sexta-feira, 12 de dezembro de 2008

Jumper - Steven Gould



I felt like celebrating.

At eleven, Central Standard Time, I jumped to Millie's bedroom. I was dressed in white slacks and the turquoise Hawaiian shirt I'd bought. Her dress was waiting in Texas, but I carried an orchid lei with me, to put around her neck.

The bedside light, one of those gooseneck things with a metal shade, was pushed to one side, casting the bed in shadow. I took a step forward, thinking she'd fallen asleep, when something gleamed in the shadowed bed.

I twisted to the side and something struck me a glancing blow on my leg. Bang, I thought, and jumped to an alcove at Adams Cowley Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

I looked down at my leg. A silver tube, six inches long, one inch in diameter, hung from my leg. At one end, a wire-thin antenna projected. From the other, a stainless-steel rod, perhaps a quarter-inch thick, stuck in my pants, then out again, two inches later, ending in a barbed point, like a harpoon of some kind. There was a clear fluid accumulating at the tip and I bent forward. The point was hollow.

Well, Cox hadn't lied. It was a tranquilizer. But Christ, if that barbed point had struck straight on, it would be buried in my leg and I wouldn't be able to pull it out.
There was some blood, too, but it looked like it had just grazed me, snagging in the pants.
And the antenna meant it was some kind of homing device.

The picture was chilling. The harpoon would bury itself in my leg and I would jump away.
Before I could get the harpoon out, the tranquilizer would put me under.
And the homing device would do the rest. Could they track it by satellite?

How long before they would get here? Also, did they develop this simply for me, or were they using an existing technology for an ongoing problem, i.e., were there more teleports that they'd hunted down?

I jumped to Central Park, dark, cold, inadequately dressed in my short-sleeved Hawaiian shirt and sandals. My pocketknife cut the harpoon free. I considered smashing it.
What have they done with Millie?

I waited five minutes, then jumped again, to the truck stop in Minnesota. A large gravel truck, empty, was pulling out of the lot. I jumped across the gap and threw the harpoon into the back. I heard it clang hollowly; then the truck accelerated down the access road toward the on ramp.

I wondered where it was going.

Jumper - Steven Gould [ Download ]