The last days of gravity

photo for insect story

THE PLANE lays still, in place of the cities architecture. Written by harsh hands and coloured lights on the wall. Where some of the crumbling spines of buildings still stand. Some, still pointing skywards into the haemorrhaging sky, in old skeletal symbols of veritas. The city dreams of being a poem, and the ghosts still slave away, lost among dusty streets.

The city that names itself rolls heavy and light. Where the moon’s shore bursts its organs with quiet laughter. Interloping and counterloping among the streaming lines of hive-pipes, where some of the spectres still forgot to die, and still perform, where shadow puppets make solemn gestures on the bricks, underground.

So today would have been a Tuesday. When far above, above steeples seeping into the river haze, then above the memories of birds and jets, past the planet’s hemisphere, then welcoming space, the bartering happened quickly and without humour.

“You wish that you’d taken the offering we made you before don’t you? No matter. We’ll give you scrap planet prices now, feel lucky that we’re talking at all.” The voice said, partly rocky, partly novae red.

Havyen stared into the chaos swallowed cloud, holding with several hands onto the railing of his flight platform, some onto the side grips, and the rest rubbing his face. His family had always told him that it is was rude to rub your face infront of guests, but these weren’t guests, and he didn’t feel like an ambassador.

“What will you do with it?” He asked, his antennae twitching.

And the response was made from woe in space.

He looked behind himself where a gathering flute of rusty pearls flew from the battered planet, collecting behind him, ready to depart. Departing.

“Head off dear denizen…” The howling before him said, the rocks already descending towards the globe, in sudden efficiency, some of the flood hitting the vessels trying to follow him, as his eyes filled, and he knew that his numbers were becoming smaller.

And why not transit from this life in final war? At least then we may come back as a higher type of dream on a different day, the head-drone thought to himself, leading the remaining pods, beacon-vessels, chimera-vessels, and dusty ships away from the dead planet. No. We left that way of thinking behind a long time ago, and this eternity is not my decision for all, he began to think again calmly.

The remaining curve of ships gathered itself around the chaos boon, already devouring the mauve light emitted from their home plane, rushing it with miasmic blue rupturing cool. The numbers remaining shone heavily in his mind, again, reforming that part of himself which could not die. And always in the earlier wars, where the Sectus had hurled themselves at the Nevernae, spreading their limbs out and gathering force from the human ghosts, before, torn apart by mechanical thorns none the less, they knew this, and Havyen followed the gone ways, spreading his arms out now, calling on the space forms, in herald to their new journey.

He headed forward on his platform, steering away from the planet, as the Sectus behind him found cheer in their traditional dance, seeing a dance in space, and not a head hung low.

And so the departing flight began, without question in each vessel, as all of their race danced in union, swaying their arms inside their crafts, twitching in defiant grace.

Near the tail end of their bulk, thousands of miles behind Havyen’s steer, some of the more elder, too damned old not to strike, danced too, but, snapped off one of their own mandibles with a tibia. This, in the old days, meaning, no fleeing today, NO FLEEING TODAY! I’ll be damned and damned, show me a mortar that I will not become! Attack pheromone releasing from their bust old bodies, sparing inside their ships, and changing the dance.

The elders in the vicinity felt the message loudest, agreeing, laughing, and passing the joke between themselves, well, we wouldn’t last the journey anyways. And buzzing their wings, femurs, and holding their tarsus out, they called upon space too, ejecting up from their pods, and flying back towards the bulk attacking their home-world. Because in space the last strike is still struck with body, because in space the last punch still counts, as, all eternity can see.

They formed in small ranks, tightly formed hybrid men and women, creating an apex near the back-quarters of the Nevernae.

Havyen felt the rupturing of his command as he flew forwards, and turned his platform around to see what was going on with the group.

“Damn it! Those old fools…”

This collection of mercury, silver, and black Sectus bodies, began to split in half.

And near the base of the swarm- The elders split too, but forth, raging with their six legs and hands, calling on space eternities, to flow into their grips, and arm them with final light. The only succession of thought flowing through their abdomen and thorax being that fear was a dream, was a name without a body, and always feared itself. None of the nearby space spirits understood the signal for aid however, and so the Sectus Elders dove within the cloud, armed only by memories and showers of buzzing light, torn apart by an insentient blockade of metallic spikes, grimacing in sways of cheer.

The Nevernae continued to suck the planet, unperturbed and unknowing of the silence, eating at the Sectus myriads of homes on the planet surface. And so the deaths tolled among the Sectus, even if it was only a finite sector, and, questioned Havyen’s flight away from the insult. Madness mixed, and the dance continued.

Slowing down his arms, and letting the cosmos reflect off his compound eyes.

It was time to steer their many departing lines into one, and forbid the flight from home.

With nearly all of the Sectus now jettisoned from their vessels, flapping above their scrap ships, capable only of a few hundred thousand flight years on, a message of wilder dance passed among them.

They turned and looked at the spiking and writhing clouds surrounding their home. They looked long, and found in space their rhythm. Each part of their eyes seeing something different. Each part of their peace slowly nudging nihilism away. Each proboscis jack-hammering. All stings glowing and dripping in silence.

The hard back surface of the Nevernae began to bulge out and in microscopically, beating, like a wary heart watching the Sectus. Its spikes pushed out and in, rippled dark sea anemone blithe and casual. Havyen let his mind go, for the first time since he was born, so many generations before. And asked the flock how they wanted to handle it. Space or war. So it seemed. He sent the message out, and just swayed with his kin, undismantled, ready for all answers, and at peace with the fact that no Sectus home, no Sectus life, and no Sectus dream, when attacked, could fly on without answer.

Each scream was still.

All of their legs drifting among orchards of their own choosing, the cities, the knowledge of dance beyond chaos, the striking waves of many limbs held out, shower blossoms, low low, rocking wings and buzzing wings, all eyes within the many eye planted upon the Nevernae, thousandths of a second becoming light, colouring their spirits in vigil and obscene shadowless pheromones.

Havyen smiled.

Holding the railing of his flight platform with only one hand now, feeling the waves of his kin’s wings beat space into an atomical sea of gust upon his face. And his message was one long since lost, that corner, where space had finally heard the dance of his kind. It answered. Havyen watched as each one of his swarm began to attract different forms, some of them brought globes of knowable allies to their hands, the spirits of Yellow Jackets, deafening Cicada swirls; some brought others, beyond their understanding, but ready and willing to light their limbs with final circles of stars. And space said: each Sectus, create your own communion, bred by all paths, for now, we do not hesitate.

Now the Nevernae swarm took notice, and parts of its hind quarters shot into the first of the Sectus, bayoneting their bodies with hard and grey black spears. Havyen called upon his own spirits, as many of the swarm became feared and gathered back in flying droves, along, and behind him, he began to push all of his hands together, creating three globes infront of his body, showing the rest of the swarm how to channel their dance, grimacing, calling out in many names of unknown distance, he held three distinct lights, one infront of his mandibles, his weapon, one over his thorax, his blood, and one over his abdomen, his kin’s light. And so rushing down and mindless, once again, he dove forwards within the swarm calling mayhem to mayhem, and gnashing his second pincers at the darkness.

“We go!”

And the sound was that terrible one between death and bliss, fury upon flying fury, straight, direct, all arms holding waring globes at the side, as they formed into one final arrow, and attacked the void. As Havyen dived against the Nevernae, leading them to war, a few drones near him felt a call under his call, which demanded they let go of the collective, and sway between the thorns with individual grace as well, biting and attacking the black mist skin. Spokes lifted insectoid heads from necks easier than flower heads, and the Sectus swarm backed away and regathered many times in the endless night, as if enjoying their own slaughter, one mind many, and ready to throw each harpoon of their light against the negative mass.

And finally, they flew back, collected and trapt, even in space, as the thorns, a small fraction of their enemies force surrounded them, and Havyen was sending out the: attack finally without fear signal to the remaining comrades. And now it was time to sing. Buzz wings with remnants of vitality. Havyen looked behind himself, his mandibles long since torn away and weeping, and nodded towards his comrades. And they flew into the endless dusk, stinging to no avail, biting to no avail, numbers mortal, being cut down in the numb Nevernae room, line after line. Havyen called out, twitching before he was done, it was a long call, a message that no one can hear, and it said, WE’RE NOT DONE! LISTEN TO ME KARMA! WE’RE NOT DONE! TO HELL WITH IT ALL IF I’LL LET MY PEOPLE DIE! Sectus gods! Nevernae gods! Send me back! We dance again!

And with this Havyen bit into the grey mechanics of the Nevernae, biting somewhere near a central nerve, and penetrating the Nevernae’s solar column. An insect light died within a chaos light.  Dancing among the tight veins of both. The bartering was finally done, as the final head drone sent his poison among the body attacking his home, and the attacker began to burp in space. Dancing now of its own accord, unable to transmute the Sectus poison, into, a dance of its own. Seizuring, choking, birthing new death spokes that flowed out from its body in contorted shapes, into its own skin, like the early hair in a beard growing back, and diving back among the skin.

And like several and more lakes, the screaming sky inside all ghost guts, bit and licked lips.  A city among a dozen, flying birds, the notion of birds, away from a desk behind a window. Hits 5.30 easy. I wouldn’t say easy, but hey. A hornet rests on my pint glass. I laugh. With the hornet. Say hey, ok, take a sip, but don’t have too much, they’re expensive! My work mate is alarmed, the city is distilled, alarmed as much as it is a flow of orchids, by 9pm. The hornet flew away. The day is named Nevernae. The hornet is named Havyen.


is Raoul Moat in a boat. His first words were ‘Newky Brown’. As well as being our most prolific writer, René also creates graphic art, paintings and screenplays.

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