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SCUDDAR
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SCUDDAR Chapters 001 & 002
SCUDDAR chapters 003 & 004
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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

Chapter 23

Trevor held up a hand halting his companions, then placed a finger on his lips as he carefully pulled down a small branch of a large shrub allowing him to see better. Twenty yards away, several small mud huts, similar in shape to igloos, indicated the edge of the tribal village.

Michelle, Adrian and Trevor were assigned to make contact with the largest tribe and had arrived in a dense wooded area. The other clones were assigned the smallest tribe several miles to the west.

Michelle and Adrian crept forward and joined Trevor. Peering through the dense leaves, they observed the huts silently. Two of the natives were by an open fire close to one of the huts obviously conversing.

"They look like giant insects," whispered Adrian. Trevor nodded in agreement. They had four arms ending in hands with six, long fingers. The two legs were short but strong and had flat feet with a single claw. Their broad bodies were shiny brown like an ant. The chests appeared to consist of three parts to allow expansion.

"Their heads are smaller than the ones we saw yesterday," Trevor whispered in reply.

"Maybe they’re females. Or a different race or species," suggested Michelle.

"Being female would explain the smaller heads," whispered Adrian. "Just kidding," he quickly added when Michelle gave him a scathing look.

"How would you like a knee in the crotch?" hissed Michelle.

"Quiet! We don’t know how well they can hear! Try to get into their minds," Trevor send his thought to his companions. He concentrated on the minds of the aliens.

"They’re talking about some kind of madness among them," said Adrian.

"Yes, but not this tribe," added Michelle. "Some tribe to the west."

"I’m going to send a thought to them," Trevor said. "Let’s hope they can understand." Trevor transferred a thought to the two aliens simultaneously.

"We are friends from another planet and want to meet you."

The result was unexpected. The two aliens became agitated and uttered a high pitched tirade of screeches that brought several other natives running to them.

"Oooops! You’ve scared them, Trevor," said Michelle.

"They think they’ve been struck down with the madness," Adrian said.

As they watched, several of the aliens pounced on the two screeching natives and dragged them away as more natives came running to surround them.

"Let’s see where they are taking them," said Trevor. "Try not to be seen."

Fitting from hut to hut, they followed the crowd to the center of the village. The crowd dragged the two natives to a hut larger than the others that stood in the middle of a clearing. Two aliens emerged from the hut; one had a bright red band around each of its four arms.

"Must be the chief of the tribe," Adrian commented.

"Get into their minds and see what’s going on," said Trevor.

The chief raised his arms and the crowd fell silent. He approached the captives and walked around them, then addressed one of them. Trevor read the thoughts as the chief spoke.

"Do you have the madness?" he asked.

"We heard voices in our heads," replied the fearful captive. "You must kill us."

The chief held the captive’s head in his hands and examined it. Then he examined the head of the other captive.

"Your heads are normal. What did the voices say?"

The native began to explain what they had heard Trevor say in their minds. At the chief’s command the other captive spoke confirming that was what was heard. The chief was silent for a moment, then turned to the crowd that had began to speak among each other with strange clicking and hissing sounds.

"This is not how the madness comes," he announced. "Their heads are normal. There is no hole."

"What’s he talking about?" asked Michelle.

"I’m not sure, but they seem to have been cleared of being mad," replied Trevor. "Maybe now is the time to show ourselves."

"What should we do if they attack us?" Adrian did not sound convinced that this was the right time to reveal their presence. "They seem pretty agitated."

"Transport to the point of our arrival if there is any attack on us. The green button on your belts," answered Trevor. "Don’t use any of your powers against them. Come on."

He stepped out into the open with Michelle and Adrian either side of him and a step behind.

"We are friends!" Trevor called out. The crowd turned toward them then fell back in fear, screeching. Trevor entered the chief’s mind and sensed the chief’s fear.

"Do not be afraid. We mean no harm to you or your people." Trevor’s assurance did not lessen the fear that filled the chief’s mind.

"Have you come to give us the madness?"

"We have come to help fight the madness." Trevor assumed that the madness the natives spoke of was the Scuddar’s doing.

"No one can fight the madness," retorted the chief.

"We can. We have fought it on another world."

"What other world? There is only one world."

Trevor pointed to the sky. "When you look up at night, what do you see?"

"We see the lights of the spirit guardians."

"Those guardians live on other worlds," said Trevor. "Like the one we come from."

"You are guardians?" The chief walked around the three clones. "You do not look like any beings I have ever seen."

"That is because we are not of this world". Trevor pointed to the sky again. "We come from one of the lights you see at night."

The crowd of natives watched their chief apparently talking to himself. The clicks and squeals that was their language grew in volume. The chief turned to them and raised his arms, silencing them.

"The voices in Raco and Cen’s heads came from these creatures. They speak to me in my head. They come to fight the madness." The chief pointed skyward. "They are the spirit guardians! They come to help us!"

As one, the crowd slapped their chests and raised their arms to the sky. They did this three times in unison.

"Nicely done, Trevor," said Adrian. "Now we have to prove we can help them."

"Yes. If this madness is due to the Scuddar feeding on the victims minds, then it has spread further than we thought."

"Ask the chief how many have the madness," said Michelle.

"Good idea," replied Trevor. He did as Michelle suggested. They learned that four natives had the madness in a tribe to the west of them and many in the southwest suffered from the madness. They also learned that the heads of the victims grew in size over a period of time after becoming mad. Only one of their own tribe had suffered and they had killed him as soon as they saw the signs of madness. The chief had discovered a hole in the base of the victim’s head at the back.

"We had better warn the others. They are to the west of us," said Trevor. He turned back to the chief. "We must go to the west of here. We will return when we have destroyed the madness there."

"This should surprise them," Trevor said to Adrian and Michelle. "Transport to where the others are at the count of three."

The watching tribe heard a popping sound and the three strange spirit guardians vanished.

 

Chapter 24

Michelle, Adrian and Trevor materialised on the brow of a hill overlooking a small village of igloo-shaped huts. In the centre of the village some activity was going on but they were too far away to see what was happening. Trevor sought the minds of the other four clones.

"Where are you? What’s happening?" he asked.

"We’re in the village," replied Charles. "We are being accused of bringing some kind of madness to these people."

"The madness is the Scuddar’s doing," said Trevor. "We’re coming down."

The three clones transported to the centre of the village causing the natives to screech and back away from them fearfully. Trevor saw and recognised the chief by the bands on his arms. The bands were yellow and black. Trevor searched the chief’s mind to see what he was thinking to be prepared for any conversation with him. The chief was as fearful as the other natives were. The sudden arrival of three more strange creatures in his village alarmed him but he felt the need to appear outwardly calm.

"We come to fight the madness," Trevor told him. "We are guardians from the lights in the night sky."

"You are demons that lurk in the shadows," accused the chief. "You don’t look like the spirit guardians."

"Have you seen a spirit guardian?" Trevor asked.

"No, but we are taught they look like us and they have pure white bodies."

"The guardians have many different forms depending on which realm of the universe they come from."

"How can we know you speak the truth and you are not demons?"

On hearing their chief talking, the natives drew closer.

"A demon came to this world and caused the madness. We have come to fight the demon and help you people. If we were demons, would we come to you like this? The madness was here before we came."

The chief considered what Trevor had said then turned to the people.

"They say they are spirit guardians that have come to fight the madness. We will see what they do. Take them to the mad ones."

The chief and the crowd led then to a group of trees just beyond the edge of the village. Three natives were tied to trees with woven ropes. Their heads enlarged like the first natives they saw the day before. As they approached the three captives the natives kept their distance. Trevor observed one of them closely. Its bulbous eyes peered back at him and a long grey-white pointed tongue lashed toward him. It extended about four feet then snapped back. It reminded Trevor of the tongue of a frog lashing out to catch a fly. He reached into the captive’s mind.

"What caused this madness in you?" he asked. The thoughts he received were turmoil of fear and resentment. He probed further. Suddenly the incoherent jumble of thoughts cleared.

"Who said it is a madness?" The voice was clear and calm.

"What are you?" Trevor asked. There was no reply for a minute and Trevor thought his question would not be answered.

"You know who we are."

"Scuddar?"

"That is a name that has been given us. We are ‘The Ultimate’."

Trevor blocked his mind to all but the clones.

"Did you get that?" he asked them.

"Yes. The Scuddar knows who we are," Joseph answered.

"The Neumites named it the Scuddar," said Stephanie. "It must have mental contact with the Scuddar there."

"The Neumites never said anything about enlarged heads," Trevor said. "I wonder if this is something different. Some kind of evolution of the Scuddar."

"They call themselves The Ultimate," sneered Stephanie. "They have delusions of grandeur."

"But not to be underestimated," replied Trevor. He turned back to the captives and probed the mind of the second one. The same fear and confusion along with resentment was on the surface of the creature’s mind. Probing deeper he made contact with the Scuddar. He found the same calm presence as the first.

"When you speak to one you speak to all," it said. "We are collective. We are one."

"You are just a parasite in the mind of a primitive native," replied Trevor. "Where are YOU, the original seed?"

"You will never find ME," replied the Scuddar, confidently.

"So ‘The Ultimate’ cowers in fear and afraid to be found," smiled Trevor. "We will find you."

As one, the three captives strained at their bonds and lashed out their long tongues at Trevor. He sensed anger in the Scuddar’s mind and laughed.

"So you do at least have some emotion," Trevor mused. "You have anger."

"We will also have pleasure when you become us," replied the Scuddar.

"We can see the yellow threads and will destroy any that come near us," Trevor told the Scuddar.

The Scuddar did not reply. Trevor had a feeling that what he had said did not concern the Scuddar. The three natives stopped straining against their bonds. Trevor blocked his mind from the Scuddar and turned away.

"It didn’t seem to worry that we could see and destroy the yellow threads," he said to his companions.

"Perhaps it has found a way to conceal them from us," suggested Michelle.

"Or it uses some other means to get into the brains of these natives," added Joseph.

"The chief of the other tribe said there were holes in the back of the heads of the victims," said Adrian. "That must mean it gets in that way."

"Let’s take a look, then," said Joseph. He walked toward the first of the bound creatures and round to the back of the tree. He couldn’t see the creature’s head and began to circle it to get a better view. As he came between two of the trees the second creature lashed out its tongue, striking Joseph’s head. Joseph screamed and fell to the ground as six blue bolts from the clones simultaneously struck the creature searing it into a smoking, charred corpse.

Trevor ran to Joseph and grabbed his feet and pulled him clear. Adrian rushed to help. Joseph was convulsing on the ground. A small pool of blood soaked into the ground from the back of his head. Trevor turned Joseph over and saw a small hole in the base of his skull.

"We’ve got to get him out of here," he said. "All of you return to Neum."

The other clones had seen the hole and realised its significance.

"The bastards!" screamed Michelle. She swung around and before anyone could do anything bolts of blue fire struck the remaining two captives over and over again until all that was left were smoking corpses.

"Michelle!" cried Trevor, shouting above the clamour of the screeching native tribe. "Back to Neum. NOW!" He pressed a button on Joseph’s belt. Joseph vanished. Trevor went to Michelle who was standing with her mouth open at the scorched corpses and trees. Trevor pressed the button on her belt that would transport her back to Neum. When she vanished, he turned to the tribal chief.

"We will be back." He made sure the other clones had gone and pressed the button on his own belt.