Author : Serban Danciu

“You know Carmen, it is as if you had lost your soul since you became a Macro operator.”

“Is that so?” Replied Carmen bursting into laughter. “My dear, let me tell you something: I DON’T give a rat’s ass. Do you understand? You don’t? All right. When you’ll start pushing the buttons you will surely do.” The woman turned and grabbed the microphone:

“Gabriel, be a sport and open the gates for the Black Velvet. Let’s fry them a bit.”

“Roger that, initializing Velvet activation protocol.” Replied the weapons’ officer of the second deck.

She then turned and looked through the exterior window of the control room. As a red fog, milions of deaf phoenixes were floating in the space between the two planets.

“Wait to see them BURN”, growled the older woman as her eyes devilishly sparkled. She then slightly leaned her head and squinted while callibrating the effect field of the weapon. Her wrinkled finger reached for the button and pushed it.

From the second deck of the Mark132-Romulus defence station, thousands of Velvety Bodies sprang forth advancing towards the alien mass like an old theatre curtain.

“B-but why? Why burn them? I mean, they do no harm…they’re just sitting there, floating around”

“Ha! Silly girl, how do YOU know they do no harm to us? How? Do you remember how WE got burned at the First and the Second Contact? The universe doesn’t want us, kid. None of the races, neither Xantellar, nor those from Andromeda, nor anybody! Nobody wants us – remember that. It’s us against them. They hate us…they think we are gross, they think of us as animals, superficial beings… and they never miss an oportunity to make fun of us. All our spies at their congresses and all their intercepted comunications say the same thing.”

“ Yes, true, but phoenixes are not a race in itself, they are just…well…phoenixes…like a natural phenomenon and they’ve done no harm to us YET. They haven’t even been studied throughly enough. Maybe they are good, maybe they are even friendly…”

“Look…I used to be like you at first. You think you can solve everything with peace and harmony around but at some point you will see that the world is nothing like that. It is a dog-eat-dog world where everyone eats whatever and whoever he can in order to survive. Kindness, compassion…these are fairytales.” The lines on her old face curved into an expression full of contempt. NOT EVEN ONCE, that they had shown us any kindness whatsoever, listen to me, NOT EVEN ONCE. So why should WE be the tolerant ones. Screw them…”

She lit herself another cigarette.

In the background, milions of searing phoenixes were screaming their bitter telepathic shouts of desperation but in space nobody ever listens.

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