Machina Daemonium

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Transcendence via consumption.

1:14pm Greenwich Meantime 
12/5/19 

It's been three days since the first of them arrived. Personally, the passage of time has been... Well, it's hard to describe. I've not really noticed time elapsing. It hasn't been going slowly or quickly. 

I've been wanting to start this log since the day this all began. I believe it's important that we record what is happening for a number of reasons. It could come in handy later on, or serve as a reminder. A reminder that we existed and that this happened. Writing is something to focus on other than what's happening outside too, which always helps in regard to maintaining sanity. Dwelling on what's going on out there won't help us, but not dwelling on it won't really help either. There's ultimately nothing we can do.

On the 9th of May this year, three days ago, an alarming series of events began to transpire. I myself was in Glasgow at the time, but things first started in Brazil. It didn't matter where you were in the world - all you had to do was turn on a television and no matter what channel you put on a local news network would have been given priority to take over regular shows. 

An enormous machine like construction had descended from the skies over Brazil - seemingly from space - and landed in the ocean off the coast of Rio. NASA hadn't detected the entity as it made its approach, and it was invisible to radar. 

The entity itself was, as I said, machine like in nature. It was of an oval like shape - or at least its "body" was. Sprouting off of this oval body were countless pipes of sort, protruding outwards and upwards. They were of an all manner of sizes, with some no bigger than your average biro pen, and some larger than sky scrapers. They formed a garishly jumbled mass that looked like a sort of demented church organ. Every now and then, smoke, steam or something similar would arise from some or all of the pipes, billowing skyward. 

The underbelly of the oval body was free of these pipes, with perhaps the odd small one sticking out here and there. It was a dark grey in colour, with a multitude of scratches, scars and chunks missing in the bulk of the body, almost as if with age. 

Sticking out from amongst the pipes and sides of the construct were an armada of tremendously long and thin needle like appendages. They could easily reach out in all directions around the machine, and all ended in a surgically precise point. The thing must have had upwards of five hundred of these spindly arm like segments. They were a brighter colour than the rest of the contraption, being almost silver like. As such, it looked like they didn't belong, almost as if they had been grafted on at a later date. Incredibly, the machine actually used these to walk on. From the look of them, they shouldn't have been able to support the gargantuan weight of the machine - they looked far to delicate - but somehow they did. 

At the rear of the machine's oval shaped body the mishmash of pipes continued, but at the front was what could perhaps best be acquainted to a face of sorts. It sported two large cylindrical tanks of some description - positioned in a way similar to that of fangs on a spider - and the bottoms of these tanks could open and close. The insides were very dark, and it was not possible to see what they contained. Above these tanks in a space free of pipes were four circular lights that appeared to be eyes of some description, and they seemed to vary in power - at night they were like searchlights, and each one functioned independently, looking in different directions. 

The machine caused quite a splash when it hit the water, but it seemed to float quite easily, the "eyes" on its "face" not illuminated, the pipes not breathing in their perverse fashion, the needly arms drooping freely. People gathered at the beaches of Rio, staring, filming, amazed at the thing. 

It was there for three hours, motionless, until suddenly its eyes began to gradually light up. Live news was broadcasting the display around the world. Finally, it began to push itself up, standing up straight and facing the beaches. It began to advance, moving slowly on its multitude of surgical legs, and there was a concern that it wouldn't stop and would just trample the city. To everyone's relief, it stopped short of the exposed sands. It remained there for another twenty or so minutes. 

At this point, from its amalgam of pipes, roared the most unholy and ear shattering droning - as if the thing was truly firing up, coming to life. Its eyes became all the more bright and the smoke began to emerge from its thousands of orifices. The absolutely demonic droning noise it emitted - all out of pitch, blasting from each pipe, like a distorted scream warped further by the hideously unnatural machinery from which it came - terrified the onlookers and rendered electronic equipment broken, overloaded, unusable. People fled at the sound - knowing that something that made such a noise could not possibly have good intentions. 

This was when it began to abduct people.

Using its needle like limbs, it lashed out in all directions, in a sharp flurry of movement - all the while as it resumed its slow march towards the city. Each needle aimed for a person, impaling them however it could - through the arms, legs, head, torso - whatever part of the body it could reach. Once it had stabbed a victim, it picked them up effortlessly and lifted them straight towards the cylindrical "fangs" of the construct. It was at this point that they opened, allowing the needles to deposit their human cargo within. Once this was accomplished, the needle was free to target another victim. 

The machine snatched thousands of people from the beaches and coastal streets. As it came to built up areas, it amassed its needles closely, forming a much more thick set of limbs, and it used these to crush structures, demolish buildings and ultimately clear a path to people inside. Despite the spindly appearance of each needle limb, they are incredibly strong and beyond durable.

As this was happening, more of the machines began to land around the world. As each descended, they let out their horrific, droning screams and immediately began their abductions. Those still in orbit or in space dismantled satellites and space stations until nothing human remained outside the atmosphere. 

Armed resistance was futile. Their needles moved seamlessly to deflect incoming fire of all kinds, tossing missiles aside like darts - often to their advantage, their explosions causing damage - and they let out more of their monstrous mechanical roars which of course rendered technology inactive - effectively disarming weapons. 

There were thousands of the machines, descending first on the most heavily populated areas and cities, and later on smaller settlements and towns. This gave people outside of major cities time to get moving, although the machines seemed to be able to sense whenever a human presence was nearby - hiding was completely ineffective. They could dig their way through buildings, through the ground, to reach their targets. The sheer volume of their droning roars was enough to shatter smaller buildings entirely, and for some, eardrums.

This relentless assault continued for the duration of the day. The machines did not stop, they did not rest or pause. Their inorganic nature leant them unending stamina and drive. 

Alongside humans, they also abducted animals of all kinds, as well as more sizeable plant life. Once an area was depleted, they moved on to smaller matter - given the amount of needles each machine possessed, they could easily strip fields of every strand of grass in a meticulous fashion over time. Other machines disappeared into the oceans in the pursuit of marine life. With larger animals, such as whales, they dissected them prior to collecting their matter. 

At the start of the second day, they developed a terrifying new strategy.  

Every machine began to emit alien frequencies and signals. Being close to the machines when they were emitting these frequencies, which seemed to turn on and off randomly, would cause brain cells to die. Even looking at the machines - from any distance - whilst they were emitting caused mental capacity to ever so gradually deteriorate. This made it easier for the machines to capture organic life forms, wearing them down over time. 

Using X-ray technology from afar - out of reach of the droning scream's technology crushing capabilities - yielded utterly nightmarish results. 

The insides of the machines were largely hollow. The back three quarters of the machines were gigantic engine like constructs that fuelled them, and smoke from these engines rose up through the pipes that protruded from the body. The front quarter of the machine, on which the two cylindrical collection points joined, was the most disturbing factor of the construction however.

There was a large, empty chamber immediately inside, joined on from the cylinders. I was in this chamber that abducted material, animals and people were deposited. Many abducted people and animals were still alive when they were dumped here, others were dead. They were piled up, dead or alive, and left here in the pitch black insides of the machine. They were simply piled up, regardless of their condition, and once they were inside there was no way to climb out. Given that there were people still alive here, it was all too easy to imagine what the chamber would sound like - wailing, screaming, crying. The dead would quickly start to rot and smell in the space, given that the engines were nearby and the heat rubbed off on the chamber. The wall of the chamber closest to the engines was often very hot, and people or animals unfortunate enough to be stuck next to them would burn considerably, their flesh blistering, bubbling, leaking. The charred remains of victims in these circumstances are left plastered to the walls of the chamber - abscesses of gore and bone - which only adds to the nightmare for future abductees. 

This storeroom for both alive and dead life forms was disturbing, but the most frightening fact was waiting at the base of the chamber. The floor of the chamber was connected to hinges on either side, which led to a revelation - it wasn't a floor at all, it was a trapdoor of sorts. When opened, everything and everyone currently piled up in the "storeroom" is dropped directly into what can only be described as a furnace. One large, central pipe that connects to all others vents the smoke and ash from here, and the temperatures soar to brutal levels. It is this room, this gigantic oven, that revealed the machines purpose for abducting organic matter - to use it as fuel. Similar to how humans put coal in a steam train's engine, the machines are more than happy to stuff us in searing vats of near molten steel. 

Further study revealed that they gain limited energy from solar sources. Unlike our solar methods, however, any form of light at all can provide them with energy - it does not have to be from a sun. the tiniest flicker could, over time, charge them. It is theorised that this is how they drift through space - by harnessing the limited power light can give them. When they arrive at a planet that is inhabited by organic life, they descend and harvest the populations present there to use as a more direct and effective source of energy. This is, of course, purely theory - we have no way of telling if they possess a collective intelligence, how they communicate, what their ultimate aim or destination might be, nothing. All we know for sure is that they are collecting and incinerating the human race solely for the purpose of fuelling their gargantuan engines. For efficiency purposes, they will then strip down the entire planet of all greenery until nothing alive remains.

When descending into the oceans, the pipes they possess close off to prevent water from entering their engines. At this point they run over whatever power they have previously collected. Because of this, they often operate via a rotation. Some remain on the surface to harness life whilst others delve into the waters. Then, a few days later, the submerged machines will return to land to once again "feed" whilst those previously stationed there will enter the ocean waters. This is a strong indicator of tactics and intelligence. 

They do not shed their ability to fly whilst they are conducting their harvesting procedures. They use it to move from continent to continent in some instances. It would seem that they prefer to "walk" because it consumes less energy. 

There isn't a capital city left on Earth that remains intact, for they have all been purged by the machines. The only way to avoid a direct and horrendously barbaric fate is to stay on the move - but even this is a fool's errand. They are not organic. They can last on our planet for an eternity, if they so desired. They can and will pursue every member of every species on the surface of the world until they have been hunted to extinction. They will wear us down until we beg for them to take us, simply to end the nightmare. They have no human concepts and as such will never show remorse. They are malignly practical in their holocaust as a result of this. 

They are machines. Machines do not just come into existence, they are built. Created. I do not even want to know what the reasoning behind their creation was. I don't want to know the start of it. Perhaps originally they were not meant to be so monstrous, but they became self aware and warped. The concept of "staying alive" is an organic one, but perhaps they feel something like that too. Maybe they feast in the same way anything else does, to preserve themselves. Our eradication could be nothing more than another mealtime to them. If there is some grand purpose behind all of this, and they were built to destroy, then the logic involved is truly incomprehensible. 

Nothing we possessed weapon wise was enough to so much as put a dent in one of these machines - and there are hundreds of thousands of them. Now that civilisation has been largely exterminated - in the course of three days no less - what hope do we possess? Next to no technology - and what there is they quickly render obsolete - no resources, no nothing. 

I hear them, all the time, in the distance. The droning rattles the walls and stirs the winds. The sheer magnitude of their domineering nature is hellish. They will dig us out if we stay here. If we move on, we could go headlong into an inescapable deathtrap. Then again, given their capabilities and purpose, our planet itself is an inescapable deathtrap. They know where we are at all times, they are merely occupied with other processes. When they have completed their gruesome work elsewhere, they will home in on us and grind down our very souls. To look upon the devil's form is to invoke madness, to stand and fight the devil is to alert death that you are ready to shed your mortality, to run from the devil is to delay an inevitable, murderous lust that will see you consumed. 

I looked into its eyes. I knew I shouldn't have, but it was only for a few seconds. It was long enough. Instead of a soul, the machines are instead carriers of a void - a void that we cannot hope to understand or comprehend, a void that they must fill with the festering corpses of our kind, a void that warrants an insatiable yearning to slaughter en-masse. The hunger is their true fuel. The hunger cannot be sated, it cannot be stopped, it will wash over us like a viscous tide of celestial torment. 

I remember the first machine, back in South America. I remember the first droning scream, that hideous mesh of contorted pitches and wailing electrical wrath. It was a signal, a message, a short but simple speech. That was their declaration. That was them informing us that we are to be purged in a tomb of celestial anguish, wrought from soaring flames and godless metal.

I have watched people stagnate in so many ways. I have seen intelligence dim, I have since human beings revert back to animalistic tendencies - the direct effect of the mind sapping machines - and I have seen people succumb to the utter horror that storms our world. People break long, long before the satanic vessels take them away. To look into the eyes of a human being when the droning is in earshot is to gaze upon the end of time itself.

I can't do this. I won't do this. Whatever I do, my body will be stuffed into one of those machines. I refuse. I refuse! I cannot stop the march of cosmic murder but I can defy it. I took a grenade from the last army depot we scavenged. Useless against them, of course, but I will make sure there is nothing left to utilise from me.

I would pray to God, but after seeing what I have seen, I am certain that there is no God.

 


Submitted: June 06, 2015

© Copyright 2021 LongDeadHerald. All rights reserved.

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Comments

berktree

There are a lot of alien invasion stories and movies out there, but this was refreshingly unique. I especially enjoyed the explaining of the invaders, as it truly lent more to the story. You did a wonderful job of creating suspense and I wish there was a sequel to this, as I am eager for more. Fantastic job!
-Berkley

Sun, June 7th, 2015 3:10am

Author
Reply

Thank you, I appreciate you pointing out what you liked.

Sat, June 13th, 2015 2:51am

hullabaloo22

Great story with some really good imagery. The way the people started to disappear, then the animals; the way no weapons could touch these things - I loved all these things but the best bit to me was the insatiable endless void that could never be filled.

Wed, April 13th, 2016 8:27pm

Katerina Kaya

Goodness, I'm getting some serious Matrix/H.G.Wells vibes here! What a piece, it feels like reading (or watching) War of the Worlds again. I love (and hate at the same time) how hopeless it all seems, there is no escaping the hungry machines. It's frustrating to know there is no hope, as you paint it so vividly. Great description, just great!

Fri, September 10th, 2021 9:06pm

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