Chapter Seven – The Shift

“The Old ones are all dead,” the unemotional words fill the air and Gregory and Jasmine recognize the voice.

They look towards the entrance of the church down the aisle and see the tall, grey man standing with a laser capsule gun pointing in their direction.  Gregory grabs Jasmine and moves her behind him.

Mr. Bill puts the gun in his holster, which matches the uniform perfectly and you would not guess that there was a gun there.

“Come now, I will not shoot you.  I have to follow the law.”

“Then why…” Gregory stammers as Jasmine looks back at Father Ed on the ground.  She moves away from her husband and goes down on her knees besides Father Ed’s body.

“Why did you shoot Father Ed?”  Anger was rising in Gregory’s tone.

“Well the law says old people are not allowed to live passed the age of sixty unless they undergo the Syntech treatment and he looked quiet old don’t you think, and besides I don’t think he was legally registered with the state.”

Mr. Bill pauses, “and he is a non-sanctioned priest or priestess.”  He finishes in a cold seething tone.

Jasmine kisses the old man’s hand, and a thought comes to her to take the ring with the symbol of Lord on it.  She slips it out of his finger and puts it underneath her dress, she also grabs the stole and the beads that hung at his side and hides them as well.  Tears still flowing down her face she stands up, “I love you Father Ed.  Thank you.”

Gregory hears her, and turns towards the old man’s body and whispers, “thank you.”

“Are you going to come quietly or should I send for my associates?”

Realizing they had nowhere else to run at this moment they move up the aisle towards Mr. Bill.

“We have much to talk about Ms Jasmine.”  Mr. Bill moves to the side to allow them to pass him.

“it is Mrs. Jasmine Showaltar now.” She replies with pride as they leave the church.

Outside there was a flying vehicle waiting on the street and next to it the man and woman that where with Mr. Bill last night.

“Where is your device?”  Mr. Bill asks as they continue walking.

“At the apartment,” Gregory responds

“NOT YOURS, HERS.”  This was the first time that Mr. Bill raised his voice. His hold on his emotions was waning from this ordeal.  Usually all suspects he took care off were by the book.

“Inside,” Jasmine stops turns and faces Mr. Bill defiantly.

Mr. Bill stops in his tracks, he felt like he lost some power over them at that moment, at least her.  He did not know what to say and was silent.

Jasmine quickly continues, “I will go get it if you give me two minutes.”

He needed the evidence for his investigation to be complete, “Hurry then while Mr. Gregory waits with us.”

Jasmine glances at Gregory for a second and heads into the church again by herself.

She reaches the dead body and folds the old man’s arms and closes his eyes.  She then takes a few moments in silent prayer then stands up and heads to the basement.

She comes back out of the church with a backpack after three and half minutes, “took you longer than two minutes.”  Mr. Bill says as he sees her come out.

“Well I had to bring our belongings as well since we will not be coming back here again.”

“Get in, enough time has been wasted.  We do not need to waste more time talking.”  Mr. Bill points to the flying vehicle and the side panel slides open to allow them access to the interior.

They get in to the vehicle.  The other man and the woman go to the front two seats, while Jasmine, Gregory and Mr. Bill sit in the back.

The front panel closes to isolate the compartments and an image appears on the panel.  It was a news broadcaster that had some alterations done on her or him it was hard to tell.  That person’s skin was striped like a hyena and her ears pointed out and up.  Her eyes slanted in like a cat.  Her lips thin, bright with red color.  She was barely clothed so she can show her new striped skin.

Mr. Bill watches with fantasy in his eyes.  Gregory and Jasmine just look at each other and ignoring the person on the screen.  The volume was muted and after a few seconds Mr. Bill starts the conversion, “you gave us a lot of trouble over a month ago that took the agency a week to resolve, and you will answer for that in the midst of an inquisition.”

Jasmine does not look towards Mr. Bill, but still kept looking at Gregory’s eyes and he at hers.  “It is in my Lords hands what to become of us not YOU and the lies.”

“Ahhh, another offense and an admission of guilt.  You have become popular these last few weeks, look.”  He points to the screen.

The volume increases, “and for some good news to all citizens in good standing, the fugitives and stream jumpers have been apprehended by our esteem ISDA top agent, Mr. Bill. He has seen to it personally.” Pictures of both of them appear on the screen.  “We have been told that they will be set to appear on all channels in the next two hours when the trial begins.  We all hope that they are thrown into the game pit for all to watch and bet on.  Their crime is the spreading of a goodnews virus throughout the city as well participating in illegal and non-sectioned church activities.  We all here at Channel 42 hope for a sentence of elimination”

Gregory and Jasmine hold each other tight as they listen to the broadcast.

“In other news our esteemed Leader has announced earlier this hour that fully Syntech persons will be allowed full partner rights, and….”

a beeping sound goes off and the screen flickers…

Urgent news elite citizens, Syntech planet observation unit has just reported that a systematic shift of the planet has been noted.  All elite citizens are ordered to be inside the living quarters and no lea….”

The screen flickers again and the sound goes out, they could barely see the image.  Mr. Bill moves fast and starts working on the controls next to the panel, and it slides open.  As he does that the vehicle tilts and starts to dive to the left.

Gregory looks at Jasmine, “what is happening?  What you think?”

“I don’t know, but this is our chance while they are distracted.”  She pulls out her device and starts working on it with quick fingers to make it do what she wants.  The vehicle front compartment door slides open all of a sudden.  The vehicle now tilts to the front and back to the left moving Mr. Bill to the front compartment.  Gregory holds himself and grabs Jasmine and stops her from falling.  She looks up from the device in her hands and quickly moves to the control panel, pulls the control device that was there and inserts her device.  Then she goes back and sits next to Gregory, “put the seat harness on, quickly,” she orders Gregory, they both do it quickly and wait.

Mr. Bill gains his footing again and moves to the rear compartment with a cut on his head.  It was small but trickling with a little blood.

The Vehicle veers to the far left, “manual destination inserted….” a puzzled look appears on Mr. Bills face, and within two seconds he figures it out.  He has learned a lot about Jasmine in the last few weeks and she was that good.  He knew now it was a mistake not to take her device from her earlier instead of waiting to get to headquarters.  He stands, turns and pulls his weapon out, points it at Jasmine, “by article 541 of citizen law 32 in grave matters I have the authority to execute full judgment, and you get one statement Mrs Showalter,” he tells her with hate and a wicked smile.

“Mrs Showalter says hold on my husband.”

Mr. Bill squints at her “goodb…”

He does not get to finish his word for another voice interrupts him, “full stop.”  The vehicle stops very quickly and Mr. Bill flies off his feet to the front compartment.  He hits the front windshield and as he does he squeezes the gun while his arm was moving to the side from the impact.

A shot goes out and through the man sitting in the front.

“What did you do?”

“You will see.”

“What is going on, the controls are not working, I cannot override them.” The woman in the front shouts in confusion.

Mr. Bill was about to recover from the impact, his ribs wear broken and his body ached.  As he plants his feet on the deck the voice comes on again, “High speed selected, sonic activated.”

Mr. Bill flies to the back compartment this time and still clenching his gun, but now it was pointed to the front, it fires another bullet and it goes through the other seat where the woman sat.  He crashes head first into the back panel and falls silent and still.

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