Inmates poured out of the giant hole into the forsaken landscape of the asteroid. They’d be dead inside seven days, but even death seemed better than continued service in the gulag. Colonel Kilmer and two of his men, each armed with a sniper rifle, stood a safe distance away.
“Prepare to fire,” Kilmer shouted.
He called off targets from the tablet in his hand. His men picked off those targets from the ID tags on the fronts of their neon-yellow jumpsuits.
Each inmate they hit vanished.
After the second or third inmate disappeared, the rest stampeded.
“Fishmonger, A956 and Wisk, Q785.”
The man aiming for Fishmonger fired.
“You missed him, Corporal,” Colonel Kilmer said.
The man fired again and this time Fishmonger disappeared. “Sorry, Sir,” he said. “The other guy moved in the way as I fired.”
“Fine, we’ll sort it out on the ship.”
“Sir,” the other man said, “these inmates are just going to die.”
Kilmer smiled. “Sure, Sergeant. Have fun. Switch to bullets.” Kilmer touched a few buttons on his tablet and disappeared the same way the inmates had. The sergeant and the corporal smiled at one another, then reloaded their weapons and fired.
To Be Continued…