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SCUDDAR

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SCUDDAR Chapters 001 & 002
SCUDDAR chapters 003 & 004
SCUDDAR Chapters 005 & 006
SCUDDAR Chapters 007 & 008. WARNING contains sexual explict scenes!
SCUDDAR. Chapters 009 & 010. WARNING! Chapter 009 contains sexually explicit material.
SCUDDAR Chapters 011 & 012
SCUDDAR Chapters 013 & 014
SCUDDAR Chapters 015 & 016
SCUDDAR Chapters 017 & 018
SCUDDAR Chapters 019 & 020
SCUDDAR Chapters 021 & 022
SCUDDAR Chapters 023 & 024
SCUDDAR Chapters 025 & 026
SCUDDAR Chapters 027 & 028

SCUDDAR. A sci-fi story.
Chapter 001

Scuddar

 

Chapter One

 

 

The cold breeze cut through the hole in Trevor Donegan’s tunic, chilling his flesh and penetrating to his bones like an icy sword. Until this moment, it hadn’t bothered him. He hurriedly tried to close the hole, gripping it with both hands to keep out the biting cold. He didn’t care about the increasing force of the wind lashing his face or the way his windblown hair stung his forehead like a thousand tiny whips. What did bother him was the daunting sight before and below him.

 

It had not been easy to reach the crag upon which he stood. His chest heaved with the effort of climbing the mountain of jagged rocks. His hands were torn and bleeding from the many slips and frantic grasps for handholds to stop him from falling to his death.

 

The cold and wind made his eyes water as he scanned the terrain. His heart sank as he took in the desolate scene. He hoped he had reached his destination.

 

A whispering thought dwelling in his head, along with a compelling force to obey, had driven him this far and urged him to greater efforts. His mind focused on this lingering thought.

 

Destroy the Scuddar.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

Trevor first became aware of the whispering thought while traveling home in a hovercab. Having just completed a successful day in the cloning lab at the World Population Control Center, he was exhausted.

 

Twenty-four new humans, he mused with satisfaction, twenty-four more of us. It was always good to know that there were more clones created to share the workload of employment. The masses of uneducated and unemployed humans rarely appreciated them. The clones, created with perfect bodies and given the finest education suited for their work, kept the multitude of unemployed supplied with everything they needed to survive. Without the clones, billions would die and anarchy would reign.

 

The robot-guided hovercab gathered speed, weaving through the maze of roads and slower moving traffic as it headed for the mainstream traffic lanes outside the industrial area where he worked.

 

Trevor ran his fingers through his dark brown, thick, wavy hair, and stretched wearily. His six-foot two, muscular frame barely fitting into the back of the cab.

 

He closed his eyes and, listening to the faint hum of the power unit of the hovercab and allowed his mind to relax.

 

Destroy the Scuddar.

 

His eyes snapped open and he came wide-awake. The thought was barely a whisper. It was neither male nor female. He was unsure whether it was imagination or if he had been dreaming. The words, almost like a command, remained clear in his memory, but he did not understand them.

 

Destroy the Scuddar. A puzzled frown creased his brow as he repeated the words in his mind. What on earth was the Scuddar? He shook his head and, dismissing the thought, looked out the window as the hovercab turned right and blended expertly into the mainstream of the northbound traffic.

 

Once more, he closed his eyes and tried to relax. A chiming sound of a bell awoke him as the hovercab door swung open. He had arrived at his apartment. He removed his ID card from the payment slot of the machine that recorded the journey and deducted credits for the fare from his account. After checking that he had received his clone discount he eased himself out of the cab.

 

The small apartment contained all he needed for comfort. The door opened onto a small open plan hallway, directly in front was the living room.

 

The plastic furniture with its light oak grain appearance, a design popular five years ago, suited him perfectly. A couch with synthetic upholstery, a single armchair, a music center and a table with two dining chairs was all it contained. The walls were decorated with several modern art prints, with simple, plastic frames and supplied as standard fittings with the apartment.

 

He grinned as a screen on a wall lit up and the image of his fiancée, Gina, smiled at him. “Hello darling,” the recorded image greeted him as sensors picked up his movements in the apartment.

 

“Hello, Sweetheart,” he replied. He blew a kiss at the image. It faded and was replaced by a series of images of Gina in different poses. He waited until his favourite pose appeared. It displayed her upper body in a see-through negligee. With her head bowed slightly, she smiled coyly at him.

 

His eyes focused on the nipples of her full breasts pressing against the thin material, enticingly hard and prominent.

 

Sweetheart, I can’t wait to see you again, he thought.

 

Beyond the living room a small kitchen containing a microwave and more cabinets than he would ever use. A small bench with drawers separated the living room from the kitchen.

 

A door set in the left wall of the living room led to his bedroom.

 

“Gotta shower, my Love,” said Trevor, “you hate the smell of my work.”

 

Turning away from the screen, he made straight for the bedroom to shower and rid himself of the stench of chemicals used in the laboratory where he worked.

 

"Forty-five degrees Celsius," he said as he stripped. The voice-activated shower turned on, adjusting the temperature of the water while he discarded his working clothes into the laundry chute. He stepped into the shower allowing the needles of water to cascade over him to wash away the stresses of his day.

 

After showering, he dressed quickly, choosing a black, collarless tunic and matching pants. Standing in front of a full length mirror, he ran a comb through his damp hair and then studied his image. He saw a muscular man staring out at him. Dark, almost black, eyes gazed confidently into his. Thick bushy eyebrows, slanted slightly upward at the ends, gave the appearance that he was constantly surprised. His lips were full and looked a little too feminine for Trevor’s liking. The arms of the tunic did not hide the bulging biceps or the deepness of his chest. The person from whom he was cloned had obviously taken good care of his physique at the time his DNA was taken and stored for cloning purposes.

 

All clones were created to work in specialized industries. His job was to ensure their brains received all the necessary data for them to accomplish their tasks as well as give them their identities. Being a clone himself, he knew the importance of giving them an identity and memory they would appreciate throughout their lives.

 

Trevor turned away from the mirror and made his way to the kitchen. There he chose an instant meal of synthetic chicken and noodles from the frozen food cabinet and waited the few minutes it took to heat in his microwave oven.

 

His meal eaten, Trevor lay down on the couch in the living room.

 

"Stars of Light album," he said, choosing his favorite singer and orchestra. The soft, soothing music and a female’s husky, sexy voice surrounded him, filling the apartment.

 

He punched a cushion then, settling his head on it, he closed his eyes to listen to the singer tell a story of love that would last through eternity. His thoughts turned to Gina. He would see her again when she returned from a two-day World Synthetics conference. She was one of the few non-clone humans that was employed and she worked as a technician for creating synthetics of all kinds.

 

He recalled the last time he had seen her, just two days previously, when he had proposed in the garden of her parents’ home. The memory of her face, smiling, radiant and framed by her long, dark wavy hair danced in his mind’s eye. Her evident happiness was contagious as she threw her arms around him, pressed her full, soft lips on his and cried, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" They had excitedly made plans to marry the following month.

 

Destroy the Scuddar.

 

The sudden intrusion of his thoughts startled him. Trevor swung his legs off the couch and sat up, looking around him, frowning. The whisper had been unmistakably clear.

 

"Who is there?" he demanded. There was no reply. "What is the Scuddar?" Only the continuing sound of the music reached his ears. He began to wonder if he was losing his mind and tried to dismiss his uneasiness as tiredness, but the whisper had been too clear.

 

He scanned the room to confirm he was alone. He saw only the shadows cast by the advancing evening. Wandering around the apartment, he checked every room to ensure no one else was there or any hidden speakers. Everything appeared in order.

 

When he got to his bedroom, tiredness overwhelmed him and he felt a compelling force to lie down. He gave in and fell on the bed fully clothed. Sleep overcame him almost at once.

 

*          *          *          *          *

 

Trevor awoke staring up at a dark, starry sky. As his sleep-fogged brain cleared, he sat up, his body tingling with alarm. Scrambling to his feet, he looked about him. He strained his eyes to examine his surroundings, but the darkness prevented him from seeing more than a few feet. He could tell he was standing on sand. Could it be a beach? Tilting his head, he listened for a telltale sound of surf. He heard nothing.

 

Where the hell am I?  How did I get here?  This can’t a dream, he thought. He shuffled his feet.  I can feel sand under my feet and the air on my skin.  A dream couldn't be so vivid.

 

Turning his attention to the sky, he scanned it in an attempt to find a star or constellation that he recognized. He saw none among the unfamiliar array.

 

He was still searching when he saw the first rays of morning spreading across the sky, tinting what little cloud there was with red.

 

As the light grew stronger, he realized he was in a desert. The sand beneath his feet was coarse and red. On the horizon ahead, the jagged peaks of a mountain range reached skyward. To his left and behind him, the desert stretched as far as he could see, while on his right, there were sand hills about a mile distant.

 

Once more, he turned to look at the sunrise, staring in bewilderment at the rising orb. The sun was huge and red, unlike the familiar sun he knew.

 

"Where the hell am I?" he repeated, asking the desert as much as himself.

 

Destroy the Scuddar.

 

The voice, a whisper, was in his head.

 

"Who are you? What is the Scuddar?" he asked aloud. He waited for several seconds for an answer.

 

Walk. You have the power.

 

"I’m not going anywhere until I get some answers," growled Trevor, sitting crossed-legged on the sand.

 

"What power? Where am I?" Instead of an answer, a strange compulsion to start walking toward the mountains overcame him. Unable to resist, he stood and began to walk. Logic told him he could not remain in the desert without food and water. He had no idea how hot it would be during the day.

 

He knew he was not dreaming and yet he appeared to be on a planet other than the Earth he knew.

 

He searched his memory for clues, but didn’t find any.

 

How had he gotten here? What spacecraft had brought him? What aliens had kidnapped him? How long had it taken them to bring him here? To whom did the voice belong? What was the Scuddar? The questions seemed endless and without answers.

 

After what seemed hours of walking, the muscles in his legs ached. The mountains seemed to be no nearer than when he had started. Stopping, he wiped the sweat off his brow with the sleeve of his tunic. Sinking down onto the red sand to rest, he almost expected the compulsion to get up again to overwhelm him.

 

He glanced at the sun. It had climbed higher. It was still red and dull enough to look directly at it for several seconds before it dazzled him.

 

Walk.

 

The urgency in the voice was unmistakable. He had been allowed about ten minutes rest.

"Another five minutes," said Trevor, his arms and hands spread wide, appealing to the sky. "I’m tired. Five more minutes rest."

 

Walk. The day is shortening.

 

Again, the compelling urge to obey filled him. Cursing beneath his breath, he dragged himself to his feet and began walking.

 

Two hours later, he approached the foot of the imposing mountains. He had rested twice more, each time for only a few minutes, before the whispering voice urged him to continue. Clouds gathered in the sky, obscuring the sun, and a cool wind began to blow. The sand had given way to patches of long, wiry grass that thickened as he got closer to the mountains towering before him.

 

Rest now.

 

"Well. Thank you," Trevor answered, making the sarcastic tone in his voice evident. "What next? Climb the mountain?" Not expecting any reply, he chose a patch of grass and sank to the ground, wiping perspiration from his forehead with the back of his hand. The voice had ignored all his questions. Trevor fell asleep almost immediately, welcoming oblivion.

 

The sound of raucous cries awoke him. Above his head, a flock of strange birds wheeled below the reddish-hued clouds. It took a moment or two to focus on the creatures. They were similar to the crows on Earth, but larger, with green heads and long pointed beaks. Two or three of them dived low and hovered above him, their heads moving from side to side, as if investigating him. He stood up, waving his arms and shouting to shoo them away. They returned to the rest of the flock and continued circling.

 

Trevor looked at the sun and estimated it would set in another three or four hours. The wind, now much cooler and stronger, ruffled his hair. After his short sleep, he felt refreshed. His aches had gone.

 

Get up. Climb.

 

Trevor looked at the mountain. The lower half would not be hard to scale, but the upper half was almost a sheer face of rock. Even if he had all the necessary equipment, he doubted he had the experience to climb the mountain.

 

"No way! I’m no mountaineer!"

 

Climb. Destroy the Scuddar.

 

The urgency in the whispering voice was stronger, but he valued his life. Any attempt to scale the rock face without ropes and tackle could easily result in falling to his death.

 

He scanned the rock face for foot and hand holds. From where he stood, it looked impossible to climb. A compelling urge to try overcame him. Almost without thinking, he began to climb the mountain.

 

Chapter Two

 

 

Buffeted by the cold wind, Trevor surveyed the scene before him. He was standing on the edge of a valley. At his feet was a sheer rocky drop of about fifteen feet. Beyond that, a steep slope strewn with rocks and shingle, slanted away for about a mile. Then the ground levelled to a flat expanse covered with grass and low shrubs. Scattered here and there, small patches of water glinting in the setting sun, indicated swampland.

 

On the far side of the valley, about seven miles distant, he saw another barren mountain range that rose higher than the mountain on which he stood. To his right, the slopes of green hills undulated as far as he could see. On his left, the valley curved sharply left hiding whatever might be beyond.

 

The only sign of life was the crow-like birds that were still gliding high above him.

 

Press on.

 

"No, damn you!" Trevor shouted. His arms and legs ached with the strain of climbing. "I want to rest!"

 

Rest later. It will soon be dark.

 

The voice was right. The sun, low in the reddish sky, indicated the lateness of the day and Trevor didn’t want to attempt to climb down to the valley in the dark. The thought of staying where he was all night didn’t appeal to him, either. The jagged, rocky mountain would not offer him any comfort and the wind was cold. He picked out a place that looked easiest for him to descend the fifteen feet drop and carefully climbed down.

 

Traversing the slope proved more difficult than he expected. At each step, the shingle shifted beneath his feet, causing him to lose his balance. At times, he fell and slid several feet, dislodging small rocks that went tumbling down the slope, some narrowly missing his head. By the time he reached the bottom the sun had almost set and he was bruised and battered. Small flying insects, smelling the blood on his hands, swarmed around him seeking a meal. The stench of the swamp reached his nose and he grimaced with disgust.

 

"What hell is this?" he asked himself. Although he had seen no sign of life, he didn’t doubt the swamp was home to all kinds of creatures. Possibly some were dangerous.

 

Rest now.

 

Trevor needed no encouragement. He sank wearily to the ground using a clump of grass for a pillow. The clouds had dispersed but the wind was still cold. As the last rays of the sun faded, he stared up at the sky, watching the stars become brighter and more numerous. Maybe I will die of exposure here, he thought. Maybe this will be the last time I will see stars.

 

He wondered what Gina was doing. She must be worried that he hadn’t called her. It had become almost a ritual every night to call her before he went to bed. More than likely, she had tried to call him when he failed to contact her. Did she think he had changed his mind about the wedding and deserted her? Would he ever see her again? Again, he wondered how long it had been since he was on Earth. How many months or years had the journey to this strange planet taken?

 

He closed his eyes wearily and sleep overwhelmed him like a black shroud.

 

Wake up. Wake up. Wake up now.

 

Trevor opened his eyes slowly as the persistent whisper penetrated his sleepy brain. The red sun had risen, its heat warming his body. He yawned and stretched, then sat up as a cry from one of the crow-like birds made him look up. The birds, about twenty of them, wheeled gracefully in the sky, taking advantage of the thermal uplift. Were they following him?

 

He stood up and stretched again; surprised that he no longer ached. Even his bruises had gone and the wounds on his hands had almost healed. He felt refreshed and ready for another day.

 

"Must be something in the air," he muttered.

 

A slight sound of movement behind him made Trevor turn his head. The shock of what he saw set his nerves on edge and he leapt backward instinctively, nauseated by the obscene creature that had been creeping toward him. It reminded Trevor of a monstrous, elongated jellyfish, at least six feet long and four feet wide but it had a huge head. He saw rows of dangerous looking teeth in its gaping mouth. It froze at Trevor’s sudden movement and as he backed away, he examined it.

 

It didn’t have any eyes as far as he could see. Instead, four antenna-like feelers growing from the top of the head, waved from side to side in his direction, retracting and extending all the time. Other appendages protruded all around the body like tentacles. The flesh was transparent and Trevor could see its internal organs. In what he assumed was its stomach, were the remains of some creature it had eaten.

 

The creature’s tentacles inched forward one at a time, until all were in a forward position. It lunged toward him with surprising speed for its size. Trevor leaped to one side but a tentacle struck him sending him sprawling. As he fell to the ground, his head hit a rock, momentarily dazing him. Shaking his head to clear it, he glanced up. The creature’s feelers, curled over its back pointed toward him, as it began to turn.

 

He picked up the rock and hurled it at the creature. The rock struck its back, bounced toward its head, and hit one of the feelers. The feeler snapped back and a high-pitched squeal pierced Trevor’s ears.

 

Trevor searched for more rocks but the only ones he could see were at the base of the slope he had descended the night before. He had to get past the creature to reach them. He began to circle get behind it. He knew he had hurt it. The feeler he had hit was extending and retracting rapidly while the other three remained pointing at him as it tried to keep facing him. Saliva dripped from its enormous mouth in long sticky trails.

 

Its mouth almost closed and suddenly its body contracted. A gob of saliva shot from its mouth and hurtled toward Trevor. He dodged, holding up his arm to ward it off, but not quite quick enough to avoid it completely. He yelped as he felt a searing, burning pain on his forearm as some of the sticky saliva brushed it.

 

Acid! The thought sped through Trevor’s mind as he glanced down and realized what the pain was. A two-inch long portion of his forearm was red and raw.

 

He broke into a run, heading for the steep slope at the base of the mountain and scrambled up it. Rocks and shingle shifted beneath him, almost taking him down toward the creature. Panting with exertion, he clawed his way higher to put himself out of range before the creature spat at him again.

 

When he felt he was high enough, he turned and saw the creature trying to follow him. Its tentacles trying to get a grip on the loose shingle but only to slide back helplessly as more shingle and rocks rolled down the slope.

 

Trevor stumbled to a larger, more stable rock and, gasping for breath, he watched the creature. He hurled rocks down at the creature to hamper its progress further. After several minutes it gave up, scurried away toward the swamp and disappeared, sinking slowly beneath its surface.

 

Trevor hurled a final rock in its direction and yelled; his face twisted into an expression of hard-earned victory. He again felt the pain of his forearm and turned his attention to the acid burn. It was two-inches long and half an inch wide. The skin had already burned away leaving it raw. He realised with horror he had been fortunate the gob of saliva hadn’t hit him in the face.

 

He scooped up a handful of sand and, wincing, he rubbed it over the wound to clean away any of the saliva that may have remained. The dry dust clung to the weeping sore acting as a temporary dressing.

 

Press on.

 

Trevor ignored the voice and made his way down the slope to the valley floor and sat down, keeping a wary eye on the swamp.

 

Press on. The Scuddar must be destroyed.

 

"So you keep telling me," Trevor said, "but how about some breakfast? Something to eat and drink?" Even as he said it, he realised he was neither hungry nor thirsty.

 

Walk. Hurry. Half a day more.

 

"Okay. Okay! Damn you!" He sensed an increased urgency in the voice. Half a day more, the voice said. Maybe he would get some answers then. He didn’t know why but he began walking away from the closer hills. He paused, turned and looked at the circling birds.

 

"Hey, we’re going this way!" he yelled, and then added under his breath, “As if you didn’t know.”

 

He kept close to the rocky slope where the ground was firm and dry. He had gotten used to the smell of the swamp. The flying insects still swarmed around although they were not biting him. As he walked, he thought about the birds. Something was not right. He couldn’t figure out what bothered him. He looked up expecting them to be above his head but they weren’t. He stopped walking and turned. They remained circling high above the spot where he had slept.

 

Press on.

 

Trevor cursed beneath his breath and continued walking. Maybe they’re not following me, he thought, but there’s something not right. The harder he tried to think, the more the answer eluded him.

 

It must have been about three miles further when he realised what was bothering him. He stopped and scanned his surroundings once more. There were no trees. Most birds nest in trees. What were these birds doing at this altitude? He had never seen the birds on the ground. Maybe they feed on insects in the air. He was certain they were important in some way.

 

Forget the birds. They are nothing. Press on.

 

Trevor continued at a leisurely pace, glancing over his shoulder often to check if the birds were following. He was scanning the sky behind him when something snatched at his ankles causing him to sprawl headfirst. He reached out to break his fall and his hands and forearms sank into warm, slimy mud. The mud seeped through the knees of his pants. He had strayed from the drier ground and tripped over a low shrub.

 

Cursing profusely, he scrambled out of the swamp back to firmer ground where he grabbed handfuls of grass to clean the mud off his arms.

 

Forget the birds. You will learn about them later.

 

Trevor paused, his hand half-way to grabbing another handful of grass. So the birds were important. Could he be hearing the voice of one of them? His lips curled into a cynical smile. The idea he was following the instructions of a bird-brained alien seemed preposterous. He shook his head and finished cleaning himself up as best he could.

 

Press on. You are very close.

 

The knowledge his journey would end soon urged Trevor on. Another mile and he was around the bend in the valley. In the distance, the valley ended with hills similar to the other end. It had taken two days of walking, climbing and much discomfort to get here. If they could bring me from Earth to this world, why couldn’t they have dropped me here? Trevor thought.

 

There is a reason. You will learn.

 

The voice was becoming more talkative. Trevor walked on for another half mile keeping his eyes open for anything that might emerge from the swamp and attack him. He didn’t relish having another beast sneak up on him.

 

Rest here. You are almost there.

 

"Then let’s go on. I’m not really tired," Trevor said, keen to get to wherever he could find answers to his many questions.

 

No. Rest.

 

Trevor knew arguing would be useless. He chose a suitable rock and sat down.

 

Look down the valley. What do you see?

 

Trevor looked. He saw nothing unusual. The birds were back overhead, circling as before.

 

"What am I looking for?"

 

Look carefully.

 

Even as the voice spoke, Trevor saw something unusual. He had thought it was refraction from the heat until he noticed its uniform shape. A huge dome began at one side of the valley and ended at the other. It was transparent and almost invisible apart from the slight shimmering.

 

A spacecraft. It is approximately seven of your miles long, five miles wide and two miles tall, oval in shape.

 

Trevor stared in disbelief. He could not comprehend a space vessel that size. The voice answered Trevor’s unspoken question.

 

No. It is not ours. It is the world of the Scuddar. It contains the remnants of their species. But they are of immense danger to all intelligent life.

 

Questions raced through Trevor’s mind. Was he being fooled by the voice? What could he do if the voice was speaking the truth? Why was he chosen out of the billions of humans on Earth to come here?

 

You are the only one we have found with the power to destroy them. Relax and we will show you the truth.

 

A paralyzing numbness began at Trevor’s feet, rapidly spreading up his legs and torso. Fear and panic flooded his mind as he tried to move his arms.

 

"What are you doing to me?" he asked.

 

Relax. You are safe.

 

His mind seemed to be crushed by the numbness. He saw nothing but blackness. A velvety blackness darker than one sees with eyes shut in a dark room.

 

Concentrate on the blackness.

 

A point of light appeared followed by another, and then another until thousands of three-dimensional pinpoints of light filled the blackness. It was as though he were floating in space amid stars and galaxies. The lights began to move toward him, increasing speed until they became streaks of light rushing past him. A distant point of light grew and became a galaxy and then he was orbiting a strange world that grew larger every second.

 

The streaking lights stopped with dizzying suddenness and he was hovering over a decaying city. At one time, it must have been a magnificent city of strange but beautiful architecture. The stars streaked by once more and he was taken to another world. He hovered for a minute over another decaying city. The architecture was different and alien.

 

The tour continued and he saw many different worlds, the cities of which were all in various stages of decay. Finally, he was over a sprawling city. The roads were built in concentric circles. Other roads radiated from the centre to the rim like the spokes of a wheel.

 

This is the city of Lasna on Neum the fifth planet of Ladra. Ladra has seven planets.

 

As Trevor gazed at the city in awe, he was reminded of ancient children’s fairy tales and books. Fairy rings, he thought. Mushroom shaped buildings, with tall spires painted in various colours on the rounded roofs lined the roads. He almost expected to see winged fairies flitting from house to house but could see no people or vehicles.

 

My people are humanoid. We are very similar in appearance to the people of Earth. This was our home before the Scuddar came.

 

"This is a residential city. Where is your industry? You have space travel so you must have very advanced technology," said Trevor. He was sure the voice was still concealing many facts.

 

We do not need spacecraft to visit other worlds. See the spires? They are what we use. You would not understand our technology any more than we understand all of yours. One day perhaps we will share our knowledge.

 

"There is no sign of war. How did the Scuddar defeat you?"

 

Like us, the Scuddar share a collective brain. The difference is they feed by draining the life energy from other creatures and absorbing their intellect. We, like the inhabitants of those cities you saw, had no chance. Only a few hundred of us had time to escape.

 

The Scuddar are a comparatively new species and can only survive by absorbing life energies of intelligent creatures. That is how they grow. They destroyed all intelligent creatures of their own world. That spacecraft is really like a huge brain that can divide into billions of smaller portions then return.

 

"How do you know so much about them if they defeated you?"

 

We also have a collective brain. Some of us who were absorbed retained a limited contact with those that survived. With their help, we have been monitoring the movements and plans of the Scuddar. That is how we found Earth and… you. The Scuddar plan to attack Earth when they need to feed again.

 

A chill ran through Trevor as he thought of Earth becoming devoid of human life.

 

“When do they intend to attack Earth?”

 

We are not sure. What we do know is that it will be soon. It is losing energy and that is why it searched for new intelligence and found your planet. It could move on and attack at any time.

 

"What’s so special about me?" Trevor still could not understand why he was chosen.

 

When you were cloned, a mistake was made when they filled your brain with data. They erased your mind and replaced your memory and identity. It was the first and the last time such a mistake was made. Unknown to them, it also did something else. It gave you certain abilities of which you are unaware. These are qualities that can destroy the Scuddar.

 

"But I don’t know how to use any “power” that you say I have."

 

We will show you when the time comes. Now it is time for you to awake.

 

The city dissolved into blackness and Trevor opened his eyes. He was no longer paralysed.