Image from Bernd Helfert
By Damien Grace/ 'Ernst Stavro Blofelt'

First Published in Voices Future Tense (2008)

I've heard so many myths about the Kraken. The Federation denies her existence, for they could never prove it, only publicly scoff at the accounts of travelers who encountered her. The data was recorded, however. And action was taken. For the only reason she has not been discovered is that she does not want to.

She's a nomad, an outcast, spurned by her species for being too evil.

They say she's the size of a Terragen Orbital, and that she can suck the NRG from a Supernova if the mood takes her.

They say her arms are 15 km each. All 8 cyberneticly enhanced, tapering off into beam cannons that can cut thru the heavens like sabers.

They say she cut down an entire fleet of Fed scouts as if she were swatting flies.

And they say she just kept moving on, at speeds we have yet to imagine.

Federation files named her the Kraken, her followers call her Khali.

I call her calamari, but she doesn't know that.

I keep my thoughts from her with the most outlandish of precautions.

Because they also say she's telepathic, that she can induce the most hellish hallucinations in any or all species from distant systems. She can crack the strongest minds, be they blood or binary and coerce them into doing her bidding under duress of pure terror.

The 'droids say she can access hypernets just by the power of her mind. While, like all such tall tales of galactic adventurers, this may seem grossly unscientific. Yet there is truth in some of this, and the Federation intends to separate fact from fiction with as little bloodshed as possible. Or at least bipedal blood.

This is the reason I've never met her. Only Prox met her. Prox meets everyone. Prox lives my solid life without ever knowing my true intentions. Prox believes his is me. And he is, he has everything I do- bar my emotions, and my ambition.

Because I know for a fact that she is indeed telepathic, and I'd hate for her and her interstellar legions of Ictys knowing what I'm up to. That would be folly of the highest order. She contacts them, from sphere to sphere, in dreams and visions. This was how she contacted me. Or who she thought was me.

No, no squiddy, I can't have you knowing my plans. I won't let you extend your tentacles too deep into space. And you're getting close now, I know it. And I know what you're after. I'll get it for you, for the price you promised. But then I'll have to destroy you.

Destruction not in the physical sense. That noodle of your is far too precious to the Federation. Or to any others that trade in hi-Q gray matter. Oh and yours is sweet, I've seen it, with Prox's spectral analyzer mods. You knew he had them. And as he watched you perceived his responses as lust.

And oh it is, I've dreamed of it, gazed in awe at mag-field readouts, salivated at AI simulations. It's the most beautiful thing in the world, or at least it is to a headhunter.

All I need is to stun you, and disarm you. Lock you in a field that'll render that brain impotent. And sell it off, piece by piece, to those far richer than I.

But first I'll keep my promise. And I'll allow you to spawn.

A hoard of brainiak sushi-warriors you intend to plague the planets with. Who in turn will give birth to nannite-nets, launching swarms of goo-resistant scaly-ones toward the center of the galaxy. The birthplace of my civilization.

Yes I shall allow you to spawn, I've even given you your new aqua-pad. Hidden out here in the middle of nowhere, orbiting a fading star, on the icy shores of the universe.

Of course there should be more like you. It would not be sporting otherwise. But then that's the difference between you and me- I was born with backbone.

I know you have existed for millennia, indeed millions of years, out here, far, far on the edges of our universe, wandering the wormholes, alone, and angry.

I know of those that gave birth to you. A civilization that you destroyed long before we had ever come into being. Long before your brethren feasted upon trilobites and scaly morsels. Long before our planet had cooled from its Hadean infancy.

I know you are strong. Stronger than I.

But I know your weakness too.

I know of the hatred your fellow nautiloids have for you, and the contempt and superiority you have for them.

I know of your feelings of isolation, your loneliness is far greater than that of any other sentient being in existence.

I know your children will fill you with a feeling of love that no other sentient being could ever imagine. The feeling a god might have for its creations.

And I know that once you see what I have in store for them it will destroy you- forever.

And this is what I live my life for.

I yearn to see those massive saucer eyes shed oceans of tears.

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