Chapter 18: On Blast [Unedited]


It wasn't something that you'd see everyday in the streets of Buffalo Grove, but the US Military was out in force. #gio

I wouldn't call this a show of force, because that'll be demonstrated by the other superpowers who the US just opened its borders to. #gio

The store owner had probably never been more terrified in all of life with the federal grilling that's about to be received. #gio


With the streets of the near vicinity cordoned off and the city limits blockaded, they are well aware that I'm long gone. #gio

It's called a doughnut search, and the scene at the clothing store is the doughnut hole. #gio

The trick is to herd me to my capture near the outer ring. Again, Nelissa's preparation is as borderline exhaustive as this search. #gio


They've scouted me well. Everybody knows that I have no intention of leaving until my memories return. #gio

Or at minimum, until somebody answers my questions - that is. To me, there's no point in running anymore. #gio

For now, I walk. Down the streets, I stroll freely. Eye contact is kept to a minimum, but I have satellites to compensate for that. #gio


But this is not a two-way street because the satellites do not have me. I wouldn't call this a spoof so much as it's an erasure. #gio

Again with the specialized gear and computer assistance, soldiers could stare directly at me, but I'd be off of their sensors grid. #gio

NSF Tanks streak by as they are given priority along the street with designated lanes coming in and out of the vicinity. #gio


The other lanes become a congested traffic nightmare of random car searches and detours through out of the way neighborhoods. #gio

Normally, I'd launch into a tirade about how I could just teleport wherever and they should know this, but they've known all along. #gio

I've got an entire universe of destinations at my disposal, but the information that I seek resides here with the NSF. #gio


So yes, maybe I took a cab, or perhaps somebody witnessed something which was out of the ordinary. My pursuers' technique is sound. #gio

At this stage of the game, I'd expect nothing less from Nelissa's coordination, and it is a game. She plays to win. I must not lose. #gio

Inconspicuous as I am - making my way among the curious masses who have gathered to see their finest in action, I'd prefer solitude. #gio


The more public the crowd, the higher the possibility of witnesses; and some of my best work has been done - making them look silly. #gio

"That was the guy," the poor clothing store owner pleads. "He had these cords coming out the back of his neck. It's how he paid." #gio

"And you didn't think to question this occurrence?" I love it how hands-on Nelissa is - heading up this mission personally. #gio


The clothing store owner cracks me up, "Hey, it's a free planet, and his money was good. Who am I to judge an eBook by its cover?" #gio

"We had the security tape pulled," Lazaro alerts, "and it shows nothing. From the likely timestamps, the video had been rewritten." #gio

Nelissa turns to Lazaro and says, "Biometric scans will do us no good. I only want visual scans with the naked eye from here on out." #gio


And this is precisely why I need to get out of the open as Lazaro responds, "Yes, Ma'am," before proceeding to disseminate the order. #gio

"NSFm-1 Alpha," Nelissa speaks aloud, "I know that you can hear me. You possess what I need, and I have what you want. Let's trade." #gio

"How would we meet up?" I answer back through her Ear-To-Mouth Com. A little compromise never hurt anybody. #gio


Accommodating like a fox, Nelissa offers, "I'll come to your position alone. Where are you hiding at currently?" #gio

Just being honest, my reply is, "I don't feel comfortable giving out that information. You've been trying to kill me as of late." #gio

"I'm merely kicking the tires," she dismisses my concern, "because I need you alive." Strangely, that's a relief. #gio


Nelissa continues, "If I wanted you dead, you'd never see it coming." Okay, now that's disconcerting. #gio

Making an attempt to update her on his progress, Lazaro catches himself by holding his tongue as he realizes who she's talking to. #gio

"Thinking nothing of it," being nobody's punk, I engage in some healthy posturing, "my next thought could end your life." #gio


"You may be a weapon of mass destruction, but you're not a cold-blooded killer," Nelissa advises. Wait a minute; that's my line?! #gio

She absolutely terrifies me, but her oratory is seductive, "I propose a trade: My knowledge for your power." #gio

"Networking is your thing after all," true, "so let's not waste each other's time." But should I connect up with her? #gio


As tempting as this sounds, it's invariably a trap but still an angle that's worth pursuing. #gio

I'm not a fan of the high pressure sell, so I slow the proceedings, "Let me have an opportunity to think about it," and end the call. #gio

It was a good thing too. This movie is about to start, and I take my seat just as the 'Silence All Smartphones' PSA screen comes up. #gio


It's pretty empty in here for an evening matinee, but the real show is going on outside with all of the troops, mecha, and weaponry. #gio

That reminds me: Whatever happened to drive-in movies? With vehicles being powered by solar cells, I'd expect to see a resurgence. #gio

I've always loved coming attractions. It really amazes me how creative people can be within the parameters of confined spaces. #gio


As I get geared up yet comfortable for the main feature to begin, my personal space is suddenly invaded. #gio

This lady just climbs over me politely but climbs over me nonetheless in order to get to her seat. #gio

Out of all of the open spaces throughout this theater, I am simply stunned by how somebody just has to gravitate toward mine. #gio


Aside from this couple who sits in a front corner and hasn't stopped talking since I sat down, I was hoping for some alone time. #gio

I often find that type of behavior to be interesting as well - not the talking but the front row choice of seating arrangement. #gio

Unless the place is packed, you wouldn't catch me sitting in the front row - looking up at the screen. These movies are too intense. #gio


As I often do, I check the databases of the world and find out that this lady's name is Mahagony. Yes, with the 'a' and 'o' reversed. #gio

According to a police file, she has an interesting background and surrounds herself with shady characters at present. #gio

We all have questionable pasts. At least the lady can remember hers. But the future can be anything that we make of it. #gio


Not that I really want to get all philosophical as the movie is set to begin - but Mahagony starts talking to me. Lonely much? #gio

"I'm glad to be on time," she makes small talk. "As expensive as the tickets are these days, I even sit through the end credits." #gio

Oddly enough, it's not in my nature to simply blow or cut her off. I'm genuinely interested in this conversation. #gio


"I'm not sure why more people don't," I whisper back as if the couple in front who hasn't stopped talking would even be disturbed. #gio

"My name's Mahagony," she introduces herself with a right hand that extends in my direction. I wonder if her parents knew Nelissa's.. #gio

The conversation heads into overtime or the movie's opening sequence rather as I field another question from her, "What's your name?" #gio


Good question. I should be straight-up and answer honestly with what I do know. Heck, I'm not the only person with a weird name. #gio

"NSFm-1 Alpha," but my friends call me.... Ouch, what a bummer. I then proceed to say, "It's nice to meet you, Mahagony." #gio

"It's nice to meet you too..., NSFm-1 Alpha," now I know she did not just hate on my name - didn't have to go and pause all like that! #gio


Uneasily, Mahagony shirks away from the conversation and slumps into the comfort of her smartphone. A movie is playing up front...? #gio

What did the world do before text messaging, instant messenger, and email? Strangely, with this technology, we seem more distant. #gio

More disconnected - the correlation should state otherwise, but the slower times with snail mail did net us a better quality of life. #gio


I'm not even talking about the culture of anonymity which is big and bold enough to say and do all kinds of things behind avatars. #gio

And I know. I've got every means of communication at my disposal, but I'm the one clinging to my humanity - resisting the pull. #gio

Means supposedly take us to the ends, but humanity often ends with the means. We lose a little of ourselves with every abbreviation. #gio


I'm reminded of the 'this generation has it too easy' diatribe that speaks of school, snow, and hills - both ways; but isn't it true? #gio

I've totally missed the opening credits by now, and I'm sketchy on the details of the movie's beginning, but this is important. #gio

Technology is meant to help people excel - not stagnate. For me, I expand my horizons through its use. It's not a limiting factor. #gio


Anyway, that must have been some text message to cause me to become this emotional during a film that I'm not even watching. #gio

As coldly as I can articulate a new lack of feeling at this moment, I turn to Mahagony and say, "You'll never collect on the bounty." #gio

"Give me your smartphone," I advise. She's stunned by my knowing, or is it fear? #gio


Mahagony is frozen, unsure as to whether or not I will act like the supposed maniac who she just tipped the US government off to. #gio

But no, that's not my MO. I give people the benefit of the doubt even when they continually choose not to extend the same for me. #gio

She's not moving fast enough, so I snatch the smartphone from out of her hands. There's not much time for any of us right now. #gio


It's normally freezing cold inside movie theaters, but this one isn't - not anymore. I can sense the temperature rising steadily. #gio

My thermal scans can see the incoming heat spectrum of what's coming down from above. Mahagony has no idea of what's been unleashed. #gio

I immediately pull a tendril out of the back of my neck and plug its connector into the smartphone. She's terrified by the sight. #gio


In almost a flinch, Mahagony gets up to escape, but I mention that, "You should be more concerned with sights unseen." #gio

"A spacestation couldn't even outrun what's about to come," I explain before showing her a visual on the smartphone screen. #gio

It shows the seven satellites of the NSF Satellite Weapon aligning. "They have no problem with taking you out in the process." #gio


The implications of this major occurrence really go a long way toward citing its enormity. #gio

Chakra is the name which was given to each of the seven components that serve as keys and are needed to operate the satellite weapon. #gio

Every superpower is in possession of one Chakra. For them to be cooperating for the purposes of taking me out, it speaks volumes. #gio


What it says loudest is that Nelissa is playing both sides of the fence. I can't blame her for wanting to cover all the bases. #gio

She needs my abilities but also has to pretend like I'm some experiment that's gone horribly awry in order to keep suspicion at bay. #gio

By me being the solution to the current arms race which is the division of the seven Chakras, I'd become the main focus of the next. #gio


My ability to circumvent the need for the seven Chakras and control the satellite weapon outright will be a pivotal concern for many. #gio

From this moment forward, I'd imagine that I'll be hunted by the entire planet if I happen to survive this radius attack. #gio

Once aligned, the satellite fires a vicious ERW wrapped within an EMP container downward which'll at least leave the buildings intact. #gio

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