The new beginning

The sea was cold that night, and huddled on the sandy shore of the tiny volcanic island the last remaining Balena drank in the crisp and bleak sky. Her eyeless head swayed in the gentle and frosty air currents as they rushed over the only landmass on the planetoid, they were complex, thin and disorienting, but all the same welcome. She was a sentient creature, certainly, as evidence shown by that big, egg shaped head of hers. But lacking the tool wielding appendages of her long ago separated cousins, she was not so in the traditional sense. That considerable mass of grey matter in that thick creamy white head of hers didn't know or care about physics, or the all together boggling concepts which surrounded interstellar travel. But within, she nurtured profound revelations equally as astonishing. Perhaps, in the opinion of a couple of important few, even more so.

Her long and delicate flippers, all four of which still baring similarities to that of a humanoid plodded through the grainy jet black granules beneath. Her mass was considerable, and being on land was exhausting despite the all together relaxed gravity. But she was used to the deep black depths of her home waters. The pressure was different here, nothing at all like the crushing depths closer to the seafloor. But even though being separated by an extreme amount of time from her malicious land and space dwelling relatives, she still shared one common objective. That of survival, be it her own, or that of the species. She herself in her mayfly like existence was growing to the end of her natural life cycle, being nearly four centuries old now. But perhaps it was not too late for her children, clinging to her innards deep in her belly now, to make a life for themselves.

As no other of her kind had done before, the lone Balena quietly went about digging through the desolate, wet soil with much inefficiency. Her flippers had too long been removed from the single island and she was not properly adapted to birth this way. But she went about her task, being driven by some subconscious, animalistic instinct within. It was hard to believe such a cold, calculating thing dwelling in her inner most neural network could produce something so, well, motherly. And even as the tiny volcanic shards began to break her skin, she continued on bravely through the sterile ebony soil.

The great cities below laid in shambles, as they had for most of her life. Destroyed by fevered minds fearing the emergence of her kind. And with them, the rich nurseries from which she had one day, long ago, been birthed into. Poisoned, the currents and algal blooms would not cleanse the areas for another two or three decades. And she could not wait, not a year, or another minute to birth the next generation. So seeking the only option she saw available, she came upon the great black island. A charcoal blotch on her shimmering blue world, it's only region devoid of significant life force. But here, it was the beginning of it all with it's half collapsed artificial structures and constructs not designed for her kind. They aged now, as they would continue until the end of time.

Perhaps this would be a new beginning, she thought to herself in her own complex and rich language. Maybe her children would somehow be spared the ritualistic culling of the cousins. Maybe long enough to find a way to defend themselves better against their poisons and radiation blasts. Maybe even one day escape them altogether.

Maybe they'd swim in great shoals again, grander consciousness flickering in the intense super natural light as they shared their diverse collections of essence. A community that would rival the previous one, spanning the entirety of this water world and perhaps beyond, to the great giant in which it circled, now an ominous green marble which hung precariously above head. But to her sensory organs, it glared in intense and unnatural infrared. A nerve ending white light spread like the stars themselves.

That great jaw unhinged and she bellowed into the month long night, a darkness so devoid of company it carried a total futility to it. But she continued on, her song deep, mournful, almost gothic. The children writhed inside her as she forced their departure. They came kicking and screaming with stabs of pain, dozens of them, miniature versions of her adding to the night's depressing song. Their voices were tiny, innocent as those eyeless heads swayed back and fourth in the protection of the crater which she had dug. Their little mouths wailing as their umbillicals snapped under the light gravity.

Such precious new life, she remarked, with her bulk relaxing and the last of her litter being released. And she began to calm, that great neck laying itself down. The end was drawing to a close now, as it had been for her mother. But she felt no sadness or regret at leaving this world or her wonderful new lives. After all, she was engineered to have no predators. And the sea was rich in life. Yes, they would fend for themselves quite well.

How well, she could not possibly fathom as she gazed up at the brilliant glare above. How could she know that the bright pinpricks far above was the end for her ruthless cousins? That no longer would her kind be hunted, because, of course, those were cities burning.

She shut herself off from the curiosity, letting the night greet her. And despite those tiny worming bodies nipping at her stomach, she quietly fell asleep. Beyond, oblivion greeted her.


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