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The ominous beginning of another tale from "The Fractus Project"

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‘Grandad! There’s going to be a lot of bother at the Star and Martyr today – they’ve taken on a Chari in the catering department. It’s a real Octo-beetle, here in Marrdiff.’

The kids were excited to the floor and back – waving their arms in imitation of a Charipserid’s multiple arm-flexing movement – incredible control of eight arms all at once. They had amazing control of all their tenty-arms even whilst locomoting – or walking and running, as we pretend to think of it. Yeah, right – four sets of arms and three sets of legs – the only impressive thing about them – their coordination. Skauking beetle-shickers. Hate’em.

Milly and Boone were obviously expecting me to be worked up about it – given my history with the Charis. Alien filth. But their news wasn’t a surprise – I’d already heard that some of the building guys were fuffing up for a demo – and you know what their idea of a demo is. I was having nothing to do with it. Not going to demean myself by joining in. It’ll get out of hand in no time. If I go down there, I’ll be at the front of the mob with a prise bar. Shicks – no way I’m going down there. I’m too worked up about’em already.

‘Oh?’ I said, ‘Really?’ Feigning total disinterest.

‘Yes, Grandad. You know all about them, don’t you? You must go and see, mustn’t you? After everything that happened—'

I stuck my hands up to quieten them. Buggerit, I’m hoist on my own history here – I would have to go. The kids expected it. All my past chuntering and hatred would take on a false face if I didn’t at least go down there and smash it to a crunchy pulp.

‘Okay... yeah... Maybe I’ll wander down there...’

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