Suffer the Children was the eighteenth story in the Bernice Summerfield anthology Life During Wartime. It was written by Dave Stone.

Summary Edit

Benny is attending a ceremony on the Collection. As she talks with Anson, she notes the guest of honour, Jason Kane, at the buffet table. He has gained quite a bit of weight. He has received the Cluster of Moral Rectitude (Third Class) for his duties in resource procurement. When a giant cake is brought in, Benny has to leave.

She heads for the lower levels — before the party, she found a note asking for her help. As she reaches the location requested, she is attacked by a tentacle. She recognises a Xlom, but before he can attack her further, he is stopped by Olina, Benny's new maid, who introduces the Xlom as her husband K'draagh. She and K'draagh need Benny's help: their child is missing.

Benny confronts Anson with the fact that all the half-human, half-alien children are missing. He denies that he is responsible, and Benny can see that he has an idea who is responsible.

Jason has received a message to meet someone in a bar. When he arrives, he finds it is Benny. She accuses him of taking the children, and her yelling wakes some of the slumbering drunks. Jason and Benny flee.

He leads her to a lower level. When they enter, they are greeted by several armed adults, as well as several half-breed children.

Jason explains that he's been hiding the half-alien children, and the only way he could accomplish this was to become a collaborator. The children's parents know the children are safe, but they have to pretend for the Axis that they don't know the children's whereabouts. Benny wonders why Olina's and K'draagh's child isn't here, but suddenly alarms sound.

As the children are taken to a hiding place, Benny realises she was set up by Anson. Axis soldiers have been killed by Jason's men, but there are five survivors. To ensure the children's safety, the five Axis soldiers are shot.

Characters Edit

References Edit

  • Jason eats caviar at the buffet.
  • K'draagh is a Xlom.
  • Treela is one of the children rescued by Jason.
  • Olina is Benny's maid, given to her by Anson.

Notes Edit

to be added

Continuity Edit

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