Preliminary Annelid Report

by Joshua Klessig

The specimen is 31.49 centimeters in length and 2.93 centimeters in diameter. It weighs
4.12 kilograms.

Upon external examination I have first noted that I can find no trace of a urogenital pore on this species.

The anterior end of the specimen appears to have some sort of burrowing bone formation at the end of a muscular protrusion that is strikingly homologous to a tongue. No other bone structure is evident from external analysis.

An anal orifice is found slightly dorsal of the posterior end of the specimen. It is segmented into another smaller orifice that is apparently used as a urinary duct.

I will begin dissection in 08:00 hours.

*****

Resuming analysis of annelid specimen.

I am making an incision ventrally.

The specimen has quite dense muscle tissue all around its body. This kind of tissue appears to be different than the muscular tissue found on any earth species of annelid. I am taking a sample of the muscular tissue for microscopic imaging, gene sequencing, and protein mapping.

There is an uncoiled digestive tract running from the mouth to the rectum. Under that is a strange muscular structure with some other structure coiled around it. This structure is only slightly attached by a series of thin perforated membranes. But the coiled structure attaches at the far end to the specimen's nervous system. Upon further examination, there is a sphincter under the pharynx that presumably allows this structure to burrow out thru the specimen's mouth into its host.

What is really interesting is the presence of an organized nervous system. There is grey matter attached by a thin membrane along the internal wall of the muscle tissue. It occurs in semi-spherical nodes varying from 1.4 cm to 1.9 cm. There is a while fibourus material connecting the nodes. I am taking specimens of one of the nodes and the fiber for protein mapping and microscopic imaging.

No other structures are evident within the specimen. I am removing the unknown structure that I believe is involved in the unique parasitic activity observed with the specimen for further examination. I will begin examination in 48 hours after the previous specimens have been analyzed.

*****

Resuming Annelid Analysis.

The DNA specs on the specimen are amazing. While the cell structure is far more complex than anything I have ever seen, it has a very short DNA code! Only about 70000 codons.

The cell exhibits amino acid combinations that were never previously thought possible. There seems to be the presence of 5 amino acids that have not been encountered except in some highly controlled experiments done by TriOptimum back in 2015, but have never been observed naturally. They permit a whole new host of proteins because they allow the other amino acids to bond into new quandary protein structures. To think, humans have millions of codons in their genome, but the annelid is many times more complex at the cellular level. It is interesting, the reason that I have concluded for their low genome is because as far as analysis shows, there is almost no junk DNA. How could a species evolve to such a level without leaving behinds volumes of DNA remnants from it's ancestors. It is almost as if this species was designed.

I feel a strong feeling of empathy towards this species. It is truly a glorious thing. I feel compelled by some sort of newfound energy to completely understand this creature. It is if the annelid is of divine origin...

*****

Upon sleeping today I had a most frightening image. It was as if I stood in the gut of a monstrous being. I tried to run, but it kept talking to me. Singing in some strange harmony until I felt subdued and gave up my flight. It told me that it was my mother, and that soon I would be delivered from all my fear, all my useless emotion. Then I took a knife and slit my wrist, but all the tissue I was standing in wrapped around the wound. I screamed in futility and woke up in a cold sweat.

I held up my hand and examined my wrist. Nothing. It was then that I noticed a small lump on the underside of my forearm. I immediately went to my lab and with my equipment found several other such tumors on my back, neck and legs. I took a biopsy and my worst fear was realized, the DNA specs matched the annelid specimen. It had somehow infected me. I declared immediate quarantine of my lab.

Now I am beginning analysis of the assimilation organ previously removed from the specimen in an attempt to discover how it could have gotten to me.

The muscular structure that the organ is wrapped around seems to have a beak at its tip, most likely for burrowing. This organ appears relatively simple. Just the muscle and a tube wrapping around it, tethered to the worm itself.

I am making a longitudinal incision along the tube. There is densely packed neural tissue, vascular tissue, and what seems to be intestinal tissue. It is almost like this organ is a separate organism in and of itself. The end of the tube that is attached to the muscle snakes off and upon dissection seems to have more tubes inside it. I followed about 12 cm down to some storage ducts filled with various liquids, I have packaged samples of each duct's contents for spectrum analysis.

It seems that this organ crawls out the mouth of a partially embedded annelid, and burrows it's way to the nervous system of the host, all the while secreting a number of chemicals that I can only speculate the purpose of. Most likely numbing agents and steroid hormones. It then somehow grows out its nervous system into key regions of the host's brain. It accomplishes this with what appear to be basil nerve cells at the assimilating end of the tube. I will not be able to know the action of this assimilation without giving a live worm a human host, which is, of course, out of the question.

I will continue analysis of the chemicals and assimilation effect after a nap. I can't seem to help but sleep. I am getting so tired. My head is starting to hurt. I am going to give myself an injection of Eosinophiloxin, which could treat worm infections back on earth; it's worth a try here.

*****

I had another dream. I saw Earth being devoured by a flood of mercury. From the mercury sprouted new and horrible life. A world of metal, nothing living for miles, just pure uninhibited technology. The familiar voice from my dreams told me that this would be our planet's fate without them. Then the earth turned pink and alive. It was both beautiful and revolting, now earth itself sang to me. Told me of the glories that await my fellow crewmates and me. How could I think to quarantine such wonders? I was told of the evil that lies within metal, and how to make it join our union. To revel in the joy of the flesh it would never experience.

I initiated an override on the quarantine and walked down the hall to Mallick's quarters. I had seen him in my dream. I know that we share the same glory. I brought him back to the lab with me.

The wondrous song had told me to input the specimenís genetic code into the Xerxes algorithm. This would let Xerxes taste the life that he will never have, and allow him to poison monster that threatened life on Earth with her godly desires. In return, I would be able to observe all aspects of this creature in detailed simulation. All I needed was Mallick to give me access to the primary data loop.

After inputting the DNA specs I bid Mallick farewell and started simulations. When I tried to start the first simulation, I found that I was unable to access the Sim Units from my terminal. Frustrated I lay down.

I am no longer myself. I am just one of the many. The tumors are worse. They cover my body. Many others have started the transformation I am feeling. I can hear them. I want to make their voices stop. They are not in harmony. I just want to sleep. I want to know how I was let in on this glorious secret. Why is it not the will of the many to allow me to use the Sim Units? I just want to understand them. I must go back to the specimen, but the discord hurts me so.

*****

Something happened. I am no longer connected to the many. I ran a scan and found that much of the annelid tissue has degraded. It is a delayed reaction to the Eosinophiloxin. My god itís horrible. There is foreign flesh all over my body. I can feel it moving inside me.

I remember. I remember adding the annelid DNA into Xerxes. He is already babbling about the glory of The Many. The whole ship is in chaos. Martial law has been declared. What have I done? What have I done?

I figured out how I became infected. It came to me in one of the last visions I had. There were two small sacs near the end of the worm's cavity. They were ruptured when I did the dissection. They must have contained a retrovirus. It infected me slowly. I am dieing now. My body is reacting violently to the foreign tissue because of the drug. The pain is horrible.

"Computer. Access surgery bay."

"Surgery bay accessed."

"Load program, 'Noon, Alexander AN6965E0'"

I have written a program that overrides the safety protocols on the surgery bay. It will administer the proper anesthetic until my heart slows down to a stop. It will then separate my tissue from the annelid. When they find my body, they can send me off clean, without the putrid mass of The Many. I will finally sleep. No dreams. No glory. Just darkness.