Wendy Deckard adjusted the military uniform’s collar, then pulled her black tresses into a bun under the Major’s hat.
“Did you know, I’m a bounty hunter today?” She scratched the solid, black feline under her chin.
Wendy stood in her bedroom looking out the window. It was morning and she could hear the birds chirping outside. The cat tiptoed on the dresser in front of her, her tail way in the air. Wendy applied some blush to her high cheek bones under her green eyes. She could smell the slight perfume in the coral color. Whereon, Wendy pressed the name tag and badges against her front making sure everything was straight. She left the two story brick house. I woke up my men. They had better put up a good fight or I’ll be bored.
The afternoon heat pulsated against Wendy’s skin. She started for the car, key in hand, and plucked open the driver side car door. Wendy hesitated hopping into the oven of her black Mustang , then took the plunge and backed out of the driveway. No matter, the heat will do me good. When she arrived at Andrew’s apartment she parked in the lot behind the housing. The blacktop smelled of fresh asphalt and radiated heat she could feel through her military boots. She strolled to the white door and knocked.
Peter, a tall, muscular soldier, opened the door and saluted her.
“Ma’am, we were waiting for you.”
Wendy entered. The rest of her men were lounging on brown satin couches around the perimeter of the living room. They stood up and saluted also. Windows were to Wendy’s right and they were covered with maroon vertical blinds, which were closed. The white walls had pictures of wizards and dragons. The large kitchen was to her left and there was a hallway in front of her leading to the two bedrooms and the full bath.
“At ease, men.” Wendy saluted. Everyone took their seats. George a thin balding man of late twenties sat in the middle of the shag carpeted floor with his legs crossed. He began:
“As you remember, last time we encountered Spider-demons on the way to the guarded ruins as you were looking for the Lost Ruby of Healing. Sergeant Brown was down and you managed to steal an ambulance to treat him. Bill how much explosives does your character have?”
The game of Rifts was starting and the men kept their eyes on Wendy. After all, she was appointed leader of the misfit group. Three hours of the role playing game went by and Wendy felt she did a good job as their leader. Her men stole a truck load of explosives and had two ambulances full of surgery equipment. But a fight quickly ensued .
“Peter, you idiot! You almost got us killed!” Sam yelled jumping off the couch and getting into Peter’s face.
“It was coming down anyway before that Alien stole the ruby,” Peter said standing up to confront Sam.
“Well, you didn’t have to ram it with the ambulance then throw explosives into it,” Sam said shoving Peter down onto the couch.
“What the hell was I supposed to do?” Peter asked now sitting and looking up.
“Why didn’t you listen to George?” Timothy asked sitting on a Lazy Boy with his arm out stretched.
“Men settle down. That’s an order. Water under the bridge, as George always says,” Wendy said yawning . She twisted a stray lock of hair from her bun.
“Thanks, Wendy,” George said with a grin. He squirmed on the floor trying to get comfortable. He grabbed a zebra striped bean bag chair and settled into it. The men calmed down and Sam took his seat again on the couch. Every once and a while he looked angrily over at Peter.
“There’s a human man dressed in tattered clothing , limping with his left leg. He was doing his best pushing a motorcycle near the wagon trail going west to the settlement of Orgvilla. What do you want to do?” George asked.
“Let’s ask if he saw the Alien,” Timothy said leaning forward in the Lazy Boy.
They all agreed to talk to the traveler rather than blow him up. The man thought he saw the Alien running over the hill in the direction of the Cave of Cunning. The military men thanked him and headed in that direction. Before any new attack, the men and Wendy decided to break off for lunch. Subway sounded good. They all drifted to one green coup vehicle. George drove the men down the block and out of sight.
Wendy stood outside her Mustang thinking about her role and job in the game. Her men were following her orders well. She heard a loud roar coming up the street. A green military tank rolled toward her and stopped close-by. The lid opened and two army men in fatigues jumped out. Other men and women foot soldiers in green uniforms approached her carrying military rifles on straps against their shoulders. The radios they carried on their green vests were active.
“Major Deckard!” A Lieutenant stood at attention and saluted her.
She saluted back trying to keep a straight face. She liked this opportunity. She read his name tag. “What is it, Lieutenant Schmitt?”
“We are being invaded by some sort of large spider being from off world.” The five foot- five- inch tall man said. Within a moment, three red crystal shaped spaceships zoomed overhead. On the front was a projection of a spider-like alien waving its front four legs.
“Ma’am?” The Lieutenant asked. “What will you have us do?”
“Have any landed yet?” Wendy asked feeling a shutter go up her back.
“Yes, ma’am, out of the ships come people like us. But they are different somehow.”
“How is that, Lieutenant?”
“Their walk isn’t fluid. They jerk a bit, ma’am.” The other soldiers gathered around nodding their agreement.
“Sounds like androids. They could be Ambassadors to the spiders.” Wendy said. “Has anyone talked to them?” Wendy put her hands on her hips, elbows out.
“No, Ma’am, not our squadron.” He said shaking his head.
A slow smile spread across Wendy’s face. “I disagree. I am an android from off one of those ships,” Wendy said and pointed to the sky not afraid where this might go. The platoon of men and women quickly grabbed their guns off their shoulders, cocked and pointed them at her.
Before they could shoot, Wendy sprayed them with a red light from her eyes that engulfed their bodies. They squirmed, with horror on their faces, as they tried to fight the light. It was futile. They couldn’t move any body parts even if they tried. They couldn’t scream in terror. Wendy had them. They were hers now. The military men and women became docile and the light was removed. People on the street never paid attention to what happened. They went on as usual.
The men from the Rifts game came back in the car from Subway with extra sandwiches and all the military personnel went inside the apartment. The room was crowded. Wendy could see sweat pouring off the faces of the men and women. Let them be uncomfortable. This is a war after all. George started up the game where they left off and Peter started the new recruits on their characters which were not written on paper just memorized. Finally the new military men and women were ready to help out with the adventure. George had them all meet together. Wendy’s original team found them tied up and gagged inside the Cave of Cunning. The characters were untied and helped to their feet.
As the Alien ran out of the cave it abruptly threw an explosive back into the chamber. Lieutenant Schmitt decided to save everyone and have his character jump procumbent onto the explosive. He lay waiting. George bit his lip then described the body parts and organs that went shooting in all directions. The other characters tried to collect him and put him in front of Mike, the surgeon. Lieutenant Schmitt’s character died, even surgery couldn’t save him. Lieutenant Schmitt sat on the rug near the door with his knees up and his arms across them with a smug smile on his face. Wendy quickly evaporated his human body in blue light causing his back to curve back and he clenched his teeth hard. Lieutenant Schmitt’s body disappeared from the apartment living room just like what happened to Andrew.
“You find the Ruby of Healing under Schmitt’s body where there was a large crater. The Ruby was destroyed. We will continue the adventure tomorrow,” George said with a tear running down his cheek. Wendy reached out and wiped the tear then tasted it on her tongue. Strange. The perspiration is different and coming from the eyes. The soldiers and their characters stayed in the apartment where they drooped like puppets without strings. Wendy left the apartment at dusk under a crescent moon and hopped into her cooled down Mustang to drive home to her cat.
Let me tell you a little about myself.
Hard work and Dedication.
An Interview With Myself.
A Wrentch in the Works (short story)
Flight of Terror (short story)
Roast (short story)
The Date (short story)
Campaign (short story)
Some books on writing I have read and studied.
James's skeptical blog
Why I picked the Neanderthal people