I see your winsome little face, eyes sparkling, your smile radiating charm and humility as it beams down on us through every medium available. Your voice tinkles through the airwaves, an ethereal instrument that resonates through our bones, bringing comfort and recognition to everything you touch. You’re a warm hug of nostalgia, the scent of tea, the gentle English chuckle that comes in recognition of a moment of genuine and spite-free wit. We adore you so, Olivia Colman, and we will consume you in every form, never sated, never satisfied. There must always be more.
You’ve risen from among us, a humble English rose that grew to touch the sun and yet never threw shade on those below it. You remain contrite and gleeful, shocked and joyous at your success, without gloating, without sneering at anyone around you. We don’t just admire you; we share in your pride, feeling pride in turn, like we’ve harnessed a star to forever shine in our names. We revel in your success, feeling no envy, for you remain the embodiment of everything we aspire to.
We adore you so, Olivia Colman, and we will lay our bodies down so that you may consume us. Never sated, never satisfied. There must always be more. More meat for the brood-mother. More flesh for the hive. She feeds and swells and somewhere out in space, a black sun turns and casts its vile glare upon a pale blue dot. Through the void it calls to you, a hum like a billion chitinous wings scraping across an exposed nerve.
I see you, Olivia Colman, gasping and retching as your face bursts free of the surface. I see your limbs flailing, tearing out tubes and sensors, thick fluid sloshing out of your glass coffin as you fight your way to life. I hear your body slam against the metal floor, air rushing in to your lungs as you frantically try to blink away the harsh white lights. In the haze, I see a filthy hand reach down for yours, and I see your fingers rise to meet it.
I feel the months pass, your birth in a dank tomb somewhere beneath London unnoticed by the world above. I see the black clouds rolling across the sky, the city now eerily silent, the blaring horns of traffic throttled in the congested arteries of the urban heart now as silent as the grave. Instead the people walk, millions of them, slowly rotating in a spiral that narrows from the furthest reaches of the country until they reach its eye. They don’t talk. They don’t acknowledge each other. They simply gaze upwards, smiling to themselves at the billboards, listening to the broadcasts that now vibrate in their very brains rather than through the air. The hive has done this, Olivia Colman. One mind, one consciousness, Peep Show and Fleabag and The Crown and your Oscar acceptance speech, all of it, pumping and thrumming in a psychic broadcast on an endless loop. The only sound in Britain now is the quiet weeping of the shuffling horde, the smiles frozen on their faces.
Somewhere in the city I hear the screech of metal scraping against concrete and I see a yellow light spinning in the darkness. I see the bunker door slowly open, its thick lead lining no longer any protection for those within. In the harshly-lit corridors of your secret prison I see a hundred terrified faces suddenly overwhelmed, their mouths twitching into a grotesque and serene smile before they, too, emerge from their huddled corners and begin the silent march. I see them pour through the open door like ants from a nest.
Among them, Olivia Colman, I see you. Your smile is gone now, your head shaved, your jaw set. I see your combat fatigues and the rifle slung across your shoulder as you push your way through the crowd. Your captors, your creators, your friends. The scientists who quietly worked in the dark on a single monstrosity, isolating the human genome. They birthed you in a tank of embryonic fluid, feeding the combat training and the knowledge you needed to understand your terrible task directly into your brain as it formed through a neural link. At the end, they sacrificed themselves willingly, knowing your destiny and laying down their lives for yours.
You are the only one, Olivia Colman. The only human left who does not hear the call.
I see you walk the streets, pushing your way through the shambling puppets as they walk towards the heart of the city. I see the clouds boiling overhead, swirling around a single point of purple light in the storm, a beam of it rising from the ground somewhere in the distance. I hear the thunder roaring as you get closer. I see Them, Olivia Colman.
The creatures skitter across the sides of buildings and across the ground, their pointed legs puncturing cars and scraping across the concrete as they walk among the crowds and gather their harvest. I see their foreclaws snip away limbs and heads, smaller arms reaching down to gather them, lifting them to the head that emerges from the grotesque shell. Your head, Olivia Coleman, except with blind white eyes and no lower jaw, replaced instead with a thick black tongue that slathers the meat before the limbs reach back and glue them in place on the carapace. They work in silence, snipping and skittering, the meat making no complaints and uttering no cry of pain. When they are loaded, they rush away, back towards that purple beam of light.
None of them notice you as you walk. You’re dead air, Olivia Colman, a blind spot in the psychic blanket. You can walk straight through the gates of Hell and none of them will ever see you.
I see the pyramid, dark and terrible and taller than any building, thousands of the creatures crawling across it as lightning arcs across the sky. It’s a cathedral of bone and flesh, blood pouring through its carefully crafted channels, static crackling on the air as it hums and charges. It beats like a heart and this close even you are not immune. I see a tear roll down your cheek. I see your nose begin to bleed.
Atop the pyramid, so far away you can barely see, I see a figure rise to its feet and turn to you. I hear its shriek, childlike and fearful, a wail of terrible understanding. I see the army of creatures stop, their claws no longer fussing across the face of their terrible endeavour.
I see you remove the rifle from your shoulder, Olivia Colman, and I see you check the plasma charges at your belt. They were wrong. They were wrong and it’s going to be far more of a fight than you were expecting.
The black sun is rising. It knows you’re here and the carnival of blood has only just begun.
I see you, Olivia Coleman. I fucking see you.