The wind picked up and the clouds blocked the moonlight completely. It was the same as standing in a disco with a strobe. Complete black. Then white light. Flashing irregularly. When the light flashed Paul was shocked to see the small pile of ash being blown away by the wind to the point where it was nearly gone.
“What just happened?”
“We dissolved the evidence. There is no body. There was no crime.”
“We? What do you mean we? How did we do that?” Paul was incredulous.
“I have to teach you what your nanites are capable of. What our nanites are capable of. We’re infested, but I know how to activate them.”
As Paul stood, the flickering moonlight died out completely and the street was dark once again. The moaning wind rustling the leaves made the darkness feel altogether supernatural, otherworldly.
When the clouds parted again and the light shone through, the pile was completely gone. There was no ash. No clothes. No blood.
Paul blinked in astonishment and disbelief. The assassin was gone.
Just gone. Unbelievable. He stared at both Lasetter and Akira, feeling stupid and not comprehending anything.
“There,” Lasetter said. “Feel better? We’re out of danger only temporarily though…”
“How did we do that?” Paul asked in shocked, getting down on his hands and knees feeling through the grass for anything: bones, blood, clothes.
“I told you. I activated your nanites to dissolve everything.”
Unable to believe his senses, Paul kept pawing through the grass trying to feel something, until he was feet away from where he remembered last seeing the body. Akira reached down grabbing his arm, trying to pull him to his feet. “Let’s go…” she pleaded.
He looked up at her and the clouds parted, illuminating her skin in a white flash of light so she glowed like a ghost, a spirit of the dead. Paul quickly turned his head downward to search through the grass, still pawing the dirt for any signs of remains. There were no bones. No blood. No clothes. Nothing.
It was is the assassin never existed.
Paul stood up slowly, staring at Akira and nodding stupidly. “It’s not even possible, but I saw it.”
“You’re a physicist, Paul,” Lasetter mumbled. “You should know by now anything is possible, and the world is not as it seems. Not at all as it seems. Every word I told you about the nanites is true. You commanded them to dissolve, and they dissolved every part of that body.”
Paul could only nod dumbly.
Lasetter let out a deep breath. “This must be hard for you. I was going to explain all this too you later, when you were ready. But it seems you need to hear it now. You’re going to need one of these…”
Lasetter removed his penis-flask from his vest and held it up to the moonlight. It glistened, and seemed to grow in his hand.
“This is not just whiskey in here,” he laughed, taking a big gulp. “Although I do love my whiskey,” he took another swig, then opened his mouth with a big exhale of breath: “Aaaaahhhhh….”
The clouds parted and the bright moonlight shone on Lasetter’s face just as he swallowed.
“If it’s not whiskey, what’s in it?” Akira reached out, taking the flask in one hand and jerking it to release the liquid.
“Careful!” Lasetter almost yelled. “That’s the elixir of life in that flask. At least the elixir of my life, and now Paul’s life. We can’t live without it.”
“Really?” Paul arched an eyebrow. “Well, talk fast Lasetter. Talk fast.”
“This whiskey—as you call it—slows the replicating ability of the nanites infesting your body, and your brain. Your cranium can only hold about 1400 centimeters, or about 47 fluid ounces of liquid, or mass, or gray matter, whatever you want to call it. If you allow the nanites to reproduce to the point where they exceed that total volume, your head would literally explode.”
As the wind howled, the moonlight once again began strobing in harsh glares, only to plunge the street back into total darkness moments later. The shadows of the trees grew and shrank as if the moon itself was changing locations. The branches of the trees shook as if they were nothing but voodoo dolls in the hands of an insane priest.
Lasetter quickly put the penis flask in his mouth, filling his cheeks with the amber fluid, then pursed his mouth into a small “o” and exhaled a fine, misty spray.
“After the nanites are exposed to the whiskey, you can either swallow them—like I do—or spit them out and give them one last command as they exit your body.”
“One last command?”
“These are smart little fuckers,” Lasseter slowly returned the flask back into his vest pocket. “And they’re tied to your consciousness. The nanites are what morphed you into Jesus Christ at the Drumpf rally. They nanites are what gives you control over other people’s minds. That’s why you’ve got to control them—or they’ll control you.”
Akira gripped Paul’s arm. “Paul, we need to get out of here. They’ll be more.” They both looked down at the grass. The clouds parted and the moon shone with a stark, white light. The trees shook.
“He said he was with “the real money” and they’re not going to stop.” She gave him a heated look and tugged on his arm firmly.
“We need to listen to her Paul.”
Paul shrugged, unable to move.
“Dangerous people are looking for you now Paul. For us. You have what they want. A way to control minds. It’s worth billions, and they want it. I know some of what’s going on, but I’m in the dark about who they really are and how they tracked you down so quickly. They’ll be coming alright, and they’re not coming to invite us to a party.”
“And this guy didn’t want to merely kill me. He wanted to rape me first. To have fun with me. They’ll kill any innocent people between them and you Paul. This is a matter of survival—not just for us—but for everybody. Perhaps for the whole planet. We’ve got to go.”
Paul hadn’t considered any of this. “You think there’s a group of people hunting us down?”
“Anything is possible with this much money, power and control at stake. Evil people are willing to do anything for money and power. You know that. We can’t trust anybody. Shit, we can barely trust each other.”
The whole idea of a secret group of people chasing them, trying to capture or kill them seemed like something from another world, some crazy delusional paranoid nightmare that Paul suddenly found himself trapped in unable to wake up. At the same time, it felt more real, and he felt more alive, than he had ever felt in his life.
Akira smiled. “Let’s gtf out of town,” she giggled. “I love what I learn using social media. Seriously, it would be horrible if we got trapped her. Let’s go, please Paul, let’s go.”
“How do you know so much about these Nanites?” Paul asked, turning his head to Lasetter.
“Those?” he said. “Oh. They completely destroyed my entire planet,” then he paused, looking up at the bright moon parting through the clouds.
“I’m here to make sure they don’t destroy yours.”