[ Contents | Table of Contents | Prologue | Chapter 1 ]

Deceiver's Legacy

By Dragoness Eclectic



At the edge of the Solar System, a tiny spherical ship hurtled through space. Its occupant, a not-quite-human boy named Perejil, slept deep in hibernation, deep in nightmares of metal monsters and flaming death. Perejil's tail twitched spasmodically and wrapped itself tighter around his thin, huddled body as the dreams shifted again...

Millions of miles away, a squat black wedge of metal sped in swift pursuit; slowly, almost imperceptibly, the black wedge gained on the tiny pod. It had been a very long chase--from the black wedge's home all the way to the tiny pod's programmed destination. Circuitry hummed with electricity as it calculated; the black ship and its master would not catch the tiny pod until it landed.

Light-years away, the rest of the fleet followed. The intelligences commanding the dull black cylinders neither knew nor cared how the chase fared; their task was only to follow, homing in on the beacon carried by the master's ship.

* * *

After months of pursuit, the black ship crept ever closer to the tiny space pod, and its computers began to calculate the vectors needed to target and destroy the tiny sphere. The black wedge's weapons were formidable, but very short ranged; it could annihilate cities from orbit, but reaching across half a solar system was far beyond it.

The black wedge's computers miscalculated; even as they converged on a final solution, the tiny pod decelerated abruptly. It was not evading--it was only slowing down to orbit about its target planet and enter the atmosphere, but the black ship's computers had neglected to plan for their target's deceleration. Too late, the computers compensated, ordering full reverse thrust to the engines; too late, for the black ship could not decelerate as quickly as the tiny pod. It shot past its target, all solutions void, and could only plot a long deceleration loop that would bring it back to the planet and the tiny pod a good five minutes after it had started re-entry.

If it fired on the pod then, it would be attacking the planet as well. The black ship's computers hit a barrier; the rest of the fleet had not arrived, and the mission plan required the entire fleet to attack the planet itself; the black ship was not to attack alone. The mission plan also required the pod's occupant to be destroyed before it could find allies. The computers concluded that they could not decide; the master must decide.

"Land. We will catch him on the ground, before he can find the others," the master commanded.

* * *


[ Contents | Table of Contents | Prologue | Chapter 1 ]

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Copyright 2002-2005 by Dragoness Eclectic