Deal 1378: May

We’ve got a live one for sure, now.

It had fooled us before, but we were on our toes. Pretending to be dormant wasn’t going to get past us. Again, at least.

Some of the people living down hill may not have been so lucky.

The lahars were not small this time, and once verdant river valleys were scrubbed clean.

On a geologic scale, they needed that scrubbing.

On a human scale, a little more warning would have allowed the residents time to escape with more than their socks on. And there wouldn’t have been quite so many teddy bears caught in the trees.

But that would have required better monitors, better observations, and better predictions.

And above all, the foresight to know that we needed those things.


Deal 1343

The smart aren’t immune to the calls from the Dreams. The calls reach anywhere, and draw in anyone.

I reached for the first door, and tripped. So much for a quiet, stealthy entry. I found myself tumbling down a slope in the company of a growing mass of tumbleweed. The silence that enveloped everything was eerie. For at least ten minutes there was nothing but the occasional crunch of a weed after a particularly bad landing.

When the worlds stopped spinning, I attempted to stand, but was too enmeshed in the tangle to move far. It took a fair bit of patience and some borrowed tools to separate me from the pile.

As I lay there, barely scratched and hardly bruised, I could hear frogs singing in the distance and a chicken scratching around nearby.

Suddenly I also knew that my tux was ruined.


Deal 1334: Beached

The white sand beach was unblemished as far as the eye could see. Unblemished until the group of men in wet-suits walked out of the sapphire-blue water and left a trail of footprints as they made their way to the nearest stand of trees. A few minutes later, a tuxedo-clad group of men sauntered off the beach, clearly just returning from a bout of quiet trouble.

The evidence was all there.

It was also all a lie.

The wet-suits were indeed in the trees, but they were also full of drying flesh, and each had a serious leak that looked suspiciously like blood.

The bat-drone told that version of the story from its vantage hanging from a tree-branch.

The actual spy was already ashore, having a spot of tea while the diversion was creating a backlog of plausible deniability for his cover. His actual target was at the next table, just beginning to be distracted by the confusing array of reports received. A degree of confusion which would likely prove fatal shortly.