CHAPTER 6: SPIRALLING TOWARD THE FLOOR
"This court will come to order."
"You clowns couldn't come in a Mexican barnyard," I screamed, getting a cold slap in the face for my trouble.
When I went to return it the effort sent me spiralling toward the floor. Slowly I began to put it all together. The straight-jacket, the fancy office, the EQ decked out on his video monitor in a dapper old world judge's robe and wig.
Court Martial! The last hurrah before your bloody corpus adorns the pavement. Justice is blind on my planet. It also has a bad case of dysentery.
"Field Martian Lucifer Doolan, you are charged with the crime of negligence in the abduction of my daughter. How do you plead?"
Now, I can plead with the best of 'em. Just ask the ex-Mrs. Doolan. I can plead ignorance, insanity or demonic possession and still not be scratching the surface. That wasn't going to cut it this time. The powers that be were working on the railroad and I was modeling pancake suits. Meanwhile, the figure to my right slapped me hard again. He was my attorney.
"Do you deny that you were drunk and deluded on duty? That you were derelict in defense of my daughter?"
It was starting to look like they'd amputated my leg to stand on, but I stated my case once again. A tale that boiled down to a resounding thud on the plausibility meter.
"There's thin air between your ears, Doolan. How do you make seven teenagers disappear?"
I told him if I knew that I'd be Pope by now, but no one heard me in the confusion. A messenger had come in and plugged into the Equalizer's command center, (the closest the EQ could come to carnal knowledge) and once he'd gotten the binomial word the room got very quiet. Then he dropped a neutron bombshell, and when it was over I'd wish it hadn't left me standing.
Apparently, the boys in the little white suits had been working overtime on a new pop-gun. Nothing novel in that. As long as I could remember those eggheads had been promising an end to armed conflict through better weapons. Like you'd sheath a bigger willy to make shade for the ant-eaters. This time though, they hit it big.
Enter the Time/Space Warp. A little number that could break down matter, transport and reassemble it fast as a conjugal visit. This explained those pasty teens abrupt departure. What it didn't explain was anything else.
A close-up of the Warp appeared where the EQ's face had been, then slowly it began to morph into a cheesecake shot of a homicidal pin-up girl. The Equalizer's disembodied voice came booming from every speaker.
"Last week the plans for, and a prototype of, the Time/Space Warp were stolen from the Korps EQ. The top secret nature of the project made it difficult to trace the perpetrators, but it is believed to be the work of..."
My heart sank, my blood boiled and my rod stood bolt upright. That face, those menacing eyes, those sulphurous lips, but... she was dead! I knew she was dead.
The picture flicked off the screen, replaced by the EQ's hideous maw. He didn't have to, but he said it. Said the name I thought I'd buried forever.
"...Natasha Romilar and her twisted assistant Faust."
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CHAPTER 7: LETHAL DRAG