Friday, 27 February 2015

The Infestation — Part 3

Preamble: This the third chapter of a serialized science-fiction short story concerning animal control and an exterminator. (Previously: Chapter 1 and Chapter 2)

by Cheeseburger Brown

Chapter 3.

The general's hand-picked team boarded a gate and transited together. My palette of pest control devices hovered cheek by jowl with military palettes bristling with ordnance delivery hardware. When the gate irised open we stepped out in sequence according to rank. I was the last.

I looked into the night sky. The stars were weird. We were very, very far from the core systems.

"Is this the infested world?" I asked.

The general shook her helmet. "No. This is a staging area. They sabotaged our gate on the target planet."

The sun was up but the sky was black. The atmosphere was thin and tasted metallic. A gas giant was rising from the horizon, whorled stripes of rusty brown and sulphur yellow. It was, in its way, striking. There was beauty here amid the duty.

The soldiers had equipped themselves for action, field armour bristling with the traditional spiked phalluses and red blinky lights of their caste. Now they worked together to assemble a skiff from a kit. "We'll have to jump planets," the general explained. "Everybody get ready to hold your breath."

She pointed out a blue-green sparkle in the ink sky.

"That's where the bastards are."

Dutifully we all looked skyward. There it was, a whole planet roiling with meat. The skeletons in humanity's collective closet, rattling their bones and shrieking for their own inscrutable kind of justice.

In a zoo, I could appreciate the reverence.

But in the wild?



Sheik Yerbouti said...

You've got me on the edge of my seat. Shades of Felix but something much darker seems poised to reveal itself.

pso said...

"There was beauty here amid the duty."

nice :)


My current theory is that the sentient beings we have encountered so far are inorganic life forms (aka. "robots"), and the infestation is a resurgence of organic humans.

SaintPeter said...

pso - That my my thought as well. Dunno, though, you can never tell with CBB.

For some reason I was imagining all of the generals standing around in Gilbert and Sullivan-eque turn of the last century military garb. Lots of medals, gold trim, and tall hats.