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There simply wasn’t enough entertainment the last two days to keep Tulson sated.

The initial hunt was fulfilling, the rush of locating the hit, the intoxicating thoughts of new ways to lay waste. For some targets, a simple aerial strike sufficed. For others, something more deeply intimate and drawn out. But days of carnage later and Tulson grew impatient. None of these Parkers were the desired target, and no matter how creatively each perished, the real target didn’t present itself. Why?

Where was he? Where was he keeping Veera, the child? What was he to them?

“Planet authorities inbound,” the onboard slicer said, her eyes on the console as her fingers worked the holokeyboard. “Should we engage?”

“No, they’re boring,” Tulson growled, already departing the bridge. “Find a place to park. One of their moon’s craters or something. Don’t care. Find it, park it, don’t bother me about it, don’t fucking care about the details,” the last words were a warning snarl.

Slamming the door, Tulson stood briefly in the dark, fuming. Unbolted furniture rattled in place from the angry waves emanating through the room. They didn’t cease as Tulson sat down, extending that wave outward, feeling, listening, sensing.


Little girl, Tulson called, searching for the presence of the child. So easy to find before, now so elusive. Where had they hidden her? Such a bright little star. Her doors so wide and welcoming. Where had they tucked her away? Was this Parker’s doing? Veera’s? Perhaps the family’s blood pumped stronger in her than initially realized. This increased her chances of survival. Nothing less than pathetic could be permitted to continue the bloodline.

But the child? Oh, for something like that to be made. If only she hadn’t emerged one generation late. Tulson may have…

A glimmer. Blinking on the edge of Tulson’s senses, something was different. Focusing on its distant shine, Tulson prowled closer. But just as it better came into view, the light shut out. Like a door slamming shut. Gone. No trace left. Snarling in frustration, Tulson swiped a hand across the room, a wave of furniture swinging with it and clattering against the far wall.

“CALL THE BASTARD!” Tulson screamed. The door of the quarters was still shut, the bridge on the other end of the vessel. But the scream came anyway. “CALL HIM. NOW!”

Author Ari
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