Author: Lewis Richards

I remember my first week here, exploring the neighborhood, seeing the power walking soccer moms and their husbands in their little bubbles of suburban bliss, stopping by the park and watching their children play, doing the maths, and realizing just how lucky I had been.

I remember the first time I went to one of the grotty old dive bars towards the outskirts of town, seeing the way the men inside watched me dance to the music pumping out of the beat-up jukebox, weighing up their options, unconsciously determining which of them would make a move, completely unaware that in fact, I was determining which of them had the strongest genetic material for what I needed.

The one I picked – attractive, but not enough the stand out in a crowd, strong, but not enough to be anything other than the perfect average joe, the perfect disguise. I remember the look in his eyes, the sheer pleasure as I lead him out of the bar, back to my house. I remember his eyes on me as I lead him down, through the basement, deeper, never questioning why the walls went from old wood to cold, gleaming metal.

I remember his eyes when I removed my disguise – from pleasure to terror when he saw my skin was the color of the sky, but by then it was too late for him. I didn’t see his eyes once the genetic extractor was activated and he was reduced to a slurry of proteins and chromosomes which I used to fertilize the dormant eggs I’d produced on my trip here.

Now though, I see his eyes again. I see them in the cashier while I checkout at the grocery store, I see them on the TV in the newly elected state senator – youngest ever. I see them in the police deputies and the mayor’s assistant, spreading their influence and the dominant genetic material from their maternal homeworld.

I see them in my youngest daughter too as I walk her to a craft similar to the one I arrived in, its solar sails extending and carrying it across the ocean of space to a new world to start the cycle anew. The 5th launch in as many weeks.

I’d already sealed the fate of this planet the minute my first eggs hatched, but it wouldn’t hurt to speed up the process. So back to the bar I go.