The Doomsday Conspiracy

Chapter Twenty-One


The streets of Zurich were filled with weird-looking creatures with odd shapes, misshapen giants with large, grotesque bodies and tiny eyes, with skin the colour of boiled fish. They were meat eaters, and she hated the fetid smells they exuded from their bodies. Some of the females wore animal skins, the remains of the creatures they had murdered. She was still stunned by the terrible accident that had taken away the life essence of her companions.
She had been on earth for four cycles of what these beings called luna, and she had not eaten in all that time. She was faint from thirst. The only water she had been able to drink was the fresh rain water in the farmer's trough, and it had not rained since the night she arrived. The other water on earth was undrinkable. She had gone into an alien feeding place, but she had been unable to stand the stench. She had tried to eat their raw vegetables and fruit, but they were tasteless, not like the succulent food at home.
She was called the Graceful One, and she was tall and stately and beautiful, with luminous green eyes. She had adopted the appearance of an Earthling after she left the site of the crash, and she walked through the crowds unnoticed.
She was seated at a table in a hard, uncomfortable chair that had been built for the human body, and she read the minds of the creatures around her.
Two of the beings were seated at a table near her. One was speaking aloud. "It's the chance of a lifetime, Franz! For fifty thousand francs you can get in at the start. You've got fifty thousand francs, haven't you?" She read the loud thoughts in his head. Come on, you swine. I need the commission.
"Sure, but I don't know ..." I'll have to borrow it from my wife.
"Have I ever given you bad investment advice?" Make up your mind.
"It's a lot of money." She'll never give it to me.
"What about the potential? There's a chance to make millions." Say yes.
"All right. I'm in." Maybe I can sell some of her jewellery.
I have him! "You'll never regret it, Franz." He can always take a tax loss.
The Graceful One had no idea what the conversation meant.
At the far end of the restaurant, a man and woman were seated at a table. They were talking in low voices. She stretched her mind to hear them.
"Jesus Christ!" the man said. "How the hell could you get pregnant?" You stupid bitch!
"How do you think I got pregnant?" Your cock did it!
Pregnant was how these beings gestated, procreating clumsily with their genitals, like their animals in the fields.
"What are you going to do about it, Tina?" You've got to get an abortion.
"What do you expect me to do? You said you were going to tell your wife about me." You lying bastard.
"Look, honey, I am, but this is a bad time." I was crazy to ever get involved with you. I should have known you were trouble.
"It's a bad time for me, too, Paul. I don't even think you love me." Please tell me you do.
"Of course I love you. It's just that my wife is going through a rough period right now." I don't intend to lose her.
"I'm going through a rough period right now, too. Don't you understand? I'm having your baby." And you're damn well going to marry me. Water was coming from her eyes.
"Calm down, honey. I tell you, everything is going to be fine. I want the baby as much as you do." I'll have to talk her into an abortion.
At a table next to them, a male creature was seated alone.
They promised me. They said the race was fixed, that I couldn't lose, and like a fool, I turned all my money over to them. I've got to find a way to put it back before the auditors come. I couldn't stand it if they put me in jail. I'll kill myself first. I swear to God, I'll kill myself.
At another table, a male and female were in the middle of a discussion.
"... it's nothing like that. It's just that I've got this beautiful chalet in the mountains and I thought it would be good for you to get away for a weekend and relax." We'll spend a lot of time relaxing in my bed, cherie.
"I don't know, Claude. I've never gone away with a man before." I wonder if he believes that.
"Oui, but this is not a sex thing. I just thought of the chalet because you said you needed a rest. You can think of me as your brother." And we will try some good, old-fashioned incest.
The Graceful One was unaware that the various people were speaking in different languages, for she was able to filter them all through her consciousness and understand what they were saying.
I must find a way to get in touch with the mothership, she thought. She took out the small, hand-held silver coloured transmitter. It was a divided neuro-net system, half of it consisting of living organic material and the other half a metallic compound from another galaxy. The organic material contained thousands of single cells, so that as they died off, others would multiply, keeping the connections constant. Unfortunately, the dilitheum crystal that activated the transmitter had broken off, and was lost. She had tried to communicate with her ship, but the transmitter was useless without it.
She tried to eat another leaf of lettuce but she could no longer stand the stench. She rose and started toward the door. The cashier called out after her, "Just a minute, miss. You haven't paid for your meal."
"I'm sorry. I do not have your medium of exchange."
"You can tell that to the police authorities."
The Graceful One stared into the cashier's eyes, and watched her go limp. She turned and walked out of the feeding place.
I must find the crystal. They are waiting to hear from me. She had to concentrate to focus her senses. But everything seemed blurred and distorted. Without water, she knew she was going to die soon.