These are short stories put up each Friday that you can read for free. By the next Friday the post will be taken down and a new one will go up. This week’s post is a continuation of Firing Up the Collider. Enjoy!
“What is it?” she said.
The President of Landolche & Cie Bank, fourth-largest in Switzerland, gave a slight shake of the head before looking down to move things around on his desk.
“Don’t tell me it’s nothing – what did they say!”
Dean looked up. “They said the towers have started to glow.”
“Glow?” Angela said, her eyes narrowing as she leaned forward. “What do you mean, glow?”
“They said they’ve started to glow,” Dean said, “but also that Big Ben’s started up.” He laughed in amazement and looked at his full-time consultant and part-time lover. “It’s actually ticking, Angela...can you believe it?”
It was Angela that bit her lip this time. She replaced it with her thumb as she rose and started toward the window. God, she thought, I haven’t chewed my nails since I was nine.
Lake Geneva unfolded below, cool and crisp on this March afternoon. It was Friday, Friday the Thirteenth. It didn’t bode well, but then what did, the American thought to herself as she stared out at those clear waters. They were placid and calm and full of hope. There was life there, and peace. It was such a start contrast to what lay beneath the ground at the CERN headquarters not more than a few kilometers from them. And still no one knew what would happen on Sunday, the fifteenth, the Ides of March.
Angela frowned and pulled her thumb from her mouth to see the bright red nail broken, a thin shard of clear white showing for the first time in as long as she could remember. She turned back to Dean, an idea forming.
“We don’t know what those towers on the moon are there for, Dean, we don’t even know how long they’ve been up there.”
“R&D thinks they were us, or at least another iteration of us before we wiped ourselves out…however many eons ago that may be. Think about it – man has only been around for 200,000 years…but the Earth is 4.5 billion years old? It doesn’t make sense.”
“Towers on the moon don’t make sense, and they shouldn’t be glowing.”
“And we shouldn’t be drilling down into the earth, putting particle collider setups down there, turning them on in the hopes of seeing God,” Dean shot back.
The two stared at one another for a moment, Angela with her broken fingernail and Dean with his wounded pride. They may have been standing there still hadn’t the phone rang. Dean picked it up, nodded a few times, then put it down before looking back up to Angela.
“What is it?” she said, a tremble in her voice.
“The mothership that’s been behind Mercury since 1789 has fired up, we’ve detected it with the VSS.”
“How…” Angela began. The Venus Space Station could only direct its detectors to that side of Mercury by firing up and…
Dean shook his head, reading her thoughts. “They don’t care anymore. They don’t care if the world finds out, not this late in the game.”
Angela frowned and turned back toward the window. So this was it then? It really was over.
There was a knock at the door, followed a moment later by a faint shout of ‘you can’t go in there.’ Angela turned around just as the door to the office was kicked open. Her eyes went wide at the sight of a tall black man in a three-piece suit, one with a frantic look on his face. Her eyes darted to Dean.
“Dean…” was all she managed, and then her voice was gone as the man hurried across the room toward her boss.
“You must be Dean Geisert,” the man said.
“And you must be Dexter Michaels,” Dean replied, his eyes narrowing. “But I thought I sent someone to pick you up at the airport, what–”
“They’re dead,” Dexter said, and started around the desk.
“Dead!” Dean nearly shouted. “What do you mean, dead?”
“Like a doornail,” Dexter said as he got up next to Dean and grabbed the phone. “My phone’s been dead since I landed, what do I need to dial…”
Dexter trailed off – something just wasn’t right, his years in Iraq and Afghanistan had given him a sixth sense. His eyes went to the door, a second before a gun-toting man in a suit appeared. “Get down,” he said.
Dean wasn’t fast enough and the first bullet that was fired took him square in the forehead. His eyes took on a glazed and confused look before rolling back in his head. Angela screamed.
“No!” Dexter shouted, but the first few notes were out of her throat. The gunman’s eyes went to her, his aim changed, and he put two into her chest. Another would have went in her head but the force of the first two bullets had propelled her backward, into the window and then through it. Shards rained down all about her as she fell the fourteen stories, though she was dead before she hit the ground.
The gunman’s eyes tuned to Dexter. “You shouldn’t have left Chicago.”
“You shouldn’t have left the womb.”
The man frowned at that and readjusted his aim. Dexter was on the floor as the first bullets were fired. When the man’s gun went empty he started to open the drawers of the desk. Surely the president of Switzerland’s fourth-largest bank has got a…there!
Dexter pulled the small Ruger from the second to last drawer, popped the clip, saw it was full, then popped it back in. He dove down and saw the gunman’s feet were just inches from the desk. He fired, hitting the left foot twice and the right once. The man fell to the floor with a look of pain and anguish on his face, and then looked up in realization. Dexter smiled as the man’s eyes met his, then he put one between ‘em.
There was commotion out in the hallway as Dexter rose up, and he pulled the gun up too, pointing it toward the door. A moment later Sheila Durand popped through, her own gun up and ready. She frowned when she saw Dexter, and he did the same.
“Both of them?” she said, a real look of displeasure on her face. Dexter frowned as he walked up to her and then past.
“C’mon,” he said, “we’ve got to get prepared for Sunday. If those ships get here before we stop that collider, all hell will break loose – literally!”