The malfunction put them vast light years from home but within reach of a planet inhabited by hostile, primitive bipeds. Repairs were made—an arduous task considering the damage to their vessel. But the catastrophic error left their engines completely depleted of the self-regenerative organic compound that made travel across such distances achievable.
They scanned the planet and surrounding system for anything approximating the lost fuel payload. The closest source came in the life forms that dominated the blue world. Their decision made, the visitors harvested—one hostile for each of the eight billion course corrections between there and home.
Gregory L. Norris writes for national magazine, short story anthologies, novels, and the occasional episode for TV and Film. Raised on a healthy diet of creature double features and classic SF TV, he lives and writes at the outer limits of New Hampshire’s North Country.
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