Doc Tesseract

The adventures of Greg Silverman, retail industry employee, prospective college student and superhero.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

What Happened Today

Okay. I think I'm finally able to talk about everything.

It all started at 8:30. I ported to our rendezvous point, a back alley near Independence National Park. Punch, Judy, and Zulfikar were already there.

"I need you to get on top of Independence Hall," he said. "Try to find some place where we can observe without being spotted. Once you've got it, send a portal our way and we'll come through. Then, we'll wait for Talin."

I ported onto the roof of Independence Hall. I found a nice spot that was shadowed by the dome. Pretty soon, we were all in our new position.

"All we can do now," Zulfikar said, "is wait and pray."

We made a little small talk to pass the time. No one really felt like talking, but it was something to distract us from the imminent threat of nucelar annihilation. Around 11, Judy handed out some sandwiches she'd made the night before. "Y'know, so we wouldn't have to break for lunch."

Then, around 11:30, it happened.

"He's here," said Judy, who was monitoring once again. "He's approaching the Museum."

"All right, everyone," said Zulfikar, "let's go."

He, Punch, and Judy all leapt off the roof and hit the ground perfectly. I settled for porting to the museum and hiding behind a corner until everyone else got there. While I waited, I got a glimpse of Omar. For a guy ready to enter Paradise, he looked really nervous.

A few seconds later, there was the telltale whoosh. "Give it up, Omar," I heard Zulfikar say.

I darted out from behind the column; Zulfikar was staring Talin in the face, and he was looking like he'd snap at the slightest provocation. Off in the distance, Punch and Judy were approaching. I saw Talin's hands begin to glow, and braced for the worst.

"Omar. It's over. There are two ways we can do this: you can go willingly, or painfully. It's your choice."

God, what a cliche, I thought. Yeah, even when faced with widescale death and destruction, I'm a critic. That's when I noticed what Talin was doing. Beneath the glow, his hand was shaking. I chalked it up to nervousness, but then I saw parts of it just trailing off, like the tips of his fingers floating off into space. He was probably going to blow himself up!

I thought quickly. Where can I send him? I can't send him to the Citadel; he's already halfway to detonation, and I don't know what those machines can do. Some desert? It'd be safer... but what if I misfire, and end up nuking a bunch of tourists?

Then it hits me. No. I can't. Shoot this guy somewhere and let him blow himself up, okay, but if I sent him there, I might as well just put a bullet in his brain. He's a terrorist, but no one deserves that... do they?

That's when Talin gets this horrible look on his face, a kind of madness that you can't hope to bargain with, but maybe dodge. "I go nowhere," he said, "but through the grace of G-d!"

He raised his hand toward Zulfikar... and before I could think twice, I hit Talin with the beam. He was gone.

"Where'd he go?" Zulfikar asked. I didn't say anything; I was still in shock. "Where did you send him?"

After a few seconds, I finally spoke up. "Space," I said. "I shot him into space."

I could see shock run across Judy's face. I couldn't tell what Punch and Zulfikar were thinking... but their silence spoke volumes.

"I... I'm going home, okay?" I said. Before I could hear their answers, I ported back home.

So. That's what happened. I killed a man. I probably saved a bunch of lives, but I just feel... wrong. Like I've done something I can never right.

I think I'm taking a little break.

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