Friday, October 8, 2010

Part 25, Chapter 5 - I Suppose This is the Turning Point

The Gray Man tagged along with the bulk of the aliens to assault Singapore, where he hung back and wondered at what cheap defensive weapons the Psychlos used, and why there's no orbital weapon batteries, which is something I'd overlooked. He puts all the incompetence down to the Intergalactic Mining Company's pursuit of profit over all else, though in fairness the humans are kicking tail with these budget weapons. Not that it's much of an accomplishment, given these aliens, but still.

TGM also notices something that all the distinguished military commanders of the other races have missed - there's no teleportation rig at Singapore. While there's something that looks like a console (it's a burnt-out spare), the fact that there's weapons fire and aircraft operating nearby means that there's no way anything can be teleported from the site. This doesn't stop the invaders from enthusiastically blowing up everything they can, and The Gray Man tsks-tsks and wonders why the military would level an undefended city that might contain the very loot they covet. Because we all know the military only exists to pillage and revel in destruction, and is incapable of grasping a more complicated objective than "kill stuff," right?

While the other aliens blow up the crumbling ruins of Singapore, The Gray Man goes on a tour. He arrives in Russia just in time to see five hundred Hawvin marines blunder into a minefield before getting strafed by aircraft. The American minesite is abandoned, still burning, and irradiated. Edinburgh is burning both from bombs and from the wreckage of bombers falling onto it. But nowhere is the teleportation trace that The Gray Man is searching for.

After chastising himself for feeling worried about that Scottish biddy who gave him something for his stomach, TGM takes a nap. When he wakes up he realizes that maybe those planes that went to Africa were carrying something of interest. He flies there just in time to see the Capture belly-flop, and while inspecting the area his scanners pick up that teleportation trace. For the first time in all of recorded history, a captured Psychlo teleportation console has fired twice.

The Gray Man, unprofessionally jubilant, sends a radio message in English towards the base, requesting an interview.

The small gray man waited. He hardly dared breathe. An awful lot of things depended upon the reply.

Get ready for some white-hot, pulse-pounding, edge-of-your-seat diplomacy.

Back to Part Twenty-Five, Chapter Four

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