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BEN ARCHER AND THE ALIEN SKILL

CHAPTER ONE - THE SPACECRAFT

 

[...]

Bordock stared at the pale face with white lips and closed, sunken eyes of the man who lay in the tube before him. He noticed how a soft blue light reflected on the man’s bald head.

 

“Enjoying the ride, Connelly?” Bordock smirked.

 

Bordock noted with satisfaction that the features of the real Connelly were well preserved in the tube, meaning he would still be able to shapeshift into the agent. In fact, the man looked like he was sleeping peacefully. Bordock tapped on the small screen that should have indicated an extremely slow heartbeat brought on by induced sleep.

 

There was nothing.

 

“You’ll have company soon enough,” he promised the dead man.

 

Bordock let the real Connelly slide back into his unusual coffin, then tapped the other incubators for good measure. They would fit Mesmo and the boy, as well as Mesmo’s other three companions, who lay one floor below the hangar. Then, and only then, would he have the necessary proof that his task was complete, and he could leave this repulsive planet behind.

 

With that in mind, he headed back to the front of the spacecraft, where he called up an impressive amount of screens. He surveilled them with renewed determination. On one of these many screens, Mesmo’s face appeared, while behind it an innumerable amount of live camera images flickered with thousands of faces on them, the computer scrambling to find a match.

 

Below it, the same operation was happening with Benjamin Archer’s face.

 

As the night wore on, the alien shapeshifter searched for the fugitives from within his spacecraft, while in the office a few feet away, he knew that Inspector Hao was doing precisely the same thing.