The Traditional Sacrifice

I never knew my mother. She left when I was very young. My family told me stories about her, they told me she loved me, but they would not tell my why she left. That truth came when I became an adult. It came after I was married, after I had a child of my own. My life was supposed to be normal until then, as normal as it could be under the circumstances. My people needed me to be normal. They needed me to have children. They needed me to love and to feel loved. It was a necessary part of the tradition.

When I turned twenty eight I learned my mother’s fate. Mother had gone to live inside the Kraken. It was a monster that lived in the sea. It was the queen of the monsters. She was the largest and strongest of her kind and ruled over her brood, her many children. They were massive beasts that stood taller than our tallest skyscrapers. They came in the thousands devouring everything in their path. They came to destroy us with fire, ice, and lightning. We had tried to stop them with conventional weaponry, but our atom bombs were more damaging to us than they were to the monsters.

So we hid like rats. We survived. We rebuilt our civilization, and our scientists came up with a new strategy. They called it the traditional sacrifice. There would be no more bombs, no more missiles, no more guns. Instead we would sway the Kraken’s heart with love and compassion. This new technology determined the fate of my grandmother and her mother and my mother and my children. They would sacrifice me to the beast, implant my love for my son in the Kraken’s heart so all the people of earth would become her children.

I went willingly to meet my mother, catapulted across the sky in a translucent sphere, the vehicle of our new technology. It was a ship, an orb filled with a living mucus in which I floated. Ailerons on the hull guided my craft through the air ensuring my success. I would enter through her nose, a pair of massive holes on the front of her flat face. I was so tiny in comparison it was almost imposible to miss. But I was blind to all of these things. Operating the craft was not my job. I was just a passanger. I was just a piece of the machine.

The orb was sucked in as the Kraken prepared her next roar. Inside her head my ship dispensed with its little wings as it flexed and tumbled along the beasts inner membranes. Long thin claws grew in their place, tearing at the creatures flesh to halt my momentum. I heard them popping and stretching and breaking and hooking again as they brought my craft to a stop.

It was dark now. I am not a scientist, but I was aware of how the sphere worked. It began stealing nutrients from my host to sustain me. It would grow legs like a spider and begin the journey up to the brain. I felt the beast clawing at her nose though I was sure my craft was causing her little pain. The ship was designed to invade her skull, not kill her or torture her. This was a surgical operation designed to reach her grey matter.

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