My eyes narrowed as we watched her slowly step down the ramp, a slender creature whose perfect crystalline form shimmered in the hammered gold light of late afternoon.
"She came from the stars, says she fell from grace," an elderly man beside me said in a hoarse whisper. "It's all over the news."
"But why would she chose to land here?" his companion replied, an equally wizened old fellow with a paranoid squint as he watched the graceful creature make her way to the cluster of government and military officials that awaited her at the base of her ship's landing ramp. It, like her, seemed to be carved from living crystal, casting scattered rainbows everywhere like a giant prism as the afternoon light shone through it.
"And what did she do, that she fell out of favor with her people?"
'Good question, old timer,' I silently mused. I would like an answer to that myself. From my vantage point, I could see that she was similar to a human in size and shape, yet her crystal form was perfect, with eyes big like the sun, not a hair out of place. She would easily astonish and mesmerize the simple folk of this place.
Unfortunately it wasn't my job to question. It was to observe and report.
A brush against the com I had built into my jaw bone then I was subvocalizing so the humans around me wouldn't hear.
"Kazor here. I have eyes on the ta'avan fugitive. Mission brief was correct: she's going for glamour and subterfuge. The local species already are, for the most part, being manipulated into thinking she's here to help them," I said in Intergal. If the humans heard me speaking that, they'd know in an instant I wasn't one of them.
"Acknowledged, Kazor," a quiet voice whispered in the same language into my ear. "Hold your position as the target has now been categorized as level 4 and is both volatile and dangerous. We have assets in place to terminate."
Even as I nodded, there was a bright flare of light and, as the crowd around me gasped in surprise and shock, the crystal ship and its lone occupant began melting.
"Target has been neutralized," the whisper returned to say. "Withdraw to your extraction point."
"Acknowledged," I said even as I began to slip away through the crowd. Another mission completed. I could only hope the next one would be as clean and simple. When forced to police the multiverse against rogue elements seeking to twist balance on its ear, clean and simple was always the goal.
After spending nearly a season on this relatively secluded planet, I had learned how to get around without being seen. Which, for an observer like me, was the ultimate goal. 'Never let the locals see you,' was our motto. Reaching my extraction point, I felt my molecules begin to shift as transport began to reach across the dimensional barrier to pull me back to base.
Time to go home.
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Nebulae and Cosmic Filaments - A Second Anthology of SF SD ShortsScience Fiction
From nanopunk and steampunk to space opera and post-apocalyptic, Science Fiction embraces many sub-genres that illustrate the human condition across time and space. This anthology is a collection of short stories that explore a number of those sub...