Digital Killers


Composition, Hour 2


10-4-02


I sat on the craggy rock and watched the black briefcase sink, leaving a trail of bubbles in its wake. Tears ran down my cheeks when I thought about everyone that had to be sacrificed. Maybe it didn’t have to be that way. Still I knew that time could not be taken back. Fate was blind in that way.


Instant rewind to five hours earlier. Tad had bounced into the kitchen with his usual morning vigor and set about making breakfast for himself. I munched on my nut muffin, completely unaware that in a few short hours I’d be staring into Tad’s lifeless eyes.


We made small talk, commenting on the weather, discussing the books we were reading, and what had happened on All My Children the day before. All meaningless. The last piece of Tad’s life lacked anything extraordinary or special.


An hour later we were sitting in the middle of a traffic jam, Tad swearing at the air and me fiddling with the knobs on the radio.


“Do you know what happens if we show up late again? Bob is going to pulverize us, that is what,” Tad groaned. He glared at the traffic jam with poison eyes.


I ignored his whining and focused on the large billboard towering above us.


“You know, I could really use an Egg McMuffin right about now…” I dreamed aloud.


That is when it happened. It was only distant whine at first, but then it grew louder, and then deafening. Within minutes the thundering rumble echoed throughout my body. I was sure the whole world was going to come crashing down on top of me. Then the military helicopters swung out in front of us, nimble and quick. They were so close I could see the faces of the men inside (if you could call them that), nothing but pieces of machinery intended to kill. Six red stars adorned each side. The same six red stars on every letterhead in Tad’s office.


In a flash they opened fire, swooping up and down the highway firing at anything that moved. The bloodbath ensued.


Instinctively I dove under the dashboard. Tad wasn’t so lucky. His blood went everywhere, staining the leather upholstery a bright red. Just as quickly as they had appeared, the copters left.


I didn’t know what to think. Over and over in my head I saw those red stars. Why would they attack a highway of all things? My thoughts whirled. All I knew for sure was I had to find out the truth. Tad had been the leader of the entire operation. Normally I’d go to him, but that was impossible now. The only other person who knew as much as Tad was Dr. Greens. I had to speak with him immediately.


Before extracting myself from the car I reached over and pulled Tad’s wallet out of his pocket. I flipped it open and took out his card key, which would no doubt prove to be useful.


Seconds later I was walking down the bloody highway. Miles and miles of gore lay ahead of me. I increased my pace. If I didn’t get to Greens soon, I’d breakdown.


By the time I got into work the place was in total chaos. Bob was rushing about, screaming and moaning about publicity and how we would explain this to ‘the public’. Frankly, I was a bit sick of having to report to the public everyday anyhow. Better to wipe out the idiots while we had the chance.


I strode into the training base, swiped the card into the key slot, and marched into the lab.


“Doctor Greens, WHAT IS GOING ON??” I screeched it loud and shrill. Greens dropped his little tweezers and started mumbling about internal clocks and presets and short-circuiting.


“Save your technical mumbo-jumbo. Why did the soldiers destroy the highway?” I screamed.


“It was a problem with the disks,” he said simply.


This is when I lost it and descended into complete insanity. Grabbing the feeble man by the shoulders I began to shake him, wanting to know why Tad was taken from me. The irony that his own soldiers, his creations, his babies, would take him away was more than I could