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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 Five

 

After Meehun spoke to him, Trevor spent the rest of the day walking, sitting and occasionally dozing to pass the time. He did a lot of thinking, mostly about Gina. His thoughts of her and the intimate moments they had shared had led to him fantasizing about her. For all he knew he may not be alive for long the next day.

 

He had decided to put his trust in the Neumite’s faith in him and his powers. That night, with his mind made up, he slept soundly and contentedly.

 

He awoke at sunrise the next morning. The birds were circling above his head. He stood up, stretched and yawned luxuriously, then rubbed his chin. Several days without shaving had given him the makings of a beard.

 

"What I would give for a nice hot bath and shave," he muttered. "The Scuddar must be able to smell me from here." His train of thought led him to think about food. He had not eaten or had anything to drink since he was taken from his apartment, and yet, not once had he felt the need for food or drink since his arrival on this planet. Were the Neumites responsible for sustaining him? Or was it another of his powers?

 

He examined his hands to see if the wounds he received while climbing the mountain had left scars. There was none, although one at least had been deep enough to leave a scar.

 

Trevor pulled his tunic open to look at his shoulder. The beast’s claws had torn his flesh but the wound had stopped bleeding and there was no pain.

 

He peered in the direction of the dome. Its shimmering shape was still there. Staring grimly at it, he psyched himself up. Today he would battle against the threat to all intelligent life. Today he would destroy the Scuddar or die in the attempt. "Let’s go," he muttered himself and, with his jaw set, began walking purposefully toward the dome.

 

He had no plan, but Neegon had said he had to enter the dome and destroy the nucleus. The only way he could do that was to get near it and find a way in. Would the dome be guarded? Would he be attacked before he got near? He had no answers to the questions that came to mind.

 

The only way to find out is to get there, he thought.

 

He had noticed Neegon was strangely quiet. Were his people hiding and keeping well away in case something went wrong? His powers against the Scuddar were, as yet, untested. For all he knew, the Scuddar’s defences’ would render him powerless.

 

Trevor looked up into the sky. The birds had tightened the circle and were flying lower. A few were flying to the dome and back to the circle as if keeping the other birds informed. Neegon had said they were not intelligent. He wondered if that was the truth.

 

As Trevor approached the dome, he became aware of a humming sound that filled the air and it increased in volume the closer he got.

 

The sun was almost overhead when he could no longer see the shape of the dome. The shimmering filled everything before him. Its immense size dwarfed him and he could not define how far away or how close it was. The air vibrated with the humming and made him wonder if it was the sound of some power plant or engine.

 

Still pondering on the sound, he walked into something resilient like a tight balloon and it bounced him back. The unexpected contact shocked him and made his nerve ends tingle. He stood still, immediately on guard, his heart racing. His head swiveled in all directions to see if anything was visible from which to defend himself. He could see nothing.

 

"Damn it! Show yourselves!" he shouted. As if in answer, the shimmering surface took on a deep orange glow.

 

He waited, still searching for any sign of danger, but when nothing more happened, he reached out and touched the dome’s surface.

 

I could cut through this if I had a knife, he thought. He had no such weapon and his fingernails made no impression on the surface.

 

Trevor searched for something suitable to cut through the dome and seeing a rock with a sharp edge, he picked it up. Several attempts to slash the surface with the rock resulted in failure.

 

"How the hell can I get into this thing?" he asked himself. He stood back to survey the surface better. He could see nothing that could be an opening of any sort.

 

Picking up a rock, he hurled it at the dome in frustration. It bounced off. He threw a second rock, and a third, his aggravation mounting with each angry toss.

 

A sudden a loud popping sound made him jump backward and a hole about six feet in diameter appeared. Within the hole he could see what appeared to be a murky yellow fog that drifted in all directions. As his eyes focused, he saw the fog consisted of billions of thread-like objects.

 

The Scuddar! Trevor thought, backing away as fear gripped him.

 

Instinctively, his hand covered the back of his neck. He didn’t want any to attach themselves to him. The drifting threads moved away from the opening making it almost like a cave. As far as he could tell, they had no interest in him.

 

He moved forward warily, prepared for any attack that might come, until he stood at the cave-like opening and peered inside.

 

Who are you?

 

The thought was clear and unmistakable but Trevor ignored it. He stepped inside the dome and the yellow cloud of thread-like beings moved, deepening the cave. They had formed a passage before him.

 

Who are you? Why have you come here?

 

Advancing slowly, Trevor made his way down the passage of threads. He attempted to peer through the living walls but they were too dense. The passage lengthened to allow his progress.

 

“You can talk?” he said as he continued.

 

All intelligent creatures can converse.

 

“Can you read my mind?”

 

Do you mean do I know what you are thinking other than what you are saying?

 

The passage lengthened by several yards each time Trevor approached the end. He began to run and the end of the passage still kept the same distance away from him.

 

“Yes. That’s what I mean.”

 

I have only touched the surface of your mind to understand your speech.

 

Trevor had settled into a steady trot. He didn’t want to get too out of breath when he reach the nucleus. He would need to be on guard and ready to destroy this creature.

 

“So you don’t know why I am here?”

 

This time there was a long pause before he got an answer.

 

To go deeper would be painful for you. You are different. You do not converse by thought transference.

 

Trevor grinned as he jogged. He thought of Losin and Neegon. The Neumites could go pretty deep into his mind without any problems. Maybe the Scuddar wasn’t as advanced as they were.

 

“That’s right. Where I come from we speak with sound.”

 

Where are you from? You are not of this world or any I know of.

 

Trevor frowned and slowed to a walking pace. The Scuddar didn’t know he was from Earth. Neegon had said Earth was to be the Scuddar’s next target. Were the Neumites mistaken? Was it another intelligent species the Scuddar planned to attack?

 

“You’re right about that. I am from a planet called Earth.”

 

He started to run again now anxious to reach the nucleus, do what he had to and get out.

 

Why have you come here? What do you want with me?

 

Trevor realised that the yellow, diffused light had become deep orange. The deeper he entered the dome, the redder the light. The passage the gossamer threads made was leading him straight to the center of the dome.

 

“I’ll let you know when I get to you.”

 

Then come. You are almost here.

 

The passage ended abruptly and Trevor found he was in a large hall-like cavern. The humming sound had raised several octaves. In the centre, he saw a pulsing red dome. Trevor stared at it in fascination. It was much smaller than he had expected. He estimated it to be about three-feet in diameter and two feet high. This was what he had come to destroy.

 

You have arrived. What are you? Who are you? Why have you come here?

 

"I have come to destroy you," replied Trevor, ignoring all the other questions. "You are a menace."

 

Why? What have I done to you?

 

“You plan to attack my people. You have destroyed many civilizations.”

 

They are not all destroyed. Many are part of us. They are us now. They would have died otherwise. Who are your people that you are concerned about?

 

The horror of what the Scuddar said hit Trevor hard. The web-like threads were once individuals of other civilizations. There were billions of them.

 

This red dome was the brain, the control center. It was the real Scuddar. The other beings, although now part of it, just did its bidding so it could grow. Unless he destroyed it, the humans of Earth would suffer the same fate. He had an overwhelming desire to kill it immediately.

 

Why do you fear for the people of your world? How will destroying me save them?

 

Ignoring the question, he pointed his finger at the red dome. "You," he announced, "will die!" A brief white flash sparked in his mind and a bluish white ray shot from his finger and hit the Scuddar. Trevor sensed the agonized screams in his mind as the ray struck the creature.

 

Stop! You are hurting us! Let us talk! The Scuddar’s mind screamed in Trevor’s head. The creature’s sudden appeal caused Trevor to cease his attack. He had been prepared for some kind of retaliation from the dome but there was none.

 

 A cloud of gossamer threads rushed toward the red dome, covering it in an attempt to protect it.

Trevor reeled as a crushing energy numbed his mind. He staggered back, holding his head and screamed, then, just as abruptly as it came, the energy stopped. His head throbbed with agonizing pain.

 

Where are you from? Are all your people like you? If they are like you, they are safe.

 

Trevor, still reeling from the mental attack, didn’t answer. He tried to concentrate all his hate and anger on the red pulsing dome to blast it out of existence but nothing happened.

 

I warned you it would be painful if I went deeper in your mind. I know of your powers.

 

Trevor sensed pain in the Scuddar’s voice. He had hurt it more than it had hurt him.

 

You are the menace. Destroy…me and…billions will die. Not… everything… is what it seems. You… have much to learn.

 

The faltering thoughts told Trevor that the dome was becoming weaker. He wondered if he had struck a fatal blow to the Scuddar. He tried again to strike it with another streak of blue ray. Again, nothing happened. His head felt as though it had exploded as he staggered to his feet and searched for the passage he had come through. It had gone.

 

Trevor was aware of a final thought from the Scuddar.

 

You… are the one… that destroys. You are… destroying… those that live on. Why? We… have done… nothing to you! Leave me! Leave me now!

 

Trevor sensed fear and horror all around him. He glanced around; expecting the threads to attack him but the density of the orange was fading. The vibrating hum grew fainter as the interior of the huge dome became clearer. Some threads began falling all around him while others just seemed to disappear.

 

Get me out of here! His mind yelled.

 

A moment of blackness clouded his mind and he found himself lying on the grass by the mountain. His head ached as a final thought came to him.

 

You are the one that destroys!

Chapter Six

Trevor lay still for several minutes regaining his breath. He had no idea how he had managed to escape from the dome. Maybe it was another of his powers or the people of Neum had saved him. Either way, he was grateful he was alive.

"Well done, Trevor Donegan!" The voice startled him and he jerked his head in the direction the voice.

 He saw Neegon and Lison standing with six others, three men and three women. All wore similar clothing to Neegon and Lison. Trevor got to his feet and faced them as the group came toward him, inevitable smiles on their faces, and stood before him. Neegon introduced each one.

"This is Meehun, our leader." Meehun stepped up and, with two fingers; he touched Trevor on his chin.

"I don’t know how to thank you enough for destroying the Scuddar. All intelligence in the universe owes you their gratitude whether they know it or not. You are my friend and I want to be yours."

Like a ritual, as Neegon introduced them, each one touched Trevor’s chin and made similar remarks. Each one claimed to be his friend and wanting him to be theirs. Must be their way of saying, "Hi. How are you?" thought Trevor.

Trevor noticed Meehun staring at him with a look of curiosity on his face.

“Is something wrong?” he asked.

“No, no. Not at all,” he replied. “Did you communicate with the Scuddar while you were in there?” Meehun’s intense, blue eyes scrutinized Trevor’s face.

Trevor frowned and stared at the ground. Something didn’t seem quite right.

“We didn’t say much. It said I was the destroyer, not him.”

“In a sense, it is right,” Meehun chuckled. “But you are the destroyer of evil. Are you sure it didn’t say anything else?”

“It didn’t seem to know that I come from Earth.”

“Well, it has been destroyed now, thanks to you.”

“It has destroyed millions of innocent people,” added Neegon.

"I didn’t see any of your people in there," he told them. "Can they be rescued?"

The smiles disappeared and replaced by sadness. Meehun answered him.

"We never expected to save them. Although the few who resisted losing their consciousness longest and maintained contact with us were no longer the same as they were. Their physical bodies had perished on our world. There would be nothing we could do and they knew that."

"They will be remembered as long as we live," added Neegon, touching his forehead with his middle finger. The rest of the group nodded in agreement, following Neegon’s suit and touching their foreheads.

"What happens now?" asked Trevor.

"We will return to our world and try to rebuild our civilization," replied Meehun. Trevor looked at each of the eight. He remembered that Neegon had said a few hundred had escaped the Scuddar.

"Just the eight of you?"

"There are three hundred and sixteen of us," replied Losin. "The eight of us here all had a part in enhancing your powers. The rest are waiting in an extinct volcano some distance from here."

"We will take you there. You will be able to clean up. We didn’t dare take you before in case the Scuddar could somehow find out from you where we were," added Meehun.

Nothing like covering your back, thought Trevor smiling cynically, but the thought of cleaning himself up sounded good to him.

"I’m ready when you are," he said aloud.

"You will need to lie down and sleep," said Neegon, "we don’t have a spire tuned to your molecules and it’s too far for you to walk." He went on to explain the process was different and required their complete control of his mind and body in order to transfer him to the volcano.

"That is why all eight of us are here," finished Losin, "we are the ones that brought you from Earth."

"Rest and sleep,"  Neegon’s voice whispered in his head. Trevor offered no resistance and lay down. The last thing he remembered before sleep overwhelmed him was one of the women preparing to lie on top of him, her hands holding his and her forehead lightly touching his own.

He awoke slowly, finding himself lying on a soft bed. As his eyes adjusted, he saw he was in a huge, roughly circular cavern. He sat up to observe his surroundings. High above him, the wide, uneven mouth of the volcano gaped allowing daylight to illuminate the cavern. On one side, he saw several spires mounted on pillars, the bases of which were about ten feet square. A group of about fifty men was working around three of the spires, which had crude wooden scaffolding built around them. Trevor noticed the tops of these spires were incomplete.

"You have awoken, Trevor Donegan." Trevor turned his head in the direction of the voice. Neegon and Meehun were approaching him, treading carefully over the uneven, igneous rock floor of the cavern. Both men wore beaming smiles on their faces.

"I feel like I slept well," replied Trevor, "I never felt better."

"You slept for almost three days," announced Neegon. Trevor’s eyes widened with surprise.

"Three days?" Both men smiled at his astonishment.

"You needed the rest and we studied you some more. We wanted to make sure we could remove the enhancement of your powers," explained Meehun, "it would not be good to return you to your world with them enhanced as they were."

Trevor sat up and swung his legs off the bed. “Why remove the powers? Why can’t you leave them?”

"Your latent powers are still intact," said Neegon assuring Trevor. "Perhaps these will develop on their own without our enhancement of them."

"While you slept, we have transferred to the world outside. This world does have its own beauty. The last of the spires are being dismantled and reassembled in a lovely spot away from this volcano." Meehun was obviously pleased as he looked at the remaining spires in the cavern.

"Come, Trevor Donegan," said Neegon. "You still need to clean yourself up." Trevor wasted no time in getting up from the bed. He could smell his own body odor and that of the spoiling yellow remains of the Scuddar threads clinging to his clothes. He would like nothing better than to clean up right now. The two men led the way to one of the spires.

"Just stand on the marked spot," said Meehun. "A beam will analyze the molecules of your body and project you to where we are now camped. Losin is waiting for your arrival."

Trevor did as requested while Meehun tapped some kind of control panel on one of the pillars. Immediately, a bright green beam from above his head bathed him in its light. A moment later, he was standing on green grass in the open. He didn’t have time to look around before he was greeted by Losin holding some clothes in her arms.

"Welcome, Trevor Donegan," she said smiling at him. Their use of his full name was beginning to annoy him.

"Thanks. Just call me Trevor," he told her.

"Welcome Trevor," she obliged. "We don’t have any proper facilities here but there is a stream just over there, where you can bathe and clean up." She pointed in the direction of some trees lining a stream.

The camp spread over a large flat area, dotted with trees and on both sides of the stream. Trevor saw hundreds of people, some busy while others just sat by makeshift huts. Behind him were about thirty spires with men in the process of assembling some of them. He became aware that many were staring at him. The ones closest smiled and touched their foreheads. They were all clean and dressed in similar clothes and made him feel filthy.

"Yes. I would love to clean up," he told Losin.

"This way." she replied and began walking toward the stream. "I will show you where we all bathe." She led him to where the stream widened into a pool of clear water. It was set amid a group of strange, flowering trees and shrubs. Trevor noticed it was reasonably secluded.

"This looks really inviting," Trevor said, already unzipping his tunic. Losin smiled and sat down on the grass. Trevor removed his tunic and paused, turning to Losin.

"I’ll wait for you and take you back," said Losin in reply to his unspoken question, then quickly added, "Oh. Sorry. I will not look if you prefer me not to." She turned her head away.

Trevor undressed quickly and slipped into the pool, submerging and enjoying the luxurious feel of the clean, refreshing warm water. He washed the grime and stale sweat from his body, and then looked at Losin. She still had her head turned away from him.

"You can look now," he called to her. Losin looked back at him.

"We do not mind bathing together or seeing each other undressed," she said, "I had forgotten that it is the custom of your people to be modest about that."

Not always, thought Trevor, it depends on circumstances.

He swam around for a few minutes, and then warned her he was coming out. She turned her head once more while he scrambled out of the water.

"These are clean clothes for you to wear." She patted the clothes on the grass beside her, keeping her head turned, "and a cloth to dry yourself."

Trevor toweled himself dry with the cloth. It was thin but very absorbent. Then he picked up the pants. There were no undergarments. He breathed a curse as he struggled into the tight fitting pants.

"They are the biggest we have," apologized Losin, "our people are not as fleshy as yours."

"It’s all right," replied Trevor, putting on the blouse. He felt he was dressed like a ballet dancer with the loose blouse and skin-tight pants. Losin turned her head and looked at him. She smiled and nodded approvingly.

"I’ll wash these," she said, indicating his discarded clothes.

Without hesitation, she stripped off her clothing, entered the stream, and began to wash his clothes in the clear water. Trevor did not afford her the same courtesy of turning his head. She had not shown any indication of modesty at being naked. He noticed that apart from small facial differences, her body appeared to be no different from a human’s, although perhaps a little anorexic in appearance.

Losin emerged from the stream with Trevor’s clothes in her arms and came toward him. She dried herself with the same cloth Trevor had used, and then dressed.

"We should get back. Meehun needs to talk to you." Trevor stood and gathered up his wet clothes.

"Let’s go," he said, "maybe I can get back home now." Losin did not reply but turned and led the way back.

A small group of people was standing in a circle looking at something. One of them turned as Losin and Trevor approached. It was Meehun.

"Welcome, Trevor Donegan," he said grinning broadly, "I see Losin is taking care of you."

"Yes, she has. I feel much better now that I have washed," replied Trevor.

"Good. We have retrieved the nucleus of the Scuddar. Whatever you did has made it and the individual threads visible to us now." Meehun stood aside to allow Trevor to see what the group were looking at. The red nucleus he had killed was on the ground along with several yellow Scuddar.

"We need to study it. Twenty-two of our people survived, but they are still Scuddar. We are going to need your help."

"Wait a minute!" Trevor held up his hands in protest. "I’ve done what you asked. I want to go home now. I’ve had enough." He wanted to get back and be with Gina. He wanted to go back to his normal life.

He wondered about his work in the lab and that if a search for him had begun when they found he was missing.

"We will return you to your world," Meehun told him. "No one will miss you as you will go back to the time you were in your apartment when we brought you here."

"You can do that?" Trevor looked at Meehun, an incredulous look on his face. He thought of the implications of Meehun’s claim. It meant he would not even remember his experiences on this strange world or of his meeting these people. If he did remember, he wouldn’t be believed if he tried to tell Gina or anyone about his adventure.

"With the spires, we can return you to any timeframe you want from the moment we brought you here to the time you return. A day or a week later if you wish. But we do need your help for a little longer." Meehun was reading Trevor’s thoughts.

"What do you want me to do?" Trevor resigned himself to the fact he could not resist helping them further. If it hadn’t been for their enlisting his help in the first place, the people of Earth would have suffered the same fate as the forty-nine other alien civilizations.

"The nucleus is not dead. It has been severely wounded, but is still alive," Meehun explained. "We need to study it and learn from it."

"How can I help there? Why do you want to study it?" Trevor thought it was better if the Scuddar was destroyed for good.

"You had mental contact with the Scuddar. We cannot make contact for some reason." Meehun’s became excited as he explained further.

"We also need to study you and discover how we can imitate those powers you have for our protection and the future protection of your people."

"How are you going to do that?" Trevor asked.

"First we have to take you and the Scuddar to Neum, our world. We have better facilities there," explained Meehun. "It will be good to get back to our homes again. We understand how you must feel."

"We can enhance your powers as necessary," added Neegon. "We need you to make mental contact with the Scuddar if it still has the ability to communicate."

The small group had grown as more people gathered around to see the Scuddar that had destroyed almost all the inhabitants of Neum. Trevor looked at their faces. There was no hate displayed. Their expressions showed only sadness that they had lost so many of their families and friends. He wondered if these people were even capable of hate.

Trevor made up his mind and agreed, saying simply, "Let’s do it then."

A murmur rippled through the crowd and many smiled and touched their foreheads in respect.