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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.
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SCUDDAR Chapters 021 & 022
SCUDDAR Chapters 023 & 024
SCUDDAR Chapters 025 & 026
SCUDDAR Chapters 027 & 028

SCUDDAR

Chapter 27

 

Neegon hurried to the table where the clones were just finishing lunch. His face full of concern as he sat down with them.

"We think Joseph’s blood is being invaded by what is apparently some kind of anti-bodies from the native that attacked him. We believe these anti-bodies are turning his blood into insect blood. That is why it has turned white."

The clones stared at Neegon, then at each other. Shock showed on their faces while the three women also expressed horror. Stephanie was the first to speak.

"Can it be reversed?" she asked.

Neegon’s head dropped. "We don’t think so," he said sadly. "We don’t know what to do." He looked up at them and spread his hands wide. The clones saw tears in his eyes.

"I am sorry. We have failed you when you have done so much for us," he said. "We well know the sadness of losing a friend."

Michelle reached out and placed a hand on Neegon’s arm. "It’s not your fault," she told him sympathetically. "We… he… should have been more wary."

"Whatever happens to him, we have learned from him," said Adrian. "Kill the Scuddar before it gets a chance to attack us."

"At least we can recognise the ones that we need to kill," said Trevor. "The ones with enlarged heads. But we still need to find the original seed or spawn."

"Let’s go get the damn thing," Charles said, standing up with his fists clenched.

 

"It’s got to be around here somewhere," exclaimed Trevor. The clones stood on a slope of the extinct volcano looking around helplessly. The natives that had previously attacked them with rocks were nowhere to be seen.

"I suggest we make a systematic search starting from the mouth of this volcano," said Adrian. "All in a line about twenty feet apart."

The clones, unable to suggest anything better, agreed and spread out in a single line and began to search the slopes of the volcano. Two hours later they were on the second sweep of the search. Charles was the furthest from the mouth when a rock landed with a thud at his feet. He looked up just in time to see a native hurl another rock at him.

"Hey! The natives are throwing rocks again!" he warned his companions mentally.

The clones looked toward Charles and saw a blue aura surround him then a flash of blue light streaked from him toward a huge rock. The rock disintegrated into hundreds of smaller pieces that scattered in all directions. Some pieces bouncing harmlessly off the aura around Charles. Two natives, one limping badly, were hurrying away from the scene. Two further bolts of blue lightning emerged from Charles and the natives fell to the ground.

"Wow! Did I do that?" asked Charles; obviously awestruck at the power he had used.

"You did it, Honey," replied Stephanie.

"Let’s see if the natives are dead or alive," said Trevor scrambling down the slope.

"Don’t get too close!" yelled Michelle.

"I won’t!" Trevor yelled back. He reached the first native. It was the one that had been limping. Trevor saw the outer shell of the creature’s thigh had been shattered and a thick white fluid oozed from the wound. Another smoking wound in its abdomen also oozed with the white fluid. Warily, he approached the giant insect and stopped when he was about six feet away. The creature turned its head to look at him. Suddenly it’s tongue lashed out a full four feet toward him then retracted.

"This one’s dead." Charles had gone to the other native.

Trevor reached into the remaining creature’s mind and found the familiar confusion there. Probing deeper he contacted the Scuddar and sensed a little fear.

"You’re afraid." Trevor’s statement caused the Scuddar to attempt to mask the fear but unsuccessfully. "You have every reason to be," finished Trevor.

"We are not afraid," replied the Scuddar. "This creature is afraid."

"No. The fear is yours. Why did you attack us when you knew we could destroy you?"

"Destroy me. This creature will not live long."

"We can spare you and help you if you tell us where your original seed is located," said Trevor.

"We cannot do that," replied the Scuddar defiantly.

"Then you are of no use to us. You will die." Trevor walked away from the possessed native.

"Destroy me! You will not find what you seek."

Trevor continued walking away with Charles. "We will," he projected his thought confidently. "We’re getting close." He sensed the fear return.

The other clones had descended the slope to meet Trevor and Charles.

"It won’t live long," he told them. "What I don’t understand is why they attack us here. They know we can destroy them."

"Isn’t this where Stephanie was first attacked?" asked Charles. "I think it was somewhere around here."

The clones looked around trying to remember exactly where Stephanie had been when rocks were hurled at her. There was little to distinguish the terrain from any given point. It was Stephanie that remembered.

"You’re right!" She pointed at a big rock several yards away. "That’s where I was having a pee."

The six clones stared at each other. All suddenly realising the same thing at the same moment. The realisation that they were close. They were too close for the Scuddar’s liking. The Scuddar was prepared to make sacrifices in order not to be discovered.

"Spread out but keep your eyes open for more attacks," ordered Trevor.

The clones once more began their search, this time concentrating on the area around the rock Stephanie had indicated. They were unsure what they might find but anything that was different from the terrain around them received careful examination. Almost another two hours of searching passed before Adrian shouted.

"Over here! Look at this!" The clones scrambled up the slope to where Adrian stood peering at the base of a pile of igneous rocks.

"It looks like a tunnel," he said as they all took turns to peer into the dark interior of the small opening.

"Maybe it is a small blowhole of the volcano," suggested Charles. He pointed to the ground. "This looks like a solidified lava flow."

Trevor looked up at the pile of rocks. He noticed it was about ten feet high and, although made to look like one, it was not a natural fall. He examined the pile carefully.

"These rocks have been placed here deliberately," he said. "There’s none of the rubble that would have been mixed with them had they been a fall or landslide."

"Are we just going to stand here looking?" asked Adrian impatiently. "Let’s see what they are hiding."

"Are you kidding? How are we going to move this lot?" Michelle stood with arms akimbo and looking at the pile of rocks. "Those rocks will ruin my nails!" Turning her head, she looked at Stephanie and Angela for support. They too, looked dubious that they would be able to give much assistance.

The men realised what a daunting task it would be to remove the rocks safely. They would have to start at the top or risk dislodging the lower rocks and have the pile collapse on top of them. It would take many hours of hard, backbreaking work to clear the pile. They stood contemplating how they should go about achieving their aim.

"Blast our way through!" Charles’ sudden exclamation drew their attention. He returned their curious glances and jerked his thumb in the direction where he had killed the two Scuddar possessed natives. "Like I blasted that rock," he explained.

"How did you do that," asked Adrian.

Charles thought for a moment then replied. "I’m not sure. I just wanted to get to those bastards behind it. It just happened."

"Well, we haven’t anything to lose," Trevor muttered. "Let’s give it a go." He told them to stand well clear in case any rocks fell or should hit them. "We’ll all try together. Concentrate on the lower rocks around the opening."

They took shelter behind various rocks and faced the opening and waited for Trevor’s signal. Seconds later, two searing bolts of blue struck two rocks disintegrating them into a shower of small pieces and dust. Suddenly, the pile moved. Slowly at first then, with a loud rumble the pile collapsed, gathering momentum and cascading down the slope, taking other rocks and rubble in its path along with it.

"I did it!" Angela jumped up and down excitedly. "I did it!"

"Yeah! Me too," claimed Charles, his clenched fists held above his head triumphantly as he grinned at her. Equally excited congratulating yells came from the other clones.

When the dust settled they saw the entrance to the tunnel. It was roughly circular and about five feet in diameter. Resisting the urge to run, they approached the opening warily and peered into its depths. The available light illuminating the interior revealed a downward slope that curved out of sight several yards inside.

"We’re coming to get you," called Charles down the hole with a mocking, musical lilt.

"It looks dark in there," said Trevor. "We are going to need torches to see where we are going."

"Where the hell are we going get torches?" asked Adrian.

"We’ve got company!" Stephanie was pointing toward a group of natives about four hundred yards away. They could see they had the enlarged heads that identified the creatures. They were Scuddar possessed. The group, consisting of around twenty, scurried from rock to rock as they came closer. They appeared to be spreading out. Some were edging up the slope.

"They’re going to try to surround us," announced Trevor. "If you get into any real danger hit the button and get back to Neum. Don’t take any chances." He waited for them to confirm they understood then said, "Good. Remember what happened to Joseph."

The chilling reminder was not wasted on the clones as they kept a wary eye on the approach of the giant insects. They waited for them to get within rock throwing distance.

The natives stopped advancing when they were twenty yards away. Some had fist-sized rocks in their hands but did not attempt to throw them. Trevor wondered if they were waiting for a signal to attack. Hearing a sound behind him, he spun around. A large boulder was bouncing down from the top of the volcano toward them. He just saw three of the natives ducking down out of sight.

"Look out!" he shouted. His warning was not needed. The other clones had also heard the thudding sound as the boulder stuck rocks as it bounced down. It was the signal the natives were waiting for. As one they began hurling rocks, hissing and clicking in their language as they charged. The boulder bounded past the clones and crushed one of the attacking natives.

Blue streaks like laser beams flashed from the clones as they retaliated. There was little time to take careful aim at the moving creatures and some flashes missed their targets, disintegrating rocks or harmlessly striking the ground.

Trevor heard Michelle scream as she lost her footing on the slope and rolled down toward one of the insects. It rushed toward her, its tongue stabbing in and out of its mouth. Trevor was about to strike it down but another native got in the way, obscuring his view. He charged the creature, hitting it with his shoulder. The surprised native fell to the ground and rolled down the slope, its arms and legs flailing as it tried to stop rolling. Trevor leaped to help Michelle just as the creature with the stabbing tongue got to her. Trevor couldn’t risk striking it in case he hit Michelle. It paused momentarily as it stood above her. Michelle rolled to one side as its tongue stabbed, striking the ground where her head had been a second before. A blue flash emerged from her eyes and the creature’s head disappeared. The headless body fell lifeless beside her.

Trevor helped Michelle to her feet. They were now behind the natives and were able to take more time to destroy them. Stephanie and Charles were standing side by side blasting any creature that came near them. Angela and Adrian were higher up the slope concentrating on the natives that were at the top of the volcano. They were carefully selecting their targets and eliminating them systematically.

The battle lasted a full ten minutes. The bodies of thirty natives lay strewn over the battlefield. The clones grouped together to survey the scene.

"There were more of them than I thought," said Trevor. "I wonder how many there are altogether on this world."

They heard an anguished cry from Michelle. She was sitting on a rock staring at her hand with horror. Trevor, full of concern ran to her.

"What? What’s wrong?" he demanded. Woefully she lifted her hand to show him.

"I broke a nail, dammit!"

Trevor stared at Michelle, his face a picture of bewilderment. Then he heard Angela laugh followed by the laughs of the other clones. Michelle’s complaint about her broken nail relieved the tension of the battle they had just won.

"Sheesh! Michelle! You had me really worried then!" he admonished.

He looked around at them and added, "We’ll get back to Neum now. We are not going in there without some form of lighting." He indicated the tunnel. "Hit your buttons."

 

Returning from the battle scene, Trevor’s first concern was for Joseph. He went with the other clones to see him. Joseph was hardly breathing and looked near to death. Trevor attempted to contact his mind but the confusion was so great and he couldn’t get past it.

"He’s going to die," said Stephanie speaking aloud what they were all thinking.

Adrian moved to Joseph’s side and put a hand on his shoulder.

"We’ll avenge you, brother," he said.

"I have to go," said Angela. "I can’t bear to see him like this."

"There’s nothing we can do for him," replied Trevor. "I’m going too."

One by one the clones left the room in silence.

 

The first major battle with the Scuddar, although successful, made the clones realise that they could easily have had casualties. Michelle’s close encounter with the possessed native had shaken both her and Trevor. Trevor had instructed them to return to Neum before continuing the search for the Scuddar seed. He had no wish to enter the tunnel without some means of seeing clearly in case they stumbled into an ambush.

He had not seen the Neumites using any kind of torches and assumed they would have to use torches made with combustible material. He decided to ask Meehun if he could suggest something suitable.

"We can supply you with torches," Meehun said. "We can use the same materials we build the interior of our homes with."

The puzzled frown that creased Trevor’s brow changed slowly as understanding dawned upon him. The interior walls of the houses glowed as the available light decreased thereby providing even light within the rooms. He had never understood what caused them to glow or how the light operated. At first, when he moved into the house he lived in, he had assumed that the walls were coated with something luminous but had rejected that theory when he found the light faded when not needed. At one time he had a desire to just sit in a dimmed room to gaze out of a window at the stars. The walls had dimmed to just the right level. He had intended to ask how the light worked but never got around to it. Now the opportunity had arisen, he seized it.

"Just how do those lights know when to fade?" he asked.

"They are sensitive to thought," replied Meehun. "Just as the mattresses are sensitive to thought to give you maximum comfort."

The mattresses. That was another thing he had intended to ask about. When laid upon, the mattresses curled around the body, supporting it.

"They are made of living matter," explained Meehun. "Just as everything that grows and produces seed is living. All the buildings are made of living matter."

"You mean this building is alive?"

"In a sense, yes," replied Meehun. "But don’t worry. It is not suffering in any way. It is not sentient any more than the grass you walk on is." Meehun smiled at the look on Trevor’s face. "I will have the torches made for you." He turned and walked away leaving Trevor staring thoughtfully at Meehun’s retreating form.

 

Chapter 28

 

 

Early morning sun shone brightly over the shoulders of the clones as they gazed grimly at the volcano. Each held a long torch of living material the Neumites had made for them.

 

“They’ve tried to hide it again,” remarked Adrian. “Not a very good job, though.”

 

Where the opening to the blowhole was, loose rocks had been piled high in a crude attempt to conceal it, but the pile only made it all the more obvious.

 

Trevor nodded thoughtfully. “I didn’t think they were that stupid,” he said. “Surely, even the primitives could see that the pile would fool no one.”

 

“Let’s get blasting again,” answered Michelle with a snarl. “Let’s get in and kill it.”

 

“We’ll split up into two groups. Adrian, you go left and take Michelle and Stephanie. Angela and Charles will come with me to the right. We don’t want any rocks tumbling down on us.”

 

A few minutes and several blasts of blue power streaks later, the rocks had been cleared and they warily approached the entrance to the tunnel. Trevor, the first to get there, peered into the darkness. Nothing seemed to have changed. He waited until the others arrived and went inside.

 

Adrian, you bring up the rear and cover our backs. You stay behind me, Charles, and keep your eyes open.” The affirmative thoughts came to him as both men took their assigned positions.

 

Trevor held his torch in front of him and advanced cautiously into the tunnel. The others followed in single file. The tunnel twisted and turned, although occasionally rising, it went deeper and lower into the volcano. He noted that if anything had come this way before, dust had covered any tracks it had left.

 

Angela’s thought came into his mind. Can you feel that vibrating?

 

Trevor stopped still to listen and Charles, almost bumped into him.

 

“It’s like the humming from the dome I went in,” explained Trevor. “It’s in here somewhere.”

 

Welcome, Trevor. Welcome all of you.

 

The voice of the Scuddar came into their minds. It was the same voice but without the pain and weariness. This voice was strong, clear and calm.

 

Keep coming for a while and we will meet. I have been waiting for you.

 

“Bastard!” muttered Michelle viciously. Her muted voice echoed in the narrow tunnel.

 

There is such hatred in you, Michelle. That is such a pity.

 

 The voice displayed no anger or any other emotion.

 

We will talk when you get here.

 

“It knows our names,” whispered Angela.

 

Trevor moved forward with less caution than before. He wanted to get to where the Scuddar was hiding. He felt that the sooner they got to it, the sooner the job would be done.

 

Fifteen minutes later, they came to a large cavern. The light from Trevor’s torch only illuminated a short distance but showed a yellowish mist. As the others pressed by him, adding more light, they saw the whole cavern was filled with the mist.

 

“It’s the threads floating in the air!” A chill ran through him. Were these threads superior to the ones he had seen in the dome? Could they attack him and the other clones?

 

At last you are here!

 

A red glow began to light the cavern, getting brighter until the clones could see clearly. The light, reflecting off the drifting threads, came from the centre of the floor of the cavern which was about thirty yards in diameter.

 

Come closer. Let us talk.

 

Adrian grabbed Trevor’s arm as he moved forward. “It could be a trap!” he whispered.

 

Don’t worry. We will not harm you.

 

“How do we know that?” asked Trevor.

 

You would not have reached this far if we wanted to stop you. Yes, we know of your powers, how you hurt us before. We will not let you hurt us again so don’t try to. You will regret it.

 

“Your damn slaves tried hard enough to stop us!” hissed Michelle. “Look what they did to Joseph!” Her voice quaked with anger and distrust.

 

Come closer and make yourselves comfortable. We can talk about that.

 

The threads moved aside making an avenue for them leading directly to the bright red dome.

 

“Calm down, Michelle. Don’t do anything rash.” Trevor recalled the conversation he and Michelle had and her doubts that she could control the powers she possessed.

 

They stepped down onto the uneven, solidified lava floor and cautiously approached the dome ready to retaliate should they be attacked. When they reached the Scuddar, they stood in line facing it. After several minutes, the voice resonated in their heads.

 

You are all under the impression that those natives were trying to hide me from you. In a sense, that is true but not for the reasons you believe. They were trying to keep me sealed in here. They believed they were keeping me a prisoner. They are so primitive that they don’t realise I can leave at any time I wish. They attacked you because they didn’t want you to “free” me.

 

The clones looked at each other, their faces displaying mixtures of curiosity and puzzlement. Adrian was the first to speak.

 

“But you control them. We’ve seen the holes in the backs of their heads where these…” He waved his arm at the millions of yellow threads around them, “…entered their brains and made them mad.”

 

“Yes! And one attacked Joseph and now he is dying.” Michelle added with a scowl.

 

These entities are not capable of entering any brain. You have much to learn about them. I…we are their saviours.

 

“You mean taking them from their homes and worlds, destroying their civilizations and changing them into what they are now is saving them?” Trevor asked scornfully.

 

They would have died had we not taken them. We did not destroy their civilizations.

 

“Maybe it would have been better for them to have died than this miserable existence they have now.”

 

You have much to learn. What do you think these threadlike creatures are?

 

“They were once live beings enjoying life and freedom. Now they are your slaves.”

 

They are the DNA strings of those that once lived a normal life according to their species. They have some free will to move as they wish. They have a will to live and they draw energy from us. One day they will be resurrected. Unfortunately, you, Trevor, destroyed many of them when you attacked us. We managed to save the rest by bringing them here and to other places.

 

Trevor recalled the words of the Scuddar he had blasted, “You are the destroyer.” Those words had plagued him since they were first placed in his mind. He couldn’t deny that thousands of the threads had fallen around him when he attacked the first Scuddar. The others just seemed to disappear.

 

Yes, Trevor. You are the destroyer. We are the saviours.

 

“What about the Neumites? You almost completely destroyed them.”

 

We saved most of them. A few hundred we could not save. It was too late.

 

“This is all rubbish,” exclaimed Charles. “We know of the Neumites trying to save all intelligent life and their conflict with you. We know that some of the threads were communicating with the Neumites.”

 

The Neumites are not what they seem. Why do you think they have blocked their minds to communication with us? They are using you to communicate rather than themselves. They are using you in an attempt to destroy us.

 

“They said you are blocking mental communication. They are peaceful people and incapable of causing any harm,” interjected Angela.

 

You will learn the truth in due time. Trevor, your two unborn children will play a big part in bringing about a change in the future. A change that will make you proud of them.

 

“You can foresee the future?? Trevor asked.

 

No. We are monitoring the progress of the foetus’. Their minds, although as yet not fully developed, are not blocked from us. We see promise in them. They are surprisingly strong.

 

“Damn you! Are you interfering with their minds?” Trevor was horrified at the thought of his children’s minds being molded and filled with evil.

 

No. We are merely watching their development. We are sure they will accomplish more than you or your friends here can.

 

Michelle suddenly screamed and went soaring backward to fall heavily on the cavern floor several yards away.

 

I am sorry. She was about to use her power against us. She will be alright in a few minutes. We cannot allow you to hurt us again. Perhaps you should leave now and return another time when you are not so hateful.

 

Adrian rushed to Michelle’s side. “Are you alright?” he asked.

 

Michele held her head in her hands, her face distorted with pain. “My head!” she cried. “It feels like it’s been turned inside out.” With Adrian’s help, she staggered to her feet.

 

“What did you do, Michelle?” demanded Trevor. “Did you try to attack?”

 

“Yeah,” she nodded affirmatively. “To think those things were going into the minds of your helpless, unborn babies sickens me.”

 

We warned you that you would regret it if you tried to use those powers. We could just as easily destroy you all.

 

Trevor swung around and faced the red dome. “Then why don’t you? We intend to destroy you and your kind!”

 

Because we are saviours, not destroyers as you are.

 

Once more, the accusation made Trevor stop and think. He had no doubt now that he and the other clones could have been eliminated as threats to the Scuddar. He tried to think of a reason why they were allowed to live.

 

“Let’s get out of here,” he said. “We need to discuss this.”

 

He waited until the clones had pressed their return buttons and then did the same.