Perfect Soldier – by Carter Becerra

 

The scent.  The scent is driving me crazy.  It is driving me crazy, bonkers, bzzzerk.  Tick, tick, tick go my legs against the floor.  My legs are shaking with anticipation.  My brothers are running with me.  We are running.  It is dark.  Very dark.  I can’t see, but I know.  I smell.  I see with my smell.  I don’t need to see anything else.

My brothers are moving.  I move along with them.  I move along with confidence.  Nothing can stop us.  We are an army.  We come to the exit of the tunnel.  It is our entrance.  The smell becomes stronger.  Too strong to pinpoint.  It is all around us.  It is everywhere.  I am loving it.

My brothers branch out.  We all go in different directions.  I can see the smell stronger toward the right.  So I go right.  I go so right.  I am so right.  The smell is stronger. Right.

Tick, tick, tick.  My legs tick slowly now.  My antennae twitch as they give in to the sweetness of the smell.  I walk.  I walk along a wall.  I don’t move in a straight line.  I move in waves, the way the scent moves.  It is dark still.  It feels good.  I like the feel of the dark.  It gives me confidence.  It gives me everything needed.  Tick, tick, tick go my legs against the ground.  One of my brothers is ahead of me.  He moves with confidence.  I follow him.  He stops.  We have come to a wall.  All walls look the same, but I only see the scent as it coats the wall telling us to climb; telling us to find.  He looks up.  I look up too.  We see light.  I start climbing.  He follows me.  We move with confidence.

The wall is soft, softer than the ground and it has a bad scent.  Anything other than ‘the scent’ is a bad scent.  My legs grip the wall with ease though.  My pinchers want to chomp it, to taste it.  They want to assert power into the softness that I am climbing.  The wall has a scent that is bad.  It smells wrong.  It is not the scent I am looking for.  The good scent is over this wall.

I come to the top of the wall.  It overlooks a vast valley.  I see vibrations in the air, I feel them.  Vibrations are moving everything.  They are coming from the left.  They are continual.  They are solitary.  I can see them shake the world around me, but don’t shake the smell.  They distort it.  The vibrations are coming from the left.  I go right.  My brother walks with me.  Then we both look up.

We see that we are not in the dark now.  There is light.  There is lots of light.  My brother is not ready for this.  We train for this, but it is hard to be ready.  Ready is born.  Trained is bred.  I am both.  He is not.  He begins zig-zagging, different from the waves of the scent.  He fears the light.  He fears the world.  I do not.

I stop.  I feel the smell.  I see where it is coming from.  I focus on the spot that it protrudes from.  I run as hard as I can for that spot.  My brother is no longer my brother.  He is lost.  I have other brothers though.  Tick, tick, tick.

I run down into the valley and find a dark crevice along the wall.  I stop running.  I walk fast.  My brother is still on the hillside.  The vibrations are behind me.  Being on the valley floor, I can feel them better.  They are rhythmic.  I like them.  I walk.  They grow distant.  BOOM.  BOOM. But now I hear different vibrations.

They are not coming from one spot.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  These vibrations are moving.  They are moving across the valley.  BOOM. They are big vibrations.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.    The vibrations are moving like legs.  But they do not sound like my leg vibrations.  They do not have the same rhythm as my tick, tick, tick.  They are headed for hillside.  They are headed for my brother.

The vibrations stop.  I listen.  I listen with every angle, orifice, and tip of my being.  I stretch my antennae out to feel for my brother. Tick, tick, tick.  He is still zig-zagging.  The vibrations reach the hillside.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  They stop.  Tick. Tick. Tick. WHOMP.

A different vibration is felt.  It is a sharp vibration that sends a chilling shockwave through the valley wall.  My brother.  He is gone.  I know this.  I have other brothers though.  We will succeed.  I will succeed.  The smell is strong.  It grows stronger as I walk.  I grow stronger as I walk.

The dark crevice along the valley floor leads me to threshold.  It is too large to see the entirety of its height.  There is light coming from it.  Before entering the light, I stick my head in the air.  I feel around for the scent.  I see it clearly.  I see it.  I grasp it.  I dash.

I enter the spectrum of the light.  I am running.  I run straight, no waves, no zig-zagging.  A strong gust of wind sweeps across the valley plane.  I am running.  But I stop.  The scent is lost.  The air moving changed the smell.  It is gone.  Don’t panic.  Don’t be weak.  She would want you to be strong.  She would want you to finish your mission.  She believes in you.  I tell myself this.  I make myself find the scent.  It is weak and distant, but it is found.  I am running toward it.  I love her so much.

The wind stops.  The smell grows stronger.  There is still light.  I pass under the threshold.  I see the gigantic walls by the way the scent bounces off of them. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM. BOOM.  The vibrations.  They are heading in my direction.  I bolt for the scent.  As I run, I sense the coolness of non-light.  It is to the left.  I change direction and head toward it.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  BOOM.  The vibrations pass.  I am in the non-light.  I am in the darkness.  I am safe.  The scent is so close.  It smells so good.  It smells so so good.

Ahead is a hut.  I know it is where the scent is.  I know it.  The hut is made for me.  I see the hut by the way the scent floats out of its doorways; its orifices.  I walk into the scent.  It clouds my vision.  I feel the color of the scent engulf me.  Inside the hut are rocks.  THE SCENT.  They are the scent.  I pick one up and taste it.  It is sweet.  It is so sweet.  So sweet it hurts.  It hurts badly.  It stings my mouth.  I know it is good though.  It is sweet.  Like her.

I must take as many as I can carry back to her.  She must know of the sweetness I have found.  She must know how good I am.  I am so good.  I am so good for her.  She will make me king.  She will make me her King.  She will be my Queen.

I grab twelve rocks.  It is all I can carry.  It is not easy.  I move slower.  But I need them.  She needs them.  I will bring them.

I hold them in front of my nose.  They smell good.  I want to keep eating them.  I want to eat them all.  She will enjoy them.  She will be proud of me.  She will love me.  Like I love her.

I walk along the darkness toward the gigantic threshold.  The smell in my face is making it hard to see.  I walk very slow.  I carry the rocks.  I will not get be seen by the moving vibrations.  I will not panic like my brother.  I am better than he.

I walk along the darkness against another wall.  Its height.  It’s endless.  I know I will be passing through the threshold and the desert of light and wind soon.  But I am ready.

I see threshold.  The wind is making the scent bounce off the walls of the threshold.  I see the desert.  I know it is in front of me.  Therefore I see it.  I squeeze the rocks.  I squeeze them with love.  I know I will not let them go.

I begin running.  I run as fast as my legs will take me.  Tick, tick, tick,-tick, tick, tick,-tick, tick, tick.  I run, holding the rocks.  I feel the wind gust over me.  I look into it.  I see it through the scent.  It is clean.  It is so clean.  It is wrong.  I look away.  I keep running.

I hear no vibrations.  They have stopped.  This scares me.  I keep running.  I feel the darkness closing in.  It is the darkness of the crevice of the valley wall.  I slow down.  I begin heading to the hillside.  The hillside where a soldier, a brother in arms, was lost.

I see the other rhythmic vibration, I feel it.  It is here now.  I am close now.  The vibrations are shaking the ground.  It is trembling, but softly.  I walk toward it.  I know I am growing closer to the hillside.  I know am growing closer to her.

The smell of the rocks is ecstasy.  I want to eat just one.  I will not hurt anything.  I could eat it and have energy for the climb over the hills, back down into the cavern, and back down into the air funneled caves.  I stop.  The smell is ecstasy.  I taste one.  It is the best taste I have ever had.  It is so good it burns.  It burns so good.  It turns my insides into warm paste.  It hurts, but in a good way.  I like it.

No.  I will not eat a single one.  I am better than that.  I want to, but I won’t.  This is what training was for.  Discipline.  I will be content with the taste.  I will be content that the queen, my Queen will know that it was I who brought her ‘the scent’.

I run.  I run up the hillside.  I feel the light.  I see it.  It blinds.  But I am strong.  I will make it.  I pass by my fallen brother.  I smell his dead remains.  Even though they are gone.  I smell them.  I move past them.  I crawl down the wall.  Back into the cavern.

The cavern is cool.  It is dark.  There is no light.  I hear more brothers up ahead of me.  They can smell the scent that I am carrying and they gather around me.  They protect me.  They are proud of me.  They pat me on the back.  I am running toward her.  I am happy.

We find the air tunnel and begin down it.  I pass more brothers who are traveling.  They see me with the rocks and it gives them hope.  It gives them hope.  They can be as good as me.

The group around me carries me.  I run on them, as they run.  They run fast.  We run fast.  We want to make her happy.  We all do.  I do.  I will.

After more time of safe travel, we arrive home.  We travel through our hallways.  We navigate them.  They are ours.  We head toward the den.  We head toward the mother.

I reach her first.  She sees me.  She smelt me enter.  She squirms her giant sexy body over to me as she still continues to pump out babies. One after the other, over and over and over again.  Future soldiers.  Future workers.  All brothers.

I drop the rocks and she looks them over.  She soaks in the scent.  She has never seen such beautiful scent.  It is beautiful watching her enjoy it.  My brothers arrive and we watch her caress each rock.  She separates them.  Then she devours them.  She crushes them into two and then crushes the two into four.  She crushes the four into tiny bits.  Then she swallows.  She is so happy.  I am happy.  We are all happy.  We watch her eat.  She is devouring the rocks.  She eats with vigor.  It is making her stronger.  It is making me stronger.  She is devouring the scent.  She is becoming more and more beautiful.

She finishes.  She looks at me.  Her eyes are filled with love.  Mine are as well.  I draw close to her.  Then I stop.  She stops.  Her jaws are dripping.  There is a froth protruding from her giant pinchers.  Her eyes begin to swell and melt at the seams.  She begins screaming.  She begins screeching.  Her giant body begins writhing in agony.  She is in pain.  We are all in pain.  She is suffering.  We are all suffering.

Giant holes begin melting in her soft white plushy body.  Her beautiful body.  She is melting from the inside out.  I watch her.  We all watch her.  She is crying.  She is screaming.  She is so sad.  We are so sad.  She rolls around the den, spewing ooze along with preformed babes.  Future soldiers.  Future workers.  All brothers.  She is sloshing the future out.  The babies, the miniature us are slamming against the wall, exploding their neon juices in in little dead splotches.  Their final birth place.  They are dying.  She is dying.  We are dying.  I am dying.

Her antennae have fallen off.  Her legs have melted at the seams with bright goo that sizzles.  She is detached from her always working womb.  The womb deflates.  Our future deflates.  We hear our future crying out with no sound.  Our Queen is nothing more.  She is nothing any more.  We are all nothing.  I am nothing.  She has stopped.  It is over.  The scent has killed her.  The scent I found and brought back.  I killed her.

She is done.  We all stare at her.

The giant body with small squirmy organisms sliding out, dying.  Sliding out into the colorful poisoned mucus, colored by the scented rocks that I discovered and brought back.  The little ones disconnected from their mother.  Sizzling in acid.  Disconnected with love.  They will never know risking life to make her happy.  They will only know her warm nurture.  That is nothing.

Then all my brothers stare at me.  They all turn on me.  They grab me.  I do not even try.  I wish I could help them.  I am the problem.  I am the weak link.  I am too perfect.

They dismantle my arms.  They detach my antennae with their pinchers and tear into pieces amongst each other.  They chomp my segments unsymmetrically, causing as much pain as possible.  I am nothing.  Forgive me.  Save me.  Save the Queen.