by Sarah G Williams

The Banshee scream of the alert broke the peaceful silence in the control tower. Speakers bouncing the piercing sound off the walls in the executive office. The General snorted awake and glanced sleepily around his lavish surroundings with annoyance. He snarled, smashing his palm on the communication button on the right of his massive desk. He prodded an additional button and activated the speakerphone, screaming "Report!"

"The natives have escaped again." A high squeaking voice proclaimed.

"I told you last time, to make sure we locked them all in tight, or the least try something different to motivate them to stay." The Generals voice growled dangerously low.

"We tried General; we punished all those left behind. We starved them, whipped them, threatened their wives and children, but the POIPís wonít stop trying."

"Donít tell me you admire them?" The General said, detecting an odd note in the officerís voice.

"No no Sir." The voice stammered, confidence waving. "Like our holy book says; they are inferior; they have no common goals; they canít even work out Godís real name. They deserve to be slaves."

"Iím glad youíre still on our side officer." The General barked. "Now find them before they escape over the fence again."

"Yes Sir." He yelped back.

The General slumped in his comfortable chair. It squealed in protest as he spun his heavy weight back and forth, genourous jowls wobbling with laughter. He remembered the days of shaking in his boots for his superiors. Heck, he still did that, just with less, but more important people. His chuckling stopped as he came back to the matter at hand.

"Yet another escape?" He muttered disbelievingly. It was getting ridiculous, escape attempts were becoming a habit for the People Of Indigenousness Persuasion. For such a race that did menial labour so well, they were slow to learn reality. They were enslaved because they were too weak to win the war.

He would need to find a more effective method of discouraging their escape attempts, or at this rate his workforce would slowly decline and so would his delivery quota. He always thought clearer after a power nap, so he snoozed for a little while, drool dripping down his chin and splashing on his uniform.

"Sir!" A panicked voice yelled over the comm. "Theyíre in the Solar Thermo Reactor Core!"

"What?" The General exploded from his chair and looked through the window to the sprawling complex, with all the white domes that were chained by walkways and buildings to the smoking reactor stacks. "Why arenít they running for the fences like every other time?" he yelled shrilly.

"Theyíre gonna blow it, they have a bomb!"

"Fools!" He said. "The reaction will kill everyone in the compound except... The prison camp protected by the mountain. Damn!"

The Comm fizzled out into silence at the same time the reactor exploded. The General watched as the reaction rumbled up the walkways, staccato blasts punctuating each domeís destruction and shaking the control tower building walls. The explosion ate its way on, closing in on the tower. Cries of surprise echoed in his bulbous hind brain as each of his soldierís life sparks were subdued, their consciousness transmitting like shooting stars into the sky.

The General folded his green and sore encrusted hands across his chest, and turned away from the window, the explosions almost on him. "Damn humans." He hissed. The loss of this many cloning pods was going to be difficult to explain to his superiors, but on the bright-side, he thought, pulling a fold of skin away from his body, his current body was falling to bits.

His consciousness burst up as he died and floated briefly over the fiery landscape before heading out to space. His last thought was that he hoped the transmission to the father-ship, and the morph with the new body would be less painful then last time.

Copyright © 2007 Sarah G Williams.
First published in our Infinitas Newsletter, January 2007 .

This page last updated 16th September 2008.