You watch as Bob waddles his way through the bustling crowd of locals, tourists and foreign dignitaries flown in from Earth that have crowded the concourse of the Cydonia Mensae docking station. He comes to a stop at the entrance to the male restroom, and looks over his shoulder to see if anyone is watching him. Ducking behind a pylon, his body molds and twists itself, transforming into something more resembling a lump of shiny, partially transparent clay. A moment later the newly formed blob of sparkly goo morphs itself yet again into a rather leggy blonde with a set of obscenely large breasts shoved into a top so skimpy it might as well not exist at all.
Big-Boob Bob chuckles into his hand and slides into the female restroom unnoticed.
You’d shudder at the grossness of the situation if you had the time – which you don’t.
There are bigger problems at hand than Bob’s pervert tendencies. You need to get as far away from Bob’s oversized chest balloons as you can. You need to tell someone about Malloy, and Saleen, and Richardson and whatever it is they all have planned. You need to warn someone – anyone – of what’s going on.
You may not know the details, but you know someone if going to die and you can’t let that happen.
You need to get away.
You need to run.
You need to run right now.
Your feet don’t wait for your brain, and before you know it you’re barreling full speed through the crowd. You slam full force into an elderly couple doing a bit of window-shopping at a tiny store specializing in an even tinier array of useless Martian trinkets. The old woman’s face mashes against the glass with a fleshy-wet thud. Her teeth pop from her gums like they were shot from a cannon and shoot onto steel walkway below.
To no one in particular you scream out, “There’s going to be an assassination!”
Common sense and reason has long since become a thing of the past for you. People need to know what’s going to happen, and the best way you can think to tell them is to yell it at the top of your lungs.
So what if that doesn’t make sense? You aren’t thinking straight and you honestly don’t care.
You aren’t cut out for this sort of nonsense. That much is painfully obvious at this point. Perverts named Bob that can turn to silvery piles of goo . . . Malloy and his gray-haired dangly bits . . . it’s all become far too much for you to handle.
You’ve only been to Mars once in your life – just after the first Mars/Earth War – and it smells pretty much the same. You never forgot this smell. You’ve always hated it. It’s like an acidy burp after a belly filling night of Mexican food – like guacamole dipped in piss and left in the sun.
You hate this place and you want to go home.
After busting through a group of women and smacking one with your forearm, you knock over a crippled man in a hover chair then grab a ten-year-old boy by the collar of his shirt and hoist him into the air so violently his boots fall off.
Pulling him so close to your face that your spittle begins to puddle on his light brown flesh you scream into his flared nostrils, “SOMEONE’S GOING TO DIE KID! DO YOU HEAR ME? THERE’S GOING TO BE AN ASSASSINATION!”
Staring into your wild eyes and your sweat covered face the boy is instantly reduced to a jittering, sobbing mass.
Someone yells something at you from the left. Another person curses at you from the right. The cripple you knocked over whips his suitcase in your general direction. The father of the child you’re swinging like a sack of potatoes rushes in and tries to pry you loose from his son.
When that fails, he punches you in the face.
Within moments a mob of people has swarmed you, grabbing and clawing and kicking, all while screaming for someone to call the police. Through the wild mess of legs and torsos you spot leggy Bob and his massive jugs watching you from across the concourse and shaking his/her head in disbelief.
You try to point in his direction but no one is listening. Someone steps on your hand and snaps your finger like a stick of space jerky. The crowd is far more interested in beating on you, and they’re doing a mighty fine job of it to boot.
The next few hours are a blur really. Someone’s shoe connected with your temple and rattled your gray matter – after that everything seems hazy and disjointed. You can recall the police arriving – you think. You were cuffed – maybe.
Did Bob mash his boobs in your face and tell you to blow?
No, that couldn’t have happened.
There was a hover ship of some sort. Then you were scanned. At least you think it was a scan. It could have been any number of things really.
Eventually things begin at last to sharpen up and you find yourself lying face down on a steel bench. You’re dressed in a crunchy-stiff one-piece jumpsuit. A nagging pain has managed to settle the curve of your lower back, and getting yourself into an upright position again proves to be a difficult task. Across from you a set of four-inch thick laser bars are humming softly, sparking occasionally with blue-tinted twinges of electricity.
You’re in jail.
A rather beefy Martian emerges from the shadows to your left with a dangerously serious grin stretched across the leathery, gray toned contours of its face.
Reaching up with one of its boney, freakishly long fingers it begins unzipping the orange jumpsuit it’s stuffed into that’s clearly a good three sizes too small.
In a monotone voice it says only four words, “Take. Your. Clothes. Off.”
For a moment, your heart stops.
The alien then adds on two more, “Bend. Over.”
You’re in for an awfully long night.
THE ENDOops...RETURN TO CHAPTER 5