Survivor's Guilt - Page 5

“Look,” I sighed. “I know what you're doing, and I appreciate it, but I've had plenty of time staring at the ceiling and using bed pans to think about what even my limited freedom means to me, so let me make this easier on you.” I started ticking the list off on my fingers. “No, we weren't fleeing the urban areas. We'd been out for three days before the news even broke, and we hadn't bothered to turn on the radio. We didn't even know about the . . .” My voice caught again, and this time it didn't unstick.

“The Vishnu device,” she supplied, gauging my reaction like it was a test.

“Yes,” I hissed. “The damn 'I am become death, the destroyer of worlds' interstellar world killer itself!”

I hated that name, and I hated that quote even more.

But not as much as I hated that damn machine.

Nobody knew who made it, where it came from, or why it picked Earth. No one was even sure if it was a weapon, a mining device or what, and had even less idea if it had been sent at Earth deliberately or if the human race was simply in its way. It had just appeared outside our Solar System one day and made a beeline for us, and if anybody was on board, they were well hidden and not interested in answering their phone, because every government on Earth with the capability tried to get ahold of them.

Preparing for the worst, world defenses scrambled, the super heroes were called, and Justice International took front line on the defense as they usually did. They gave it every chance except letting it get off the first shot, because no matter what culture sent it, nobody considers aiming a giant cannon with enough power to liquify the planet's crust as a friendly “Howdy,” particularly when the cannon's aiming at Shanghai. It was a hard battle, but Earth was saved, and casualties were . . . “minimal.”


Page 5

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