Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

“The satellite passes above us now.”

“I know my lord. I can sense it up there too.”

“How dare they… spy on us like this?”

“They are unaware of us my lord, they only study the planet.”

“They have their own planet. We don’t travel there, only ever sunward. We never intrude upon their space, and they have no need to come our way.”

The underling lay silent in his molten bath, wondering about the frail beings on the third planet. So strange they must be, unable to escape their own atmosphere without artificial manipulation of matter and energy to assist themselves, as was needed for just about every other thing they did as well. How it must be to rely solely on the constant changing of one’s environment. For sun’s sake, they didn’t even have telepathy! How did they communicate? It was all so strange, so utterly alien.

His master read his thoughts and answered, “As we would seem to them I am certain.”

“But our entire way of life is so simple in comparison my lord.”

“Yes but they only know the way life works on their own world. They have no imagination for the way other beings might evolve.”

Sensing that the satellite had now passed safely by, the master rose up through the lava and with a great heave suddenly exploded his gargantuan body through the rocky crust of Venus. He hadn’t truly fed for nearly a year and it was time. Up and up he rose through the thick atmosphere, kilometer after kilometer, until he reached the place where the sulfuric acid rain no longer evaporated. Yet still he climbed, flattened right out, the tight segments of his carbon composite body undulating as his inner elemental factory continued to burn fuel. Had the satellite still been above, the heat signature of his jet stream might have been visible to its sensors. Several of his kind shouted out telepathically for him to proceed with great care.

He ignored their warnings for the moment and continued to ascend. Soon clear of the planet’s atmosphere he basked in the glow of the sun, feeding hungrily on its radiation as billions of tiny diamond receptors on his body efficiently captured and focused all he could use and more.

Propelling himself into a freefall orbit for the moment, he fell in less than a kilometer behind the satellite, looming unseen in its blind spot. He felt like lurching forward and smashing it to bits. A chorus of voices instantly entered his mind telling him emphatically to leave it be! He knew they were right, so with a twist he broke off the chase, and angled outward and upward. He had nearly endless energy here so free from the atmosphere and was capable of traveling all the way to the third planet should he wish. But he would not. His kind had decided long ago to keep to themselves.

Instead today he would do something he hadn’t done in a long while. Hungrily taking in the abundant solar energy he angled inward toward the burning star, the giver of all life. He decided it would be a fantastic time to fly in and loop around tiny Mercury. Its speedy orbit brought it close enough right now. He would really be able to get his fill down there. And besides, from Mercury the sun always looked so beautiful.


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