Only a miracle had saved her and the four members of the exploring team. They wore the latest, state-of-
the-art military space suits when they entered the tunnels under the town of Absolute. The suits protected
them from all sorts of radiation and poisonous gasses. Although the suits could withstand temperatures
over 100 ̊C, they couldn’t stay in such extreme conditions for more than an hour. The helmets were plated
with solar cells that charged the storage cell pack. The cell packs, in turn, energized a system capable of
purifying and cooling the air in the suit. With the energy stored in the storage pack, Diana and her friends
could work all day before they were used up. Despite the innovative system, the cell pack was easy to use
and could be customized for each of its users.
With the other four members of the team, Diana explored underground for hours. They surveyed
only a small part of the complex. When they lost communication with the camp, they came back to check
on whether all was well. They were shocked to see that the camp was completely destroyed and all their
friends were dead. A bluish haze appeared to settle over everything, making parts of the butchered bodies
even more grotesque. Diana’s deputy, Aron Coller, took off his helmet and ran anxiously to his wife’s
tent at the other end of the camp, but he couldn’t find her. Diana and the rest of the team watched him
with pity. He was behaving like a madman, turning over the dead that lay around the tents. While they
watched, they noticed a boy appear from the haze like an apparition. Aron ran up to him, knelt, and gently
stroked the boy’s head, watching his large, terrified grey-black eyes.
“Where were you? Did you see what happened?”
The boy remained speechless, shaking his head left to right. Suddenly, he uttered a word in an icy
voice that made them all tremble. “Naughty!”
That’s when they saw behind Aron, a sight that frightened them out of their wits and froze them
on the spot. From the dense indigo haze, monsters from their worst nightmares materialized. Filled
with horror, they watched the black armored torsos that spurted forth sharp thorns dripping greenish
liquid. The monsters towered over Aron by more than two feet. Their heads were long, big-boned, almost-
predator like, with huge teeth. Like wings, they spread their armored, jointed limbs that ended with long,
sharp black edges and on which blazed greenish slime.
In what looked like the last moments of his life, Aron felt a presentiment of danger and hoped
someone could help him. The monster nearest to him swung and with a single stroke cut off his head.
Blood gushed out of his neck like a geyser. The head rolled on the ground towards Diana and her team.
She trembled to see his eyes, which showed the final moments of writhing pain.
The monsters jumped on the remnants of his body and started to butcher it. The little boy was
completely sprinkled with blood, but he didn’t move. He was looking at her team fixedly, muttering
something they couldn’t comprehend. Fear had gripped them, and not one moved despite the horrible
sight. The silence that followed seemed to last for an eternity.
Suddenly the boy waved his hand. The monsters disappeared and he was again wholly clean. Once more,
he looked towards Aron’s chopped-up body and in his voice, which was more like the hoarse grating and
raging growl of a prehistoric animal, he retorted angrily, “Very, very naughty,” then disappeared in the
haze just as he had appeared.
They couldn’t surmise up until then that they had been lucky because they hadn’t taken
off their helmets; otherwise, they’d have experienced a fate like Aron’s. Diana and rest of the team
lingered for some time, afraid to make any sudden moves.
After giving the incident sufficient time, Diana made a sign with her hand for the others to move.
“You saw what happened to Aron. Don’t take off your helmets, for there’s a good chance the boy can’t
see us while we’re in these space suits. Let me check what’s left of our transporter ships and see if they’re
in good shape. You’ll wait for me here.”
Nobody contradicted her decision, so Diana set off to the runway, knowing very well that the team
was as shaken as she was.
Walking through the haze, she thought about the boy a couple of times. He was floating like a
ghost above the butchered bodies. All her friends and colleagues were dead. Nobody had been spared.
What horrified her most was his satisfied smile and his rapture as he bowed and gently touched some of
the butchered bodies with his fingers. Above all, the craziest thing was that he was singing a bizarre song
the whole time:
“You’re very, very, very bad,
Now not worth what you wept,
It’s time to be refunded,
Let life come back to death.
You’re very, very, very bad…”