Serializations of the Hitherby Dragons novels

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– 3 –

– 3 –

Some people think the evil prophet of space is Christ reborn. Others want to measure her with scientific instruments. But everyone who approaches her dies!

“Space does not like you,” the prophet says to the audience that gathers before her.

There are rivers of blood on the Earth in those final days. There are locusts that fall from the Heavens. The sky is full of fire, and the omens are omen-wroth.

Jeremiah Clean mops up the blood. He sprays all the locusts.

He leaves the fire and the omens alone.

“You look outwards towards space,” says Lucy Souvante. “You make puppy-dog faces. You project onto space with your purposes and your expectations. Space is confused and nauseated by this! Space is not your frontier. It is not your world’s Heaven. Space is a cold, empty void! You need to stop hoping and dreaming towards it.”

She licks her lips.

“So I am going to kill all of you,” she says, “in the hopes this will make you stop.”

“Hallelujah!” cries somebody in the crowd.

Then she brandishes her evil prophecy and most of the people in the crowd suffer from explosive decompression. Those who do not she hangs from spikes and leaves there to die.

Conventional weaponry cannot stop her. She is a Fan Hoeng assassin and an evil prophet. She studied at the legendary Lethal Magnet School before it was stomped down and glassed over. She may corrode your systems, change the patterns of you, rewrite the book and software of you and in the image of her wicked text. She may slaughter you with her umbrella. She may brandish an evil prophecy at you, or play rock-paper-scissors against you, and to your death. She walks through armies and she leaves them in ruins, gasping and coughing out their life and blood, and she does not even care that this is bad.

“I do this because it is prophesied,” says the evil prophet of space.

She looks at her prophecy. She confirms that’s what she was supposed to have said.

“I do this because I must.”

She is on a street corner in Branxton, Northumberland. She is eating her lunch, a tuna sandwich, on top of an overturned tank. Everyone else has fled Branxton save for an abandoned and unhappy dog so there’s no real audience for her explanation but explaining herself has recently become sort of habitual for the evil prophet of space.

“Behold!” she says, and unfurls the scroll of her evil prophecy.

The scroll is covered in the gleaming golden letters of space. Hesitantly, angered by the evil prophecy, the abandoned dog barks.

It is bad, incidentally, to nuke pic —

You know what? I’m not bothering. I give up. I have tried but I think no matter how many times I explain this people will still nuke picturesque British communities because, well, I guess, probably because they are there.

Nuclear weapons fall upon Branxton. They crunch down around her like pine cones falling to the Earth.

They burst into an extraordinary nuclear rage.

Local crops mutate.

The dog dies.

All around the evil prophet of space fire blooms. But she holds up the scroll of her evil prophecy and says, “Paper beats nukes!”

And it is so.



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