AOL meets Net.Cop

net.cop, on loan to the Bureau of Athsma, Togglebolts & Ferrets, shuddered in sheer frustration. At this rate, he would be done only a few weeks after Armageddon. Still, it had to be done, and done until it was all done.

Gliding like stealth itself through the bushes beneath the veranda, he paused only an instant before leaping noiselessly up. Slithering over the rail, he wended his way through the house, unnoticed by either guards or guests, to the study. Light shone beneath the door, as expected.

The door burst into the study, and the man in blacker than black strode in like a hurricane, unfettered white fusion glaring from his breast. His hand hovered over the iridescent orange stick in the holster on his hip - hovered - waiting for fear to strike the twit in the chair at the keyboard - waiting for a reaction that never came.

With a feral snarl, Greg leapt across the room onto the desk, astraddle the monitor, the stick upon whom none may look leaping into his heands, towards his foe's forehead - toward the forehead of a dead man - and froze in the air.

Uncertainly flashed across his face. Dead? Already? He pulled the stick back a millimeter, ready for any trick. But this was real - the rictus of pain and horror stretched across the face before him could never be faked.

He knew what he would see. He looked anyway. Down between his feet, venom dripped from the monitor. Tiny puffs of smoke rose from the dying embers of mighty flames now nearly burnt out. He hopped to the floor, holstering his weapon. A final glance at the monitor confirmed his expectations.

Sexton had gotten here first, via the wires. Noone drove the Infobahn like Richard, racing through routers, blasting through firewalls and toll lines with equal aplomb.

Maybe the task wasn't hopeless after all. With Sexton's help, they could stop them faster than AOL could give out accounts. The net might yet survive.

The only one who noticed net.cop leaving was one of the K9s. A bred and trained killer, with no vocal chords, it could leap silently on any prey and rip its throat out so fast the prey died before it knew it was prey.

The dog saw the blackness sliding effortlessly through the night. It watched for only a second, before it hugged its belly with its tail and raced for its life in the other direction. It finally quit running when it hit a lamp post head on at full speed, breaking its neck.

The darkness scurried a few final feet, and somehow melted over the high-voltage, coiled razor wire.

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Last updated: 11 Jul 1994

Copyright 1994 Miles O'Neal, Austin, TX. All rights reserved.

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