Together we sing the song of the angels and the cosmos sings back in joy.
The song is beautiful and hungry, yet one voice sings louder than the rest creating disharmony. The one voice is filled with a new longing that we hardly know. Not the deep and unending hunger, but something else. We cannot identify it at first, so alien is the longing, and yet, in time, we recall the concept.
The voice sings of loneliness. More and more the singular voice drowns out the beauty of the chorus and we are faced with a terrible truth. It is our voice that sings alone. This part of us, who is me, is singular and alone.
I am alone.
The thought makes me recoil. I sing the song louder, calling to the chorus as it grows more distant. I would scream, but even in this state, I know that would bring only death.
The lonely ones are many on this ship, and I am but a single castaway among them. Again the thought makes me recoil, rejecting that terrible reality. I focus on my surroundings: massive metal boxes loom around me, casting dark shadows in this cargo bay. I have sought the deepest, darkest corner I could find, knowing that to be found now would spell my doom. The ship is vast and full of lonely ones. While I am strong and could easily take out a score of the soft fleshy creatures, without my sisters, I would be overwhelmed. This strikes me as deeply unfair; it is we who should outnumber them. I should be part of a mighty horde, an unstoppable wave of flesh, one of uncountable legions. Yet here I am, alone.
I tremble in the darkened corner and reflect, searching my memories for answers. I try desperately to recall my purpose. I remember that we had decided this was necessary. Escape ships were making it off-world to take the Lonely Ones to new planets not yet feasted upon. We required scouts. We directed the scouting organisms to stow away on these ships. I had been one such organism.
Still, to strand me here alone, so far from the chorus, so lonely that every fibre of my being ached. I struggled to recall why we would do such a thing to one of our own, why I had to do this.
I searched deeper in my memories, past boarding the ship under the direction of that which was us, past slaughtering my way through the meagre warriors of the lonely ones alongside my sisters. I pushed beyond my birth from a spawning pod on the surface of the past prey world. I recalled another life. I saw my hands, soft and pale like the lonely ones, not the beautiful angelic claws I have now. Yet I was not lonely then, I felt the hum of my brothers and sisters in the back of my thoughts, a quieter chorus yet beautiful all the same. I was a mother, I had a single beautiful baby girl blessed by the angels. Her four arms were strong and I loved her so dearly. She was my little angel. We had been consumed together when the true angels came. I had not been apart from her since, not truly.
I wondered, were these my memories, or were they simply gifted to me by the chorus to guide me? I recalled so much, the structure of hive cities, the niceties of social behaviour between the lonely ones, the humans. They felt like my memories. My maw twisted into something not entirely unlike a smile, knowing my little angel was still in the chorus living forever. I knew what I had to do, how to quiet the loneliness in my song.
I hear footsteps between the boxes. I crouch and clamber silently over the crates, my six strong limbs sinking claws into the metal easily. This is dangerous, if I am found by too many of the humans I will be slain. My breath catches, my body tenses. Every instinct in me screams to wait and see the threat so that I may assess it.
It is alone, like me, one woman sighing to herself as she walks amongst the cargo with a clipboard. Taking stock perhaps? It doesn’t matter, this is my opportunity.
I slowly climb down behind her, moving silently until my eyes are level with hers. I let out a small hiss, just enough to get her attention. This is the moment, if she runs I will have to chase. But if she does as I hope she will, I can end this in a better way.
She gasps and whirls around. Our eyes lock.
I have her!
She freezes, staring at me in slack-jawed dullness as my mind reaches out to her and holds her fast. I approach her slowly, carefully, keeping our eyes locked. I gently stroke one talon over her cheek and down to her neck, feeling the rhythmic pumping of her jugular. I shall be tender. I lean in and plant a single kiss on her, feeling nature take its course as my body changes hers. I place my manipulator limb on her head in an echo of a parental gesture, then slink back into the shadows.
The woman blinks and shakes her head, then shrugs. She seems ready to set about back to work as if nothing happened.
Then she stops. A blush crosses her cheeks as she glances around and takes a deep breath. I hear her song joining mine, I hear the longing I gifted her with heating her veins. She bites her lip and discards the clipboard. She slips out of the cargo bay, her thoughts on a certain young crewman whose physique she had admired earlier. Again my maw twists into something not unlike a smile. I had fond memories of being a mother, now I think I shall enjoy being a father.
About the Author
Briar Groves lives with their beloved partner as a homemaker and is a perpetual traveler in the land of the fictional. When not maintaining their home, playing videogames, reading, or painting miniatures Briar occasionally finds time to write things. Sometimes it isn’t even erotic! They are a big fan of world-building, science fantasy, eldritch horror, and dark comedy. They love the worlds of Warhammer for all those reasons and are happy to get to play in the sandbox that is the grimdark future.