Through the Eyes of the Beast Chapter 2

The Nest Is Found

By John Kastronis

After a long period of searching, she had finally found a suitable planet for gestation. It had all the necessary components for the life of a young lavos. It had high concentrations of iron, magnesium, and other essential elements in it's crust. Vibrant plants grew across the surface and there were large numbers of protein strands. It was perfect.

She slowed her speed to a crawl as she came nearer and nearer to the planet. It would do her no good to crash into it and die, leaving her young to die of exposure. No, that wouldn't happen, she assured herself. The sun that shined brightly on the planet warmed her, making her sluggish as she came closer and closer to the planet. Almost lazily, she entered the atmosphere. Immediately, the temperature began to rise on her underbelly, as friction between the particles of the atmosphere and her body caused the air around her to ignite.

At first, this worried her. Paranoia began to set in. What if she burned up? What if it was too hot for her? She would surely die and none of her offspring would emerge to live and spread her legacy. She vainly struggled against the gravitational pull of the planet, her mass slowing and then gently rising back into space.

Then she chided herself. She was being foolish. She had danced amoung the solar fires of giant stars in her youth, she had the scars along her flank to prove it. The heat may sting her, even hurt a little. But it wouldn't do any lasting harm. Her children would be safe in their egg sacs, as long as she didn't angle herself the wrong way.

She began her decent towards the ground again. Even though she had gotten over her worry, she expended some energy to slow her fall marginally, just in case. When she landed, she barely even realized it. She had expected a titanic shock, but the force of her impact hit her much like the interstellar dust that tickled her eyelid as she flew through the cosmos.

She looked around, her prodigious eye blinking and darting around. The land was empty. Some small specs moved in front of her vision, but they were inconsequential. Slowly, she began to dig at the ground beneath her. The soil was loose and gave way under her quickly. She tasted a little of it and found it quite palatable and began shoveling it into her mouth. She had an instinct that the time ahead would require a lot of stored up energy. The dirt raced through her digestive tract, draining it of the elements her kind needed, leaving behind a dark, loamy, unpalatable dirt in her wake.

As she felt the dirt cover her entire body, she began to slow her decent somewhat. Deeper and deeper she moved, engulfing nutrient-rich soil until she felt even another grain would cause her to burst. She was in luck, however. She hit a layer of solid rock. Her claws scraped at the rock, crushing it and sending it out of her way. She found the depths bringing a familiar coolness back to her, though nothing quite as pleasant as the coldness of space.

Then the heat began to rise again, and she knew she was nearing the core of the planet. The molten center would provide her warmth and safety as she slept. Her progeny would grow strong from the nutrient rich soil and the heat energy she would draw from the core.

As she continued to dig and get closer to the core, the heat made her more and more leathargic. She had to struggle to stay awake. She needed to keep digging. She wasn't close enough yet. Her spines still didn't feel quite content enough. Maybe she hadn't picked the right planet to nest in. Maybe this one had a core too deep for her to reach before she entered into her gestation period. Maybe she would fall into a deep slumber and never awaken, or she would find her children dead in their egg sacs. Fear filled her, driving her to dig deeper and deeper.

Finally, when it seemed as if she could go no longer, she reached it. The edge of the core, where the lava wouldn't scorch her, but where the heat would provide energy to she and her young. She gave in to the growing torpor and fell into a deep slumber. She gave a great coo and shuddered once, then conciousness left her.


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