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“Bitch,” I mumbled, and absently played with one of the many holes that had been torn in my jumpsuit. Some of the damage to my wardrobe came from the desperate last moment escape from Tessa; I had leapt out of the way of her blaster fire and fallen down into a deep gorge. Injured but alive, I soon found myself wandering aimlessly across the alien planet’s surface.

The wilds of Centauri Ten held all types of never before seen life. As a researcher sent there to learn more about them, I quickly found my curiosity leading me through a previously undiscovered gorge. There were giant tree-like plants that rose high into the air on slender green stems, a strange avian species that fed on something in those trees, and a new species of unidentified predators, which I had recently experienced first-hand; the tentacle creatures.

I could vaguely remember being scared at first when the thing moved at such lightning speed. Everything from the scanners told me that the thing was a plant, not an animal, so I had underestimated it. I had simply gotten too close and before I knew it, the creature had me entangled in a multitude of constricting tentacles.

The fight ran out of me when the oozing, sweet substance that the creature secreted permeated through my skin and flooded my entrances. It was some type of pheromone that made me docile and obedient. Something in the farthest recesses of my brain tried to scream that it was wrong, but that didn’t matter anymore. Once the pheromones had taken hold I willingly gave myself to the creature, allowing it to violate me completely. It had planted its seed deep inside my belly and after a few blurry days I gave birth to over a dozen of the things.

Once the tentacle creature had used me for its purposes, it released me, but not before implanting part of itself and a message in my mind, “Bring back more females.”

The hive mind had melded with my own. I could hear the unspoken voices of those creatures as though I had become one of them. I saw their thoughts too, in little glimmers of history.

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