"The Inner Menace" - Part 2

by Derek Martin

Major Honcho peered over the lip of the two hundred yard wide, twelve mile deep pit that had mysteriously been carved out of the Earth. Three of his teammates, Lasso, Transport and Crosshairs conversed among themselves quietly while he pondered the situation.
"It looks like the only true way to assess the problem is to go down the hole." Honcho pushed the military style cap off of his forehead as he spoke.
Lasso had begun to twirl the rope that he constantly kept at his side to alleviate the boredom he had felt in the last ten minutes since the group landed. While he did, he performed left handed gun tricks with the cowboy style Colt 45 that he kept in his hip holster.
Meanwhile, Crosshairs lifted the multi-purpose rifle from his shoulder and pointed it down into the middle of the crevice. He then touched a button on the rifle and studied the computer distance readout that flashed across his telescopic sight. A light shone through the eyepiece trying to pierce the deep, thick darkness but to no avail.
"We'll have to go real deep if we do," stated the marksman.
"That comes under the heading of travel, so I believe we should talk to Transport." Lasso quit twirling both his gun and his rope with his last comment.
"And here it is!" Both Transport and PC began dropping thick, square, tiles on the ground.
PC then pressed a stud on his hand held remote and began talking as thin aluminum bars rose up from the corner of each of the tiles. As each of the bars reached the height of four feet they stopped and handle bars sprang from the sides. "It's our very own personal mode of transportation."
"I hate riding these things," began Lasso. "It's like riding a kid's scooter with no back end."
"But it gets the job done," interjected Honcho, "so let's get moving!"
The team all stepped onto their personal air lifters, rose up from the ground and began floating downward into the dark hole. PC had invented the devices, including the micro-fission chip that powered them and allowed them to defy gravity. Transport had designed the actual platforms and taught everyone how to fly them.
No sooner had the five men began lowering themselves into the darkness, than a powerful updraft from below came sweeping through their formation, sending them scattering.
Honcho and Transport both slammed into the side of the tunnel wall and were able to right themselves and their flying platforms. PC touched a button on his hand held remote and his craft stopped instantly. Crosshairs pulled back on his handle bars and triggered a retro burst of air that steadied his own craft. But the four heard Lasso shouting as he continued to fall into the abyss.


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