They thought it was a drab world, without much in the way of colour, life or interest. A place to build their bio-domes for growing crops in, with a robotic workforce and automatic shuttles delivering them off at the orbital station circling the planet.
They thought they were alone there, for they could see no signs of complex life. Their sensor probes pried deep into the surface. But not deep enough.
Those human workers, there to get things going and monitor the construction? They had no idea their heartbeats were huge signal beacons for the creatures below. Pulsating in steady rhythms, the sound carrying down into the darkest chasms and thought-empty voids.
And so concerned with making sure the robots were doing their work, they didn’t notice the oily-black tendrils worming their way up through the smallest of cracks. The robots certainly didn’t. They weren’t programmed well enough. They did what they did to a satisfactory level, and that was that.
They just didn’t notice, until one of their own went missing. And then another. They were picked off one by one, their attackers unseen. Their attackers were smart. Problems would crop up in one point, sending heavy guard off to investigate. And while they focused on the alert, they would strike somewhere else.
The last message from the planet was a warning. There was a hostile force present on Gadalri Beta, and that planetfall should be forbidden. The last survivor hoped that would be enough, forgetting about the innate curiosity of his species, and their constant need to know ‘why?’ and ‘what?’
Planetfall should have been forbidden.
It should have.
We didn’t listen.
Author’s Note: Today’s Three Word Wednesday words were: Drab, Pulsate, Tendril.