December 3, 2008
"H1349, are you present? Suspicion H2563 on S29, do you copy?" The last syllable of a question is supposed to go up in pitch. But the scratchy voice coming out of Emry's microphone remained completely monotonous.

When Emry didn't answer, the voice repeated, "H1349, do you copy?" Then, muffled, she heard Commander 3 say in the same tone, "I think it's fallen into OH hands. We'd better go find her."

The microphone clicked off.

"Yes," Emry whispered, "That's exactly what I want."

Emry waited just on the corner of S29. She could hear the faint pattering of rain on the sky-roof that covered the city 464. That was why she was doing this, she reminded herself. The rain had been pattering on that same roof on this same street when A9705 had asked her to do it. She had wanted so desperately to feel the rain that time. Maybe, she had thought, this plan will give me back my life. Maybe I'll be able to feel rain again. So, she had agreed.

In that brief moment of insanity, she had been willing to go against the alien government. Now, she wasn't so sure. She would be going against her boss, her job—everything that controlled her life right now.

I'm not really sure I can do this, Emry thought to herself. Where the hell am I going to get a job? My fame will last a split second and I'll be out of the picture...

Panic seized her stomach and she wiped her hands on her jeans. My life is a joke. One big, stupid, cruel joke.

She started to shiver from nonexistent cold. What was taking them so long? Maybe if they had gotten there sooner, she wouldn't have had time to think. Doubts wouldn't have crossed her mind.

And suddenly, she could hear their footsteps around the corner. They started at the end of the block on S43, but they were getting closer, closer, closer...

Ok, I have to make the decision now. One, two, three—

"I'm here!" Emry shouted.

"Ah, H1349. There you are." Commander 3 stepped forward with a fake smile. "Do you have your microphone? Did you see H2563?"

"No," Emry lied, "To both questions."

"Well, blast it all, where are they?!" snapped AHI76.

Emry pretended to look puzzled. "They?"

"How dense can you be?" AHI76 yelled in exasperation.

I'll start with you.

"Control, AHI76," Commander 3 said mildly.

The people who have made my life Hell...

AHI76 ignored Commander 3's advice. "I mean, honestly, H1349, what were you thinking, losing your microphone?"

Emry took out the laser.

"Hey, what's that?" AHI76's eyes were quizzical. Then, quite suddenly, he wasn't there at all. He didn't even scream.

"What did you just do, H1349?" Commander 3 asked, his voice rising in pitch now because he was terrified...

"I sent him home," Emry plastered a smile on her face.

Commander 3 actually had an expression of mild concern on his face that thrilled Emry.

"Oh," he said.

"I want to send you home, too." Emry moved closer to him, and he backed up.

"H1349, what are you doing?" He was panicking now. She could feel it.

"I'm not H1349. Not anymore. I'm Emry. Call me Emry!" She started to laugh. A jingling laugh, not an insane laugh. She was actually...happy.

"Corrupt things. Bad things. Goodbye, Commander 3." She lifted the laser.

"H1349, I command you to stop this nonsense! H1349..." He was blown away.

A little part of her conscience was telling her to stop, to feel some kind of regret or remorse. But it was hard to think of those people as dead when they had been there one minute and been gone the next. So for a large part of her mind, it was just entertaining to watch the people who had destroyed any part of her she ever loved disappear for good.

She pulled out her microphone. "Graham, mission complete, do you copy?" she whispered.

"Copied, Emry. Return to base."

Emry turned off her microphone and started heading beck on S43.

"Hey! There she is! Grab 'er!" Emry heard a male voice, then rushing footsteps behind her.

Not to be outdone, she began to run through the streets, weaving this way and that to throw off the police. But they still ran after her, gaining ground.

"Being pursued, being pursued!" She shouted into the microphone. Her heart was pounding, and she was getting hotter; hotter by the minute, so hot it was almost unbearable.

She would make it through. She would make it through if she felt the rain.

Emry laughed to herself; it was brilliant! Completely unpredictable!

She screamed into the microphone, "Dismantle sky-roof! DISMANTLE SKY ROOF!"

Then she headed towards the center of the city. The rain was still pattering, but soon it would be pouring.

Just before she reached the center of the city, she heard the sky-roof opening.

"Rain," Emry whispered, "It's here!"

She felt the cool wetness seep through her clothes, through her skin to her bone, and she was laughing at how good it felt. But through the pouring rain, she didn't hear their footsteps.

Then there was a sound. A shot. Her first thought was, someone ransacked a museum. Then the ripping, burning pain came, straight in the middle of her back. And she was choking and coughing up blood and...

This is a painful way to die.

But she smiled. She had felt it. She still felt it.

The last thing she heard was the pouring rain.
* * *

"Ugh. Look at this mess. And the laser would cut right through the ground...Dammit, A6784, why'd you have to do it that way? Don't the laser work just fine?"

"Dunno. No wonder they invented them honeys."

"You call lasers 'honeys'?"

"Sure I do. We gotta call in Clean-Up. They'll take care o' this damn human trash."

"True enough. Well, the wife's waitin' at home."

"Hope she don't look like that."

"Nah," they turned away, "she don't."
OH: Old Humans. These are the people against the alien government.
S: Street.
H: Human.
A: Alien.
AHI: Alien Human Inbred.
City 464: The number of the city.

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