Second Variety

forward command is correct. It’s worth a try, at any rate.”

“I’ll send an officer out. And report the results to you as soon as he returns.”

“All right, Major.” Thompson broke the connection. The screen died. Up above, the antenna came slowly down.

Hendricks rolled up the paper, deep in thought.

“I’ll go,” Leone said.

“They want somebody at policy level.” Hendricks rubbed his jaw. “Policy level. I haven’t been outside in months. Maybe I could use a little air.”

“Don’t you think it’s risky?”

Hendricks lifted the view sight and gazed into it. The remains of the Russian were gone. Only a single claw was in sight. It was folding itself back, disappearing into the ash, like a crab. Like some hideous metal crab….

“That’s the only thing that bothers me.” Hendricks

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