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XIN: The Veiled Genocides


Less than a minute later, he was conversation distance close and looking eye level at it. He
thought it would have been a dark rock or hole, but getting closer had made it even more of a
mystery. Only about 15 centimetres of it was visible. Rain and wind had partially dug it out from
its tomb of rock, but the small rubble of rocks at his feet told him something more immediate had
recently happened.
He touched it, but quickly pulled his hand back. He didn’t know why. Something instinctive,
something very primal made him react like that. Like a cat seeing itself in a mirror for the first
time. But like the curious cat, he touched it again. It felt like glass, but cold, very cold. It
shouldn’t feel that cold in this heat, he puzzled. Yes, that’s why he pulled back so quickly. The
briefest touch told him something was wrong. Another odd thing struck him next. There were no
reflections on it. Something this smooth should have reflections, but instead of seeing his face or
the glare of sunlight on it – nothing. If he wasn’t touching the black smoothness of the thing, he
would have thought there was nothing there.
He noticed it was sitting within a dark layer of rock. This layer was supposedly created by
the fallout after a giant meteorite hit the Earth 65 million years ago. It was one of the many
dinosaur extinction theories.
He could also discern it had a slight curve to it. Was this a large, volcanic rock or meteorite
that had somehow found its way to this location? Melted rocks can be glassy smooth, he
reasoned, trying to further convince himself. Yes, that’s it, and there might be a lot more of it
buried! He might have found something interesting after all. He took his small wedge-shaped
hammer from his backpack, and started chipping away at the layers of soft rock.
Z’va’Xin awoke from the long blackness. Her first awareness was that of success; her
survival strategy had worked. She next became aware that she was alone. There were no more of
her kind anywhere. Sadness.... Great sadness....
Accessing past memories....
Critical error made....
Meteorite was not anticipated....
Darkness after impact....
Energy low....
Not enough power....
Cannot escape planet’s atmosphere....
Cannot absorb solar energies....
Thinking....
Not enough power to self-destruct....
Thinking....
Nothing.
Z’va’Xin couldn’t remember what had resulted in her being swallowed up by a liquid earth,
sinking down deeper and deeper. She had sent out a signal for rescue. It was a weak signal and
she reasoned it would not reach her planet of origin.
Her homeworld was called Z’va Prime, and her science probe designation was Z’va’Xin, but
she much preferred to be called „Xin’ by those who knew her on a more individual level.
Under more optimal conditions, Xin could have easily moved out of the quicksand. No Z’va
probe had ever been compromised, captured or destroyed by others. O nly by their own decision
had probes destroyed themselves. No other beings should be allowed to make use of a Z’va
probe’s technologies. Few sentient species were morally ready for that responsibility.
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