Author : Rick Tobin

“I need a short break. You,” he directed, pointing to his second. “Move the weapons to the dark side of the planet. We may be able to hold them off there if we can hide the missiles during transit.” The junior officer nodded and began sending orders to the remaining resistance troops.

As the toilet room door sealed, and the Commander moved towards a stall, he sensed someone behind him. Turning swiftly, he confronted an alien humanoid with a dozen limbs, six eyes and glistening blue skin. He stood numbed.

“We know who you are, Commander. This was an opportunity to communicate directly about your destruction.” The intruder’s face did not move. The Commander pushed his hand forward and through the hologram. The alien’s voice filled his head. He could not silence it.

“Damndest choice of locations. You obviously have no sense of honor.”

“Such trifles, Commander, when your world is to be terraformed. It’s all part of the process. Your race simply failed the test.”

“The test! Eight billion people died today. That’s no test, you filthy…”

“Ah, now that’s the spirit, but not for long. We do have one protocol, and that is to let the single resistance leader know why his race is eliminated. I think it wasteful and futile, but it is an ancient tradition. By the way, they didn’t all die. We culled the strongest and most interesting mutations. We have to repopulate the next series of planets as we try to grow improved Clots for our advancement in this sector. Your elite gave a paltry fight. We had hoped for better, still some of the samples we’ve taken will be useful. Eventually we’ll find the warrior DNA strong enough to defend our realm. We all have enemies, Commander.”

“Clots? What the hell? We’ll fight to the last person against your machines.”

“The Clots aren’t machines. They are a reflection of us combined in a half-cyborg and half-clone of the best we continue to harvest and incubate. Still, highly expendable.”

“You will pay, you monster…all of you. I’ll…”
“Do nothing, like so many before you, and like those of you on other orbs in this system. We’ll visit them all soon. Your species simply didn’t advance adequately. So boring. I’ve done my protocol. Oh, and we don’t want your genes either, Commander. They truly lack the majesty we need.” With that the holograph faded.
Disregarding his physical needs, the Commander rushed back to the control center. “Get me Geneva. I need to talk to the Hadron before Europe is exposed to the armada.”

The Junior Officer took charge of the communications array. Turning, as he waited for a reply from Switzerland, he addressed his superior. “Most of them have gone underground to the deep caves. What should I tell those left behind?”

“Just give them the code ‘Hawking.” He knew this was coming two hundred years ago. A single button is all that needs to be activated. Because of his vision we repurposed the Hadron and tied it to ten nuclear power plants. We’re done for, Major, but the outer colonies still have a chance. Let’s see how our betters feel about being beaten by a man in a wheel chair introducing them to a singularity.”

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows