By Phillip G. Cargile

The gulf of space stretched out into the infinity of billions of cold miles to a solar system far from the blue world of Earth. This world that orbited a pale blue giant was nothing to rival that living sphere, the hub of man. In the great ecology of the Milky Way, it was but a blip of the 200 million stars and nebulae and even more brilliant gigantic planets. The red sands, thin atmosphere, ice capped poles were beautiful but did not contain any complicated life forms. Perhaps in millions of years hence the cosmos would deposit some primitive templates from space that would germinate life.
Now, man found use for this world as a strategic outpost. Below the surface celestial drift block he aimed devices to the stars that sample space. Electronic impulses observed with beams invisibility searching for any eyes physical or biomechanical that searched for them.

Burrowed deep within the rock, the humans minded their machines waiting with anxious eyes for a sight of something moving in the vacuum.

The fabrics of space were breached with a vortex of hyperspace conduit from it came a black hull machine. No living things like man piloted this craft. This living craft was like those others men had watch stride through this area of space. Equipped with an intelligence like those computers of man but with a capacity more like a living thing. It would pass the marred surface of this planet as others had with only a scan of the celestial body then move on into the space occupied by them. As it neared, the humans below saw no threat but considered it something akin to the machines sent to inform and update them of the status of certain situations. It swung closer in a drastic change of its course. Its forward structure slopped and narrowed to a point like that of an arrow aimed at the rock world. From a maw, a blinding white beam of energy erupted to envelope the surface of the planet, but the true weapon was hidden within the beam. The beam, only a catalyst, washed over the craggy surface to radiate into the core of the deep hiding place of the humans.

The elements of the inviable particles of the energy began their sinister purpose within seconds of reaching those fragile creatures. An attack on the cellular level so decisively undoing what the cosmos had taken millions of years to perfect. Flesh, bone, and blood all began to melt into a plasmatic puddle. With the breach of the integrity of the structure those puddles crystallized exposed to the vacuum returning them to the star dust from which that came.

                The End