The Neurophages VI
They were seated on the bunks in his cabin. With Lou to his left, and the angel Alba to his right, Miles felt afraid to move either way in case he touched one or the other and couldn’t let go. Taking a deep breath (and distracting Miles), Alba told her story…
“I was first raised to conciousness three millennia ago. At first I was in larval stage, drifting through space unnoticed, absorbing both the knowledge of the civilisations I passed and contemplating our existence. 12 years ago, I felt a great disturbance in the people-song of my race.
Charles Babbage the Thirteenth had stumbled upon a method of reaching our plane, and was abducting my people one at a time, for use as… fuel!" At the shocked gasps of Lou and Miles, she continued. “Surely you don’t think that these ships can carry enough coal to power everything by steam? Babbage boils our power off with water.”
“We must report this to the captain!” Miles exclaimed. "It’s no use, " Alba said, “all senior personnel are infected with a neurophage.”