My name is Emily Younker and I work as a technical writer to help pay the bills. I have more hobbies than time and am always looking for a new skill to learn. My husband and I live with a Pooka in northern Utah.
Night of Thunder
Georgia traced her finger along the glass following the path of a raindrop. The lightening illuminated her small room. The computer console blinked red in the aftermath of the flash. She watched the reflection of the blinking light in the window. The shadow below her window scuttled closer but stopped moving with the next streak of light across the sky.
Shadowalkers weren't uncommon in her life, which explained the force field across the window. When it rained they drops gave it away but all it would take is a few explosives to destroy the generator. She turned away from the window. As she walked out the room she pressed the alarm.
"Madam President, what's wrong?" Her head of security ran down the hall, his hand resting on his gun.
"There was a guest under my window. I thought I would give it a scare."
Joseph motioned for the soldiers behind him to enter the room she'd vacated. "I wish you would let us know earlier. Until we catch one of these guys we won't know who sent them."
"You already know plenty of people who want to kill me. That's what happens when you are a dictator."
"These people should treat you as a goddess. You saved us all from destroying ourselves."
"At what cost? Did you really want to become a security officer. I understand that at one point you showed quite the talent for diplomacy and legal practice."
"Who am I to complain at my success? Unless you have some new arguments for me, might I suggest we drop this topic."
Georgia sighed. After twenty years and seven chief of security officers, she wanted to contradict him. Unlike everyone else who surrounded her, Joseph only refrained from contradicting her in public. But, that was more than anyone else. She had groomed him and he didn't even know it.
"Madam President, we need you at the press conference," this was from her PR expert.
The sound of thunder rolled down the hall. She ran a hand along her skirt, feeling the trigger in her pocket, and nodded.
"We can always cancel this and wait for a better time," Joseph said.
"We do this now."
"Of course, Madam President." Joseph's voice came out as a whisper and he fell in step behind her as they walked down the hall. At the checkpoint Georgia waited while Joseph checked his gun. She picked it up and inspected it while he talked with the checkpoint attendant. She slipped the cartridge case out and slipped the new one from her pocket in before handing it back to him on the other side of the metal detector. He holstered the gun and they continued towards the auditorium.
The crowd roared as she walked in. She made her way to the podium and the glass around the top of the room flashed with another lightening strike. For a moment it looked like a shadow stood at the glass and looked down on them.
"Ladies and gentleman, welcome to the twentieth anniversary of peace," Georgia said with a small smile. "The future has never looked brighter." More lightening, louder thunder. The floor seemed to shake, though no one thought it odd that there were two claps of thunder. She kept her hand in her pocket as she continued.
"As you can see I am getting on in years." This was another topic people didn't talk about. When she started her campaign she had been almost fifty. Her gray hair proclaimed her age but everyone ignored it. "I want you to know that I intend to stick around for a long time."
This time, when the thunder struck, the force field fizzled out and glass windows shattered. The crowd screamed as dark figures streamed into the audience hall. Joseph moved in front of her, his gun at the ready. He fired three times in rapid succession and the bullets took two of the Shadowalkers in the head, a third in the shoulder. All noise stopped as the bodies tumbled down. Rubber bullets didn't kill especially at that distance. Joseph dropped the gun and stared at the bodies. The Shadowalkers remained frozen in place. Georgia moved forward and picked it up.
"A death for a death." She leveled the gun at him. "Now what are you going to do?"
"It was an accident. I didn't mean to kill them. I was just doing my job." He was young enough to be her grandson and the terror on his face was replaced with anger. "You. You set this up." His voice hissed out. "Just like all of the others before me. Each one was killed according to the law, but you set them up to fall."
"And what are you going to do about it?"
Joseph scrambled for the gun and wrenched it out of her hand. She closed her eyes, not quite keeping the smile from her face, but he didn't fire.
"Call security!" someone yelled.
Georgia opened her eyes and watched as Joseph ran towards a door. People moved out of his way since he still clutched the deadly weapon. The security team was still in her room, checking on her alarm from earlier. If Joseph hurried he could be out of the compound and hiding in the city with the rebellion before the soldiers even arrived. She accepted the helping hand of the PR executive and walked from the room. If all went according to plan, her government would fall in ten years. If she was lucky, she would live long enough to see her wrong righted.