Limply launched himself at Douglas and knocked the much larger CIA agent onto the corpse of his companion. Douglas grabbed at Limply and managed to get a hold of his left wrist, but Limply's other hand swept down and raked red scratches across his face before closing on the man's throat. Limply flailed with his legs, driving his knees repeatedly into the man's midsection.
"Fuck you, you fucking fascist!" Limply spit blood into the man's face.
Douglas gripped Limply's other hand and threatened to turn him onto his back. Limply cracked his skull down against the agent's in a dazing headbutt and then followed up by biting off the tip of the man's nose. The thing inside Douglas howled in otherworldly agony and kicked out, knocking Limply off of him and sending him sprawling on the floor of the apartment. Douglas staggered to his feet and reached for his pistol.
"Now, now, that's enough of that." The voice came from a woman standing in the doorway.
Both men turned to see who had spoken. To Crutch Limply it looked like a completely average woman, of average build, average facial features and average attractiveness. She was the definition of unremarkable and even her plain t-shirt and blue jeans seemed carefully picked from a rack at the most generic store on the face of the earth. What stood out to Limply was the bizarre and extremely thin rifle she was holding in her hands. He had never seen anything like it and clamped to its almost pencil-thin length was an enormous multi-faceted scope.
The entity inside special agent Paul Douglas regarded the woman a bit differently. The CIA agent's fleshy eyes saw a human female, but the creature behind them had means of perception unknown to mankind. It saw a four armed Sekkar hiding inside of a machine-generated human suit. What's more, it recognized the Sekkar as Meh'hl Torvasees Re'eshun, one of the galaxy's most infamous bounty hunters and a creature who had been hired to hunt the entity's brethren in the past.
Paul Douglas attempted to bring his pistol up and aim it at the woman. There was a crackle of electricity and then an indistinct purple mass was being hurled through the air out of the agent's convulsing body. An arc of white electricity was leaping and twisting from the barrel of the rifle the woman held and pinning the creature against a wall.
"Big fucking mistake," Meh'hl informed the creature in the Imperatrixian commerce language.
Crutch Limply watched in disbelief as a stream of glittering white shards spat from the barrel of the weapon. They hissed and left smoke trails as they sliced through the air and into the writhing purple cloud caught in the arc of electricity. A subsonic howl vibrated through Limply's sinuses as the creature died. The second of the things, lost in the sea of pornographic memories inside Limply's mind, barely even acknowledge the death of its long time companion.
The woman turned the barrel of the weapon to point at Limply.
"One down." She said in a language Limply had no means of comprehending. "Now tell me where I can find Linus Guthry."
The immense plaza facing the presidential palace in Mexico City was filled with regimented formations of Karl Haushofer's Panzerkommandos. There were nearly ten thousand of them standing at attention - fully half of Haushofer's regular troop strength - and they were resplendent in the polished black and brass plates of their panzer suits. Each man had closely cropped blond hair and blue eyes, strong jaws, and muscular frames that easily carried the actuated weight of the panzer suits. The Panzerkommando were the pride of Haushofer's Thule Society and this display was one of pure vanity.
His spies had already informed him that Raylene had designs on retaking Mexico City and he was well aware that a vast alien armada was preparing to descend from orbit to subjugate the human race. All the same, his sleeper uprising had functioned brilliantly, hundreds of thousands of fresh recruits indoctrinated by a series of infomercials he had paid to broadcast in the mid-1990s. They had taken a number of cities throughout North America and he was already using his advance forces and operatives to consolidate the gains.
Mexico City, Haushofer considered, would be the capital of his new empire, and as such it would need to be well protected. Huge convoys of the sleepers were well on their way to joining up with triumphant Panzer Kommandos to prepare for the coming battles. He felt that now was the appropriate time to celebrate, to exult and congratulate himself over his great victory.
I have raised over $300 participating in quilting bees for the American Quilting Bee Society so I think I deserve at least seven minutes of your time.
Ernest Cline, writer of Ready Player One, shares his newest poem.
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