Jason Erik Lundberg‘s fiction is forthcoming from Subterranean Magazine and Polyphony 7.

Kat Beyer’s Cabal story “A Change In Government” has been nominated for a BSFA award for best short fiction.

Angela Slatter’s story ‘Frozen’ will appear in the December 09 issue of Doorways Magazine, and ‘The Girl with No Hands’ will appear in the next issue of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet.

David Kopaska-Merkel’s book of humorous noir fiction based on nursery rhymes, Nursery Rhyme Noir 978-09821068-3-9, is sold at the Genre Mall. Other new books include The zSimian Transcript (Cyberwizard Productions) and Brushfires (Sams Dot Publishing).

In Service

by Trent Walters

We humans have found ways to cope with the Ratters’ “friendly invasion.”   Cowards stain carpets with hara-kiri.  The blithe pretend that the aliens have not arrived, driving to work while ignoring saucers whirring overhead.  The timid hide in sewers and damp basements–the first places the Ratters look.  And sycophants believe they are the future of humanity, ratting out fellow humans.  The only true survivor is you who hold this reading slate, you who cannot be a Ratter because the slate would self-destruct if your reflective eyes gazed upon it, you who cannot read this aloud because it would detect spoken language and explode with enough force to bring a Ratter ship crashing to the earth.  You desire to undermine their place on this planet until they can be properly exterminated.  Presently, three methods of success include lip service, pay, and pompous yet low roles in the government.

Foremost, give lip service.  Admire their strength and their tails’ roughened metallic texture.  What separates you from the sycophants?  Palm moisture:  Sycophants sweat in awe of rats and in fear of being cornered by humans.  We will lure the Ratters into the arena.  Stage boxing matches between humans and aliens.  Let the aliens win.  “Ooh” and “aah” their prowess.  But reserve one human champion.  Pay whatever it costs to buy the fight because humans need hope.  Remember:  We are among the weakest of Earth’s predators, yet we reign supreme.  Viva Darwin!

Yet we best not underestimate their evolutionary climb.  Seek to undermine their will in other ways:  paying them less, or paying more while taking away other privileges.  Don’t pay in cheese, or if you do, severely limit their diet.  Low-calorie diets keep them prepubescently under six foot.  High-calorie diets allow them to tower to twelve foot, intimidating to any human.  Find ways to restrict hiring any creature over six and a half feet–low ceiling heights, small offices and closets, etc.  This hurts a few humans as well, but we can compensate these humans in other ways.

Neither of these methods alone would stop the Ratters from getting suspicious.  Therefore, we need to elevate their statuses artificially.  Promote them into prominent yet piddling roles in business and government.  Presidents are fine so long as their human cabinets and CEOs make the critical decisions.  If trouble arises, accidents can happen.

We humans presently appear to have the short end of the stick, but our evolutionary genius has helped us beat stronger predators before.  It will again.

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