Black Hole Son

“All quite fascinating, Doctor. And the agent will be capable of reforming the world to our specifications?”
“From what we know of this, hm, “atmosphere”, a chain reaction can be started which should, uh, bind all the offending gases into, er, solid compounds, leaving the planet much more suitable for, ah, habitation. And releasing a considerable amount of, hm, energy in the process. All native life should be quite thoroughly destroyed, should everything go, hm, go to plan, yes.”
“And if it does not?”
“We’re not, uh, really at all sure. Over the course of the, ah, war, our science has advanced at a, hm, an alarming rate, yes, but the problem is that no one really, hm, really understands things terribly well. We have, uh, theories, yes? But a great number of things could go quite splendidly wrong. We can divorce the consciousness from the, uh, physical body, yes, this we know. Motile consciousness is our new, er, our new toy. We’re really not too keen on the, uh, tinkering aspect, you see. We’d rather that happened, uh, somewhere far away, yes. At worst we lose the planet but retain the, uh, the killing. Are we still quite firm on the killing?”
“They have a planet, Doctor. Our people can finally have space to live. They can be allowed children, Doctor, more than one. And there is the yellow sun.”
“Yes, but, uh...” “We have no space, Doctor, and precious little food. Mass riots are perhaps days away. We must fill those colony ships if we are to have any chance of survival. Will our fleet be able to keep pace with your...package?”
“Not quite. He paves the way for us, you see. The new ships were designed to take advantage of the, hm, unique quantum effects we have managed to engineer. It was deemed best not to risk further matter compression, as the delay in the fleet’s arrival should be, er, rather trivial. Yes.”
“Very good, Doctor. I shall await your report. You have my full authorisation to enter the final phase of the operation to reclaim our destiny.”
The Doctor swung his eyestalks towards the red light streaming through the window far above, and shook his head.
“Tomorrow, then. Tomorrow we can begin the, uh, procedure.” He sighed, and turned to watch the retreating figure of his project supervisor slither through the doorway.
“Times are gone for honest men,” muttered the Doctor. But he was quite alone.

You can find the complete version of Black Hole Son in issue 52 of TBD.

Stuart Crawford