Zero, Part Six

Continued from Part Five

Three hours later, Snyder sat at thegray plastic table inside the airport security office’s interrogation room.

Across from him, the twenty-some-thing IBI bureaucrat who’d introduced himself as Agent Carroll said, “Private, I guess that’s the last question.”

Snyder sneered. “You sure? You didn’t ask my underwear size.”

Carroll scowled. “Watch the attitude.”

“Your processes just seem a little overdone.”

“Thorough, private. Thorough.”

“Can I ask why they did it?”

“They’re terrorists who have hijacked the Earth Liberation Movement, a peaceful member organ of the United Church of Herald. Through the prophet Jeconiah, may he leave no children to pollute Gaia, the queen goddess decreed that humans are an evolutionary mistake and must sacrifice ourselves so she can live.”

Coo-coo, coo-coo. “Peaceful? How is wanting humanity to go extinct harmless?”

“True ELM teaches nonviolence, to simply be sterilized and seek to reduce our carbon footprints as much as we can. I got my vasectomy on my eighteenth birthday.”

Ew. People were way too open about this type of thing. “I’ll be in Boise until tomorrow night and then back at my position. If you need anything else, please don’t hesitate.”

Carroll stood and gave Snyder a half-hearted handshake. “Nice meeting you.”

“You too.”

You couldn’t care less and neither could I.

Snyder grabbed his jacket and opened the door. The former Air Marshal was be-ing dragged away.

She screamed, “You will pay! You will all pay when endgame arrives!”

Snyder stared over at Carroll.

Carroll laughed. “Sometimes crazy people do things because they’re crazy.”

And sometimes IBI bureaucrats are idiots.

But it wasn’t his problem. Busting death cults was the IBI’s territory. Unlike the local cops, Carroll didn’t want help, and Snyder had better things to do.

He walked out of the security office, into the airport’s underbelly.

“Hola, amigo!”

His swaggering Vice-President waited by the luggage carrousel, standing a good three inches taller and a little meatier than the teenager he’d left behind four years earlier. Snyder ran and embraced Chico. “Man, it’s been forever.”

Another guy said, “I thought men didn’t hug?”

“I made an exception.”

Snyder released Chico and turned to take in Bill Whittier, his Secretary of the Posterior. Bill had gained some muscle, though only an inch in height.

More importantly, he was in the uni-form of the Boise Police Department. No more gangbanging for Bill, either. Snyder smirked. “You don’t look too cuddly.”

Bill smiled. “I’m all broken up.”

“Good to see you. Here on official business?”

“I wanted to see you and also make sure you don’t plan on making trouble.”

Snyder laughed. “You know me, B. I don’t go looking for trouble. Never have.”

“It always seems to find you. Look, I’m still your friend and all, but I’m not going to do you any special favors if you start anything. It was hard enough getting a badge with my background.”

“Of doing a better job keeping the streets clean than the 5-0?”

Chico frowned at Bill and shoved him like a brother. “Pose much, hombre? It would’ve been even harder to get your creds had Snyder fingered us when we attempted to hang Tio Rodrigo.”

Bill shushed Chico. “You want to go down to the station and share that?”

Snyder laughed. “Chill out, Sergeant Friday. I’m just here to see Mama. I’ll be out of town in thirty hours, I promise.”

“I didn’t mean it that way, man. I’m sorry. I’m just very scared.”

“You must wake up afraid the slug will recognize you and tell your buddies.”

Bill grimaced. “That’s hate speech, Snyder. But, given how I know what you mean, I’ll give you an unrecorded verbal warning.”

“Thanks. Want to get together?”

“Sure, the Sportsman Grill, tonight, sound good?”

“It’ll do. See you, John Law.” Snyder accompanied Chico out the revolving door and across the terminal’s drive way.

They climbed steps leading into park-ing area. Near the back of the lot, Chico opened the door of a 58 YE Red Ferrari Hybrid.

Snyder whistled. “This is your car?”

“Can you believe somebody tried to junk this? I got her for eight hundred dollars and spent the last year fixing her.”

Snyder got in the car and felt the leather seat under him. “Well done, my friend. Well done.” He glanced longingly at the ashtray. “Mind if I smoke?”

“Go ahead, hombre. Just open the glove box and fill out a form first.”

Snyder reached into the glove box and pulled out an electronic smoking permit. “Oh, come on. There’s not even a kid in the car.”

“Where have you been? That hasn’t mattered in two years, hombre. If you don’t sign the permit, a cop will stop me.”

Snyder snatched up the unit’s stylus. “Stupid nanny state.”

Chico said, “Hey, hombre, it’s all about protecting the public.”

Snyder looked up. A barefoot black girl strolled towards them on the sidewalk, arresting his eyes with the sleeveless black mini-dress the law required sexually mature harem girls to wear. He tore his gaze from the mess screens displaying the poor girl’s most private parts.

“We’re protecting the public, all right. For every old standard we cast aside, we make up a hundred petty crimes and a thousand vices to fight, all to justify the evil we’re permitting.”

Chico’s eyes followed the slave girl. “Hey, the world is what it is.”

Snyder grunted. “Here, put the permit in the window. I want to see my mom.”

Continued Next Thursday

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