Meanwhile, in yet another dimension somewhere...
Fred Peters III got out of bed, as he usually did, with a yawn and a stretch. Fred was in his 40s, and was reasonably built with broad shoulders and a pleasant smile. He still had a full head of hair, though the brown was starting to turn to gray a bit. That was okay with him. He had lived a good life so far, and he loved what he did for a living.
He heated up some water for himself and then put a tea bag in it to soak. It was nice to be able to work directly from home. He had all the pleasantries of a house right here in his little space. It was good for him.
He hated to start work before his tea was ready. But by now, people were wondering what was happening. He might as well tell them.
He made his way to the viewscreen and flipped it on. As usual, he could see people on the planet Earth below, sending missiles his way. Now, frankly, that was just irritating. He hadn’t even sent them a message to tell them that he was a danger. He was, in fact, a danger to them. But they hadn’t even waited for him to give his speech. That was just rude.
Sometimes, he did it manually, just to add some variety. But since the people on this world were being rude, he didn’t feel like it anymore. He just pressed the button to send out the signal, the way he usually did. He didn’t have to listen to the playback of what he recorded, but he did this time, as he often did. He had worked so long and hard to compose just the right words:
“Hello. This is the last day for your planet. You can try to resist if you wish, but ultimately any such efforts are useless. There will be no debating or arguing or willingness to change on this end. Our minds have been made up . . .”
The words were like music to his ears. Then he checked himself. He hoped that wasn’t arrogant. He so hated the thought of being arrogant. But then, would anyone even know up here whether or not he was being arrogant? It had been so long since he talked to anyone. Ordinarily he liked the solitude, but sometimes it could get to be a bit too much for him.
He sighed as he thought about all of the people running around, screaming and panicking down below. If only he could make them understand that this was for their good! If only he could explain to them what he had brought before the council. But most people would never understand. They couldn’t understand. Still, he did what needed to be done.
Suddenly, a light started beeping in front of him. He checked the readout on the small computer screen. It was next to the large view-screen on Shiva that showed him that the planet-devouring was, indeed, working. According to the computer readout, someone else had used the same type of dimension-hopping technology that he used when moving from Earth to Earth. It must have happened after he had gone to bed. Shiva was so good at doing her job, that he didn’t have to watch her every time. He only watched because he liked to, mainly.
People did escape from their world before it was destroyed occasionally, and it always annoyed Fred when it happened. But no matter. He would track the person down soon enough and stop them. He wondered briefly if it would be the same one as before. It was odd how often the same people in each dimension were responsible for coming up with the same technology. It made sense, Fred supposed. Similar personalities with similar minds. Still, he would think that the law of averages would mean that it would be different people more often. At any rate, if it was the same person, she would be easy to track down.
Fred pressed another button, so that the message “I am Shiva, destroyer of worlds” played, as this world was in its final stages of extinction. He always wondered if he should play it sooner. He wondered if many people heard it? It didn’t really matter. But he had such a flair for the theatrical.
Of course, even though he had recorded the message, he himself was not Shiva. This machine – this moving planet – this home that he had created for himself – this was Shiva. His baby. His pride and joy. She always did exactly what he had asked of her.
His tea ready, Fred pulled out the tea bag and began to drink. He had to figure out exactly where this world-hopper had went, and catch him (or her). That would require some calculating on his part. But it should only take a few hours. Not too long. Maybe he could even wrap this up by lunch.
As he sat working, he stopped once to sigh contentedly and reflect: It felt nice to be one of the good guys.