The place has many names in alien languages, all extinct. But the records concurred in its location on a lifeless rock orbiting a dull red dwarf at the far end of the spiral arm. From orbit, it rises above a proprietary weather system on the plateau. Black towers scythe through layers of boiling cloud.
His lander touches down near a domed outbuilding. The spiny mass of the greater temple rises into a soupy mist like the wreck of a vast sea urchin. Putting on the rebreather kit he leaves the vehicle for the last time.
The ante-chamber. The exterior wall is an oily matrix, that shivers in the eternal wind of the bleak plateau. It opens a uterine mouth ready to receive him.
He feels the ancient nanites scanning suit and body, reading a compatible atmosphere in the chamber beyond…
The chamber, which has been made for him alone, is domed in the dark oily substance, with a clear floor area dominated by an elliptical arrangement of variegated things, larval wet, striate like the shells of new born insects. They are arranged like the pieces of an orchestra, with the crown radiating its coils to the other pieces, and the egg awaiting between the processions of flagellants.
He strips off his atmosphere suit and discards the rebreather; settles his slim, naked body, placing his head under the radius of the crown. The egg will be clasped between his thighs. Here.
The egg squirms warm and wet between his legs. Its tapered point licks the base of his scrotum; its point irising, releasing an oily gold vapour. He smells a warm musk as segmented tentacles clasp the base of his penis and inject into his anus, coiling against tender rectal tissue. He feels the urge to defecate, but that quickly passes.
His penis is engorged and dark, so erect it seems a bladed expression of the alien fabricators. And he can’t stop touching his sides and nipples as he feels the forest of flagellants move closer, wavering like about his upper body; quivering whips exuding silver hooks. For him. All for him.
He feels suffused by milky warmth. He has never wanted to hurt so much as now. To be torn into strips of red meat, so much.
He licks and slides a hand over his glistening penis, changing now …
He feels the burrowers breach his rectal wall, shoot filaments into his colon which burst into the abdominal cavity, sucking up blood and shit and organic waste matter, converting them into new flesh. All of him is waste; food for the Process.
The crown’s feelers grip his neck and break his skull into a ragged smile. Ancient nanoprobes allow the micro-commissures to interface with his thalamus and pre-frontal cortex. Already, the room swims in currents of obsidian and rainbow. He can see the burrowers swim through him in waves like subcutaneous eels. He feels like magma, a flow that obliterates him and pulls the world inside. A metachronal wave runs through the cilia of the flagellants and his body bleeds through the new wound orifices that crown his nipples and tattoo his chest and sides. His heart, now huge, has become a perfumed bludgeon against his ribs, pushing the veined spire of the inseminator out from the tangled spores of his groin into a buttress whose bow-tip approaches his eager mouth.
Now he sucks its crenelated tip, suffused and insatiable as the flagellants hook the puckering eager wounds. He is just the delicious vector for what grows within, its coils, dark and raptured with poisons. His once-penis drills into his throat, gagging – though he no more need for breath – as his body arches in need, opening as the flagellants tear skin from skin, bleeding out the god within.