Space, the final frontier.
No one knew that phrase better than Brad Armstrong. As a volunteer for the deep space mission, he recognized that his voyage was “final” in the sense that all he knew had been left behind on Earth many hundreds of years of space travel ago.
It had been 877 Earth days since his arrival on Magna 1B, an Earth-like planet orbiting the star Canopus, and the similarities between Earth and Magna 1B were shocking, to say the least. In all respects, the landscape, vegetation and life forms looked just like Earth, with the exception of Magna 1B’s two moons – Adro and Damon – and the peacefulness and orderliness of its inhabitants. Perhaps it was attributable to the matriarchic structure of its society. Men, in groups, served women with order and compliance. Conceivably that thought would resonate with whatever remained of Earth’s shattered society, if it were possible to communicate such thoughts. It would take several hundred years just to receive the message.
Brad had been fully accepted into Magna’s society. Not only had he been welcomed with open arms but now one of the female leaders had asked him to join her as her mate, a “first mate” in fact. He sat next to the lovely Stea at the dinner feast in his honor. Soon they would consummate their union in her bed chambers. He marveled at her dark, svelte form, her obsidian eyes, her tall and graceful features wrapped tightly in a black gown.
Slowly she led him to her exotic and unusual bedroom, replete with black webbing and intricate concentric patterns radiating from her circular bed. She disrobed and, as Brad stared in awe at her wondrous figure, she lovingly embraced him and led him to her bed. His hands roamed up and down her sinewy shape and, as he caressed her, he noticed the hour-glass shaped mark in the small of her back. As Stea’s half-shrouded eyes and soft moans indicated her rising passion, Brad saw the mark redden and throb.
“What a strange birthmark” Brad said to the undulating Stea. “Yes,” she replied as she enveloped his body with her own, “We all have such a mark after our assimilation with the Arachnids. It was painful but gave us all so much more order.”
“The Arachnids” said Brad with alarm, “aren’t they the alien race that are like spi…”
Brad’s last thought was of a beautiful but strange form whose mouth widened to consume his head. Stea slowly munched on Brad’s brain, regurgitating it several times before consumption. Hmm, she thought, he is the best tasting astronaut that I have dined on in a long, long time.