Somewhere, in a distant arm of a spiral galaxy on the edge of the universe known to humans, there is a planet that every race that has ever discovered has named, in variations of their particular languages, Nightmare. Nightmare is a planet with no oceans, though it has thousands of lakes, it is one landmass. That landmass has been worn smooth over countless millennia, and is covered entirely by an undulating sea of bloodgrass, a tentacular, warm-blooded grass-like organism, that grows tens of meters high. The only sentient life forms on this planet are Psychobunnies, a creature like a terrestrial hare, only 3 times the size, with a mouth and teeth more like those of terrestrial horses. Psychobunnies live on a diet of bloodgrass, and each other. Nightmare is shrouded in almost perpetual thunderstorms, though it seldom actually rains. The atmosphere seethes with un-discharged electromagnetic energy. The planets 3 suns are old and dull, barely providing enough illumination to give the surface more than constant half-light.
It is not these conditions, however, that have caused all those races to unanimously name this planet Nightmare. Nightmare, the planet, is conscious, and it is a disturbed consciousness. The air is thick with foreboding and, often, madness. All beings who come here are beset with visions and premonitions, all of them dark and most of them nightmarish. Entire races have wiped themselves out in mindless, insane slaughter as a result of attempting to colonise this planet. Every vestige of their passing has been eradicated within years, covered by bloodgrass. Despite causing all this death and fear, Nightmare was lonely, and she decided to create a daughter. Nightmare named her daughter Creaturina.
Nothing like Creaturina had ever existed before. There are many sophisticated, advanced races in the universe that have given themselves god-like abilities of longevity and health as a result of their advanced technology. These abilities rely entirely on that technology. Nightmare, the deranged, sentient planet, was the closest thing to an actual god ever to exist in the universe. She created an organic child who was naturally immortal, virtually indestructible and a perfect killing machine, more god-like than any being had ever been before in the entire history of creation. Creaturina could react and move faster than any organic creature in the universe. She had a perfect memory linked to an IQ off any measurable scale. Her initial behavioral programming was to have no conscience, not because she did not have one, but because Nightmare did not have one. For over a thousand years, she did not develop a conscience.
Of all the permutations for physical manifestation of life in the universe, Nightmare chose to manifest Creaturina as humanoid. She was beautiful. Beautiful and profoundly, perfectly frightening. Her skin was alabaster white, her eyes almond shaped, slightly slanted pools of liquid black without irises, able to see through all spectrums. She had no eyelids, so never blinked; her eyes lubricated themselves via some unknown process. Were it possible to create empirical tests to explain the nature of her eyes, or, for that matter, her general indestructible, immortal being, the closest answer discoverable would be that she was the daughter of a cosmic entity. Creaturina was the embodiment of a sentient planet weighing 6 sextillion tonnes, she had some of that planets strength, endurance and longevity, packed into a tall, slim, humanoid female frame weighing 70 kg. Her hair, down to her thighs, was a flowing mass of bloodgrass-like ropes of pure white. She was 1.8288 meters tall, all muscle. Her hands were long, her fingers had no nails, but tapered into diamond hard talons. Her teeth were needle sharp, her lips blood red. She lived on blood. Psychobunny blood. Although she didn’t know it, Creaturina was quantumly linked to Nightmare, this enabled her to instantaneously offset her own weight and inertia against that of her planetary parent, wherever she was in the universe. Although her resting weight was a mere 70 kg, she could potentially call on the gravity and mass of a sextillion tonne planetary object. Creaturina’s physical abilities were, potentially, limitless. In effect, Nightmare was her energy source, even supplying her respiratory needs… she did not physically ‘breath’, breathing simply happened through her somehow. She could survive in total vacuum forever should she choose to do so.
For a thousand years, the naked child Creaturina roamed Nightmare, hunting and living on Psychobunnies. She never uttered a sound; there was no need. Although she had a genius level intellect by any galactic measurement, she never thought about anything, she simply lived and fed. Nightmare loved her, Creaturina was the only truly good thing she had ever done. Although she never made herself known to her daughter, she was immensely proud of her progeny, and felt genuine, very real love for her. Her daughter made Nightmare feel she had accomplished something beautiful, that this balanced all her deranged, psychotic existence, all the lives she was responsible for ending. Unfortunately for Nightmare, even god-like sentient planets have no control over existential randomness.
Due to the fabric of reality, there are things even Nightmare could not control. On the surface of Nightmare, there existed a tiny time-space anomaly, just big enough for an adolescent immortal girl to chase a frantic, desperate Psycobunny down. This is exactly what happened to the young, one thousand year old Creaturina. She came out on Earth, around 1000 years before the time of Christ. She killed and ate the Psychobunny, but she was still hungry. She found herself on a world peopled by very weak, very easy prey. Unfortunately for these potential human prey, the first two to come across Creaturina attempted to rape her.
For nearly a thousand more years, still naked, Creaturina preyed on humans. Fortunately for the human race, her new reality caused her to begin thinking about the morality of her actions. Her intelligence made her realise her actions were not sustainable, so she changed them. She very quickly used her longevity to acquire wealth and power. She changed her diet to freshly killed animals, she learned to wear clothing. By 1000 CE Creaturina had become the Countess Creaturina, Countess of Cretavia, a Lithuanian county she owned entirely due to hundreds of years of astute acquisition. The thousands of people under her protection had no idea who or what she really was; there were rumors aplenty about her longevity, about her means of sustenance, but the very nature of these rumors actually being based in fact meant no one lived long enough to really grasp their truth. What these people did know was that nothing bad or evil ever happened to them. In a time of evil and fear, the people of Cretavia knew that their strangely beautiful Countess somehow kept them safe… from everything. The people of Cretavia loved their Countess, and she loved them.
Love for her previous prey had come easily for a being of Creaturina’s astonishing intelligence. She did not know what she was, but she knew she was not human. She did not know she was the daughter of a sentient planet, but she suspected she was unique in the universe. She remembered everything she had ever experienced, she was supremely intelligent, so could not help but develop, based on two thousand years of life on Earth, an understanding of the forces at play on her new world. She understood how weak humans were compared to her, she understood the nature of tyrants and despots, the emptiness of religious fanaticism, she knew what bullies these creatures were, she loathed them. She saw how beautiful the average human could be, she loved them for their beauty in the face of all this manipulation. She determined to protect her humans, from everything. Never had any humans, anywhere, been so protected.
© chris attwell 2012