Just a reminder that this is Memorial Weekend. Remember the ones who died fighting in our wars. I will remember my grandfather who fought in WWII and was lucky to survive to know his grandchildren.
Back to our story:
Kaboom. The gate disintegrated. Klaxons screamed. Ermie was screaming with them. I pulled him out and put him into his capsule. It would take him some time to calm down from the noise. It looked like Ermie was down for the moment. Still I had Donald. What! Donald was grinning.
Yes, I was grinning back. We hadn’t had this much fun since we were out in the field. In fact we had so much fun with guns and explosions that Ms. Frigg had pulled us to work for tech support call center. That wiped the grin off my face.
I would give my left nut to stay out in the field and off those phones.
I peeked above the barricades to see if our explosion had been noticed. It was eerily quiet. If there had been a guard on that gate of any species, we would have heard some swearing and shots at my exposed head.
“Donald,” I said. “Check with net control.”
Since Donald was slightly telepathic. Humans were the only species in the cosmo that was head-blind, which sometimes put us in a disadvantaged position against other species. But, our abilities to adapt to most situations and flexible mental structures made us very dangerous. Well, we were a quarantined world.
Though I wondered if we were actually rats in a laboratory experiment.
I adjusted my telescopic vision. This was a biological implant that worked with my eyes to see better and farther than normal vision. Unlike Ermie, it wasn’t sentient. I saw a long black line against one of the square ugly buildings. While I watched it moved so slowly that I wasn’t sure what it was.
I bumped Donald so he would take a look. He began swearing up a blue smoke.
“Damn,” he finished. “That is one helluva big roach.”
I wasn’t seeing it until he pointed up. I was seeing the legs. The body of the roach blocked out the sun and was over the roof of the ugly squat building.
“What the hell.” I spit out.
“I’ve never seen on that big.” He urgently hit all the telepathic buttons to the lab animals. If Ermie was still in my ear he would be screaming and fainting, and fainting and screaming. I felt like doing it myself.
We backed away slowly. Maybe the roach wouldn’t see us. It was so big and we were so little. Long thin extensions around the mouth reached for us.
Donald yelled, “Down.” We were flat and the things passed over our heads. “Stay away from the maxillae.” Donald yelled.
I had no idea what the maxillae were, but if they were the things trying to grab us, he didn’t have to tell me twice. I scrambled on my hands and knees. The rocks bit into my hands. If I jumped into one of the sticker bushes, maybe it would discourage the roach.
I wasn’t quick enough. The roach reached down and picked me up by the bug spray strapped to my back. I think I screamed when I saw the mandibles crunching. I patted pulled my big knife from my belt and held it in front of me. If it got me anywhere near its mouth, it would hurt before I became roach food.
continued next Friday