Thursday, November 4, 2010

Part 28, Chapter 2 - Planning a Future Conversation

Jonnie's mountaineering huntsman instincts light up, and he spins around to see two of the Small Gray Men in the room with them. Well, his instincts had been warning him for fifteen seconds before he actually looked over his shoulder, so maybe "spun about" is the wrong way to put it.

The Grays explain that they knew about Psychlo's fate weeks after the bombs went off, and that there are no Psychlos left anywhere - they big morons stored all their breathe-gas next to the transshipment rigs, and built their quarters next door so they wouldn't have to walk far. The Grays once again confirm that the Psychlo empire lacks the infrastructure and communications network to function, and that the other Psychlo planets only learned something happened to their homeworld when they tried to teleport there.

So the Psychlo executives are gone (apparently that mining company is interchangeable with the Psychlo civilization), no Psychlo engineers have built a new teleportation console, and the aliens' breathe-gas supplies would have run out six months ago. Presumably the only reason the Earth-bound Psychlos' supplies have lasted this long is because of all the aliens Jonnie killed.

Psychlo was the only planet known to produce breathe-gas (in sixteen universes), but the Grays reveal there is another that was stricken from the Psychlos' records: Fobia, a... huh. Phobia. Hubbard's paranoia strikes again. Anyway, Fobia is the only other planet in the Psychlos' home system, a world so distant that "you can't even see it from the home planet with an unaided eye." How impressive. Fobia is a cold world with frozen lakes of liquid breathe-gas, and a little dome where the Psychlos exiled King Hak 261,000 years ago, before getting scared and assassinating him anyway. And no, don't expect an explanation about who King Hak was, why he was exiled, and what form of government the Psychlos had before Jonnie asploded them.

The Grey Men mention the humans' teleportation console, and suggest that they have "A talk about having a serious talk." Jonnie suggests that the the Grays join him for dinner in half an hour, and the aliens assure him that they can eat anything.

Now maybe he'd find out the threat that these two posed. He wasn't imagining it. These two were dangerous!

During the Grays' exposition, there's lots of little moments where the senior alien subtly hushes the junior Gray for saying too much. And once again, Jonnie doesn't ask them their names. There's just "the original one" and "the newest one."

Back to Chapter One

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