903 went to a quiet corner, between a couple of trees, and opened herself to the Star Council. 3 stayed with the Star Eaters, who waited patiently for her return. It wasn’t long before she walked back to where everyone was standing.
“They said no, didn’t they,” said the Star Eater, knowingly. “They want you to kill us.”
“I told them I wouldn’t do it and that they’ll have to fight me, if they want to get near you.”
“It won’t help. They’ll just keep sending stars to exterminate us,” said the second Star Eater.
A body fell next to 903, bounced three times and cracked the cement.
“You okay?” asked 903, smiling and nudging the guy with her toe.
There was a lot of groaning and a quite a bit of swearing but the man finally rolled to his side. “There HAS to be another way of landing. Seriously, this is barbaric.”
“Yeah, yeah,” snickered 903. “Mars, the great red warrior, moaning and groaning about a little fall.”
“He actually fell quite a distance,” said 3, nervously, staring at the planet come to life.
“Who do you want me to kill?” asked Mars, looking around.
“No one,” said 903. “I want you to help me protect two Star Eaters.”
“The Star Eaters are dead,” he said, brushing dirt off of his legs.
“Not the two behind you,” she said.
“Like I’m going to fall for that one” he said, stretching.
“Seriously,” I promised to protect them. “I want stars to volunteer to give them some of their energy, so they can live. I want to remind everyone that it’s insane to exterminate an entire species just because we can.”
Mars, looked at the two Star Eaters, then he looked at 903. “That’s a joke, right?” he asked softly. “They were eating all of you and now you want to protect them? They would have killed you and all life in the universe.”
“I gave them my word.”
“I’m in,” said 107 happily, smiling at everyone . “Can you guys eat dead stars? There are a lot of dead stars, you know brown and red dwarfs.”
“We can eat them but since they are DEAD there’s no radiation and that’s what keeps us alive.”
“Oh, I know,” said 3, eagerly. “Is it the radiation, or is it the the star’s energy that you need.”
No one spoke. The two Star Eaters, mumbled to each other and said, “radiation.”
“How often do you have to feed?” asked 903.
“Depends. We can eat well over a thousand stars in one day,” said the second Star Eater. “That would last us two days at the most.”
“Wait,” said 903. “A thousand stars a day, EACH?”
“We need a new plan,” said 903, quickly. “Can you eat the radiation stars give off, without touching us?”
“Maybe,” said the Star Eater.
“That’s good, because if you eat that many stars a day, you’ll have to go into deep space and eventually, in a few billion years, you’ll starve to death. How about supernova’s? They are loaded with radiation and they still happen every now and then.”
“Oh, yes, that would be lovely,” they agreed.
“So, basically we just have to find new sources of radiation for you to eat. And, luckily enough, space is filled with radiation. All we have to do is figure out how to…”
“Can you just absorb radiation?” asked 3, hopefully. “I mean, can you just drift through it and let it flow into you?”
“We’ve always just eaten stars,” said Star Eater. “I suppose we might already eat the radiation we drift through, now that you mention it.”
“Then you can simply float through the universe and absorb the radiation around you. If you can get close enough to a Black Hole you’ll be set for life.”
“But we’ve always eaten stars.”
“Oh please,” snapped 903. “Don’t make me kill you right this minute. Because believe me, if you start talking about tradition and rituals and all the other useless beliefs that destroy life, I won’t be able to help myself.”
“I guess we never thought about eating any other way,” said the second Star Eater. “We just did things the way they’ve always been done.”
“That is one of the most dangerous things anyone one, or anything can do,” hissed 903. “All of this death could have been avoided it you would have just taken a minute to ask yourselves if THERE WAS ANOTHER WAY YOU COULD HAVE GOTTEN YOUR FOOD WITHOUT CAUSING HARM!”
“We just did what Star Eaters always did. I’m sorry our species killed so many of you.”
“Yeah, me too. Because of your eating habits you forced US to kill all of you, so that we could survive. How stupid is that!”
“Oh, I love it when things work out nicely,” said 107, kissing two kittens she was holding in her arms. “See, now everyone can be happy and alive.”
“Look,” said 903, staring at the Star Eaters, “go deep into space, at least for awhile. I’ll talk to the Star Council and make them see how insane this whole thing has been. If you have any problems you know where my star is located, right?”
“We know where to find you,” said the Star Eaters.
“Then go and if you start eating stars again, I’ll come for you.”
“Have a good life, tiny star,” said the Star Eater. “Shine brightly.”
“Hide and I’ll let you know when you can return to the solar system.”
The Star Eaters blended into the sky and disappeared.”
“That was nice,” said 3. “You did good 903.”
“There are only two of them left,” said 903. “And what did all the killing accomplish? All anyone had to do was look at things in a different way.”
“Can we stay on earth for a week or two?” asked 107, excitedly.
“Yes, let’s stay,” agreed 114.
903 shook her head. “Sure, why not. Hey,” she yelled at Mars. “You up for a little vacation?”
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think we should stay a month, I hardly ever get out. Besides, you are looking GOOD, 903.”
“Not a chance you airless planet,” she teased, shoving him into a lamp post.
“Never hurts to try” he chuckled. “So, TINY STAR,” he laughed out loud, “now that you called me here to do absolutely nothing, where can I get a chocolate shake?”