Friday, November 25, 2016

16 Flush

All had gone so very well.  Success would breed more success.  Greater success.  The ground beneath could be solid and stable or it could be the most capricious shifting sand it wanted, the Factor hovered over all.  The Factor had returned victorious.  The Factor had set in motion a plan.  This first victory was mere proof of the plan’s efficacy.  Greater victory was inevitable.  The Factor would be a hero of the collective. 

It allowed itself to fantasize deeper as it drove the stock before it to the hive.  Cowed.  Humiliated.  Defeated.  Harvesters.  It would be a manager of lowly harvesters no more when this plan was complete.  It would not even be a Factor of Factors.  If all went well, and why should it not?  The Harvesters it had dispatched would find the source of these prey animals.  They would report.  It would not sit and worry in another’s Collective any longer.  It would lead and conquer.  It would start its own Collective!  Its own Hive!  It would not be Factor, but Primate!  No more fear.  No more anxiety.  It would be above.  It would be the One-All-Feared.

The tip of the Spire of the Hive became visible on the Horizon as the sky was just beginning to lose the deep purple of night.  It more than passingly resembled a harvester’s needle tipped feeding tooth.  As if the hive had pierced the heavens and were drinking the ichor of god.  

Where had that thought come from?  When had the Factor ever had time for thought, much less poetry and metaphor?  Never.  Never had it been so flush.  So full.  So … foolish!

So vulnerable!  The Plan was good.  The Plan was victorious.  But the Plan was larval.  It’s shell soft.  Much could go wrong.  The full Factor was the one with most to lose.  Other Factors would see.  Other’s would grow suspicious.  Other's would covet its success.  Other’s would take what it had birthed.  All was delicate and tenuous.  All evidence must be obscured.  It landed and vomited its fullness upon the sand and buried it.  A terrible waste, a cardinal sin but then so was the traitorous plan.  It has no intention of sharing its success, its victory with the Collective.  So all evidence, no matter how hungry it would be, must be eradicated.  Then it remembered the weakly struggling prey creature in its tentacles.  It would arouse suspicion for the Factor to bring live prey into the Hive.  Especially if it was seen entering the Hive with all of its stock full but unencumbered.  Queries would be made.  Queries it wanted to avoid.

It cast to its trembling stock and tossed the animal to them.  “Dispose,” it ordered.  “Stay.  Wait.  Come Tonight.”  There.  The evidence was covered.  The spoor obscured.  The Plan was safe.  It could accomplish it, if it was cunning.  So much could go wrong.  It must be careful.  It must consider.  It must not be a fool.  It was too close to ultimate victory.  The Plan was tenuous, slender, easily broken by even one event the Factor failed to anticipate. It flew the rest of the way to the Hive feeling relieved but anxious, the shuttered, unblinking eyes of the Harvesters watching it all the way.  

No comments:

Post a Comment