Author : A. A. Woods

When I approached the dominant species of that vibrant blue planet, they bowed to me as their new ruler. Queen, they called me. Big oneness. They allowed me into their web of minds without hesitation. I entered their war-ravaged colonies and granted them peace. Unity.

In return, they ended my loneliness. After untold millennium floating through the multiverse, wondering where the rest of my kind had gone, I suddenly had billions and billions of friends, all eager to please and obey me.

At first, I languished in the light of this shared consciousness. The planet was an amusing bloom of life in the middle of a vast area of darkness. Inhabiting one of the least populated corners of this universe, these strange little creatures were ignorant of the untold plethora of life beyond their system. In fact, my new friends were barely aware of the delectable spread on their own planet. They were content to work, breed, eat, obey. Their requests to me were few and their company delightful.

However, after several rotations around their yellow sun I began to realize that my friends were being tormented. Not by their natural predators — they explained to me that I had to accept their low biological status if I was to be the head of their own, more ethereal ladder. No, there was another beast threatening the contentment of my people. This large, graceless animal entertained itself by kicking over our homes, dousing our nests in fatal blasts of water, even capturing my followers to study them in labs and press them between panes of glass. In my frustration, I took one glimpse into the mind of these brutes.

In all my time exploring the multiverse I have never been knocked so low as I was with that one grotesque taste of humanity.

The queen of the nest in which I was concentrated — sub-queen, she reminded me to call her — sensed my distress.

What wrong?

Those creatures, those… humans, their existence is horrendous. They live alone, no connection to each other. They do not work for order or braid their strength.

They what they are. We live with them for many suns. They not like us.

But you suffer under their hand!

We suffer under many hands. They are bad, but give less baddness than flood or frost.

In my time at the Library of the Mind, I studied what some call emotion. I always longed to experience emotion — my loneliness was the closest I ever came to knowing sadness. But in that moment, as my small, black-bodied friend stated her fate in such a resigned manner, I felt the one they call anger.

My people will not suffer while I am their queen.

The humans had no warning. I struck the densest centers of their population, overrunning them with billions of my largest workers. My friends fought hard. Their trust in me was complete and immaculate. I, in turn, swore their sacrifice would not be in vain. I cradled every one of them as they died, capturing their essence as it smudged, merging it with my own. It was glorious and thrilling to be ensconced in the red blaze of their battle cry.

It took twelve moon cycles to subdue the humans. I did not kill them all, only enough to establish who now ruled the world they live in. Those beasts thought they could govern this hive of life based solely on advanced technology, but it was the overwhelming number of minds that drew me to this planet in the first place.

Precious few of those minds were human.

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