doesn't* come back around. That's a really neat little point of characterization, and it nicely caps off the stakes you've established here.

Seriously, this was really good.
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