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Chapter 47 – I Summon You

May 8, 2012

Chapter 47 – “I Summon You”

Now – 22,300 miles above planet earth

Asleep, the object most closely resembled a pod or a seed. Now awakened by Roarke’s signal it began to open.

The metallic petals spread open like a deadly lotus or some alien flora prepared to spit in the face of some unsuspecting red-shirted individual who could not help gazing into the opening.

The rockets fired and the payload began its descent toward the blue marble below. From this vantage point, the planet looked like a snowglobe that one could just shake up and see some holiday scene brought to life.

When the seed reached the hundred km mark, just around sixty miles above sea level, it began to spark and glow orange. The outer coating ionized away and the contents spilled out. Tiny unliving strips of DNA with tough outer shells to protect them likewise made their way down into the stratosphere, gathered together in small golden dodecahedrons providing yet another layer of protection for the little virii to deliver them safely to work.

This apocalyptic opera was repeated hundreds of times around the Great Orb. SchneiderCorp’s weapon was never supposed to be used, a “deterrent” they had wanted, the ultimate threat. Bought by dozens of countries in violation of innumerable laws, the released deadly virus would, based on laboratory tests, finish off humanity within a few days.

Those unlucky enough to live on or near the sunny side of the earth saw a golden sparkle fill the sky as sunlight reflected off of the casings. This was soon followed by darkness as the objects dispersed randomly, filling the sky and blocking the Sun’s rays.

Was it was cause for alarm? Some strange new phenomena that would have to be explained? A message from an alien race, or an invasion from one? A sign from the Creator himself?

The whole planet was soon enveloped with the shiny substance, blocking out sunlight, moonlight, and starlight alike. It was pitch black everywhere. With Darkness covering the earth, could Death be far behind?

*****

Now – Roarke’s Grenadian HQ

“There it is, Schneider. It’s done. Tell me, how does it feel? Knowing you were the instrument, the tool, by which humankind was annihilated?”

Roarke was gloating and had been displaying the sky from…some place. Schneider didn’t have the time to identify which horizon it was before the picture went dark from the sky filling with the contents of the satellites spilling out. Exactly as designed.

Now Roarke’s head filled the monitor except when he shifted, giving Eli a quick glance of the room’s layout behind him. Roarke was antsy. His revelation to Eli that his situation was terminal came a surprise. That he wanted to take it all with him…well, that was Roarke all over again. He clearly wanted someone to suffer. Maybe everyone.

“I’m afraid that’s on you, Roarke. I didn’t use it.”

“True. But who has to know? No one. Very soon it won’t matter anyway, will it?”

Back in Roarke’s control room, little Maya was playing with a doll. In fact she was talking to it in the corner chair. She wasn’t paying attention at all to the adult conversation going on right in front of her.

Eli’s voice came over the speakers. While Roarke checked the progress of the WMDs he had released on the entire planet.

“Well, looking on the bright side, that solves my financial problems. Not my money, won’t be my investigation for long either.”

“Hate to be without your wealth now, do you, Eli?”

“Well, Harold, I do have a little bit left in artwork. Suppose I could sell that and buy a…I don’t know…hotdog stand? You know, start over. Heck, that’d be quite the challenge. Starting over. Starting fresh. Thanks for that, old friend. I love a challenge.”

This casual attitude was not what Roarke had imagined—no, dreamed—all those years recuperating. Why wasn’t Schneider falling apart? Why wasn’t he begging for something, anything? Why hadn’t he crushed him completely?

“Eli, you must be losing it. There isn’t going to be anyone to buy your goddam artwork! There isn’t going to be any starting over! You’re dead! No hotdogs for you, ‘old friend’… nor anyone else…”

Roarke glanced at the monitor for a reaction to the cold, harsh truth he had just laid out for the man he hated above all others. Eli reached out and touched the fine wire mesh protecting the AV system but withdrew it almost immediately. Then he just sat down quietly on the floor and turned his back on the camera and monitor.

Was it Roarke’s imagination, or had the bastard smiled just faintly before he did that?

Poker-faced sonuvabitch!

—–

©2011 Christopher C. Knall

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