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Cet was pleased to see its lies were believed. The humanoid’s misapprehension – that Cet merely wished to leave the environmental suit – worked well for it. Probability was high that it would be granted privacy while in here, another human custom it could exploit.

The fluid was not ideal,and the likely reaction with Cet’s toxins would be explosive. The risk could be mitigated so long as the venom was retained in safe florides. It would need to supply further objects for the young to hide within if they were to reach maturity without the humanoid’s knowledge.

Carefully selected genetic memory transfer should ensure the juveniles, once seperated, knew enough to stay concealed. Cet merely needed to ensure it was undisturbed for three weeks to complete budding and seperation. Four Cull were an army, eight Cull were a fleet. At the predicted slow doubling rate that would take two months to obtain.

Regrettably the humanoid would not provide that time. Deception must be employed. Its confession of weakness might inspire her to locate radioactive materials – or not complain when it stockpiled them. If it was to replicate then the juveniles would need their own resources and environmental suits. There were often castles and features in a fish tank; it was possible Susan could be gulled into believing Cet’s own species required similar. That would give the juveniles somewhere to stay undetected until Cet had built suitable weaponry.

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