The Origin Of The Species by Martin Austwick

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SUMMARY: Blame Mr BF1V3, this was his idea...

I sat quietly, scanning the darkness ahead trying not to hold my breath. A small ache started in my lower back and as I turned to adjust the seat I caught a flash of movement out of the corner of my eye.

"Gotcha," I thought and with the flick of an eye trained the disruptor cannon on them. As my finger curled around the trigger the now familiar pulse of fear flashed through my stomach. My God, what am I doing? As I felt my finger press down on the initiator I knew I had doomed the entire human race.

The blast screamed its way across the vacuum to their craft tearing apart the very fabric of space-time, it met the dark craft with a pleasing sense of inevitability and the universe went black. This time I let myself hold my breath. On the count of three my senses filled with an exquisite experience I can only describe as the sound of green, I knew what to expect but I could still not begin to comprehend the enormity of the experience. Like clockwork the light-noise vanished leaving me floating in the familiar space of Delta quadrant. I reached up to wipe the tears from my face.

I hate that feeling.

Despite having mastered forces strong enough to destroy matter entirely the human race was still slaves to its emotions, every time I used a disruptor weapon I was filled with terror. But I was at least still alive.

"What the f..."

A point of green sounded to my left, the fear returned, this time all the stronger for being unexpected. I felt my insides churn and I heard the light grow. I reached my shaking hand up to the comms console and tried to raise Control. I couldn't do it. It was all I could do to force myself to carry on breathing. The sound covered half the void, blotting out all matter, all movement and all thought. I smelt it approach and the deafening roar of colour threatened to overwhelm my senses. For a brief moment my being exploded.

I forced myself to stop screaming and opened my eyes.

Floating in front of me was a craft of the like I had never experienced. The very shape filled my soul with a sense of dread, I knew I was dead if I stayed but I could not move. I watched the awe-inspiring ship slowly turn upon an unseen axis and a voice drawn from my deepest nightmares filled my mind.

"You opened the gate for us." I was screaming again, but the voice drowned out all sound. "We are The Species and we thank you."

I felt the flesh melt from my bones and my soul seared from my very being.

"You we will leave alive."

Then peace descended on me like rain on a fire. With the utmost clarity I knew I had doomed the entire universe and I wept.