AQ – 04 – First Food, Air Second

Jonathan awoke again after passing out in space again.  This was beginning to be a bit ridiculous.  His stomach ached with hunger even more than his feet burned with cold.  He figured that it was a good thing that his feet felt any pain at all.  He had little experience with frost bite, but suspected that if the feeling had been completely gone from his feet that would be much more serious.  His breathing was back to normal, but he had a headache taking form.

He reached out of the slit he had made and grabbed his left mittened hand with his right exposed hand and pulled his left hand out of the mitten. Then with both hands he tugged at the opening he had made.  He had no idea what had happened to his sharp object.  He might have dropped it in his space suit sack or he might have dropped it on the floor and then floated across this bay for 10 minutes, 40 minutes or 6 hours.

He did feel refreshed and suspected he had slept for at least a few hours.  He had no way of telling time.  They had taken stock before his walk and none of them had a watch, there were no timers, nothing to help them mark the passage of time.  As a result, the others really had no way of knowing if he had been successful.

They had planned to come out of the back room after 10 minutes and attempt to watch his progress.  However, they could not be certain if they would even be able to see him at 130 meters, nor if they could see him enter or not.  They would hope and try and see how it went.  If he did not return in what they estimated to be 1 day, they would start on a second suit and send someone else.

He managed to wiggle back out of the suit.  He had done a little more damage than anyone had anticipated.  That could be problematic if there were no real space suits here on the bridge.  Fortunately, this was indeed a bridge!

Some of the more negative terrorists had speculated that this might just be an engine room compartment or empty storage or nothing at all.  Jonathan had not felt this way, had gambled with his life that it wasn't, but had admitted inwardly that it was a possibility.  His gut had told him otherwise for reasons he could not explain with facts and he had been right.

Regardless, that was the past and he needed to get his shit together now.  The first thing he needed to figure out was whether or not he could ditch the Al Qaeda bastards, kill them, maroon them in space something.  He had been stuck with them for too many years, first as a hostage and captive and then as an enemy non combatant in prison.  He had absolutely had it with these bastards.  He wanted his revenge but now that he was separated from them he figured he would happily settle for dumping the bastards in a vacuum or letting them starve to death if he could.

He started moving about the room.  The first thing he realized was that this was much smaller than the other compartments, designed for a crew of probably three or four people at most.  He also noticed that there were no other exits from this area, no other modules further down the line to move to or occupy.

He found a galley area, really more of a system of  cupboards and compartments.  He found a silvery looking bag with something lumpy inside.  It was labeled chicken and rice.  He ripped it open and a wide plastic tube popped out.  He looked at an instruction image on the side of the package, stuck the tube in his mouth and started squeezing  chicken and rice through the tube and into his mouth.  He almost inhaled it and the bag was empty in less than a minute.  It was slightly lumpy with chunks of chicken, but he only knew this from a fragment of a memory of the food going down his throat.  He could barely recall tasting it.

Suddenly he felt very tired as his digestion system kicked in to do work that it had not done in god knows how long. He took a deep breath of air and focused on staying awake.  He needed to act now, think and sleep later if he was going to survive this.  He started looking around for a weapon.  The galley surprisingly didn't have anything.

That probably made sense actually as sharp dangerous items in space were probably not wise under normal conditions.  NASA hadn't thought about defending their astronauts from international terrorists.

He moved to another area, that looked more like a lab mixed with an engineering shop.  This area had a number of compartments with tools and other items.  He found a large wrench.  It felt like it was made out of air, but looked like a special alloy.  He thought he could wield it as a club.  He took a hard swing with it and accidentally spun himself around.

It took him a half minute to stop spinning and grab something.  "Note to self, don't swing unless you can definitely hit something."  He moved to another compartment and hit pay dirt.  A space suit but no helmet was shrink wrapped and attached to a slide out drawer.  It was more of an ironing board than a drawer, like a big mortuary slab or something.

He went to the a similar drawer and punched the button. Again, the feet came out first and the helmet, 'There was a helmet!' It came out last.

He had no idea how much time he had until the next person might try to make the walk.  He wasted no more time and put the suit on.  He had little difficulty as he had seen this done many times before both in school and years earlier at space camp.  This suit was very different from those bulky old government surplus suits he had donned as a teen ager, but not all that different.

He didn't put the helmet on, just hooked it to a latch on the wall.  He moved back to the door and looked out the window.  He could see the light at the other side still lit but no Al Qaeda dude moving hand over hand.

He found a light switch on the wall in the same position as the one in the previous compartment.  He toggled it, and an exterior light on this side lit up.  This light was significantly more powerful.

In fact it must activate several lights not just one.  He could now see the extent of the spaceship beyond or behind the storage/sleeping compartments.  It was massive.  If the distance he had traveled was 130 meters, the storage compartment and sleeping compartment had to be 40 meters and beyond that there was more structure and things that looked like rockets and pods and tanks that went at least another 400 meters.

Beyond that there was a single tube extending yet another 200-400 meters.  When he saw this he understood how they had traveled.  It was an ion drive, a slow accelerating mode of travel that incrementally sped a rocket up for years and years and years.  This one did not seem to be engaged any longer which indicated that they were no longer accelerating.

Ok. He had a space suit. He had a weapon. He had a general, text book understanding of the ship itself.  Time to get some real intelligence.  There were no Al Qaeda guys on their way, and he had turned on the exterior light which would signal them that he had indeed made it.    He hoped that would buy him more time.  At minimum he had about 23 minutes before one of them could make the journey, but if he checked regularly he could get more done.

He vaguely remembered how to communicate with morse code, but doubted the Al Qaeda guys would know it, let alone morse code in English.  He double checked the port hole again and resumed his search.

He moved back to a seating area in front of a massive bank of buttons, knobs, keyboards, screens and more.    Most of the switches seemed to be powered down, but he rapidly zeroed in on several indicators of the life support systems.  One of those indicated the oxygen system for the sleeping compartment.  He could shut off all their oxygen right now!

But to do that he might have to deplete the stores of valuable oxygen he would need to survive himself.  It was an option, but not a good one, yet.  He needed to find something that would show him just how much oxygen was stored.  He attempted to turn on one terminal but no luck.

He moved to another and as he was trying to power it up the first awoke from hibernation in a very slow booting process.  No wonder this system had been sleeping for years, maybe decades.  He didn't know how long he had been looking at the console so he got up and moved back to the port hole.

A light was flashing on and off on the other side, but no Al Qaeda guys were in movement.  He signaled back by turning his light off and on twice.  There was a responding two light flash on the other side.  He flashed 3 more times and so did they.  Everyone now knew that it was not random, that they were indeed communicating they just weren't sharing anything useful.

He figured there was nothing he could do just yet, the key was still the terminals.  He now had another 23 minutes minimum.  He started counting out loud as he moved back to the console.  As he reached 85, 86, 87, he managed to work his way in the seat and then stopped counting.

There was a clock on the screen, but he couldn't read it.  His mouth dropped open as he looked at the calendar date next to the time.  It said that the year was 2071.  He had been asleep for almost 50 years.  Everyone he had known would be fifty years older, his parents would probably be dead unless medical science had made a ton of progress in the last fifty years.  It was possible, but he was still too stunned to accept it really.

Suddenly he felt an overwhelming amount of loss as if he had just lost everyone he had ever know or loved.  This actually gave him comfort like an old favorite pillow.  After years in captivity, he understood how to cope with loss.

Finally, he focused on the clock.  It was 0313:43.52.  He noted to himself that he had probably 'spaced out' for at least 2 minutes so that meant he had a minimum of about 19 minutes before Al Qaeda came knocking at his door.  He started exploring the system.  He found a systems status of the ship and noted that this included a diagram of the entire ship.  All doors were labeled with indicators that they were 'Closed'.

He didn't have to get up to monitor the porthole any longer.  He went a few menus deeper and found some Oxygen tank indicators.  It listed an amount of Oxygen and Nitrogen, but the amounts didn't mean anything to him in terms of how much air might be there for 1 or 73 men.

Next, he looked up some information on the ships inventory.    Food: 343 MRDs (Meals Ready to Drink)  That was an old joke from space camp.  The acronym was MRD, but he had no idea what it really stood for.

Still it sure didn't take a rocket scientist to calculate that 343 meals for 72 hardened terrorists and 1 rocket scientist would not sustain anyone for long, possibly 4-7 days at the most and that was if they could also get more nutrition out of the IV drip.  They had to find more food, get home faster or someone had to die and die damn fast.  Shit he might end up having to eat some of those bastards if he wasn't careful.

A section of the screen started flashing red.  He touched the screen and the schematic of the ship re-appeared and showed that the Al Qaeda porthole had opened up.  They were sending a follow on person his way.  The time was ticking down, he needed to think fast.  He noticed that the Oxygen reserves had just decreased by 2%.  That must relate to the Oxygen that had been depleted when the door in the other chamber had been opened a second time.  Two percent was huge.  That meant that the door could only be opened 49 more times before they were out of air.  It would definitely not be possible for all of the Al Qaeda guys to walk this way.

It also gave him a slight impression of how much air they might have.  That entire sleeping room could hold 2% of their Oxygen, which was only a portion of the air mixture.  That room could keep 73 men alive and breathing for some amount of time.  If he estimated that it was 1 day, then that room held 73 days of air for 1 man x 49 meant 3,577 days approximately and if he was being very hopeful.  If it only held 1 hour of air then that would only be 149 days of air for one person.

Guppy sips of air.  Another space camp joke came back to him and he smiled.

He noticed a touch panel that said video monitor exterior that was now blinking.  This must be intelligent enough to know that a person was moving between compartments.  he hit the panel on the screen and a video lit up of a gray bag moving along the hand holds awkwardly like a blob.

Actually, it looked like two sacks sewn together.  They must have found a way to put more than 1 person into a bag, or maybe 1 person with multiple heaters or more air?

He watched for a few more seconds and guessed that there had to be two people.  It seemed like there were three hands in play.  2 Hands to hold on and another reaching forward.  They were using a second person as a pair of back up hands, a human tether.

Maybe they were strapped together back to back with the heating systems on their chests.  It would make sense and probably keep them warmer.  But how would they make that last awkward leap of faith that Jonathan had had to make?

With two people it wouldn't be possible.  He noted on the panel that he could keep the door locked electronically.  He could essentially try to kill them.  But he did not know if they might have enough air to go back?

He could don his helmet and meet them in space combat?  Too risky.  If he let them in, he would be out numbered.  They might be able to coerce him a bit, or believe that they could.  That's probably what they thought and that's why they had done this.  He suspected Osama himself was one of the two.  There was no food on the other side, he probably didn't have much to lose in venturing the walk.  More time starving increased the chances of organ failure.

He could let them in, show them the numbers and try to convince them to kill the others.  His odds of survival would be drastically improved if things changed from 72 against 1 to 2 against 1.  Still not great, but better.

But what if Osama wasn't with these two?  In that case, these would not be decision makers, they would not be able to give the OK and even more oxygen would be depleted sending people back and forth to communicate...  He had gambled with his own life several times in the last few hours and days, he decided to gamble again now.  He would kill them.

He wasn't yet in a position to make strategic moves.  He had to show the bastards that he could kill them and was at least as crazy as the craziest of them.  He had to earn their respect in some form otherwise nothing would work in the future.

He hit the electronic lock on the exterior door.  He also hit the exterior lock on the door on their side!  Why hadn't he seen or thought of that before!?!

 Continue to Next Chapter - ... Coming Soon

AQ – 02 – Old Enemies become New Friends

Jonathan’s eyes fluttered open.  His head was pounding and the cotton mouth had returned, but it had a metal taste to it now, a taste of iron.

He licked his lips and realized that there was dried blood on his lips.

“Greetings, Let us try this again,” said the voice of Osama Bin Laden floating in the air 5 feet away.

Jonathan’s brain was not cloudy any longer.  He smiled at the gangly old man and said, “Yes, let’s do that.  You can start by untying my arms and legs.”

Jonathan was strapped to what was a wall from his current perspective.  It could just as easily be a ceiling or floor, but it didn’t matter when space was relative, and Jonathan new one thing for certain.  He was in space and this sorry piece of shit in front of him needed his help more than Jonathan needed Osama’s in return.

The old man lightly walked himself hand over hand towards Jonathan.  He smirked in an ironic way that only a few reporters had ever witnessed and then unlatched the Velcro restraints that had Jonathan’s arms pinned down.  Osama glanced down for just a second towards the chest and leg restraints and then looked away with a  blush on his face and proceeded to retreat in an even more awkward hand over hand movement keeping his eyes locked on Jonathan.

Jonathan removed the chest strap himself and chuckled as he attempted to bend down and unlatch his own legs.  He too was wearing one of the ridiculous unitards and still had a fucking hard on as did Osama now that he thought about it.

“I take it that despite yourself, you aren’t exactly happy to see me?” Jonathan joked as he pointed at Osama’s engorged embarrassment.

“No and Yes.  It would seem we are all inflicted with this curse after awaking from deep sleep.  However, I am somewhat pleased to have someone of your skills present under the circumstances.  We have a most pressing problem.”

“No shit, we are stuck in space together, and I am the only rocket scientist on board.”

“Yes, and we are starving.”

As Osama said that, Jonathan recognized his own pangs of hunger.  He felt as if he had just run a marathon on fumes and desperately needed to refuel.

“We have searched the ship to the extent that is safe and we can find no sources of food other than the IV drips that seem to have ceased to function when we came out of stasis.”

Jonathan immediately understood the problem.  They were not supposed to be awake.  They were supposed to remain in stasis until their ship was retrieved out of Earth orbit.  Somehow they must have awoken prematurely or maybe Earth had simply failed to retrieve them and some fail safe system had kicked in and woken them up.

“Why should I help you or any of your crazy jihadist buddies.  The last time I was forced to help assholes like you, I ended up in prison for twenty years and then dumped into space after that.  Hell for all I know, if I help you, you might try and use this space ship as a weapon against the Earth.”  Jonathan’s anger had increased with every word.  After so many years in prison, he was not against the notion of killing himself.  He had definitely entertained the idea many times and worked through several different ways to do it, given half the opportunity.  Unfortunately, until now, that opportunity had not manifested.

“You are not a fool and we share something in common.” Osama said.

Jonathan snorted.

Osama continued, “We are survivors.  You survived in Pakistani custody for three years and in Guantanamo for twenty.  You were tortured by the Pakistanis, and by your own people.  You may not wish your people any harm, but you know how to survive.  I too know how to survive.”

Jonathan’s stomach rumbled audibly.  He nodded and said, “Let’s see what we have.  For now.”

Osama floated back a foot or two and gestured two his right.  Jonathan pushed off the wall and grabbed the handholds and started to proceed into the next compartment which lighted as he entered.

It was a massive cargo hold with rows and rows of oval tubes larger than a man.

It took them about five minutes to navigate to the end of this hold and this brought them to a door.  The door had a small rectangular port hole and warning language near the door.

It was an air lock.  Jonathan approached the window and looked out into starry blackness.  He looked at the door again and noticed a blue lever labeled hatch lighting.  He flipped the switch and looked back out the port hole.

Over one hundred meters away along a frame like structure of tubes and cables, Jonathan could make out what had to be the primary compartment for navigation.  This would have been the structure for the pilot that had initially launched the ship.  The void in between was the space previously occupied by the shuttle that the pilot had likely departed the ship within.

To get to the main controls of the ship, they would have to find a way to navigate one hundred meters of vacuum, absolute zero temperatures and god knows what type of radiation, and they needed to do this within just a few days or die of starvation.

Jonathan realized that before him lay the opportunity to end his own torture, sabotage whatever plans Osama had started to conceive and more.  All he had to do, was to release the air lock.  He looked down at the safety cover over the release lever.  He started to reach for it, and stopped.

If worse came to worse, there would be other ways to kills these mother fuckers.  Sucking the air and the life out of them, refreezing them in outer space, that was too easy.  He would not make martyrs out of these assholes.  He would make them pay first.

Continue to Next Chapter - AQ – 03 – Clearing Your Head Before a Space Walk

014 – Al Qaeda in Space

vers 1.1

Brad was headed home and he was exhausted after having to decontaminate. Fortunately, the crime scene Bot’s ability to lift individual layers of evidence also gave them the ability to clean up a mess relatively well.

In reality, Rubenz had actually become a piece of evidence himself. He frowned at this notion as he realized how ridiculous this would look when this case ultimately went to court, not to mention his next review.

Brad was riding back in a common pod. As there was no emergency to respond to now, he did not rate the emergency response pod. He was sitting across from an off duty patrol person, who sat next to what appeared to be a soldier on extended leave maybe even a recently discharged veteran.

Next to him a teenage girl and her grandmother seemed to be wrapped up in a video game. Grandma was apparently much better at first person shooters judging by the curses coming from the granddaughter.

Brad had a lot of follow up work to do, including some interviews with a long list of people. He needed to track down a specialist in prosthetics, he needed to investigate some of the background of this sexual fetish trend, and he needed to dive into the financials of the victim, his company and more.

He touched the side of his own hand held computer which came to life in vivid 3d color visible only to him. The optical illusion of the screen made him forget that he was sitting in this pod and made him feel part of the online landscape.

A.D.D. kicked in and he was instantly pulled into a news update about Al Qaeda in space, this also apparently seemed to be the topic that the patrol person and the soldier were discussing.

Brad started to read a report, refreshing his memory and getting the latest on this event that was likely to cause a lot of trouble both internationally, and maybe locally.

"About 50 years ago in the mid twenties, while the remains of the US government were still being rebuilt and the UN had reached a war crimes stalemate in regards to Al Qaeda and Taliban detainees. For almost two decades fighters picked up around the world and some on the battlefield had been held in various locations around the world where the UN had little sway. Initially, they had kept many of them in Guantanamo Bay Cuba in a US military prison. But after Castro finally passed away and Cuba melted back into a capitalistic economy, the base there fell into question. The prisoners proceeded to move on a musical chair like path from one gray holding area to another."

"Times have changed but not that much. We can't just bring them back to earth and lock them up again," said the soldier who continued, "but take it from me we can't let them go again either."

"Do you really think some backwards resistance fighter from the turn of the century could keep up with the advances we've made in crime investigation, anti-terrorism, hell even warfare? It has been 15 years since I served in the military myself and even then we were far more advanced than when these Al Qaeda losers were still training on monkey bars." said the cop.

"... the US was losing political favor at an international level. Antarctica and the moon were both bastions of the UN, and the US could not hold them on their own soil or face war crimes charges. No US administration wanted to touch the problem with a ten foot pole. . . . "

"They have a will to fight and fight back unlike what we are used to today. Yes we are technically better, but mentally we are a little softer because our current adversaries are also softer. Everyone knows that the Taliban these days are pretty much just bureaucrats and Al Qaeda is more of a PR firm than a terrorist cell, but give them a fresh infusion of psychopaths with a blood lust and nothing to lose . . . " said the soldier.

"Shit we can practically predict a crime before it happens in most cases today. Plus, we have extensive psychological profiles on these assholes in space. I had to write papers on several of these tools myself in 101 level courses in college. Even if they have the will, they could barely reach down to pull a knife out of their boot before we'd know, let alone cause mass murder." said the police officer.

"...Remnants of the twentieth century NASA program that wanted to salvage some portion of their once sizable budgets dug an old technology out of the vault and offered up a solution. The idea was simple. The prisoners that did not qualify for repatriation, mostly Al Qaeda and various suicide bombers that had failed to detonate would be put into hibernation, a technology not far removed from cryogenics. They would be placed in a space ship and sent into space on an elliptical journey around the solar system."

The officer continued, "many of these guys are going to be pretty docile after being imprisoned for almost two decades on Earth as is. They are not young men any longer."

"That actually is something that makes it even harder for us," said the soldier. "Sure some will be docile, but those will actually serve to hide the dangerous ones even more. During that time they had ample opportunity to cook up new plans and ideas for revenge. Plus some of the political skeletons that were buried in past peace reconciliations will likely be disturbed all over again, unsettling people that for thirty years have come around to our side, but once disturbed might cause trouble again. The original warlords themselves may not be much of a threat here on the ground, but their children and grandchildren have benefited from their payoffs. A lot of people received those old fashioned greenbacks to stop fighting. Even while that money was being used to buy better food, homes and more, they were going home at night and telling and listening to the old stories of battle and glory in the name of Allah. Add into this mix, several thousand heroes of Allah that haven't been around or close to show just how crazy they were or are and their influence today might even be greater than it was when they were at the peak of their training." said the soldier.

"It was a fifty year journey. The decision basically kicked the political can down the road. Once the deed was done, no one could do much about it, but the fifty year game ends in two weeks. Al Qaeda would be returning to Earth and no one knew what to do with them still. No one alive today, really had much skin in the game for the decision made fifty years ago. The US government didn't truly exist in its past form. The world community didn't hold much of a grudge against the US for the mistakes of its predecessors. The former countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which were now collections of large feudal city states, did not want the fighters back. They had been continuously at war the entire time, but the fight had changed. Some factions still wanted to have foreign fighters removed from their soil, but the definition had been muddled. There was almost no side in the fight that did not have foreign fighters on their side. The immediate families of the men and women of Al Qaeda in space had all aged and mostly died away. Those that still survived would not acknowledge the connection, even though intelligence reports still had them documented."

In short no one wanted Al Qaeda. Plus, for fifty years parents around the world had turned Al Qaeda members in space into something of a bed time story bogeyman for their children. 'You better eat all of your food or Al Qaeda will fly down from space and blow you up.' 'Don't eat that gluten filled cookie or Al Qaeda himself will hit you with a beam from space and give you a belly ache.' The stories were never very realistic and often times personified the entire group as something of an angry super man or woman depending on the story.

But now the real Al Qaeda fighters were going to pass by Earth. If the world failed to pluck them from the sky, these Al Qaeda detainees would go around the solar system again, which seemed very inhumane. The world collectively felt like it had advanced past such barbarism, but it couldn't collectively figure out a solution either.

If they did collect the spacecraft, bring Al Qaeda down to Earth, then what? They couldn't be prosecuted. It was inhumane to hold them on Earth longer, especially if they were allowed to age. From the information they had from the spaceship, all of the sleepers were still in good health and had not aged much, it would be as if they had been asleep for about a month.

"No matter what, we can't just send them back around the solar system to lose another 50 years. That would be adding one crime to another, and they would be that much more out of place in fifty years when they came back around. Besides, there is the emissary issue. We are starting to get more signals from other likely sources of intelligence in space. What happens if some other species come to visit us, and stumble upon Al Qaeda first? Do we want Al Qaeda to make the first impression or alliance with a foreign intelligence? They are more of a threat to Earth in space than they are here living amongst us," said the patrol person in a definitive statement.

They would need physical rehabilitation. Their bone density and muscle mass would need a severe amount of therapy and rebuilding. So they would not be an immediate threat in a physical way, but what about their infective ancient ideas of revenge and terrorism and fighting off foreign invaders from their home land?

"That's just some old superstition that dates back almost 100 years to some silly science fiction movie that was old even to my grandparents. We shouldn't opt for a dangerous bird in the hand to avoid a hypothetical pair in the bush. That analogy only works in reverse when the potential involves reality, not some politically cooked up fear. That's the type of fear that started this war to begin with." said the soldier.

To Brad's ears, the pair seemed to be arguing in circles and he was starting to have a difficult time assessing which side either of the participants were really on.

The world frankly felt that they did not need those old wounds re-infected. There was only so much that science, therapy, re-education, and re-training could do. The Al Qaeda banishment of fifty years ago as terrible as it was, is still one of the few effective punishments to prevent suicide bombers that society has come up with. It deprive a suicide bomber or terrorist of their homeland, of their life (temporarily), of their afterlife and all of its promises for fifty year stretches and the cost benefit analysis that was pitched to a suicide bomber became much more difficult to rationalize.

'Go blow yourself up for the cause, and you will die a martyr in heaven with seventy-two virgins and the best afterlife possible under god. . . .' But that didn't play out very well when modern science could heal almost any wound. That included many suicide bombers post detonation. Science could keep a brain alive if found in tact and put someone's consciousness on deep freeze for fifty years ago blocking them from their heaven.

Furthermore, PR campaigns in a post super digital world were so powerful that any given terrorist organization could barely account for whether or not a suicide bombing had been remotely effective. Digital cover ups stopped them from finding out if the bomb went off. It prevented them from determining if anyone was killed or injured including the bomber. They could barely determine if any property was damaged, destroyed or scratched.

Terror did not work if no one saw the results of terror. With no horrid death and destruction visible, it was as if a tree fell in the forest and no one was there to hear it, talk about it, and no one could find the remnants of the tree at all! No terror, no career path for terrorists.

But these Al Qaeda space travelers had the concept ingrained in their psyche before the super digital revolution. That and they had been imprisoned for fifty to seventy years or more, held captive, in some cases physically tortured, and in all cases severed from their families and friends, who were now probably dead. In short they had yet another axe to grind.

Even with the PR tools of the present, the ever present digital recording devices around the planet would watch them around the clock. If they did find a way to cause damage, it would be sensationalized worse than the hundreds of movies on just such a possible scenario had predicted fictionally, while they were still in space.

It was a big fat mess and Brad was captivated by the story, but he had some work to do. The community pod came to a stop. As he got up, the grandmother snickered and her granddaughter snapped a quick picture of him. Brad stepped out of the car, and could see through the window as the pair started talking. On the screen of the grandmother’s device was a news report and video playing featuring an image of Brad standing in the warehouse with a giant erect phallus on his head.

Continue to Next Chapter - 015 – Another Discovery