In the vast silence of the black ocean a distant murmur disturbs aeons’ old sleep. Eyeless eyes seek the source, incensed at this invasion into its hermetic kingdom. A rumble, penetrating the ice-sheet – a ten-kilometre thick door no one had opened, until now. Suddenly a glow appears in the under-ice. A glowing red eye. Brighter and brighter – burning through the black. A seismic scream. The pain makes the ice splinter and, finally, crack – sending a sonic boom echoing across the subterranean ocean. Then, the object breaks through – a red-hot cylinder, penetrating the inviolate depths. Intruders. From its tip shoot a spore-cloud of metallic seeds – each pulsing with inquisitive energy, scattering in every direction. The ice senses the tentacles of curiosity extend from the intruders – sweeping scans of infra-red, radar, mapping laser – sophisticated ears and eyes that leave it feeling exposed. Seen. It can no longer hide.
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