Killgrace and the Alien Threat


"The co-ordinates database is empty. We have no data. Once we have something to work from we can start extrapolating the locations of the universes we are looking for. Until then we are randomly selecting data points, within a very small section of space-time, to build a comparison." Susan’s voice was slightly muffled, but then her head was inside the workings of the Capsule. The Cull’s interruption was more than unwelcome, but the creature was completely oblivious to her attempts to ignore it. At least, once it shed its outer armour for freedom of movement, the translator volume was reduced.

"The location you discovered was extra planetary and existed in a different time stream."

"Yes. We can expect more like that."


"Were the results of the trip not satisfactory?" There was an edge to her voice. She held the wire in her hand, fighting the temptation to rip it out. If she actively sabotaged the capsule the creature would kill her but it be trapped here, here with a civillian population. Unacceptable indeed. Perhaps she should miswire the Capsule, throw the pair of them into the devastated torus. Otherwise how many casualties would there be? How many more deaths like Yemec’s on her conscience?

"It was not an efficient use of resources."

"I believe you obtained several rare materials from the trip."

"No technological advancement was obtained."

"Maybe you shouldn’t have killed the scientist then." Susan hoped she had managed to keep the bitterness out of her voice.

"His death is not your responsibility." She froze, thrown by words she had never expected to hear. It was a leap of logic, but it also showed an understand of emotion she had not expected. If she had been underestimating it, if it could use politics and psychological warfare as well as brute force, then her predictions had been very wrong and the situation could go bad quickly. She recalculated, changing her approach.

"What do you mean?"

"Had we not arrived all on the station would have perished," it stated logically. "I would have permitted that. You did not. I killed Yemec. You did not. Logically you did not cause any additional deaths. You saved twenty-eight lives."

"You are trying to ensure that I take you off-planet again," she said coldly, letting it know she was aware of its blatant attempt at manipulation. An emotional reaction would put her at a disadvantage, even though its unlikely use of ‘I’ drew her attention.

"Afirmative. That does not alter the facts."

"The fact that, when taken off-world, you kill people." It could just as well kill people here instead, she knew, and she expected it to retort with that fact. Instead it paused, the sensor lights moving within the dome.

"One, who was a clear and immediate threat to your survival. It would have been easy to destroy the base. The base survives." Its words were true, but it was the fact the alien was using words, not weapons that threw her. The Cull were murderers, not diplomats. They did not communicate, did not make alliances, did not reason, they just killed. She narrowed her eyes, putting herself in the Cull’s position for the moment.

It wanted to get off world. If it was bargaining, it thought that held the highest probability that method would get it what it wanted. If it was bargaining, that meant it would need to negotiate, which meant making concessions of a sort. She could perhaps get an advantage. Leaning back against the console, for the first time since they arrived back last week, she began to smile.

The End

Comments are closed.

Advertise here
Get Free eBooks daily from