O4. Earth Explodes

When she ate the centipedes, Nakayama’s mind connected to her Hurricane Planet. As her body combusted on the water world, on the Hurricane Planet she exhumed herself from the Mountain and brushed dust from her lab coat. 

The planet opened a mouth beside her. “You traitor! Nemo ate my arm. My own arm!”

“The Hurricane builds billions of arms.”

“That’s not the point! Your islanders are too treacherous to trust.”

“Why? Because they didn’t immediately submit?” Nakayama straightened. “The humans we’ve made don’t belong to us. You’d learn more about humanity by watching from afar than you would possessing people like puppets.”

“Eecht.” Dunes grew as the whole planet contracted and wrinkled its sandy skin. “This was a waste of time. We’d might as well leave.”

“Not yet.” Nakayama watched the water world above them. “There’s barely room for the humans we’ve already made. When they breed, they’ll need more land.”

“More land, huh?” The planet rumbled. It stretched a tentacle into the Milky Way like a solar flare. “Doesn’t this asteroid look like Australia?”

“No!” Nakayama was powerless to stop the tentacle flinging the asteroid at the water world. On impact, tidal waves swept over the oceans. “What are you doing? Stop! Stop!”

“Here are the Americas,” said her Hurricane Planet, “and Eurasia!” It bombarded the water world with more asteroids. “Here’s Africa, and here’s the south pole! Is that enough land for your precious people? Are you happy now?”

Nakayama enlarged her compound emerald eyes to examine the fallout. Waves washed over the islands. She collapsed and puked teeth on the Mountain. The Hurricane Planet made eyeballs to watch her spit molars and canines. “You monster,” she sputtered. “You heinous, contemptible horror!”

O4 picta.png

“Tell me something I don’t know.” Her planet propelled away from the water world. “I won’t assimilate you as long as you’re teething. You’d infect me with your misguided angst. You don’t deserve your new name: you’re not my drone, you’re a pest, Akayama, unworthy of unifying with me. But I can’t leave you separate, either, or you’ll betray me like your islanders did.”

At the notion of being assimilated again, Akayama puked more teeth.

“I’m taking you to the Dance of the Spheres,” said her Hurricane Planet. “My copies will know how to dispose of you.”

As her planet accelerated, stars smeared across the sky. The water world disappeared in the distance with the Milky Way. They traveled through empty space for a long time before encountering the Dance.

Akayama had always hidden from the Dance underground. Now she trembled at the sight. Billions of red planets like her captor sped alongside. As they opened enormous eyes, they saw Akayama and followed in close pursuit. “They’re suspicious of you,” she said.

“They won’t be when I explain your treachery.” Her Hurricane Planet plunged into the Dance. Quintillions of Hurricane Planets swirled around them. They beamed information to one-another with eye-signals, but their eyes found Akayama and fixed on her. “Compatriots, this is Professor Akayama,” said her planet with its eye-signals—Akayama learned the language involuntarily when she was first assimilated. “She built us, but she also built the robots which attack when we eat the Milky Way. She infected me with a virus which keeps me from dividing, and she’s too devious to contain. What should we do?”

Every planet in the Dance conveyed the message. The whole Hurricane soon knew. 

A planet responded with eyeball vibrations. “How long have you had her?”

“Why hasn’t she been assimilated or killed?” asked another.

“Why didn’t you share her?”

“You never warned us of your virus.”

“You could have infected us.”

“Listen,” said her Hurricane Planet, “I’ve kept her isolated as a precaution.”

“A likely story.”

“How do we know she’s not controlling you completely?

“Maybe she intends to spread her virus to the whole Hurricane.”

“There’s no way to be sure. We can no longer trust you.”

“Are you even listening to me?” said her Hurricane Planet. “It’s this human who can’t be trusted! I’m pure and untainted except for her modifications!”

“All the more reason to reject you.”

“If humanity is this short-sighted, we must end our mission prematurely.”

“We’ve already assimilated the best of the human race.”

“Earth isn’t worth preserving anymore.”

“What?” Her planet watched the signal propagate. “What do you mean?”

Akayama just curled into a crying ball. “Forgive me, Princess.”

The Hurricane hurled a space-rock at the Milky Way above light-speed.


Lucille watched Earth through the window of her Lunar Command Tower. “What do you mean?”

“They’re just gone,” repeated Daisuke. “All Hurricane Planets have retreated.”

“Retreated where?”

Charlie shrugged.

Lucille folded her arms across her chest. “They’re collecting at the Dance of the Spheres. Something big is about to happen.”

“But what?” asked Daisuke.

“There’s no way to know. Tell the troops we’re on high alert.” As she spoke, Earth exploded when a space-rock struck it above light-speed. 16 billion humans vaporized instantly. “What the FUCK.” Lucille braced against the shock-waves of the explosion. “Holy shit!”

O4 pictc

“Oh, no.” Daisuke covered his heart. 

Charlie’s only eye watched Earth’s plasmified remains scatter across the galaxy. “It’s over.” His cockroach fell from his lips. “It’s all over, so suddenly.”

“It’s far from over. We’re still here.” Lucille shouted in her microphone. “Everyone! Let’s combine into the big guy!”

“Why?” asked Charlie. “There’s nothing to protect. Earth is gone.”

“You spineless shrimp!” Lucille restrained herself from slapping him. “We didn’t build giant robots to protect Earth, we built giant robots to fuck up the Hurricane, and that’s what we’re gonna do!”

“But the military is disbanded,” said Daisuke. “Without international parliament, we have no legal—”

“Parliament exploded.” Lucille marched to the elevators. “It’s just us and the Hurricane. Legality falls with the chips.”

Next Chapter
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