The Sinkhole Inquiline

Machine generated sinkhole

“One should not intervene, it simply isn’t ethical, that has always been my position”.

“With all respect Dr Linn, it’s a little too late for that argument now. We have intervened, so why stop at this point, when things are so critical?”

“I wasn’t informed of these interventions and would never have sanctioned them – I think you all know my stance, it’s long held. So what exactly have you done?”

“A couple of quite big volcanic eruptions, two tsunamis, the Fukushima incident, a hand-full of Earthquakes, a bit of meteorological tweaking here and there, hardly anything really.”

“That’s not my idea of hardly anything, as cryptozoologists, or indeed custodians of pseudo-cryptids, we have a code of conduct. But Dr Pym is right, the code was discarded by you long ago when you instigated that Krakatoa business”.

“You are correct in thinking I take a somewhat radical stance, the reality is one of mutualism, and coevolution, to talk of intervention is contrived, the minute you start observing a species you are creating a type of commensalism, we share a table with them as it were”.

“Oh not observer participation! That tired old chestnut, I thought we’d all moved on from relativism”.

“We seem to be veering away from the agenda Dr – our goal tonight is to establish the facts and either take action or not”.

“Majia is right – did someone say there was a stream for us to view?”

“Correct – I’ll start it now, are your consoles all working?”

“Where is it?”

“In the arm of your chair Doctor”

“So here we have a dramatic scene – the humans are describing it as a ‘sinkhole’, they believe it’s a consequence of C02 in the water table”.

“So naive aren’t they”

“Well there has always been a certain amount of wishful thinking in their science, we know that”.

“So that’s limestone and salt rock collapsing in Louisiana?”

“It’s enormous”.

“Yes, really terrific”.

“And it’s definitely a parasite?”

“Without a doubt”.

“How many causalities so far?”

“A handful – golfers and bulldozer drivers mainly, but it’s getting much greedier. This latest incident was of enormous proportions, engulfing large chunks of Louisiana woodland. As you can see the footage is horrifying, great swathes of forest, including some very large trees sucked into oblivion within seconds. An effortless effacement”.

“And they really suspect nothing?”

“As I said, they blame it on C02, cave systems with shallow roofs, leaking sewers etc. The Southern US has been very badly hit. They blame it on leaking drains and over watered golf courses, obviously the overwatering helps, it’s the parasite’s best friend, it loves a well groomed golf course”.

“So how much of a threat is it?”

“We have measured significantly decreasing surface mass and decreasing gravity across the Southern US states, it’s growing daily, the projections are total collapse within 300 days”.

“Our days or theirs?”




‘And how important is this species?”

“Very – it’s an inquiline, a lodger in the Earth if you like”.

“I know what an inquiline is!”

“Sorry, I know you know, of course you do Doctor”.

“Stop spluttering and finish what you were saying”.

“It’s also interesting because it manifests partly pure two-sex propagation, and partly pure parthenogenesis, an interesting cycle of alternate generations occurs, we believe it’s currently in a parthenogenetic cycle – so no need for a”

“A male – yes I do know what parthenogenesis means”

“Yes, sorry, so it’s significant because it differentiates the various generations primarily in their appearance but also in the morphology of the planet galls they induce. So basically the Earth is a planet gall, a hypertrophy’

“A neoplasm. Well that is interesting”.

“Yes indeed”.

“So what intervention are you suggesting?”

“Well eventually even the humans will cotton on that these aren’t sinkholes but a giant parasite awakening. They’ll probably use nuclear weapons, or firebombs, and theres’s a slim chance they’ll kill it”.

“Oh dear”.


“So you think we should..?”

“Protect it obviously. This is a unique species, we’ve never seen an inquiline on this scale before, we can’t allow the human race, which is quite frankly becoming quite a nuisance, we can’t allow them to wipe out yet another species”.

“No, I see your point”.

“So we propose poisoning the humans – a flu of some sort should do it, bird flu is the best candidate, it wont effect the inquiline, we’re pretty sure”.

“Well, seeing as you make such a persuasive argument I say let’s put it to the vote. Hands up if you oppose the action……anyone?…No? There we have it – go ahead, but don’t let this form a dangerous precedent, we have a code of practice for a reason”.

“Yes Doctor, and thank you. This will definitely be a one off”.

“I think we can call it a night then. I’m famished, but I don’t think I could eat a whole planet!”

“Very funny Doctor Linn”.

“Yes, it is rather, an inquiline the size of a planet, goodness me”.

Published by Rejected Short Stories

"Now I have restored some of my words that I want to tell people what it feels like to go through such an experience- the contents right flushed out of your brain. What it's like a whole load of other people's stuff pumped into it. Most of what they put in my mind was bank account numbers and bioinformatics data flows rearrange forever. A swirl of unstable figures, flows through me in all directions, such as rats and fleas self-replicating and voracious attacks of my brain, only animals was not, it was language."

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