"On the ground and scoping the scene, Fly," says Mohawk. "Stand by."
She hunkers down on the roof, her eyes making soft zip-zip-zipping sounds as they zoom in on the street below. It’s green, covered by a carpet of mold at least a foot thick.
She checks her clean-field’s integrity, is pleased to see it’s still holding. The last thing she wants is to suck in a lungful of mold-spores and get drawn into the spore-mind.
"Fly, things look quiet. No reaction. Update?"
Twelve miles up, Fly is circling the site in lazy loops. He’s strapped into an air-rig, plugged into the wave, surfing data from a thousand nano-tech sprites.
"We got a pea-souper in the works," says Fly. "Breach is imminent."
Mohawk grins with anticipation. "What do I do?"
"What you were born to do," says Fly.
She can hear the grin in his voice and responds, smiling so hard her face hurts.
Dumping her pack, Mohawk pulls it open and takes out the egg. That’s what they call it, ‘cause that’s what it looks like. A big silver goose egg. It’s light and cold, even through her gloves. Gripping the upper and lower halves of the spheroid, she twists.
"Scrambling," says Mohawk.
In her hand, the egg is getting warm. She tosses it from hand to hand.
"How long?" she asks.
"Soon," says Fly.
"This gonna work?" she asks.
"Yeah," says Fly.
"Good." Mohawk smiles and lobs the egg over the side of the building.
It hits the moldy ground with a sizzle. Smoke rises from the street, which starts to undulate and convulse as the mold-mind reacts to the flame.
Mohawk laughs, wishes she’d brought fireworks with her. That would show ‘em!
The mold arrived in a meteorite, a veteran of galactic conquests. It had subjugated whole worlds, devastated entire species, absorbed alien cultures and repurposed them to suit itself. When it landed on Earth, it had expected things to go as usual.
But humans, it seems, were irrational. They lived in an environment that they deliberately poisoned. They bred even though natural resources were growing increasingly scarce. They fought wars with weapons that only advanced their own extinction.
They were a mad, suicidal race and the mold never had a chance.
Humanity carpet-bombed the infected territories with nukes, killing millions of their own people. Then they nuked the surrounding territories, just to be safe.
The mold was lobotomized, traumatized, but not defeated. Not yet. So long as a single spore remained it could rebuild itself. That’s what it had been doing here, on this little island in the Atlantic, growing quietly in cellars and attics until it burst onto the streets and devoured most of the populace. It was determined to win.
Humans, however, were just as determined to wipe it out.
Honestly, the mold was the first real challenge that humanity had ever had and they embraced it. They hated the mold so fervently, in their subterranean cities and satellite colonies, that they practically loved it. It was not a healthy relationship at all; it was obsessive and stalkery.
The war continued and attracted people like Mohawk. She of the tall, gangly build only made more so by the black mohawk she adopted that became her trademark and her call-sign.
She’d grown up in one of the under-cities, a smart girl with a bad attitude and an unhealthy obsession with killing herself.
The army snatched her up and promised to help her achieve her goal in a truly spectacular fashion. They trained and equipped her as a suicide bomber, waited for the right mission to present itself and then happily sent her off with a nuclear egg to kill the enemy.
Mohawk crouched on the roof and watched, grinning, while Fly counted down from ten.
The egg cracked when he was on three, and the world went white.
Around the world, the mold-mind shuddered and writhed in agony as a significant portion of itself was incinerated.
And, not for the first time, the mold wondered what cosmic power it had pissed off to find itself on a planet full of mad bastards?