The story, so far:
Six months into 2019, and I was losing my mind.
I saw down on the front step, closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and reached into my purse again. It could not possibly be empty. And indeed, it wasn’t. I swore under my breath, a mixture of irritation and relief. I’d read about stress causing actual brain damage, and this frightened me more than I’d ever have dared let on to anyone I knew.
Everything was in there, just as it should be. I pulled out the house key and let myself into the lonely darkness. I did not turn on the light. I did not want to face myself in the hall mirror. I wanted sleep. I went straight to my room, threw myself – fully dressed – onto the bed, and passed out.
Chuck grinned. “Winning one, I hope.”
“Another drink?” asked Jerry.
“Sure, I’ll have a Bulleit Train.”
“You, Emme?” Jerry raised an eyebrow. Drink, don’t speak.
“Why not?” I smiled at Jerry. “I’ll have the same. Ought to make for a rye conversation,” I quipped, winking at Chuck.
“So, you know the 6000w, do you?” he asked, as Jerry went to fetch the drinks.
“Quite the machine,” I answered, morbidly curious as to what he planned to do with 600 of them.
“Oh, don’t you worry, bless your heart – I’m not gonna start a war.” He leaned in closer and whispered, “I’m an adventurer. Remember that old show where they were ‘seeking out new worlds, new civilizations’? That’s me.” He sat back and watched for my expression. I sat still and watched for Jerry to return.
“So you’re going to use them as rippers,” I said.
“It’s never been done, you know.”
“Never been done successfully. That we know of.”
So he knew about the missing 6000ws. “600 ought to do it,” I said, softly. I’d worked on the development team, six years ago. I knew what the 6000w could do, in theory. Its capability was safely wasted on pointless wars. I felt a finger of ice trace my spine. “Might throw us all into a rift, though.”
Chuck looked up in time to see Jerry heading our way, with drinks in hand. “Would that really be so bad?” he asked, cutting straight to the chase.
“Does Jerry know?” I asked, doubtful my small-time, arms-dealer husband had half a clue what these bad boys were really designed to do.
“You’ll need someone who knows the tech,” I said quickly.”
“I will. You in?”
Six months into 2019, and I knew, in that moment, the world had gone mad. Oh, I was in. “All in,” I said, nodding.
To be continued…
The featured image for this post was created using the following Android apps: