Parental Curiosity [Management]

"You wish to know about your daughter, Michelle?" we asked, stepping forward. She took a step back, frightened by our synchronised movement and voices. "She is not here. Why have you come to find her in the place that you know she isn't?"

"The last time I heard from her she was here," the woman replied. "I can't see where she can have gone. She's supposed to be being looked after, for goodness sake! But now that I see who's in charge I can see why that didn't work. This whole place is full of freaks."

We hissed with distaste. "Do not insult us, human. We can kill you easily."

"Oh, I know," she replied. Suddenly, she was brave. "I know that very well. Is that what you've done to Shelley? Is that why she has disappeared, because you got rid of her? And I suppose now you want to finish the job so that nobody ever remembers that she existed. Well, I can tell you one thing -- if you've killed my daughter, you will regret it."

"Michelle is not dead," we told her. "Please, look at the screen." Obediently, she turned to face the television-like screen on one wall. We had cameras all over the ship on which Michelle was being held and now we manipulated levers expertly to focus on her as she woke up with Dr Jones peering at her.

"Who is that man?" asked her mother.

"A doctor. He is of no importance. The people that are looking after Michelle employed him to look after her and their other human guest." We were lying and she knew it, but she wanted just to look on her daughter's face.

"Her eyes. They're yellow!"

"We have noticed this also. We do not know why it is; it is certainly something that only happened today. The doctor has suggested DNA mutation and base sequences changing. We have to wait and see if it has any other effects." We looked down at Michelle's mother. "There is something you should know."

"Oh yes? And what would that be?"

"She is currently on the surface of an alien planet," we said calmly. "She has not been on Earth for almost a year, and is being held as prisoner by a species who want her to be their Queen. She recently gave birth to their children."

"NO!" Her scream was so loud that it pierced our eardrums and we felt pain. "No! Not my Shelley! Not my daughter!" Tears ran down her face. "It's all my fault ... she never had a childhood ... she never had a chance ... and now everything she did have is taken. It's all my fault!" She looked again at her daughter and we perceived her noticing the wounds. "Not my daughter...!"

The End

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