Just Us Until the End
Fender thumb-keyed a message into his phone, spelled out with angular, multi-branched glyphs. Roughly translated from the Gum’Bndian it read:
“Rich multi-sensory entertainment opportunity identified on planet surface. Unique to this system. Defer sterilization project to facilitate opportunity discovery phase.”
Hoping he’d gotten the Gum’Bnd organizational command jargon right, he jabbed the transmit option and silently prayed his message would trigger their keyword alerts. And he hoped they’d take it seriously.
The double whoop of a police siren and the sudden sweep of red and blue lights were Fender’s answer. A police cruiser, bristling with antennae pulled up perpendicular to the rear of their battered truck.
“Oh, for crying out loud,” cried Fender. “What now?!”
The cruiser’s door swung open and the officer stepped out.
“If you boys think,” he said, “that you can rape and pillage on my watch just ‘cause it’s the end of the world, then you got another think comin’!”