By Toni Jackson
This entire situation made me think of an episode of the Twilight Zone.
First Hitman’s married - with kids no less, Bitter is trying to help the U30, and Dispatch...I don’t know what to say about Dispatch. It’s like I stepped into an alternate reality.
How could things have changed so much in just a few years?
I felt the slight tingling in my head that signaled Chase forming a mental link to communicate. His voice echoed in my head, the worry evident in his tone. “Mom, is everything okay?”
“No.” I answered. Nothing was okay, and who knew if it would ever be again.
Dispatch’s appearance was...disturbing. And downright bizarre.
His eyes darted around, taking in the decorations of Hitman’s home. This was not the Dispatch I had worked with for years. That Dispatch kept his cool...for the most part. Leroy had a way of getting under his skin that always provided entertainment. In rare moments he could be understanding, but he was never erratic.
Bitter stood by, silent and frowning at Spire trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey on the floor. I personally thought it was a good look for him. I never liked Spire. I tolerated him as a part of the team, but whenever possible, I avoided him.
And now apparently, he was back from the dead. I began to wish I had never brought the kids back with me. Everyone looked startled at Dispatch’s announcement, except for me and Bitter.
“There’s a new Headquarters. This one is only accessible through different portals around the city. It’s fully stocked with everything we would need; shelter, food, a command center, meeting rooms, you name it. Including ammo.”
If that wasn't the understatement of the millennia. “I know of several planets whose fleets aren’t nearly as well prepared.”
At the mention of weapons, Hitman perked up. “What kind of weapons are we talking about?”
Bitter started to recite a list of weapons, some I had been able to identify, some I had never heard of. But then there were others that I knew did not belong on Earth.
I tuned him out until I heard, “...something called a Drogos…”. I held up a hand to stop him.
“Wait! How in the hell did he get his hands on a Drogos?”
Hitman stared at me. “What in the hell is a Drogos?”
My voice shook as I described the weapon. “Think of Earth’s old science fiction movies. The ray guns, the weapons that turned people to dust? They’re just the kiddie version of the Drogos. It was created in the Andromeda Galaxy on Arsus, a planet your scientists haven’t discovered yet. They’re experts at weapon making, but the Drogos was considered so dangerous, it was outlawed when I was a small child. It can be programmed to destroy a person without destroying anything around them. A city but everything around it would be intact. Or even an entire planet. If there’s one in the armory, this takes everything to another level. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t suggest this, but when’s the last time anything was normal? We need to take everyone and stay in the bunker until we determine if there are any more of these things out there. I’ll need to contact my brother and see what he can find out.”
Hitman placed his hands on his hips and let his head fall forward.