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All is Edible

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has probed the heavens for omens of good or ill. Had we known what lurked among the stars, we might have kept our eyes on the ground. Five years ago, astronomers discovered a new celestial body—a six-tailed, golden-hued comet streaking into Earth’s solar system. The trajectory of the comet put it on course to pass within 67 million miles of Earth in the early 21st century. This presented a unique opportunity for scientists to launch an intercept probe and study the most elusive of celestial wanderers. One year after the comet’s initial discovery, the Harbinger Comet Explorer was launched, successfully intercepting the comet eight months later. The probe transmitted less than three seconds of video before contact was lost. Though the images were indistinct and awash in light, more than a few observers claimed to see in them a shape that resembled a giant eye. Within hours of contact with the probe, the comet appeared to change course—intelligently. Its new trajectory would intercept Earth in less than five months. The defense forces of every major nation worked feverishly to move the comet off this course with a barrage of nuclear warheads, but to no avail. Four hundred thousand miles from Earth, the comet split into six separate fragments that crashed down at equidistant points on the globe. Earthquakes and tsunamis shook the planet, and a sizable portion of Chicago disappeared forever in a massive crater that has since altered the contours of Lake Michigan. The Planet Eaters were here. From the devastation caused by the impacts emerged six gargantuan and ravenous creatures and a host of lesser minions. These space-born terrors of impenetrable flesh and glistening metal stormed the landscape and devoured all but the very ground they walked upon. With no apparent purpose other than to consume everything in their path, the alien horrors continue to raze cities and repel every military force that dares stand before them. Humanity’s only peace comes when these creatures seem to have had their fill for a time and burrow deep beneath the Earth’s surface for a brief hibernation. Such respite brings little solace, however, for the beasts always return hungrier than before.