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A Short, Short Story
From Jim Kirwan
A satirical mini-drama that could've, Should've & maybe yet be attempted but so far is just a lame way to say what came to mind, when I read this short piece...
The room is deep within the bowels of the CIA, the concrete walls are three feet thick and lined with lead. We see what appears to be a pair of coroner's tables, with a covered corpse on each one. They are side by side and alone in the room; beneath a single high-intensity ceiling-spot. Two figures in radiation-resistant gear from head to foot are standing in the shadows talking quietly, as we move closer.
" What the hell are you talking about?" the taller of the two is saying as he leans in; trying to make an impression on the shorter of the two; from behind the heavy faceplate in his suit.
"Hey I just told you what I heard from some very strange people that were changing in the dressing room. I'm still trying to figure this out!"
The second figure twitches a little trying to re-establish some degree of reassurance in his stance.
The shorter of the two turns toward the tables and moves in that very deliberate way that only someone encased in layers of a very heavy protective suit that is meant to prevent anything from reaching the skin will do He stops between the two tables and pulls back the lead-lined drape from the face of the closet body. "So I guess that was her" he mumbles.
"WHO"! Calls out the other figure.
"Big Sis" he says. "But she never looked like that ­ she was umm ­ a lot heavier, and those purple spots and indentations were never there before ­ I wonder what the hell happened to her?"
"Remember where you are dummy" the man began to lift the sheet from the face of the other corpse. "Who's this supposed to be?" he wonders aloud.
"They said it was pin-hole or pin-head or something like that." Said the smaller figure with that hollow toss of the head that speaks of 'one who knows' ­ something. "You mean Pinole, the head of TSA?" the other figure dropped the heavy cloth back over the dead Secretary of Transportation.
"Yeah" that's it I guess."
"Well according to these guys they were apparently a bunch of people that have to commute, by plane, to work and back five days a week between Washington and New York ­ and they were beginning to get like SICK  - ya know." So they decided to prove their theory ­ the one about what was making then sick."
"Damnit I asked you what happened to these two people ­ my GOD don't you realize who these people were! Shit ­ somebody is going to die over this crap ­ who else knows!"
"Everybody by now ­ I guess. Hell we're nothing but the bottom rung of the chain-of-command ­ so who's the dummy now ­ smart ass! If there in here then the whole damned world must know about it by now."
"Oh yeah ­ then why are there squads of marines just outside both ends of this room ­ armed to teeth and looking like they want to kill somebody - ANYBODY right now?"
"Beats me ­ All I know is that one of those guys in the dressing room was laughing and crying at the same time. He told me that the whole thing had started as a prank to prove that the backscatter machines could kill you. Then one or two of them thought that the others were serious so they 'arranged' to get these two together ostensibly to prove how effective their useless machines really were."
"How the hell did they get past security?"
"They didn't have to they just got hold of one of these machines, using some stolen credentials, had it set up in an official room and then labeled it a RESTRICTED AREA ­ posted themselves as guards and then locked the outside doors (security you know)."
"What happened next"
"Well Big-Sis was outraged and rude, and one of the group just cold-cocked-her with a right cross that knocked her out. And pin-head was trying to find the gun he no longer carries when one of the others hits him with a chair, from behind. Then they discussed the situation and decided to proceed with what they had already decided to do but it had only been a fantasy before."
"Will you get to the god-damned point ­ what the fck did they DO!"
"Well they tied each of them to a machine. And then they set the machines to scan each one of them 40 times in a row, continuously. You see every five days that these people had to fly, would force them to be scanned twice a day or ten times in a single week. They had tried complaining but no one would listen ­ they tried everything but nobody gave a damn-so they came up with the idea of using the machines to do what they wanted to show the world that they could do ­ if something wasn't done."
"I get it now ­ so who better to test the safety on than the two people that ordered all this shit in the first place ­ right?"
"That's about it" Some of the group wanted to kill them outright; but then after they talked about it they decided to put these two through the machine and see if they survived. If the Secretary of Transportation and the Head of Homeland Security lived ­ then the machines could stay ­ but if they died after only forty consecutive doses of their own prescription-radiation (just one months' worth of scans)  - which they had guaranteed the public was SAFE ­ well then I guess that would mean that the "bosses" were wrong."
"And Dead ­ moron!"
"Well ­ yes I guess there is that ­ but they won't be missed anymore than will all those people that they were responsible for traumatizing just to make the point of just how tough TSA CAN REALLY BE!"
" Yeah ­ well I guess this might actually change a few things up there in those terminals ­ once the word gets out?"
"And just what EXACTLY makes you think that will happen" said the  6 foot 8 inch Special Forces Marine that had just entered, and who was just
Raising his weapon with the silencer that had just put two rounds through his companion. . . And with the next two shots all conversation ended.
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