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It started when the massive tower descended from the heavens.


When it fell, it brought a great wind that ravaged the forest and its inhabitants. Villages and crops were lost, blown miles away. Some drowned after the winds carried them into the Great Lake, whose waves helped eradicate acres of farmlands and livestock. The mighty behemoth of a structure landed with an immense quack that rattled bones in the plains beyond the mountains. It was hours before anyone had the courage to even approach it. Was it a gift from the Gods? A curse? No one knew, and few wanted to be the first to find out.


A small team approached with spears, which were trifling but seemed better than nothing, slowly making their way to the under belly of the tower. The massive structure seemed to extend beyond the sky, piercing its way into the heavens that birthed it. Was there a way inside? Was this a vessel of the Gods? So many questions.


But just as the brave team approached the shadows beneath the tower, they received an answer. A deafening din erupted above them as one of the walls split, creating a massive opening.


That was when they first beheld the Goddess.



Natasha Jones stepped out the Pod into bright daylight of her strange new surroundings, abruptly cutting off the expedition of the team as they vanished under the sole of her boot. Her eyes immediately burned from the intensity and she moaned softly. Hypersleep was the absolute worst. She had been told countless times that she would eventually get used to the process, but, so far, it just seemed to get more and more insufferable. You felt like a zombie every time and your body felt like a rusty engine that was suddenly thrown out of retirement. She'd already taken two extra strength aspirin and they were already working fast. It was the only thing that made standing out in the sun tolerable right now.


This wasn't her destination. Not even close. The Pod, according to her terminal, had encountered some kind of engine trouble. After running diagnostic scans, it seemed that the ship would be able to repair itself but the process would take somewhere between twenty four or forty eight hours. Fortunately, when these issues were detected, the Pod would scan for planets to stop on in order to prevent a full on breakdown in the desolate vacuum of space. Fortunately (very fortunately, in fact) this appeared to be a planet as hospitable as Earth itself. At first glance around her surroundings, there was nothing interesting. Mostly grass, flatland, a large pond...no wildlife around, at least not yet. As far as Natasha was concerned, that was perfectly fine. She wasn't here to get reacquainted with nature. She didn't want to be here at all in fact. But, she didn't really have a choice. Plus, the feeling of a warm sun and the wind against her skin was a welcome change from the freezing cold of hypersleep and the bland air of the oxygen tanks in the Pod.


Natasha inhaled deeply through her nose, letting the fresh air fill her lungs.




The flock of winged creatures (Natasha would not have called them 'birds' had she seen them, for they did not look like any birds she'd ever seen on Earth) rapidly attempted to change course the behemoth of a creature ventured from the massive tower, its sudden appearance almost causing the flock to run into its dark skin. They maneuvered around the wall of flesh, and in their primal panic, they didn't notice the two massive chasms until it was far too late. Of course, they wouldn't have understood their true nature even if they had noticed.


The suction was immense. Their wings, strong as they were, were uselessly folded immediately and the entire flock was pulled into the dark cave, bouncing off giant pillars of hairs inside. A few ricocheted off these hairs and were flung against the slimy walls coated in a thick layer of mucus. It was not uncommon for hypersleep to cause minor colds, and thus the snot was already beginning to flow. Those “birds” that were thrown into the mucus met their demise the quickest, their own airways quickly flooded with the sticky flood of phlegm.


As for the rest of the flock, they were pulled further into the massive flesh nozzle like dust particles in a vacuum. The majority found themselves stuck at the back of the slimy throat, trying to fly but unable due to their wings coated with a heavy film of snot and spit. One lucky bird managed to break free of its nasty restraints, only to be pulled down into the lungs. The rest remained trapped until a large gulp of saliva and mucus, which had dripped down the back of the throat, sent them all down to massive cavern of the stomach.


Coated in large wads of slime, the “birds” fell into the lake of acids, where, mercifully, their torture finally ended.


Ironically, those that perished first were the only ones to escape in the end, even if postmortem. Their lifeless corpses only remained in their slimy sarcophagus for a few moments before a powerful typhoon of air blasted through the chasm, bringing a deluge of fresh mucus with it.



Natasha wadded up the tissue in her fist, feeling her headache come back a little more. She hoped she wasn't getting sick on top of being stuck here. She looked around for a moment and then sighed. Well, if she was going to stay here for awhile, she might as well start getting comfortable.


She turned back towards the Pod, tossing the wadded tissue over her shoulder. The mucus soaked paper floated for miles before finally coming to heaping rest near one of the largest settlements of the planets inhabitants. Droplets of phlegm coated what remained of their precious crops and livestock.


It was the beginning of the end.

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