Friday, April 10, 2015

Microstory 35: Cellar Door

In the entire universe, there are only two species. There are many different kinds of humans, some of them “originating” from their own planets. If you ever encounter someone you believe to be an alien, they’re probably just a descendant of a genetically altered human. These come in the form of subspecies (vampires, elves, etc.), tangent species (e.g. dragons), and superspecies (e.g. Martians). The only true alien in the universe is called the Slrdr, and they are a complete evolutionary mistake. God is human, and made us in her image. So how the Slrdr evolved is something we don’t quite understand. But the most interesting part about them is that there are eight genders.

The male and female copulate through a combination of both liquid and pheromone secretion, stimulation, and song. The male deposits his sperm into one opening of the carrier while the female deposits a brood of several hundred ova into the other opening. Most of the several hundred ova will form zygotes, but usually only eight will survive after absorbing other zygotes. The carrier consumes blood orally from the sustainer. The eggs develop over the course of a half year during which the male, female, and carrier will sing. The carrier lays a clutch of eight eggs into a mudflat nest. If there are more or less than eight eggs, a defect or mutation may have occurred. It is not necessarily a problem; any number of things could have happened. The fertilizer sprays a growth hormone onto the clutch. The determiner injects enzymes into each egg that will mix the genes, leading to each individual scion’s gender and general genetic configuration. Each litter will contain one of each gender. All six genetic parents will be accounted for in the genes of the young. The fertilizer and determiner share the responsibility of protecting and watering the nest while singing.

The eggs will hatch after a half year. The young, considered to be one year old, will crawl into the pouch of the marsupial, which gives antibodies and other immunity boosters through its nipples for one year while singing. Marsupials are the largest of the genders, capable of sustaining the lives of two litters (if need be), but only if they consume blood from the sustainer as well. After the scions are fully developed, they will consistently receive milk containing protein, calcium, and other nutrients from the nipples of the giver who will teach them how to sing. Scions begin eating regular adult food after one more year (when they’re three years old). Scions are raised by all of their parents, along with their respective spouses, for five more years during which they will sing together. At eight years of age, children begin more independent lives. The parents will move on to conceive more children. At sixteen years of age, the scions restart the cycle.

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