Since no one sent anything in to be critiqued, I am posting the beginning of something new I am working on.
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Heaven Came Down – by Bryan
Ben set his plasma rifle on the ground and propped the angel’s corpse against a tree. In the filtered moonlight, a glow emanated from under the bill of her military-style cap. When he removed it, golden tresses fell to her camo-covered shoulders, and her serene face shone brightly, though she had died several minutes ago.
“Are you there?” Jack’s quiet voice came from the walkie-talkie at Ben’s hip. “What’s the delay?”
Ben snapped the unit off his belt, pressed the button, and whispered, “Got an angel patrol. Female. Older teen. Maybe early twenties.” He eyed the gaping hole in her chest, still smoking at the edges. “Took just one plasma shot to kill her.”
“Then she’s a grunt. Probably first generation.”
“More likely Gen Two. She’s got the glow.” Ben touched the angel’s cheek, smooth and radiant. No wonder so many people were fooled by these phonies. The so-called angels always chose attractive, youthful humans, and the radiance added to the deception. He withdrew a pneuma-scan disk from his pocket and set it against her forehead. The disk glowed purple. Both the invading spirit and the human soul were still there. “I hit her in the heart. Close range. That’ll kill a Two.”
“True, but if Gen Twos are patrolling, we’ve got more trouble than we bargained for.”
Trudy’s voice came through, even quieter than Jack’s. “Don’t be such a pessimist. I found the Jeep at the coordinates. Everything’s inside, including the cooler with the vaccine. Our mole came through. We’ve got this.”
“Good.” Ben slid the disk back to his pocket and glanced around for any sign of movement. Nothing stirred. “I’m at the site, but I haven’t had a chance to check the locker yet.”
“What’re you going to do with the angel?” Jack asked. “We have to be to the security gate by dawn. Not enough time to collect the implant.”
“No, but I can free this poor girl’s soul.” Ben withdrew his handgun from its hip holster and set the barrel against the angel’s forehead. In some ways, she looked like a younger version of Kat, but he couldn’t let sad memories stop him from doing the right thing. “Sorry, young lady, but it’s for your own good.”
* * *
Trudy stood at the roadside and stared at her walkie-talkie, her body tense as she waited for the inevitable. Seconds later, a gunshot rang from the speaker. As she imagined a soul flying from a ruptured skull, she blew a sigh. Another tragic casualty. But at least the girl was no longer a prisoner of the implanted slave master.
“Bugging out,” Ben said from the walkie-talkie, breathless, apparently running. “With any luck, the gunshot’ll draw the patrollers here, and I’ll be long gone.” A hum blended in, Ben’s electric motorcycle. “I got the replacement vials. Be there in about twenty. Watch out for Spy Net. When that patroller doesn’t report in, they’ll search for her.”
Trudy scanned the sky through the tree canopy, mostly bare as a cool breeze rattled the remaining dry leaves and prompted her to zip her jacket. The gibbous moon hung low, and the usual stars dotted the blackness. In the distance, a light blinked over the city skyline, maybe an airplane, too slow to be an angel craft. So far, so good.
“I found the tech gear,” Jack said. “We’re set. See you in ten, Sis.”
Trudy pressed her walkie-talkie button. “Roger that. No bogeys in sight. I’ll prep the Jeep.” She attached the walkie-talkie to her belt, opened the vehicle’s back hatch, and flipped up the cooler’s lid. A cloud of white vapor rose into the humid air. Inside, several trays of vaccine vials lay stacked in layers, five hundred doses. She closed the lid. Perfect. Enough to protect the everyone in the border areas.
She zipped open a suitcase lying next to the cooler. Their disguises lay folded neatly inside. Once again, perfect. After rezipping the suitcase, she hustled around, jumped into the driver’s seat, and started the electric motor with the push of a button. It hummed, barely audible.
Her hand trembled. She clutched the steering wheel to settle it. This was no time to lose her nerve. They had rehearsed this infiltration mission fifty times. She couldn’t show fear, not now, not even around Ben and Jack … especially around Ben and Jack.
After taking a deep breath, she imagined a Gen Five staring at her, wings spread and eyes glowing blue. She firmed her jaw and whispered, “Just wait, you filthy cockroach. You have no idea what we have in store for you.”
Categories: Critique Group