Saturday, September 24, 2016

Media Nocte

     “Oh, sweet Mercury! What did you put in it, piss?” Brimley complained.
     “Yes. That’s the secret to warming it up. I piss in it,” Santos retorted.
     “Oh, now I don’t want it,” Brimley held the coffee cup away from her while looking for a place to put it down.
     “Here. Let me,” Santos offered.
     She mock handed him the cup, which he genuinely took, eliciting her to whine, “hey, give that back.”
     In the living room, Cassie whispered, “it doesn’t make sense,” to Archel who kept one enormous eagle eye on the bickering soldiers. “Do people never grow up?”
     “Chess,” Archel murmured. In stifling a yawn, all the feathers on his head and neck went ridged. “Game,” he exhaled. “Ooh,” he moaned, “I dreamed I was…” His beak fell and his lion’s shoulders slumped.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Magni Periculi

     The headquarters of Mercury’s Elite Guards, a nondescript government building created to blend into the neighborhood of government buildings, was a fortified monstrosity with two underground passages leading to opposite sides of the Templus de Ambros. The idea being that should an emergency occur, the Kaiser and his Mercs would have direct access to an adequate evacuation route regardless of where in the Templus they were at the time of need. In practice, the passages were used to move essential personnel to and from the temple compound without drawing the attention of tourists waiting in line for the official tour. From the end of the well lit block, where Balin and Kent stood, only two things indicated that the building was anything other than part of the bureaucracy. First, a giant brightly lit sign announced: Mercury’s Elite Guard Head Quarters. And, second, a series of lights shined on limply hanging, soaked flags, banners, and pennants, which didn’t have the gumption to snap in the budding thunderstorm. Though Balin tried encouraging Kent to continue on, the young man defiantly stood his ground, enduring the drizzle while gaping at the colorful spectacle that completely wasted the architect’s efforts at designing a group of nondescript public buildings.
     “I seen a place just like this on the Strip,” Kent said nostalgically. “This one ain’t got a flashing sign pointing to parking in the rear or giant windows filled with fools and slots.”

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Rei Militaris

     With a heavy exhalation, Jessup sat down on the concrete bench inside the away team’s dugout. He stared at the tobacco stained floor. No one spoke. Steele stood with his enormous bulk blocking the short stairwell leading onto the field. Slowly inching toward the back of the dugout, Musgrove unconsciously put distance between himself and Dante who nonchalantly reclined against the chain link with his back to the field full of Hellions. 
     “Can’t be done alone,” Steele spoke deliberately. “Can be done. Needs to be. Needs a crew…ain’t a one man affair.”
     “Who you work with is your business,” Dante said. “Tell them nothing that might compromise the job.”
     “The pay?” Jessup asked.
     “As many Bits as you want on your RFIDs,” Dante answered.
     “Crazy Man,” Steele shot, “we’re outside the Bits line. That train don’t stop round here. Crews don’t work for cred. So, what’s the pay?”

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Cui Bono

     The blond nurse lightly knocked twice on the door to Kent Wheelock’s hospital room. After waiting thirty seconds, he pushed the door open, saying, “I talked to the doctor about giving you something for the pain…” Confused, the nurse stepped back into the hallway and verified the room number, before reentering the room and checking the bathroom. When he approached the bed, he found a pile of discarded bloodied gauze and other random medical supplies. “Son of a bitch,” he muttered. Back at the nurse’s station, he jotted down a quick note about the missing patient as well as a reminder to make a complaint to the Mercury’s Elite Guard liaison stationed in the hospital. He then continued his rounds, nearing the surgery wing where he was forced to jump out of the way of the swinging doors as Doctor Conway angrily shoved through, cussing up a storm.
     “…no right to interfere! I don’t care who he is. That man fucking dies it’s on General Whistler’s head. Don’t think I won’t inform the Kaiser!” Doctor Conway practically shouted over his shoulder at the pair of Regulars who stood just inside the swinging doors. For their part, the two Regulars ignored the surgeon’s outburst and maintained their posts.