33 Light Years
The monster fled across the mountain and the dead man followed…
A G-type main sequence star dropped to the horizon, blazing quietly behind the clouds. It would be night time soon. It came too quickly on this world. The days just moved too fast. The monster would never be used to it. His 29 hour circadian rhythm couldn’t work around it.
The monster was finally emptying; the last of his energy nearly depleted. His legs only moved because he was telling them to. He paused for a few seconds and looked down the slope of the mountain.
The dead thing pursuing the monster never slowed. It never sped up, it never faltered. It would literally chase the monster, chase him forever, propelled by a hunger so ancient nothing stood in its way.
This chase had gone on for nearly two weeks. The dead man was catching up, fueled by relentless, brainless determination. The monster staggered on, exhausted by a nearly spent survival instinct. Fear had long gone: worn to a nub. The monster realised he would probably die on the slopes of this mountain.
The first stars were appearing. The system’s second planet, the one the monkeys called Venus was out, heralding the night. Cold clouds pulled across the deep night sky like frozen sheets.
Something screamed. The sound was distant and sudden: filled with horrified panic. The monster listened as he walked. One of the monkeys was up here with him, meeting a bloody end. Shrieks of fear cut off suddenly. The sound of primitive, animal struggle never changed from world to world. The monster had learned that much. At least the dead would be slowed, pausing to eat the human where he’d fallen.
“Keep walking, old timer.” The monster muttered. “One less monkey trying to skin you alive.”
A frozen wind howled up the slopes. The monster had to find shelter soon. He couldn’t go any further. The dead man wouldn’t stop to sleep. He was close. The monster could smell him. His nose twitched. The copper smell of nearby human blood twisted his innards.
These creatures made such a mess when they died. They were walking bags of slop. The monster mused on this for awhile, trying to distract himself from the thing catching up with him. When Invasion had commenced many Tyrrianns had found the humans laughably easy to kill. Tyrriann weaponry set about laying waste to the world, picking off the monkeys in their cities.
The monkeys were tough enough, the monster had found. When they’d all fallen after the first wave of attack…
The monster hadn’t slept properly ever since. Nothing was supposed to forget it was dead. These monkeys did. They’d fallen as one; as civilised beings fighting for their planet. They’d risen as darkness, consuming everything in their way.
The mountain was smiling upon him. The monster hoisted himself up some boulders and crawled into a tiny cave. The howl of the night time wind subsided to an angry whisper. He looked down the slope. In darkness his kind were practically blind. Tyriann eyes didn’t adjust to the absence of light.
The dead man was nearby. The Tyriann shuddered at the stink of decaying flesh. He was safe up here though. The dead could walk forever and they were unstoppable in numbers, but they were useless at climbing.
The Tyriann dreamt of home, realising he’d never see it again.
To Be Continued….