Ending what was suppose to be a diplomatic operation by killing someone was the last thing Patrick Doorman wanted to do but he had no choice. One little assassination could not cause a pan-galactic civil war could it?

Actually there the odds of that happening due to his actions were just under fifty percent. But doing nothing would have even greater consequences.

Patrick eased his fingers onto the trigger...

''Ten Years Previous''

"Patrick Doorman. That name is soooo geh-hey." Said Cordney, a twenty-two year old woman with an apatite for criticism and acting two-thirds her age.

"He's my character and he's not gay." Morris, a twenty-three year old man trying to break into the novel-writing business, insisted. "He's a badass in the vein of mid-to-late twentieth century and early-to-mid twenty-first century mercenary heroes such as Captain Kirk, Han Solo, Captain Tagon, etc. You haven't even gotten past the first chapter of that draft novel."

"Wrong. The last sentence of the first chapter gives away his name."

"Well, I forgot about that... shut-up. Finish reading the whole thing and then you can point out what's 'gay' about it."

"For starters you can realize you are citing age-old video[[note]]In the future, any content projected from a screen let it be movies, television, or internet, is considered 'video'; an obsolete medium replaced by virtual reality simulators. Strangely enough old fashioned books still exist within a niche market.[[/note]] characters which echo across our society's collective unconscious. Do you know how many popcorn book writers are trying that route right now?"

"It's a stretch; fair enough. But you know I can get the people what they want."

Cordney laughed. "You? The king of the Marty Stu and Mary Sue land?"

"Just finish reading the whole thing so I can make you choke on those words." Morris was use to Cordney's chastisement by now but nonetheless still annoyed by it. Of all his friends he liked her the least.

Morris printed out the morning paper and sat down. The front cover was shard by three large gossip stories with huge text and a small blurb in the corner, the type of buried news item which would present Morris with the only ''real'' set of news, stating ''Triple homicide suspect identified. Capture imminent. Turn to page 6A for details.''

Suddenly the door of the room slid open. The security personnel of the spaceshuttlebus[[note]]Yes, that IS one word.[[/note]] stepped in with thuds coming from their boots.

"Morris Carthson?" Said one of them.

"Yes?" Morris responded.

"Have you ever been arrested before?"