“Kneel before Zod!”
Paul screamed at the top of his lungs at the two remaining agents, arms high in the air, fingers flapping wildly.
Bullets whizzed past his head. The drywall exploded behind him sending chipped, white shards rolling over the carpet like broken marbles.
Billy-Bob hurled himself at Paul, encircling his waist with powerful arms and tackled him to the ground.
Lasseter could hear intense gasping as the wind was knocked out of Paul’s diaphragm and he tried desperately to regain his breath.
“That must have hurt,” Lasseter laughed, ducking behind the couch while bullets pierced the wall like so many flying insects against a rapidly moving automotive windshield.
“Get out of here, now!” Akira whispered intently, staring at the three of them as her finger remained tight on the trigger of the RPG.
“I’ll take the shot whether you’re a safe distance or not. Remember: I don’t care about any humans. Even you. I care about one thing…” She turned, patting her abdomen, “This!” she screamed.
With the blood in his mouth and his head still spinning, Paul couldn’t remember if he heard the bullets first or felt the powerful arms of Billy-Bob tackle him to the floor. Looking around, he could see everyone was armed, locked, loaded and ready for another killing spree.
Everyone except Lasseter. He has hiding behind the couch, probably sipping away at his flask, laughing and waiting.
Paul knew what he had to do, he just had to do it.
His brain was foggy and his eyesight was slowing returning to normal. It was like he was looking at reality from an underwater pool. Everything was a blur, a bit hazy, but he knew he had touched their minds.
“They haven’t seen the movie,” Paul screamed, breaking free from Billy-Bob’s iron grip.
“What movie?” Lasseter asked from safely behind the couch.
“Superman,” Paul answered, standing once again to face the agents shooting from the shadows.
“When I said, ‘kneel before Zod’, all I got pinged back was confusion. They don’t know who Zod is or what I mean…”
“It’s an old movie, Paul.”
“It was the first thing that popped into my mind.”
“Can you try communicating with them a bit more effectively?”
“If you’ve tapped into their minds, speak to them in their own language, you idiot!” Akira frowned at Paul, muttering to herself: “Insects, you’re all fucking insects. What am I doing here?”
“Did it work? You finally tapped into some minds?” Lasseter peaked his head above the couch.
“Yeah, yeah,” Paul answered. “These two are among the nanite anointed.”
Another bullet ricochet off the wall, grazing Billy-Bob’s thigh.
“Then start doin’ your nanite thing like you did to me,” Billy-Bob screamed, grapping his leg and limping away to join Lasseter.
“Let me pull the trigger. It’s easier that way.” Akira squinted her eyes and resumed her aim.
Paul stood up, directly in the line of fire.
“Forget about ‘Kneel Before Zod! Throw down your weapons!”
That was something everyone understood.
Immediately Billy-Bob’s Glock rolled across the carpet and hit Paul’s foot.
“Not you,” Paul whispered.
“Couldn’t help myself,” Billy-Bob answered.
Paul peered through the shattered glass. Sure enough, the agents had thrown down their weapons and were standing motionless, awaiting their next command.
“Approach slowly,” Paul yelled.
Immediately Billy-Bob was standing nearly glued to Paul’s right shoulder.
“Not you, I said.”
“Can’t help myself.”
Paul turned again to see the agents ambling toward the front door.
“Okay, now everyone except Billy-Bob come in and sit your asses down,” he screamed.
Billy-Bob heaved a sigh of relief.
Akira took her finger off the RPG and locked the safety.
“It’s not perfect yet, but ‘twill do,” Lasseter uttered, coming from behind the couch.
Sure enough, he was sucking on his flask.
The two agents, bloody yet ambulatory, sat on the floor, backs against the wall, smiling and gazing upon Paul lovingly.
Paul bent at the waist and stared the closest agent directly in the face.
“Now, what were your orders?”