Squish in, condense.... SPLAT!
Squish in, condense.... SPLAT!
Alone in solitude Dust entertained himself, morphing from perfect, condensed sphere to a chaotic mess of silvery grey tendrils, spreading in every direction. When that got boring, young dust rolled over to a nearby rock, it's dull surface radiating a soft chill. It was an ashy blue rock that was just about a foot tall, almost as tall as Dust when he was a perfect sphere. Dust sat near the rock for awhile, studying its shape before molding himself into an exact replica.
Dust rolled to the next rock and repeated the process.
His games soon ended, however, when his rivals drew near. Some rolled straight for him, others chose a path with more mockery, sloshing towards him in feigned sluggishness. It was the ones that spilled and wallowed toward him that really bugged little Dust. It was as if they were trying to say "you're not even good enough for us to roll to you", mocking him for his solitary mimicking games. At least the rollers had enough decency to get straight to the point.
Dust knew not to run. He had tried it before, but Dust had more enemies than friends it seemed, and no matter where he turned, one would catch him. That's how it worked. All the rest would go to no end to destroy the weak one. Those who could not join the group were exiled an eliminated. Rounded up, surrounded and then banished, beaten and broken. Dust could take the beatings but he refused to be broken.
Soon enough, nearly twenty seemingly identical silver spheres surrounded Dust. Dust took the shape of an asymmetrical stone and waited for each sphere to morph into their own deadly choice of weapon. Usually a medley of sharp edges and points would circle the helpless creature, but this time they were identical. Nineteen thin, cruel points gleamed at Dust, each spike glinting in the soft light of the near-star. They were not here for mid-cycle entertainment.
They were here to end his thoughts.
Their move was predicable. As any group move was, it could be anticipated. However a group effort was always more powerful and dangerous than any solitary act and hard to avoid. They charged and immediately Dust shot into the air, using the energy of his own shift and the gravity to his own advantage. The spikes grouped together and pointed to the air, and only then did Dust see his mistake.
He still had time to react though. He was a master of mimicry and the visible ground was what he chose to imitate. Just before the sharp edges could pierce through his solid body, Dust expanded and created a netting of himself, roughly landing on the solid ground. Before the others had time to react as a group, Dust quickly pulled himself together into a seamless blob, tripping up all rivals in the process. With a loud clatter and clank, the spikes fell on top of each other, each piercing the other.
Dust took his chance to run. He knew he wouldn't get very far, but he had a better chance of surviving and thinking for longer this way. Dust rolled away as quickly as he could, feeling the dust particles being moved from his own movement and feeling sorry for them. Behind, a horde of nearly thirty other shining spheres chased after him, clicking and whirring, radiant from the hunt.
Suddenly the clicking and whirring and buzzing stopped. Dust looked back, and to his astonishment his enemies were retreating. Dust was filled with happiness. They were letting him alone! He could be alone! It took dust a moment to process what was really happening. They were leaving him for a reason.
Suddenly Dust heard it. A deep rumble unlike Dust had ever heard before. A shadow was cast over the small creature and suddenly he was filled with fear and curiosity. Dust looked up to see a dark shape growing larger and larger. Something immense was dropping from the sky! A cold asteroid!
Again, Dust kicked up more innocent dust and raced for the edge of the shadow. He would not be caught between the asteroid and the ground. The roaring grew louder and louder, and soon Dust felt a heat he had never felt before. Not even the heat of near-star on a dark rock could compare to this heat. Dust could feel himself getting sluggish. Was he melting?
The roaring was almost unbearable now, and suddenly a new sound mingled in to the appalling noise. A high pitched beeping and screeching and suddenly it was over. Dust looked up again. Directly above him, something foreign and metallic blocked the light. Dust stopped and condensed himself into a gibbous stone shape. He was too fearful to roll anymore. He would hide and wait for whatever had come to crush him.