Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Chameleon Shield

On returning from a time travel mission to 1946 and 1985, I am transferred without notice to a remote testing ground somewhere in the Middle East. The United States Forward Force wants me to use my chameleon shield to assassinate certain enemies; I refuse. I'm an inventor, not a field agent. I compromise by showing how the chameleon shield can be used to make a cluster of ground vehicles invisible; the soldiers are amazed as the bulky olive-green transports shimmer into transparency, but the demonstration isn't enough to free me. I'm sent to the bunker. 

My own chameleon shield is a bulky, thick-collared bodysuit of yellow foam and plastic. It's heavy and hot, and I'm sweating by the time I reach the bottom of the long flight of concrete stairs that march deep into the earth. The staircase leads to an underground strip mall and subway station; I'm about to stop for lunch when several troops run past me in a panic - the enemy is seconds away from infiltrating the base. I switch on my chameleon shield just in time; enemy soldiers in black and crimson armour swarm into the base seconds after I turn invisible. 

I make a break for the emergency hideout, slipping down a hidden stairwell and barring the door behind me. Actor Chris Hemsworth is already inside, ferrying huge pallets of boxed cereal deeper into the hideout. I nod in passing as I make my way to the control room, where actor Henry Cavill and chemist Walter White are arguing about something. As it turns out, White wants to flood the hideout with poison gas should the enemy breach the hideout, as seems inevitable. Cavill protests, noting that there are only three survival suits and at least twelve allies in the hideout. (Luckily, my chameleon shield also serves as a sealed earth-normal environment.) 

I try to broker peace, but my interference gives White the opportunity he needs to start the countdown to release the intruder control gas. With the enemy minutes away, Hemsworth and Cavill struggle to abort the countdown, but in the end they fail and don their environment suits. Seconds later billowing lime green clouds fill the entire hideaway, and the screams echo through my mind as I transit back to my resting reality, awakening with a heavy heart and sore muscles. 

Perhaps tonight's journey will be easier. 

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