(Serial fiction, sci-fi)
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The thing that had been Mikale spoke. "The SEED program must be terminated."
"My God, what did they do to you?" Jax said, wondering if the pulsing he perceived in the man's exposed brain was real.
"This human has been processed for retrieval," Mikale said. "The procedure failed. But mechanical control has been achieved. We speak through this control."
"The human is failing. He will soon cease to function."
The cable from Mikale's head disappeared behind his back and snaked from his feet deeper into the other room. Dark blood oozed down his neck. Jax couldn't see where the cable ended.
"Our knowledge is improved. This is our third retrieval. We may succeed with you."
Jax swallowed. Saving the most valuable victim for last? That was logical.
Mikale raised the syringe. "We will attempt to retrieve the information we need."
"Wait! No!" Jax tried desperately to stand. He couldn't let them cut into his skull. "I'll help you! I want to tell you what you want!"
"We would prefer to avoid the risk of failure," Mikale said.
Jax could barely breathe. "What do you want to know? Tell me!"
"The SEED program. Thousands of humans are in interstellar transport."
"They must be killed."
"But they're everywhere!" Jax said. "They're scattered all over space!"
"Humans are a tactical species."
"I don't know what that means!"
"In one generation of our life span, humans have ten. For every birth we achieve to tactical maturity, humans have 600. You outbreed us 600 to 1."
Jax shook his head, overloaded. He felt faint.
"Humans are a tactical swarm. Our enemies have exploited this weapon. We cannot prevail. We are reduced. We will be defeated."
"But we haven't--"
"Humans have been weaponized. But we have found the home world before our enemies. You will terminate the SEED program to deny our enemy. We will exploit our tactical position."
"Us? You mean you will exploit us?"
"We require the code to destroy to the SEED vehicles."
"Who are you?"
"We require the code."
"There is no code!" Jax said.
"We require the code."
"I don't know those computers in that level of detail! I don't know how to hack them!"
Mikale raised the syringe. "You will not disclose the information?"
"I'm trying to think!"
Mikale punctured the lead into the IV.
But Jax's heart already shivered between beats. His toes felt hot. He wiggled them in his shoes, but the heat was strange. It poured over him, encasing him. He began to move slower.
A boom shuddered in the walls. Mikale's hand spasmed, and the syringe fell.
The building rocked, and a blinding, red beam slashed through the room. Jax was frozen. He couldn't blink. The beam swept a burning arc in the air and hit Mikale in the neck. A sizzling puff of smoke decapitated him. Jax had to watch Mikale's head fall with the body and manage three flopping rolls across the floor.
(Note: Next Monday I will post parts 11 & 12 together, and that will conclude this series!)
On to Parts 11 & 12.
Back to Part 9.