3700 word Science Fiction
Marc fights to keep his life and his wife, Barbara. Lose her and he’ll lose everything he ran away from his ruthless bosses to get. Punishment on his home planet is not known for its compassion and executions are televised as a warning to others. Marc does not want to be on the next scheduled programme nor does he want to reveal to Barbara he isn’t as human as he appears.
‘I don’t care how you do it but Marc must be stopped. He’s asking awkward questions about our experiments and I tell you he’s looking for a way out. He’ll find some suitable planet to defect to and we’ll lose him. He has got the talent to outwit us all.’ The Grand Inquisitor stared down at his quivering deputy. ‘Our lives will be on the line if that happens. You know how compassionate the Grand Council can be.’ The trembling deputy did know. Failure on Anarect meant a horribly slow, lingering death, which was televised to act as a warning for the masses. As a policy it worked. Within a year of its implementation, crime rates dropped by over 80%.