He stared at the dead body as his mind raced. He still needed to break the skin. He hated internal injury. So much work for just 1 soul. He scanned the immediate area for an appropriate weapon to pierce the skin. Hair pin? Naah. Safety pin? Too small a hole. Treetrunk?. The trick in extracting souls after death is to ensure they are whole and untarnished. There is little value to a damaged soul. Energy replenishment will be 50%, so you might as well be careful during extraction.As these thoughts raced through his mind, he wondered if he would be able to extract the soul before it got deactivated.As he stared at the dead body get stiff, he saw the beacon being formed. 10 minutes and the Celestial Guardians would be here to claim it.
Then he heard a car approaching. The car must have been about 4 miles away. He got up and zoomed to the forest's edge, licking his chops. He took off his backpack, and unpacked the soul-scanner, and switched it on. Beeping, it announced that the batteries were at 10%. Oh well. He pointed the scanner in the general direction of the approaching car and punched a few buttons on the console. The holographic projection suddenly lit up the dark night. The glow from the lamp illuminated the road and bushes in a white halo.The scanner reconstructed the life-forms in the approaching car and told him all he needed to know.... Distance, shape, purity, age, and most importantly, time left to contact. He grinned evilly, his yellowed misshapen teeth gleaming in the white glow of the scanner, his eyes burning red at the thought of 4 souls...
The car sped down the darkened road, as it cut the moonlight into pretty little shadows, on it's way west, straddling the forest and the sea. Sebastian absent-mindedly flicked the fog lamps on, as he stared at the road ahead, as his Jaguar ate up the miles with a steady purr.. He glanced at the sea crashing onto the waves on his right as the car sped along it's way to the summer cottage in L'ile-Rousse on the N197. Sebastian turned on the radio. Strains of "Lara's Theme" filled the car as he involuntarily whistled the tune. His wife stirred in her seat.She stretched slightly, adjusted her long slim legs, and turned over and tried to sleep again. Sebastian adjusted his rear view.
He switched off the soul scanner and packed it up. Just 45 seconds away. He quivered with excitement. He checked his watch. Less than 4 minutes before the beacon was formed. There was a chance the angels wouldn't arrive before the Jaguar did. He stretched his body's arms, to make sure they didn't malfunction while he used them. He opened his backpack, and rummaged through it. He found what he was looking for, and took out a cylindrical object with pincers at one end and a globe the size of a marble at the other. The globe glistened in the moonlight, with energy like liquid mercury bubbling in it.
Sebastian checked his watch. 9:39 PM. He felt like taking a piss, as the French said. He eased off the accelerator, and pulled over onto the sandy shoulder just above a large expanse of the beach. The car came to a stop, and he stepped out of the car, and stretched langurously. Sheila woke up at the break in motion and looked around. The back seat suddenly came to life with a little yipping, as the 2 poodles awoke from their cheesecake-induced slumber. Sheila immediately leaned back and lifted them onto her lap. "My dear darlings, did you sleep well? Seb, honey, have we reached already?" Sebastian, lost in the pleasure of relieving himself, didn't hear her. He turned around, and walked back to the car. "Seb, where are we? It's pitch dark and I can't see where we are." Sebastian smiled, and said, "We're almost there. We'll be there by 11."
He decided that he needed a little space to assemble the net. He walked across the road, and settled down behind some convenient boulders. He twisted the rotator sleeve on the slim-net, and punched in the co-ordinates of the length and width of the net. He entered the soul purity, the number of souls, and the shape of the shells. He then pressed the orange button on the slim-net and pointed the pincers at the road. The slim-net pincers expanded, and spread their claws. They seemed to spread wide like neverending slivers of silver web creating spidery slender needles into the cool night air. The needles stopped extending after a while. Small pinpoints of white energy began to shoot out of small apertures along the needles. They connected with other strands of white light emanating from the apertures of the other needles from the pincers, till they meshed. Together, it looked like a big silver net had been created. The white energy pulsated and crackled like electricity. Once the strands had connected, the energy strands ran up and down the needles to complete the web. The web then detached from the needles. The net then seemed to float in the air, and the needles retracted into the pincers. The display flickered, and the reading read: "Net Active for 480 seconds." As he looked at the net suspended above the road, spanning the width of the entire road, the strands of the net slowly disappeared. He anxiously checked his watch. less than 20 seconds to impact.
He took out the black mat, and ran to spread it just beyond the energy net.He unfolded the black mat, and spread it across the tarred surface. He flicked away the gravel as he smoothed out the mat. Dangerous stuff. The black mat, when completely opened, could cover 2 sq miles of any terrain. Any undulation and it would start absorbing matter. He wiped the sweat from his brow and adjusted the mat to line the edges of the road without being too conspicuous. He rushed back to his hiding place and checked the console display. 10 seconds to impact. He was almost salivating. He hadn't feasted in awhile.
Sebastian leaned over and kissed his beautiful wife, and he entered the car. "Cherie, will you please pass me the Evian?", he asked. "Sure!" He settled into the car and started it up again. The Jaguar X80 was a class in itself. It came to life with a purr, as he engaged gears. He shifted into Drive, and stepped on the gas. The Jaguar lept into the inky blackness as if it was a champion race horse on course. He glanced at the time. 9:41 PM. Funny how time slowed down when you were in a hurry to get somewhere. The signboards to Lile Rousse gleamed. Sebastian figured that, with the roads empty, as they usualy were in late September, he could get to the cottage by 11.00 PM, or even sooner "87 miles".
The alarm went off, shattering the wispy clouds that had floated in through the window of the chalet. Gene woke up with a start. I'm beginning to hate clothes. No way a soul can make it's way out on it's own nowadays. This department is woefully understaffed for this.