Quick as Quarks
by Wayne Travis Rambo
When your ship came into our space we sent drones to discover what you were. They could not tell us, only saying you were an intelligently designed asteroid with a creature inside. They said you were safe, and we could not have known how wrong they were.
We launched ourselves on wings made of thoughts and flew to you, quick as quarks. A thousand bodies, we flew with one mind. We came to the simple asteroid you traveled in, made of aluminum and dust, a hollow bubble of your own waste. We slipped inside, sliding thin bodies in between the molecules of your container. You were unable to perceive us and we unable to hear you.
"A silly Bhaka!" we thought when we saw your upside down body, trunks growing down and your root bulb on top, fine fibers flowing in the reduced gravity you were kept in. We saw the husk of your previous form, as with the Bhaka we know. We could not understand why you did not consume it when you molted.
For a time we watched you, thinking funny thoughts of the adventures of the Silly Bhaka. We made up stories of your origin as we poked our faces in and out of your cabin. What intelligent life sends out such an absurd creature to test the universe for them?