Through the Eyes of the Beast Chapter 4
Birth and Death
By John Kastronis
The remainder of her gestation period was fairly uneventful. The dreams remained, but the voices were quiet and the images all but nonexistant. Her energy gradually rebuilt as she lay slumbering deep beneath the ground. Her spawn grew closer and closer to being ready to leave her care and survive on their own.
One time, she did feel a prick at her mind. It was small, less powerful than the annoyance before. Yet it brought back haunting memories of feeling weak as specks stung at her. It didn't waken her completely, but she sent a burst of energy towards the source of the prick. The feeling vanished from her mind almost instantaneously. She returned to her slumber.
Finally, she felt the time come. One of her spines split open. A dead spawn fell out, misdevelped in her egg sac. She fretted for a moment, but knew this was natural. Of the thousands of spines she had on her back, only ten percent would actually produce young that would have survived the long gestation period.
Of those that did survive the gestation, only another ten percent would live past the first hundred years of life, as it grew and feasted on the soil and plantlife of the planet. Invariably, a large majority of them would be killed by large or packs of predators. Some might even die from exposure or accident, though the tough nature of the lavos made that unlikely.
Eventually, as the lavos spawn neared it's 300th year of life, it would begin to grow a shell. This shell would take many years to grow, but grow it would. When the shell was fully developed, it would rise from the planet and soar amoung the stars, with others of it's kind. She would leave right after she released the egg sacs, moving on with the few millenia that were left of her life. The gestation period had taken up many long years of her existance. But the knowledge of her children made that inconsequential to her. She didn't care.
She slowly made her way to the surface of the world. She didn't bother with eating through the soil. That wasn't necessary. The process of releasing her larvae would take but a few hours, nothing to a lavos, then she would be off, gliding through the interstellar dust again. She missed that, she realized. Motherhood was a pleasant sensation, but she yearned for her life again.
Light burst over her, bathing her in it's glow. She pushed her way out of the dirt and setteled onto her underbelly. She cried out in joy as she prepared to give birth to thousands of her kind, living or dead, as they were. She was getting ready to release her larvae into the world when she felt a prick on her eyelid again. Her eye flew open and before her stood three specks.
Anger coursed through her. What were these annoying fleas here to bother her in her moment of joy? She lashed out with energy at them, but found herself weakened by her heavy pregnancy. They were hurt, she could tell, but they didn't stop their stinging.
Why did they do this, she wondered. Were they really that stupid that the pain didn't drive them off? If they were even half the size she was, she could understand it. But these creatures were so small she could barely make out the details of them. She howled and raged with all her voice again, lashing at them with all the energy she felt she could spare, sure they would be driven off or killed soon.
She was surprised when, not only did they not flee from her as was expected, they actually began to sting harder. She felt the blood pouring from her eye lid and even from her eye itself. One of the horrible specks had sliced her in the eye. It wouldn't be permanently damaged, but it would take a while to heal. She tried to call the light to disentigrate them, like before, but the damage they had done to her eye kept her from doing that.
Soon, her anger gave way to fear. These things were in danger of hurting one of her children. Every one of them held the prospect of living. She couldn't let them be injured. If even one died, it would significantly hurt the chances of any of her offspring surviving. Then one of the specks did the unthinkable. It stung her very hard and very painfully. She screamed out in pain as she realized it had destroyed her eye and blinded her!
She couldn't believe it. Nothing had ever done such damage to her before! Her eye was gone and she could no longer see! And what was worse, she felt those sickening specks crawl up into the now empty socket and crawl inside her body. It was sickening to her, but she couldn't stop them. She felt them make their way to her heart. They were going to kill her and keep her children from living! Despair washed over her. She was a failure. She would die without children...
Suddenly, she had vision again. The vision was blurry, as if from a new eye. Before her, in a hollowed out chamber, stood the specks, only this time, they seemed larger. She felt a gentle thumping coming from under the new eye. The specks emitted high pitched sounds between themselves.
The lavos realized that it was seeing inside of itself. The eye was on top of it's heart muscle. It was a last defense against intruders. She could tell that the creatures that stood before her were weakened and worn from their earlier fight. Her heart pumped faster, energy surging through her. She didn't know where it came from, but she would use every last drop of it to guard her young. She couldn't let her life go to waste. She had to let her children live.
Then the stinging began. They hurt and hurt badly. These blasted specks were stabbing straight into her heart. She felt powerful energies swelling around her. She lashed out and flung one of the specks far back, against the wall of her heart chamber. A speck stabbed into her eye. One of her ventricals pulsed and healing energy poured over her, regenerating the heart muscles.
Pride swelled in her. Her kind were strong, not to be defeated by three little forms of life, barely capable of thinking. She flung her energy out again, this time blasting one of the specks where it stood. She turned her attention to the last speck, who looked over at the other two. It said something in the indecipherable language of it's kind. The lavos couldn't believe what it saw. The other two specks pushed themselves from the ground.
She was furious. She lashed out with even more energy, determined to destroy these things that had hurt her so much. She felt numerous stings all in one ventrical. It was almost as if they were concentrating their attacks on it... But that was impossible. These things barely had minds, they couldn't comprehend tactics. She lashed out with energy again and again. They continued to stab into her healing ventrical. Suddenly, it gave a shudder and pulsed no more.
What were these things? She wondered this as she blasted them with more and more energy, growing more and more desperate as every moment passed. They continued to sting her. She wanted to roar in pain, but couldn't. All her energy was in her heart and in keeping her children alive. She couldn't waste it on a simple act of fear and hatred.
She went mad with rage and despair. Her thrusts of energy grew more and more erratic as the damage piled onto her heart muscles, ravaging them, tearing them to shreds. Then she knew it was over. Her heart pulsed one last time, then fell limp and useless. She was still alive, she knew that. But her children were dead. None of them could have survived the death of her heart.
She hated these creatures. Why had they killed her young? Why had they killed her? She had done nothing to harm them! They had slain her and her young. But she wasn't dead yet. No, there still existed a core of energy in her. She could feel it! She pushed with all the will left in her dying body. She commanded it to let loose on these specks.
The energy manifested itself in a mockery of the specks form. It was larger and was only vaguely like them, but she couldn't tell. All she wanted was revenge. Two kernels of energy floated around her manifestation's head. She let loose with all she had left.
Energy the likes of which she had never fathomed flowed from it. Maybe she still had a chance at life! Maybe her children still... She felt the energy waver. No! She commanded! Don't! One of the kernels poured healing energy over the manifestation and it returned to fight. It moved faster and hit harder this time. It was going to destroy these specks for their evil!
She couldn't feel the stinging any more, though she knew it came. She was beyond pain now. All she knew was the desire for revenge on those that would slay her and her unborn offspring so coldly, so heartlessly. She felt the energy waver again. She tried to force it to keep going, but it didn't. She could tell that she was beaten. The three specks still stood, beaten and worn, but not dead. She hated them even more for that.
The energy vanished. She let out one last cry of desperation, calling out in vain for her kin to avenge her death, though she knew none could hear it. Her sight vanished. Sorry, my children, she thought. She could feel the last remnants of life escaping from her. Sorry, for not saving you. Sorry, for not letting you live. Sorry, for failing. And with that, the last esscence of life she had vanished.
She was dead, killed for trying to live.
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