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With dark rotors slashing the air, a black bird descends and unleashes a payload of pain...
Steven L. Shrewsbury, creator of DACK SHANNON and MAJESTIC SERVICES, brings to you an action tale on the dark and gritty side; the trial flight of a new armored bird-o-prey, part of MAJESTIC SERVICES new tech armory...but what about those TEST SUBJECTS taking fire from the black bird?

  BLACK HELICOPTER by Steven L. Shrewsbury

"Truth never comes into the world but like a bastard, to the ignominy of him that
brought her birth." - JOHN MILTON

The pilot of the black armored helicopter looked at the glass in front of him.
Across the glass spread the outlines of a series of housing developments and
disused warehouses. Within this maze lurked green forms with red spots in their
interiors. Each shape carried an object that glowed metallic silver. Some were
smaller images, others were large, but all carried silver tools.

"Armed," the pilot said.

A system of clicks rippled in the interior of the helicopter, yet no sound escaped
outside. As quiet as the tomb, the helicopter drifted forward into the labyrinth of
scurrying jade outlines. Wherever the helmet of the pilot turned, the weapons on
the outside of the helicopter followed suit.

Some of the green silhouettes on the screen stepped out from behind the
buildings and raised their silver objects high. The pilot saw many flashes from
these silvery implements, but heard nothing. Indeed, it was as if bugs hit his
screen as the pilot turned the nose of the Anastazi helicopter down.

"Engage," he said, then quickly followed up with the word, "Eviscerate."

There was no hesitation as the guns of the Anastazi riddled the two green
objects with lead. So many bullets pounded into the shapes beneath the chopper
that the green forms no longer possessed a humanoid outline.

Hovering around the edge of the building, the pilot directed his chopper lower.
This caused many more emerald figures to scramble into the open.

"Settings," the pilot stated. "Vivisect."

The wide spray of bullets refined themselves into a thin slice. Indeed, the desired
effect came to pass. The green shadows divided in halves like gingerbread men
rent apart by a child. These pieces fell to the street and the Anastazi drifted on.

The pilot continued his program, making sure several of the targets contained no
red hues, and that his armaments worked.

At the edge of the slum, the pilot twirled his vessel and faced the buildings once

He decided it was time for the conclusive test and said, "Emergency." Two
missiles flew from under the chopper, burying themselves in the urban setting of
decaying bricks. The chopper swung around and made a hasty exit. From his
rear sensors, the pilot watched the city. For a few minutes, nothing happened.
Then, a bright flash and the slum was no more.

"Perfection," the pilot announced over his com link. Satisfied his Anastazi
measured up to code, he returned to the base at AREA 68. Landing in the
underground center, he departed the black helicopter and told his superior, "The
test went well."

The small aging man with a clipboard looked at the pilot. Keen blue eyes seemed
to register delight at the pilot?s words. "Very good, Aron. This one is ready for

"Dr. Steiner," Aron asked as he took off his helmet. "I know it is against
MAJESTIC policy to ask too many questions."

The German accent of the old man grew heavier as he muttered, "Then don?t
break policy, my boy." Dr. Steiner grinned and sighed. "Truth is relative here and
written in pencil. What we do, we do for the betterment of our country. What is

"I am sure the test subjects in the exercise, well..."

"Acht! Do not agonize on their score, my boy! Let us just say that John Walsh will
never find many of the villains he so desires. Come now, we have real mischief
to plan. Did I ever tell you about the keen resources that can be earned from a
simple triangulation of cross-fire in Texas?"


S. L. Shrewsbury