|TYC-59: Flying Polyps [F]|
There was no escaping them.
Flying Polyps first appeared in the story The Shadow Out of Time (H.P. Lovecraft, 1935).
Flying Polyps are a species which teleported to Earth, Yaksh, Tond, and one other planet in our solar system around six hundred million years ago from the Ogntlach solar system. Details of this race are sketchy, but they seem to be able to make themselves invisible at will, leave five-toed tracks, and are able to control winds in some way not fully understood.
While on this world, the flying polyps built great basalt towers in which to live. They attempted to expand into the ocean, but the Elder Things fought them off. From then on the polyps confined their activities to land. After a few million years, however, the Great Race of Yith possessed the minds of the conical beings upon which the polyps preyed. The Race struck against the polyps, using lightning guns that played off the species' vulnerability to electricity to drive the creatures beneath the ground. Afterward the Great Race sealed off all but a few of the entrances into the caverns.
The flying polyps did not require light to sense their surroundings, so their imprisonment did not unduly affect them. They built their towers in the vast chambers beneath the ground, and waited for the time for their revenge. Fifty million years ago, the opportunity came. The polyps burst forth from the caverns, destroying the cities of the Great Race with their winds and massacring the Yithians. The Great Race, however, had already projected their minds forward into the future, so the flying polyps were ultimately unsuccessful in their endeavor.
Following their triumph, the polyps returned to their caverns. Since then, this species has supposedly been in decline. In our own time, these creatures are few in number or extremely reluctant to come to the surface, though reports of increased expansion of their caverns have been made. By the time the Great Race takes up residence in the insectoid intelligences of Earth's future, the flying polyps will be extinct.