What were you doing in the woods all alone?” asked the ugly prince. “You’re lucky you found your way to my palace. Don’t you know there’s a vicious beast lurking in these woods?”
The girl remained silent.
“Please, come inside. Let’s get you something to eat.” The girl followed the prince to a dining room. There she found a teapot. “Pleased to make your acquaintance.” said the teapot. “You will find many magical wonders in this palace. You are free to visit here whenever you like.”
Suddenly, she smashed the teapot on the prince’s head and knocked him unconscious. She then proceeded to eat him alive. By the time the prince learned that he should never let strangers into his house, it was too late for him.The Beast, by Sheharzad-Arshad
In the Six Subsectors, there are many beasts lurking in the cold and the dark… on untouched worlds, abandoned wrecks…
…and in the brightly-lit starport lounge
…and in the glittering Imperial Courts
…in the shady alleyways of the startowns
…and even in the safe, comfy corridors of the schools and universities.
Astonishingly, not all beasts in the Six Subsector are Blood Vargr!
Sometimes, you might even wish they were Blood Vargr: direct, honest beasts that can be handled with pistols and sabres and a good missile volley.
Rarely, fantastically, they aren’t the beast: it’s the helpless little girl next to them that bears watching.
(Perhaps a psion? Perhaps a Hiver-rated Manipulator? Perhaps the girl you see is a mask, or an occupied husk of something far darker?
Maybe she is a simple, garden-variety psychopath, who will strangle her two-year-old brother if you don’t keep an eye on her.
But most likely, a girl who lies and kills with her words, not her fists, without an ounce of regret.
Evil wears many masks.)
Sadly, some beasts can’t be kept out of your home.
Perhaps the doors and walls are just too weak.
Or your home defenders aren’t armed: but your enemies are.
Sometimes, the most dangerous ones actually live at home.
The best solution then is to go Travelling, to find a new home.
Be sure to bring some tools, physical and mental, to deal with the beasts you will meet on your way.
Ugly Imperial Princes should travel armed, just as surely as little girls should be.
“Armed” here means an armed mind, even more than a tool like a pistol or a sub-machine gun.
Your Rank and Money and Guns are useless, if you don’t understand the threat that faces you.