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point. It has no idea that the pain and anger it’s reading from me is the agony of separation from my kin. “You think that because you had some distant ancestors on Earth millions of years ago, you can claim—” “Origins are irrelevant. What matters is—” “This is pointless. I am not here to debate with you.” “Then get it over with. Kill me. Cut me open. Catalogue me. Whatever it is you things do.” “I am not here to kill you either... and I am not... a thing.” There is something else in its eyes now. I process and compare the expression with the catalogue still residing in my personal cache. Curiosity? No. Compassion! No. That would mean . . . “Then why are you here?” I study it for a moment. Without The Hive, it is almost impossible to be concise about its condition or its sincerity. “How long have you been imprisoned?” “Long enough to know your kind well. Long enough to know that there is something different about you.” Does it know? Can it smell this all-consuming sense of isolation that makes me so afraid? “Different how?” “Just now. You reacted. You grew angry. And then you seemed”—it shifted, the black tendrils reaching forward—“alone. Not like the other Silicants that study me.” There is a pause. Long enough for me to have second thoughts about what I must do next. “I presume the length of your incarceration means you haven’t heard about the Queen of Death’s new decree?” “The Queen?” It shrinks back. “What is she doing now? Forming new legislation to wipe out another sector? Declaring another Golden Age?” “Of sorts, yes. You and I have something in common now.” “You and I could never—”

Profile for Conjectural Figments

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

Conjectural Figments Feb 2012  

ConFigs, the first issue. Transhumanism. Interview: Simon Morden. Poetry: Jhon Z. Baker, Dale Herring. Short Fiction: Richard Thomas, Simon...

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