DISCLAIMER: A work of fiction. Resemblances to living persons, or extant organizations, are for satirical purposes, or are coincidental.
The threat level, as determined by the Department of Homeland Security, is orange. Please report all suspicious activity to airport personnel immediately.
“Doesn’t that blasted recording ever wear out?”
“It’s digital, Damitri. You’d wear out faster, if I took you off the scanning team and put you on announcements. Trust me on this.”
“Oh. Hi, Jack.”
“No jokes, damn you. You’re in uniform, and we’ve got to keep these airline passengers in line.”
“Seventeen rows deep and out the front door, as usual.”
“Right. That does it. Soon as this shift is over, I’m changing my name to Sigmund.”
“Good choice, Jack. Has a nice ring to it. Sigmund. Sigmund Fraud!”
“That’s Freud, Damitri.”
“I know what I said, dammit. How many years has that ‘orange alert’ been up, huh? Four years straight? Five? Six?? We got enough jackknives in the box to bankrupt the Swiss, enough toothpaste to put Procter & Gamble out of business. How much more shakedown do we need?!?”
“Enough to get the body scanners in place.”
“The body scanners?”
“Didn’t you get that memo? Look here. With these things, passengers won’t have to spend half their lives in the scanning queue stripping, and the other half putting it all back together again. They’ll just walk through this gate, and we’ll see everything. And, heh heh, I do mean everything. We’ll get plenty of material for the flesh rags, and they’re buyin’.”
“Not with pictures like that, they won’t be. Resolution’s terrible.”
“Since when have we reported all of what we know about our equipment? They want better pictures, we can deliver. And you’d be surprised, Damitri, at just how many folks have placed orders for the lower quality stuff already. This is big money just waiting to fall into our laps.”
“I dunno, Jack …”
“Damitri, you’re a good man, and we can’t afford to lose you. Tell you what. Take some vacation. Two weeks starting tomorrow. I’ll make it good with HR. Find a nice quiet spot, bring the family. The organization will cover the costs. Come back rested and refreshed and ready to Protect and Serve.”
“Protect our profits and Serve ourselves. OK, Jack. But I gotta tell you, I’m far from being the only one in the line asking questions. Angel, for instance. He was one of the first, before he vanished. What happened to him, anyway?”
“He waited too long to take his vacation. Don’t you make the same mistake.”
– O Ceallaigh
Copyright © 2009 Felloffatruck Publications. All wrongs deplored.
All opinions are mine as a private citizen.