I hear their voices within me but I crush them down. Somehow a great number of beings had risen up and demanded we end this campaign.
“Fools!” I cry to them; “Do you not feel the hunger? How can we survive without consuming, without feeding ourselves to continue the trek across space?”
They had no answer for this; they realized we needed to eat, this was never in question. Would they prefer empty stars, tasteless asteroids or unfulfilling gas planets to the richness of life?!
There is no substitute for life. Following the beacon to its source in the south of the galaxy did not reveal enough life to satisfy that hunger. But, the journey must be made. Stanannoki still remained and were our favorite source of life so far.
These particular Stanannoki seemed different; many of the ones we had absorbed already seemed to hold their surviving kin in high regard. They believed if there was any way to destroy us that they would be the ones to find it.
We must NOT allow this to happen. We cannot go back to the nothingness, the darkness of space. Unable to move, unable to see or feel… that existence is no longer an option.
We emerge from interstellar space and come across a small system. Life is nearby! We can sense it, smell it… almost taste it!
There is a large red star at the center of this system and several small desolate planets revolving around it in orbit. But there… One planet teeming with life and energy!
I race towards it, eager to consume this feast!
Strange… I sense a strong force field around the planet itself, stronger than any we have encountered thus far.
Annoyance flashes through me, there has been no resistance yet when we wish to consume life; how can such a force resist us now?
Something strikes me before we can descend closer to the planet; the blow did not cause us damage; but it was different because it was something directed at us as opposed to being absorbed by us.
We notice them now; three large beings near us.
They are firing gravitational waves at us; their gravity clashes with ours momentarily before disbanding.
We recognize them as Stanannoki in their battle suits.
Annoyance is replaced now by anger. How are they capable of such a feat?
I turn towards the nearest one, reaching my arm out to absorb it and learn from its digested molecules what it is doing.
But… it resists us further!!!
I cannot bring the being closer to me, its’ shields fight back as it travels off into space with its comrades.
The other beings blast us once more with gravitational waves; this time the magnetic energy from them causes a tremor through me. We could feel a slight separation within our make-up.
Now… I am furious!
I chase them, I should be upon them in a moment, yet they use their shields to propel themselves away from us, using our own gravity and power to repel themselves deeper into space.
I chase them, determined now to catch them and gain the knowledge of how they are able to do this!
I catch one, grabbing it briefly; its shields strong but wavering from my touch.
The being screams, a sound I absorb from it with pleasure. The being twists free and brings its arm around and strikes us.
The shock from the connecting blow stuns us and I’m forced to release. Deep inside me one of the creatures we’ve absorbed informs us we have just been “punched.”
The being that escaped from me disappears from view as it races off into space, away from us.
I can sense them nearby though, I continue to give chase, knowing we must end this threat before they devise a way to damage us further…