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Iron Nun by ElectricWhite
Iron Nun by ElectricWhite
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Dozens of people had been herded into the carefully nondescript chamber. Cameras on the walls above them were angled perfectly to show that all walks of life had been represented – construction workers, office staff, waiters, nurses, students, and even a nun – as well as a full range of ages. The only kindness shown was that the elderly were given chairs to sit in. Ringing the chamber just above the cameras was a walkway filled with Galactor henchmen, guns drawn and aimed at the floor below.

The cameras came to life. “Take a good, long look!” Berg Katse’s voice was broadcast along with the images to the delegates at the UN. As one, the henchmen emptied their guns into the crowd below. Once the guns fell silent, Katse’s voice boomed, “If you don’t surrender in an hour, more will die!” The broadcast concluded with the Galactor leader’s manic laughter.

With demonic efficiency, a crew hurried into the chamber and cleared away the slaughter. That is, until...

“Uh, Lord Katse?” a goon called up toward the unseen control room.

“What?” Katse’s annoyed voice boomed over a loudspeaker.

“You’re not gonna believe this...” the goon gestured over to the last remaining chair. In it was a frail, elderly nun, completely unharmed. “What should we do with her, sir?”

Katse frowned at the sight. “Leave her for the next round.” he finally said.

The deadline came without a response. Once again the chamber was filled with people. Again, the cameras broadcast the scene below them.

“Well, it looks like you don’t take Galactor seriously!” Katse declared, “So, as I promised – “

Flame throwers emerged from the walls and blasted the people below. Once the sound of searing flesh died down a bit, Katse concluded with, “Surrender in thirty minutes, or still more will die a horrible death!”

The cleaning crew rushed in.

“Lord Katse?” one of the crew called.

“What?” Katse snapped before he saw the nun in the chair, sitting serenely, completely untouched. “Are you sure she’s alive?”

In response, the fragile woman waved to the cameras.

“Huh.” Katse grunted, not sure what to think about what he saw. Finally he said, “Leave her for the next round.” And then he muttered to himself, “Her luck’s gotta run out some time...”

Yet again the chamber was filled. “How far are you willing to allow the planet to be depopulated?” Katse cried. With that, long arms with huge, spinning saw blades on the end swung out from the walls and sliced through the crowd. “Galactor will keep up the slaughter until you surrender! Do you really want so many in your homelands dead that you personally will have to dig all the graves?” The broadcast ended.

Katse stormed down to the chamber floor. There was something he needed to see for himself.

Six goons frantically shoveled away bits of bodies to clear a path for their leader.

Sure enough, there was the nun, sitting there as if she’d spent a warm spring afternoon on a park bench.

Katse stomped up to her. “Tell me,” he demanded, “how the hell did you avoid everything?!”

“My child,” she calmly replied, “didn’t you know?”

“Didn’t I know WHAT?”

“Old habits die hard.”
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