THE TERRAN INSURANCE POLICY
Christian knew he just heard the sound of the downstairs door opening and he also knew he was expecting no one. The numerous footsteps coming up the stairs and the sudden little red flashing intruder light gave him one conclusion—scout detail!
He grabbed the remote from the desktop, pushed the blinking red button and smiled as he heard the malengine traps complete their purpose. As he left the room he entered the blackout light code on the remote (he loved this thing) and crouched down at the end of the back corridor and waited for the first encounter. The electric blue fog oozing in from the opposite corridor reminded Christian of opium smoke—thick and alive.
He wondered if any scouts had survived the first volley. Audio sensors wouldn’t help with such close proximity but then his doubt was denied as he saw the first red laser beam pierce the smoke and then another and then another. “ Good”, he thought, “I get to push more buttons.” He caressed the face of the remote and decided to play cat. He pushed three buttons and let the search beams scatter down inside the fog. At first a hail of bullets rocked the corridor like music and Christian flashed back into a time when someone was in a Bobby Fleet Rock Show and the lights. The lights and the music and the energy were so strong that it all radiated revelations passed down through ages by things. Things that still haven’t been revealed…as of yet, as of soon, Real soon.
The lights. Don’t blame the lights. Yes, back to the lights, back to the fog with red laser beams screaming tag on dead bullets. Christian’s surrounding sucked in slow motion back into his eyes and “That gives me one more advantage”, he thought and now that he was back he gave no intention of going down again.
He pressed five digits on the remote and held his breath. Suddenly, a flash of green light began to implode inside the belly of the fog. Air pressure fell into the light as the scout’s skeletons began to glow an incredible x-ray color and then disintegrated into the light leaving behind an echoing scream which faded with them as the light went out.
Trickles of thick smoke crawled along the hall. Christian held the search button and whispered into the com. “Exterior perimeter sweep engage.” He released his gun from its holster and stood up aiming down the hall. “Perimeter Clear,” replied the electric voice. He pushed another button and the blacklights went off as the corridor began to glow an infrared tint. Christian expected maybe one or two kills left around the stairs that the graviton blast didn’t pick up. Turning the corner into the first corridor he saw a wounded scout painfully reaching for a gun. Christian walked over and kicked the gun aside. The gun, he notices, is not government issue. It was, hell he didn’t know what it was. He pointed his revolver at the scout’s head and began asking questions. “Why are you here?”
The man said nothing, so Christian talked louder.
“Fucker, why are you here,” and then kicked him once in the side and then kneeled down beside him and pulled the scout’s head back.
“Buddy, I’m not in a good mood,” Christian said as he laid the tip of his gun against the man’s neck, ”and I promise you won’t either unless you answer me these questions three.” (Christian smirked inside as he remembered the movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyway.) “Right!” “Right,” replied the man. Christian perched his back more upright and began again.
“Why are you here?”
“We were tipped that this was a TAC cell and were sent to confirm.”
Christian thought for a second then smiled, “What is your quest?”
“To capture any occupants for identification.”
“What’s your favorite color?”
“Red,” said the man as he fumbled his answer… “No, blue!” A second later Christian pulled the trigger and the soldier’s life was over.