Thursday, January 9, 2020


The Art of Detection
By David K Scholes

With super computer assistance, the three of us pored over the various mind image, life force energy, and bio patterns. All of them in 3D.

Robotic investigators, the “B” team if you like, were at hand ready to assist. Perhaps even hoping, with their emotion chips in, to find something that we human experts couldn’t.

There were of course other “A” teams and many, many other robot led “B’ teams, the world over, doing the same type of work as us. Fighting the same fight.

Even with all the expertise at our disposal though it was hard going.

“They are getting almost impossible to detect now,” said the Prime investigator. “Their ability to replicate even a mind image or life force energy pattern is approaching perfection.”

I sighed remembering back to the old days – when fingerprints, retina scans and voice prints were enough for differentiation.

“That particular mind image there,” I laser connected to it. “If you fast forward the 3D pattern, condense 10 minutes worth into 30 seconds, there’s something different about it. Something clearly outside of human parameters.”

“You are right,” responded the prime “well done indeed!”

“Only problem now,” grumbled the Third putting a damper on things by stating the obvious “is determining what alien race we are dealing with.”

“If indeed it even belongs to a race,” I countered.

Non-human needn’t be adversarial. Of the many extra-terrestrial and extra-dimensional visitors and occasional alternate reality visitors we received some were proven friendly and would never seek to take advantage of us. Just curious visitors.

On the best available information the number of alien assumptions of existing human identities was far, far more than any Earth authority could ever admit to. If it were known it would lead to panic. The only plus, if you can call it that, was that almost all of them only ever appeared to be temporary. The Aliens, extra-terrestrial, extra-dimensional or whatever all had somewhere to go back to. They’d leave and we would do our best to clean up afterwards.

Prime had made the joy ride in a car analogy but I didn’t like that comparison. After all – joy ride cars often got burned out.

I persisted with the mind image currently occupying our attention. “We’ll need to go back on this one – re-check everything; interview records, current surveillance, even the basics like retina scans and such, everything. There’s something not right about it.”

“I think it’s one of them,” I said quietly “one of the non-recognisables,” I tried to keep an emotionless face.

Both the Prime and the Third’s faces went white.

They were the hardest of all to deal with. Something in their natural form, even if we could expose it, that we would never normally recognise as any form of intelligent life. It was not proven but some considered that these visitors were not temporary.

We meticulously worked through everything we had on this one and another A team with another Prime joined us.

The evidence, each just little things, started to accumulate. Even among the non-recognisables – there were different types; non-recognisable corporeals, non- recognisable non-corporeals, extreme transients that didn’t fit either of these categories and finally – them.

“I think its one of them,” I exclaimed, speaking at a point where I should have left it to one of the Primes.

“An abstract!” – the super computer beat both Primes to it.

“A concept?” the Third from my team exclaimed.

“The assigned SAS surveillance team has lost track of it,” the Prime from my team exclaimed nervously. “Two of them were killed in the process.”

We knew about the abstracts but nobody had ever caught one – not in human-assumed form and most certainly not in its impossible to detect non-recognisable abstract form.

“Any sense from all of our analysis as to what concept we are dealing with here?” I asked.

“Enmity, enmity is the primary concept registering here,” the super computer with its super emotion chip was best placed to answer this. “Perpetual enmity,” the super computer modified its initial statement.

“Hatred, perpetual hatred,” I exclaimed.

“This is too much for Special Forces,” exclaimed my Prime. “Even the SAS; get the Queller teams on it. Find it, dump it, before it returns to its abstract form."

If it returns, I thought.

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The author has written over 200 speculative fiction short stories. Some of these are included in his eight collections of short stories (all on Amazon). He has also published two science fiction novellas and been published on a range of speculative fiction sites. Including: Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, Farther Stars Than These, 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He will soon publish a new collection of science fiction short stories “Contingency Nine and Other Science Fiction Stories”.

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