by Sean Brandywine
Copyright 2009 Sean Brandywine
Published by Strict Publishing International
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
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Chapter I: Swift Killer
The killer approached silently and swiftly. The helpless prey never knew of the danger until the strike, and then it was too late.
The killer was an intelligence-made machine, a construction of metals, plastics and other materials not normally found in nature. It had a rest mass of 878,938 kilograms (968 tons) and was moving at nearly the speed of light. Even so, it took over nine months to pass through the Oort Comet Cloud surrounding the Solar System, and another three and a half hours to pass through the Kuiper Belt before entering the realm of planets. In neither of them did it strike any objects for, although the Oort Comet Cloud contains around two trillion icy bodies of frozen methane and carbon monoxide, the average distance between them was tens of millions of kilometers. Likewise for the Kuiper Belt where these objects tend to be larger but are still widely spaced apart.