Miriam licked her ice cream with relish and grinned shyly as some dribbled down her chin. Greg smiled back, ever amused with her one-dimpled smile. The anti-psychotic drugs worked miracles upon her. The girl he first met with matted hair and wild eyes had blossomed into a woman with an easy grin, and a calm demeanor. He looked away, recalling that Miriam was the most powerful weapon in existence.
They walked hand-in-hand down the wide boulevard at the water’s edge. Cyclists whisked by as they perused artist’s stalls of jewelry, ceramics, and oil paintings. As the sun slipped beneath the horizon, they turned up Arguello avenue and stopped at the Sea Horizon, their favorite restaurant. They dipped sweet lobster into melted garlic butter and followed with fresh oysters from Lake Chixaca. Returning home, Greg breathed in the sweet sea air and squeezed Miriam’s soft hand. He couldn’t imagine life getting any better.
In the morning, they made love while a cool sea breeze blew in the open window. Greg kissed her and put on his jogging gear to go for a run. After a mile he turned down the pedestrian bridge crossing the Jalisco river. He stopped to rest and stretch in the middle. A businessman crossing the bridge, stopped to answer his phone.
“What’s taking so long?” he said.
“I have to make sure she’s stable,” said Greg, stretching out his calves. “Without control, she could destroy more than the target.”
“This is the capital city of an enemy planet. Who cares if a couple more buildings fall?”
“Are you sure it’ll stop there? Really?”
He scoffed. “Don’t be ridiculous. Take her off the drugs. She needs to realize her ability.”
“She needs more time!”
The man inspected him carefully. “You’ve fallen for her.”
“I’m a professional, Mr. Green,” retorted Greg. “I’m protecting the mission.”
“Take her off the drugs,” he said, and he walked away.
Three days later, Miriam smiled as she held her hands in the air. “There’s millions of them! My Tiny Friends.”
“Tell them what you want them to do,” said Greg. “Make that chair disappear.” She looked at it. For a moment, nothing happened, then suddenly it turned into ash. The implant in her brain worked with her unique cerebral structures, the same that caused her schizophrenia, and allowed her to communicate with a cloud of nanites. Her eyes could not see any of the microscopic machines, but her mind knew where each of them was, and she could direct them. Without the anti-psychotics, her connection to the implant bloomed in full. The disassemblers under her control could now take apart everything in existence.
She clapped her hands with glee. “I did it! I didn’t realize the drugs were stopping me.”
“About that. How are you feeling?”
“I’m fine.” Her tiny hand touched his cheek. “No stray thoughts, no anger. I think it’s you. You make me sane.”
As a tear slipped down his cheek, Greg realized Green was right. He had fallen for the waifish beauty, and he didn’t care anymore. “You don’t have to do this, you know. Let’s run away together. Let them fight their damned war by themselves.” She agreed without a second thought. They made plans and packed their bags that evening.
In the morning, Greg loaded their bags in the car. When he didn’t return for a while, Miriam called his name repeatedly. She opened the door and found him. His eyes stared vacantly as blood gushed from the bullet wound in his chest. Miriam screamed.
Her mind snapped.
She stared in rage at the metropolis bordering the bay. Buildings began to fall. The original target, the enemy headquarters, collapsed, and hundreds more buildings turned into dust. As the number of nanites guided by her rage passed 992 quadrillion units, she lost control. Every city on the planet perished and the crust of the planet itself soon followed. The molten core spilled into space and soon it too was consumed by the relentless nanites.
Miriam hovered above the detritus of a shattered planet in a bubble of air created by her Tiny Friends. A passing warship found her and immediately placed the incredible single survivor of 17 Billion deaths in the ship’s brig. Only one thing was left for Miriam.
Revenge upon those who directed her lover’s death.
She’d need help finding transport to their capital city. Soon, she’d convince the enemy captain to take her there. Until then, she waited for someone to tell her what to do next.
Written for the weekly Speakeasy writing challenge. This week, the sentence, “she waited for someone to tell her what to do next,” must be the last line of the story. We can write up to 750 words of flash fiction, and that means anybody, and that means YOU! Join us here: http://www.yeahwrite.me/speakeasy/150-open/