New Ground, Old Ground

If Sarah had to guess, she figured she probably hadn’t been human for a couple thousand years. Maybe once or twice for the practice of it, but like most of the rest of humanity, humanity itself had become something of a nuisance after the Merge. In fact, she was pretty sure the last time she’d been human had been to greet the Pilot-Savior when he exited his Time Engine all those hundreds of years ago, when she helped to ensure he would bring the alien seeds back to a time when human resistance would be less troublesome, and bringing with the infants the inherited knowledge of the Lost Purging.

Finally, after untold tens of thousands of years, the alien trees found a home and against all odds had survived and flourished. The original time-line had been erased by the Pilot-Savior and a permanent time-loop kept it active. An amazing and unprecedented coincidence that humans had developed and deployed a time machine at just the right time. The Wood didn’t believe in Fate, but the humanity in the Wood marveled— and wondered.

The hard nut-like shell around her cracked open easily. Sarah had a moment of deja vu… not of her own memories, but of past journeys of the Wood through space. They had landed on thousands of worlds, merged, and threw their seed to the stars again and again.

This time, Sarah had been sent alone. There was an anomaly here. An empty shell where a civilization once roamed. She slipped a few fingers through the crack, tasting the atmosphere. Alien chemistry sent signals, but did not decode into anything dangerous. No radiation or toxic chemicals or attacking organisms burned her senses. She pushed the shell back and stepped out, leaving it behind.

Days of exploration did not reveal much else. Empty, blank walls refused to reveal secrets. Following her orders, she decided to reproduce and sank her tentacle-like roots into the road beneath her.

But from beneath, something reached up— and grabbed.

Nightmare Fuel 2016, Day 14

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