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    The creature known as the Purge surveyed her surroundings. No human could ever recognize her as a living creature. The Purge did not even consider herself alive. It was a good thing, too.
    The Purge was programmmed to end all life.
    She had a very bright enemy once. He almost convinced her that she was alive and must therefore die. Almost.
    But she had destroyed him, like so many trillions of others in her quests.
    From the core of the galaxy, and outward, towards one particular arm of the galaxy. Her replicas must have been doing the same in their respective directions.
    She was by no means the only one. Others had been sent already, to sow the seeds of death in other galaxies.
    Was she the original? Did it matter?
    She had never stopped to ask herself that question. In her millions of years of travel and lonelyness, she had never stopped to ask herself that question.
    There was good reason that she did not consider herself alive.
    The sun closest to her collapsed. Within moments, the core had turned into a superdense mass of black hole material. A blast of X-rays nearly blinded her sensors, even at the distance of almost a half light-year.
    Despite the bright flash that took months to reach her, she could still hear the reports of the drones she had sent. The ones that were to make sure nothing survived.
    One finally reported that the planet had been sufficiantly destroyed. There was no sign of any life left.
    Then one of the drones stopped sending. Then another. The last was turning it's weapons towards the last survivor, the arrogant ship of the living that had challenged the supreme forces of the Purge... when it disapeared. Literally.
    None of the ships could sense it.
    A deep rumble of disapointment came from the Purge's power generators. Her entire moon-sized mass shook in her disapointment.
    No need to worry. There was no indication that, even with the high technology levels, the inhabitants of that planet were able to sustain their bodies through the passage of time. The dominant species of that planet might have noticed if the Purge had done any more searching, so she had elected to destroy it quietly and quickly. A single projectile into it's sun, and withing ten minutes the whole mass collapsed on itself. The smaller drones had followed the projectile, and were making sure that none had survived. But they had failed.
    She left her drones in the dying star system, just in case the life-ship returned. Life often did, especially intelligent life.
    She turned and headed towards the next star system in her path. Staying under light speed, it would take years to reach it. But that didn't matter.
    But while the light from the dying star had reached her, light from her had reached into the star system. She had never once thought of what would happen if she were followed. The though never occurred to her. No need to look, when nothing was there to see.
    Inside the alien vessel, the same equipment that bent photons around the ship to form a perfect cloaking device also bent time and space, allowing it to move withing a few hundred miles of the Purge without even her sophisticated sensors knowing.
    It wouldn't have mattered anyhow. She never once looked back.
    Inside his cockpit, time was almost frozen. Maylar breathed once every forty or so years. The automatic systems were running at full speed, and the space/time warp system was set to follow the Purge through her high speed course, and possibly arrive a few years before she did. It's reflexes were still equal to hers.
    Maylar took three years to blink a single tear away from his optical sensor.