Humans tend to seek truth. Or at last, that is what we like to tell ourselves. Fact is, we would like the truth to be something so simple we can understand it with our ape brains without despairing and without losing our fragile minds.
– From The Skulkers in the Void, by Amoxtli.
“Aliens?” The question escaped Martin before he could suppress it.
“Possibly, though their genetic makeup and certain statements they made under enhanced interrogation indicate a terrestrial origin. They claim to be the latest tools of the gods, created to shepherd and form life. Though some of their testimony bears the stain of religious fanatism and is too fantastic to be taken wholly seriously. They likely forgot or obfuscated the line between their history and mythology.”
Martin would have to digest that. “What is it they do?”
Gutiéres hesitated but then continued to speak. “As far as we can tell, they conduct a genetic manipulation and eugenics programme on the human race, to an unknown end. One of their last subjects was Sophia Amoxtli. What is your connection to her?”
Martin suddenly felt sick with the revelation and the implication it held for him. “I’m …I am her son.” Scantly after he had spoken, two of the agents exchanged a look. One of them produced a strange device and pricked Martin with it. “Hey!” Agent Gutiéres seemed as perplexed as Martin. “What is this? What did you do?”
The agent ignored the question and showed the display to the others. One of them hissed, under his breath. Martin understood it to mean “Praised be the gods.”
With that several of the agents drew their sidearms and began executing the others. Gutiéres threw himself protectively over Martin and returned fire. The agent who had stuck Martin with the strange device changed, his face taking on the bestial quality Martin had witnessed before. He pressed a button on the device and spoke: “Our prayers have been answered. He is here with me. Home in on my position. Praised be the gods.”
Gutiéres fired, and his gun ran dry, the sled coming to rest in reclined position. But the others, now that the resistance had ceased, seemed to ignore Martin and Gutiéres, seemingly deep in prayer.
The light in the room seemed to bend around the one with the device. Then the winds started, as though one had created a void inside the building. With a scream of extasy and pain, the snake thing agent was ripped to shreds and disappeared in the growing anomaly. Martin felt himself gently lifted and saw –felt – his own form twist into a gaping vortex of light and matter. The forces around him ripped off his clothes, and he could feel titanic forces batter his fragile form. But there was no pain, and while he and Gutiéres seemed to twist and bend without breaking, the others were ripped asunder. With a sudden feeling of speed and movement in several directions, some of which do not exist in three-dimensional space, he felt the somehow familiar sensation of being moved somewhere else.
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