...She needed to find the earthling named Kirsten. Before her brother did….
The Gran' Dame first thought the loss of power was an accident. Ice-continents regularly broke apart in Jupiter's winds and severed power lines between the core and the Kraals. But when the air emptied out of the force-dome, and the Mediceans appeared in the livery of space armor, she recognized betrayal.
The Gran' Dame smartly activated her diamond shield and, protected behind a banner of excited photons, she moved to escape. Galileans, Minors, and Trojans struggled without gravity. Yet the Gran' Dame was encouraged by a Russian Blue cat inside a plasteel ball.
:::Friends! Friends! This way! That!:::
The Gran' Dame mutualized with the super-feline’s mind, and both floated through the chaos of those terrible minutes when human blood boiled before the explosion of eyeballs and lungs.
::Kitty, kitty, where's Earth's pretty?::
The super-feline looked back, and bared teeth and claws.
::The mad, mad man! From Callistian sands!::
The Gran’ Dame unintentionally projected the Mad Duke of Callisto into the cat's mind. Dread joined the final screams of the soon-to-be-dead, and the meta-female and super-feline exited the Courtyard of Satellites and entered a fourth-wall of star-glass. Jovian storms roiled behind the room’s transparencies, and a procession of bulbed-and-spiked Medicean warships filled the view of outside.
:::Kitty. Stay in the city:::
The Gran’ Dame fired a blast of psyche-fire from her diamond shield and destroyed the star-glass. Cold hydrogen winds sucked her outside into a sky scorched by lightning. She tumbled end over end, until a squatty saucer craft emerged from out of the clouds.
The Martian probe devoured her. Inside, a shaft of light illuminated her aloneness. She felt a wind and rough particles against her cheek. Sand. Her meta-female eyes focused in the dark and identified red dust between her fingers. Old Red Mars.
Lights blew on, each a wall torch. Every one burned bright with volatile gases. The room was circular in deep-sandstorm style.
A pillar of sand rose in the middle, and from its slopes a million baby tarantulas erupted.
-Still hanging out with those terrible cats?-
Aided by the Gran’ Dame’s acceptance of communication, the spiders, already in imitation of human speech, combined into the human shape of her brother. Slender and tall, as her memories recalled his form, he was only a shadow of his mind, sent forth from Mars’ carbon dioxide polar ice fields.
He could still make flesh felt, however.
-Cometta. Too many alien worlds are ready to pounce on our system, should you have succeeded to protect that serpent-initiate witch. Kirsten’s head...well, that’s just the least of your problems.-
Cometta realized that Martian baby spiders could imitate the pain of parthenogenesis and yet be nowhere close to his rebellion. Her brother -- her twin -- was a creature born from the duress of a thousand medical experiments. When she openingly mocked him, she wept for him in secret.
-Are you still in mourning for those terrible Ohioans?-
-Sure. And coming here scratches the itch for revenge. Funny, but this deposed empress, and party, has only succeeded in bringing us together.-
Metacom started to sneeze. Cometta settled into the hope for her brother's own happiness. His nature only recognized revulsion.
-Bless your own ass!-
After each sneeze, the spidery form of his signal began to lose shape. Cometta was the oldest sibling, born hours before the ejection of the placenta named Metacom. And she did know some things about her little brother.
-I forgot. You're allergic to cats. What were you saying?-