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File 002

Taken from After-Action Battle Reports of Tom Applewood and Carl Sanderson and other Starfighter Command records

   It was evil, pure evil. Perhaps its imprisonment made it so. Perhaps it had always been evil. I shall not hazard a guess beyond saying it was evil. A great bulk of arms and teeth, six massive arms ending with four fingers with razor like claws; claws that were more steel in nature than bone. On top of the arms sat a large head filled with long sharp teeth. It walked upright on two powerful legs with feet that looked like they were borrowed from a baby Tyrannosaurs Rex. It could not have possibly been indigenous to the planet.

   Who can say how it came to be there. Perhaps its ship crashed there, or perhaps it was left there as punishment for some truly heinous crime. It certainly was not some family pet left behind. It had to be some member of a highly intelligent race gone mad. I would hate to think that there was an entire race of such creatures loose in the universe.

   As I said before, it could not have been from the planet. The planet was a barren lifeless world. What life there was existed near the polar caps where almost all the water on the planet was located. It was a desert planet made of rock and sand. More rock than sand. Unless the universe suddenly became desperate for silica there was nothing on the planet of any worth. Perhaps that is why the bugs chose the planet.

   Deep in Earth's space it was an ideal location for the bugs to set up a listening post. A small secret base designed to gather intelligence covertly. It was a little disconcerting that the bugs could set up a base deep within our space without being detected.

   The bugs set down on the world with everything they needed to establish the base as quickly as possible. They quickly dug themselves in and camouflaged the base. Supplies were delivered to them by remote. An unmanned drone disguised as a meteor impacted on the planet once every 90 days like clockwork. The bugs went undetected for over two years. The truth is, if it were not for the emergency distress signal, we might not have ever detected them. Two very uneventful years passed for the bugs. Not long after their second year on the planet a routine surface patrol of the area around the base failed to return.

   It spotted a small craft heading its way. It wondered what kind of sacrifices the pilots of the craft would make as it waited in the sand. When the craft was close enough the creature sprang out of the hole it was hiding in and landed on top of the craft. It reached down and ripped the flimsy top from the craft. It smiled to see the terror in the eyes of its victims. They would make good sacrifices.

   The bugs sent out search parties which quickly located the patrol. The small electric hover-craft used for the patrol was found with its nose buried against the side of a large boulder. The cockpit top was sheared off and the bodies of the two pilots were ripped open and partially eaten. The bodies and the hover-craft were taken back to the base for examination and disposal.

   The bugs assumed that the patrol had crashed killing the crew. It was surmised; something came along, started eating the pilots, and was frightened away by the search parties. They pretty much dismissed the whole incident as an accident. Everything was quickly forgotten and things returned to normal. Seventeen days later a guard on duty at the main entrance to the base disappeared.

   It followed them. It was pleased that there were more of them. More sacrifices to its god. Even more pleasing to it was the discovery of females. They would make an even more pleasing sacrifice. It was not long before it discovered their home. It circled the base studying the weaknesses, looking for the best way to gain entrance.

   The search for the guard turned up nothing. He simply vanished without a trace. The next morning two more guards were reported missing. Another search was made, and none of the missing bugs were found. The base commander placed the base on full alert. Weapons were passed out and all the entrances were sealed. With the doors shut, the base buried beneath the sand became totally invisible from the outside.

   That night three guards stationed outside the base generator station were attacked and killed. Great gashes in the chest and back exoskeleton by some unknown weapon were the main cause of death. Even worse was the loss of the main and backup generators. The entire base was plunged into darkness for a few moments before the emergency lighting kicked in. The base commander inspected the damage and found the generators ripped from the mounts and mangled beyond recognition. There was no hope of repairing them.

   It loved the smell of fear. Cutting the power was a simple matter, and it struck terror in the hearts of the sacrifices. It made them more worthy to be sacrifices. The dim lighting from the emergency lights would work to its advantage.

   The bugs tried desperately to discover what had killed the guards and destroyed the generators. A technician found the only clue. Just before the video outside the generator room went dead a giant four fingered hand appeared for a moment. A second later the video camera went dead. It was ripped from the wall. With the loss of the generators came the loss of the ability to open the main base doors again. Whatever the creature was, it was trapped inside the base with the rest of the bugs.

   A cat and mouse game had begun, and there were so many mice. Humans are not the only animals in the universe that hunt for enjoyment. The creature no longer killed for food. Sometimes it did not kill at all. It was enough to just draw the blood of its prey and then release it. When the creature killed for food the deaths were no longer quick and painless. The screams of the victims could be heard for hours before they stopped.

   The treat of fire would frighten the sacrifices so it started small controlled fires for the sacrifices to put out. The smoke from the fires quickly filled the base and made visibility almost impossible. It could smell the level of fear rise in the sacrifices.

   For all their sophistication the bugs' weapons were useless. The creature came out of the smoke filled half lit corridors so quickly that most times the victim did not have time to use his weapon. Even when their weapons did find their target they had no effect on the creature.

   The first female bug the creature grabbed took days before her screams were no longer heard. Maybe the creature just liked the way she screamed. Eight days after the bugs locked themselves in with their tormentor someone activated the emergency distress signal beacon.

   Starfighter Command was more than a little surprise to receive an emergency distress signal from a bug base so deep inside Earth controlled space. The two nearest Starfighters were dispatched to the planet, and more than a dozen destroyers and two carriers altered their course for the planet also. The two Starfighters arrived on the planet 12 days after Starfighter Command first received the distress signal.

   Tom Applewood and Carl Sanderson were the two Starfighters first on the scene. It took half a day to find an entrance to the base. As fortune would have it, it was the hanger doors. A couple of missiles from one of their fighters blew the doors into a million tiny pieces. They were taking no chances. They entered the base in full body armor with all the weapons they could carry.

   It was a small terrified group of bugs that huddled inside the base control room. The door to the room was half open. That is where it stopped when the emergency power ran out. Flashlights were all the bugs had left to see by. Several days had passed since anyone had been taken. The creature was not in any hurry, and so it waited for the last of the power to drain away. The attack came suddenly. Several large hands wrenched the door to the control room back into the wall, and the bulk of a great monster rushed into the room. Laser light swept the room from the many weapons the bugs carried. Steel sharp claws slashed at the bugs. The creature grinned with satisfaction as trails of blood splattered the walls and ceiling. It chose its next victims well; one for food, and the other for its god's pleasure. The creature left the control room as quickly as it had entered. It took with it two struggling bugs, one male and one female.

   Ceeleneea was a flight officer, the shuttle pilot for the shuttle that would be used to evacuate the base in case of discovery. They had tried to use the shuttle to escape only to find the creature had thought of that idea first. The shuttle controls were smashed beyond any hope of repair. It was a brave but ineffective struggle her people had put up. The creature was too fast, too strong, and too smart for them.

   Ceeleneea lay stunned against the wall where the creature had thrown her. She watched through half closed eyes as the creature took its claws and ripped the exoskeleton slowly from her male counterpart. He screamed from the pain. She could still see him moving when the creature began to eat him. Very slowly she sat up and turned on the flashlight she was still holding from before it had dragged her off. The creature looked over and growled at her before it continued eating.

   The room was filled with blood from half eaten bodies lying around her. The walls were decorated with strange symbols written on the walls in blood. Then the light from her flashlight fell on one of the bodies of some of the other females the creature had taken. A mutilated mass of flesh, it almost looked like the skin had been pealed from her body. When the body moved Ceeleneea began to scream. The monster got up from its meal and walked over to the body still encircled by the light from Ceeleneea's flashlight. It reached down and pulled the body upright. The creature gently caressed the body before tearing the head off and tossing it to Ceeleneea. The eyes on the head blinked a couple times before closing forever. Ceeleneea still screaming tried to run but the creature was too quick for her. It simply picked her up and threw her back against the wall again before going back to its meal. Half-conscious she watched as the creature continued its gruesome meal.

   The creature shoved the body aside when it finished eating and stood up. As the creature started to slowly walk toward her, Ceeleneea began to scream for help she knew would never come. The creature grabbed her wrists with its upper set of arms and pulled her up until her feet dangled from the floor and she was pinned against the wall like some bug. It ran the claws from the middle set of arms gently, suggestively, over her body starting at her shoulders. The razor sharp claws turned her once neat uniform into cloth ribbon strips. The bottom set of claws slid down the sides of her legs before digging into her legs and turning her pants into rags. When one of the lower claws came to a halt Ceeleneea gasped. Understanding her fate, and then she really began to scream.

   When her clothes were rags hanging from her body the creature ran its tongue around her neck and up the side of her face tasting the blood, sweat, and fear, a sweet flavor. Claws caressed her body very gently and still they left tiny trails of blood everywhere they went over her smooth skin. It plucked at the cloth strips hanging from her body. God would be most pleased with this sacrifice, it thought. It would take its time with this female and make this sacrifice very special.

   Just when Ceeleneea thought all hope was lost someone turned on the lights. The flare was blinding. The creature dropped its prey and whirled around to meet this new threat. The gunfire in the enclosed space was deafening.

   Tom kept hearing screams coming from somewhere ahead. The night-vision glasses helped him see in the dark. He did not have time to be sick from what he saw when he walked into the room. A monster was holding a beautiful young woman pinned against the wall. A touch of a button would allow his glasses to adjust to the flare automatically. He set off a bright white flare and tossed it into the room. The monster dropped the girl and rushed him. Tom open fired at the creature with both his guns. He was able to duck under one set of claws, but not under the others. He was knocked half way across the room. Claws that tore through exoskeleton like butter found body armor just a little harder to go through. Tom hit the floor hard, but came right back up shooting.

   These were not the lasers used by the bugs that had no effect on the creature. They were exploding bullets designed to go through body armor and exoskeleton. Several large holes appeared in the creature's chest. Blinded and injured it fled for its life.

   "Carl, this is Tom. There is a really big mean nasty monster loose in here. Its claws almost sliced through my body armor. Stay alert," he warned his friend. Tom rubbed at the claw marks on his chest as he walked over to the girl. "Are you ok," he asked. Ceeleneea just threw herself into his arms sobbing from the relief she felt. Tom let Ceeleneea cry for a while before he disengaged her. He pulled a med-kit from one of his pockets. “Let's get these scratches fixed up, and then I'll find you something to wear," he said softly.

   Carl open fired on the creature just outside the base control room. The creature rushed him in the corridor thinking he could not see in the dark. Carl emptied a full clip at the monster before throwing a stun grenade and diving inside the control room. Carl waited for the creature to stick its head in the door for the longest time before sticking his head out. The monster was nowhere in sight. "Tom heads up. I didn't get him."

   Whatever these new creatures were they would not make a good sacrifice. They had no fear. Their weapons hurt and so the creature fled the base for the safety of the desert.

   Carl turned and looked at the bugs hiding behind him. "I'd tell you to drop your guns, but you might need them if we are all to get out of here alive. We are going to try and make it to the hanger. Everybody stay together and do what I say and you might make it out of this alive." Carl led them at a quick step to the hanger. The bugs were relieved to find it was daylight. They had been in near total darkness for many days and had no idea what time of the day it was.

   Tom met Carl at the hanger and then went out to the fighters to radio their report in. He found the control panels on both fighters smashed. He pushed the button that sent out an emergency distress signal to Starfighter Command. He pulled an old jumpsuit he used to work on his fighter from the back seat and brought it back for Ceeleneea to wear. Tom thought she could have used a jumpsuit size or two smaller. It was very baggy on her but Ceeleneea was thankful for something to wear all the same.

   They barricaded themselves in the hanger for the night. It was the first peaceful night the bugs had known for many days. Ceeleneea was never found far from Tom. She felt very safe next to the Starfighter. They caught sight of the creature a couple of times a night for the next six days before the fleet arrived. It never got close enough to let the Starfighters get another clear shot at it.

   Despite being captured the bugs were only too glad the Starfighters showed up when they did. They were most cooperative with the investigating teams sent to examine the base and download their computer. The information on the computer proved to be invaluable. The investigating teams took pictures of everything. All the bodies were carefully examined. Pictures of the symbols the creature drew on the walls were sent to linguistics for analysis. Every inch of the base was studied for more clues as to what the creature was.

   When one of the guards that surrounded the area vanished a search was made. The guard's body was found three days later half eaten and a search for the creature was begun. A massive search of the area turned up nothing. They turned over every rock that would move for miles around the base. The creature was never found.

   No one would ever know how the creature ended up on that planet. They had no idea how it survived. Near as anyone could tell the creature killed as part of a ritual. It believed that what it did to its victims connected it to its god in some manner. In eating the dead, the creature fed the god it worshipped. Whatever it did to its victims the creature believed its god participated in the act vicariously through him. The creature's god fed on the fear of its victims. The greater the fear in the victims, the more enjoyment the creature got from torturing its victims. It was a perverted kind of religious zealot to a god that demanded blood from its followers. Autopsies show that the creature only ate the male bugs. What it did to the females remains classified.

   The Starfighters were like an old enemy the creature half remembered. Even the one it had sacrificed gave it no pleasure. The sacrifice showed no fear even as it died. They had left the base somewhat intact and now the creature had a new home; a place to rest and grow stronger. Someone else would come, it thought. Someone else always came. He would have more sacrifices to his God.

   Starfighter Command would take no chances that this creature would ever escape the planet. Warning beacons were placed in orbit and Starfighters patrolled the area around the planet. The planet was quarantined.

   There is one recorded picture of the creature. Click Here for a copy of the only known picture of the creature.

   One hundred sixty-three Kelgarons were assigned to the base. Twenty-seven survived.


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