March 18, 2016 at 7:50 am #134612
Oh, hello there! I didn’t see you come in. Welcome to SprocketSauce’s Selection, where we don’t even know the meaning of the word overdesigned! Well, I can tell from your bearing that you’re a gentleman/lady of immaculate taste, so I don’t suppose I can tempt you to take a look at some of these pretty pictures wot I made?
I guess I’ll start with my entry for character contest #161: Alien(n)ation. For those of you that don’t follow the character contests, the theme of this one is to create a single image that shows multiple forms of an alien species. The piece I’ve created is called “Life cycle of the Siren Moth”.
The following is an extract from The Voyages of St. Bartimus, reprinted with the permission of the Thought-Archive of Arch-Locus.
My travels have taken me from Arch-Locus to the wildest frontier, from the palace-worlds of the False Gods to the darkest, most sordid corners of Constellation space, and while I have seen beauty that few men are privileged enough to witness, I also seen things that I would rather forget. Few things typify both of these quite like the Siren Moth.
Upon arrival at Sanakar, I found the locals to be neither unpleasant nor inhospitable, although of a quiet, almost haunted demeanor. However, when I told them of my intentions to venture beyond the walls of their meager settlement into the Grey Wastes, they immediately became fearful and agitated. They told me stories of those who were foolish enough to venture into the wastes, how they would return as pale ghosts, floating on gossamer wings and singing the wordless song of the Wastes. I initially dismissed these stories as patently ridiculous – clearly the work of too much moon-nectar and overactive imaginations – but I would be lying if I told you I was not unsettled by their consistency.
After almost a week of combing the Wastes and finding nothing but dust, I began to resign myself to what seemed a disappointing truth: that the Grey Wastes were just as dull and lifeless as their name implies. It was only after I began my journey back that I first sighted one of the creatures. For a moment, I believed that ghost stories – beautiful and terrible, chalk-white, with jewel-bright wings and the face of a woman, it drifted, wraith-like, over the endless grey desert, wordlessly singing with a human voice. By either divine providence or a sheer miracle of good luck, I managed to remain unseen by the Siren Moth long enough to have the abject displeasure of witnessing its reproductive cycle.
At the end of its tail, the Siren Moth has a barb that I first assumed to be a stinger. Its true function is far more unsettling. Rather than venom, the Siren Moth’s barbed tail injects a fertilized egg into whatever poor wretch has utter misfortune of being its prey. The unborn Moth spends the next forty-two devouring its victim from the inside. As it does so, the egg swells, eventually rupturing the victim’s flesh and, if the gods are merciful, killing them. The unborn Moth continues to feed off the deceased’s corpse for a further eight to ten hours, after which a newborn Siren Moth erupts from its egg, singing with its victim’s voice and wearing a pale, red-eyed mockery of its victim’s face. I could’ve sworn I heard it singing my name.
I will not be returning to Sanakar.
Fear the song of the wastes.
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