Lundin’s Burn­ing

This back­ward planet would be an easy con­quest…

My Weekly - - Contents - By Jenny Rob­son

Cof­fee Break Tale

Kqarg’s third eye­lid twitched. That only meant one thing: he was de­scend­ing through the strato­sphere of this outer-galaxy, sec­ond-rate planet. With the index fin­ger of his third hand, he flipped the translucer switch. Now his space­craft would be in­vis­i­ble to the Earth­lings be­low. Such strange crea­tures! Kqarg had cap­tured vids from their prim­i­tive cy­ber net­work. Only two of ev­ery­thing! Two arms, two legs, two eyes! Never mind that each spec­i­men seemed to have only one head, which housed one rudi­men­tary brain sys­tem!

No wonder the poor be­ings were so low on the evo­lu­tion­ary scale. This would be the eas­i­est con­quest by far.

Head­ing­fortheir­fi­nan­cial­cen­tre,sir, he thought-ra­dioed his com­man­der back in Space. Com­man­der Szeev had cho­sen Lundin on the Tems River as the op­ti­mum land­ing site.

“A fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal is pop­u­lated by ra­tio­nal be­ings who un­der­stand short­term af­flic­tion can lead to long-term re­wards. They won’t be tainted by that Earth­ling emo­tion they call com­pas­sion,” Com­man­der Szeev had ex­plained.

Kqarg dropped his fall-speed to cruise. The Tems River should ap­pear soon. That was an­other strange as­pect of these Earth­lings and their fee­ble at­tempts at progress. They fi­nally man­aged, af­ter mil­len­nia, to cre­ate a writ­ten lan­guage with set rules – and im­me­di­ately went about break­ing those rules. What pos­sessed them to spell Lundin as Lon­don? And Tems as Thames? No wonder they were such a back­ward species!

Luck­y­forthemwe’ll­be­takingover soon, he thought-phoned Nxushar, his third wife. She was his favourite, the youngest and the pret­ti­est with each of her three faces more beau­ti­ful than the one be­fore. They’ll­be­grate­ful,on­cethey re­cov­er­fromtheini­tial­shock.Oncewe thin­down­theirout-of-con­trolpop­u­la­tion.

ThisLun­din­is­aprime­ex­am­ple, Nxushar.Al­most­nine­mil­lion­spec­i­mens inanareathe­size­ofZythalVal­ley.In­sane!

But as usual, his first wife Aagumph in­ter­rupted, with her usual ridicu­lous phone-com­ments. Why­don’ty­oualljust come­home?Why­goat­tack­ing­be­ingsin oth­er­galax­ies,stick­ingy­ournoseswhere they­don’tbe­long?

Aagumph was the bane of Kqarg’s life. He’d mar­ried her be­fore he was old enough to have more sense, mes­merised by her three mag­nif­i­cent breasts.

And now that she’d joined those ridicu­lous LALLs, home-life was a night­mare! The LALLs were a bunch of fe­males whose motto was Live and Let Live. They stormed around, their legs un­shaven and their three breasts apiece dan­gling free and fright­en­ing, in­ter­fer­ing with the male drive for con­quest.

WhatifthoseEarth­lingsare­hap­pyas the­yare,Hus­band?May­bethey­don’t want­to­have­halftheir­pop­u­la­tion liq­ui­dated.May­bethe­yaren’tin­ter­este­din ac­quiringour­greatsci­en­tifi­cad­vances?

Quickly Kqarg brought his thought-call to an end. He had a job to do, scout­ing a safe land­ing site for the fleet. The last thing he needed was mind-dis­tor­tion from an an­noy­ing wife.

He shook his three heads to clear them and fo­cus on the job at hand. And yes, there just be­low him was Lundin. He could see the snaking river flanked by its rather unim­pos­ing build­ings. He could see the great wheel at the wa­ter’s edge which the Lun­dinites called, for some strange rea­son, The Eye.

What was its pur­pose? Some kind of hy­dro-power ma­chine? But some­thing was wrong! Some­thing was very wrong!

Kqarg rubbed his fifth eye. This wasn’t what he ex­pected. This wasn’t the way a ra­tio­nal fi­nan­cial cap­i­tal should look. No! Vi­o­lent ex­plo­sions were go­ing off all over the city, fill­ing the air with smoke that fogged up his screen, turn­ing the river a fear­some red. And there were great fires burn­ing in ran­dom open spa­ces.

Kqarg turned his throt­tle to slow for a bet­ter view. It seemed… could it pos­si­bly be? Yes, there ap­peared to be an Earth­ling body burn­ing atop many of the fires. Two arms, two legs, one head! And around the fires, other Earth­lings had gath­ered, laugh­ing as the bod­ies burned.

What kind of vi­cious sav­agery was this? Where was the Earth­ling com­pas­sion Com­man­der Szeev had dis­cussed?

Kqarg full-throt­tled back to­wards the strato­sphere.

Abort­mis­sion,sir! he thought-ra­dioed. This­plan­etis­toodan­ger­ous.Itis in­hab­it­ed­by­mind­lessvi­o­lent­brutes.

Then he be­gan his thought-re­port, log­ging in the ap­pro­pri­ate Earth-date.


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