Horrors from Below

Things end.
That is the one constant of existence. Passions fade, empires fall, ancient groves are consumed, great tomes are forgotten, all things eventually meet their end. Of course that’s nothing to be happy about but then getting upset really is not worth the effort. It’s not like anyone can do something about it. There is no meaning other than that is just the way of things.
Don’t be too distraught though. Your brief moments of life may not have much meaning but it will have purpose. After all, it’s purpose that connects you and me, all the different races actually. We have a purpose, just like your kind, but it often seems to me that my kind have done better at remembering it.
Long ago, when the Kale’kin had need for things to go away, to end, they made something to handle that job so they didn’t have to worry about it. And so the Kloake were made. We got rid of that which has outlived its usefulness. The cast offs. The refuse. The waste. I’d like to think that we were happy back then, but more than likely my ancestors didn’t know any better.
The Kloake home was always down here, in the vast expanses the Kale’kin created underneath their great cities. Our constant toil was to collect the rubbish cast down from the surface. Our acidic secretions could break down just about anything we come across though we do need to keep some of the organic matter for a little while.
Notice your friend over there? He is going to be first for a special purpose. The phosphorescent bulbs growing on that large Kloake next to him are mature and ready to release their spores. Big healthy creatures such as yourselves have plenty of material for our spores to break down and grow into a new Kloake.
What was that? Oh no, we’re not going to do that to all of you. I’m shocked that you would think we would be that careless. No, we just need to use just enough to replace our numbers. After all, overpopulation makes things difficult for everyone in these confined caverns.
Now where was I? Oh yes! As time moved on we noticed that less and less rubbish was being sent to us until finally one day it stopped altogether. Eventually we followed the tunnels to the surface and found the great cities wrecked and abandoned. We were saddened by the end of the Kale’kin, but there is no denying purpose and we knew ours. We melted down all that we could and returned to our place below the surface. We slowly carved out new tunnels and met other Kloake colonies but we never forgot our purpose. Down here in the quiet dark we happily make things end. I even understand that in some places in the world, the shafts still receive castoffs from above though from different people now. But mostly, my people have been forgotten by the surface races.
You have no idea how happy we were when your mine shaft reached our tunnels. For some unfathomable reason you surface races don’t understand the necessity of being reclaimed and frequently resist, so I want you to know I don’t hold all that violence you and your friends used on us against you.
I am sure you noticed how fire likes our fungoid bodies a bit too much. Our spores have an unfortunate habit of exploding in flame. I surmise that is somehow connected to the fact that our bodies wither in the sun though I am not certain. The prevailing thought amongst my people is that particular trait was designed into us when we were created, so we would better focus on our purpose and not just wander about the surface world.
Which is why I’m so grateful for you and your fellow miners. Thanks to your tunnel your village is just a scant few miles away. Easy to get there and back once the sun goes down. This will make the second village I’ve reclaimed in my lifetime and I’m so excited about this chance to fulfill my purpose. I can tell you that we’re going to be quite the envy of my colony when we get back after demolishing the place. We might even get to start sooner if your fellows send a search party to look for you and your friends. But don’t worry yourself with such thoughts.
Now it is time for your end.

 

–Matt Dames