by Bill Kowaleski
Creative Destruction is a sequel to the novel Brighter Than the Stars, in which Earthlings meet technologically advanced space aliens. The Cygnians come only to do business, but their schemes to sell fusion-powered generators become contentious and competitive.
Many human and alien characters return from the previous novel, including Jim McDermott and his team, who try to reduce the risk of societal upheaval that the new technologies threaten. Meanwhile, many different groups are either plotting to steal the technical advances for their own purposes or trying to destroy it and drive the Cygnians off of Earth.
|Cast of Characters and Species||Table of Contents|
Part 3: THESIS - TERTIA
Chapter 21: Tertia: Cygnian Sector
Agent Hrilkivil listened quietly, but with growing alarm, as the Cygnian thought conversation nearby grew more and more animated. He’d been placed in the groundskeeping crew of the grazing-space team a fiveday ago to keep tabs on the mood in Tertia’s Cygnian sector. Nearly every Cygnian who lived in or visited the sector came to the grazing ground daily, and, as was the Cygnian manner, they expressed their thoughts most openly and frankly while grazing. With a special device that pulled even directed Cygnian thoughts out of the air, he could listen to a group some distance away while appearing to work.
A large, blue-gray furred Cygnian male wearing a wide, glowing green band around his chubby torso stood on his hind legs in the center of a group of at least fifty males and females, heads down, chewing, but tuned in to his speech.
“Citizens, we know that a delegation of Earth creatures is coming to our planet tomorrow. The Eridaneans have sent many additional police and workers here, such as that groundskeeper over there, in order to be sure that these creatures are safe and get a good impression of our species.
“But why would we want to give these predators a good impression? So that they can eat our children? You all know the story of the Earthling on Cygnus Prime, right in our Altverse Museum, who tried to lure children to him so that he could eat them. What will these dangerous animals do when they arrive here? Do you want to make them happy, or do you want to encourage them to go home?”
It was difficult for Agent Hrilkivil to determine who in the crowd responded to the green-banded Cygnian. “They will spend the night at my hotel. They are paid in advance, good customers, lots of revenue for me. Why do you disparage them? I have a quota to make, and their visit helps me achieve it.”
A confusing cacophony of thoughts erupted, overwhelming Hrilkivil’s listening device. But it was obvious there was much disagreement over whether the Earthlings’ visit was a good thing.
Another Cygnian, a female this time, responded, “All very well for your quota, Innkeeper, but what about our children? Visitors to this sector bring many children to enjoy the amusement parks and the Enclosures History Panorama. I understand the Earthlings will visit there tomorrow, where hundreds of our children will be within their reach. I find this most frightening.”
Again, the eruption of thoughts overwhelmed the listening device. Agent Hrilkivil wandered a little closer as the green-banded male responded. “You must make your own decision about how to deal with these vicious creatures. But if you want to let them know that they are unwelcome, join me and my Green Band comrades in a protest that we will stage when they come to our sector. We intend to follow them wherever they go, disrupt their route, cause them delays, and absolutely — I repeat: absolutely — block their entrance to the Enclosures History Panorama. There are just too many children in that place. We cannot risk it!”
Hrilkivil picked up near unanimity of approval. Some of the younger Cygnian males moved into a tight group a little farther away. While the Eridanean Special Police Agent could not quite receive everything they were communicating, he did pick up clear plans to use force, if necessary, to defend the Enclosures History Panorama.
He put down his tools and walked as quickly as he could without drawing attention to himself to the white, three-meter high grazing commons wall, passed through an entryway, and stood against the wall on the street side of the commons, where he did his best to be inconspicuous. For an Eridanean, this was no easy task: their heads stood two meters above the ground on long necks from which grew two very human-like arms, while their horse-like bodies stood nearly two meters long on four sturdy legs. They looked a little like a centaur to humans, though their faces resembled a lion’s more than a man’s. They were large and imposing, and hard not to notice.
Hrilkivil touched his communicator chip, attached where his neck met his head. In a moment he heard the voice of his Commander.
“Sir, Agent Hrilkivil reporting on an urgent matter.”
“Speak, agent. I see you are outside the Cygnian grazing space.”
“Yes, sir. I have just overheard a most alarming conversation. A member of Green Band is inciting the Cygnians to harass and possibly attack the Earth delegation that arrives tomorrow. They intend to block entrance to the Enclosures History Panorama.”
“That is where a peace and brotherhood ceremony is planned,” the Commander said. “I suppose disrupting something like that would be just the right touch for Green Band. They hate predators, and especially these Earthlings. We’ll need to discuss increasing the size of the security contingent. Thanks for the update, Agent Hrilkivil.”
“Sir, I remind you that the ceremony is in two days, soon after the Earthlings arrive. We will need to rewrite the orders and get all levels of approval. It could take time.”
“Yes, I’ll start the process immediately. Is there anything else?”
“I will continue to monitor, sir. Out.”
Copyright © 2019 by Bill Kowaleski