May. 30th, 2011

I think I'm going to try to wrap this up in ten pieces.

The following day started out quietly. It was a Mastazi day of rest and most of the businesses were closed. Tourists were visiting the museum district. The Museo Nacionale was hosting modest crowds of patrons, most of them Mastazi, a few off-worlders, and zero Chulkos. Soft music played over the speaker system. Solid Chulko security guards hulked in corners of galleries while willowy Mastazi docents led tours and chided visitors not to touch the exhibits. It was, in short, a fine day for museum-going.

I say 'was'.

I kicked the doors open and strolled into the Museum foyer. Team Aloha, consisting of half my Chulkos and all of my Weasards, followed me in. Grabsy and Team Bye-bye were coming in the freight entrance, hopefully at more or less the same time.

"Hello, howdy, Buenos noches," I drawled, waving a conspicuous blaster. There was a metal detector and a security cordon up at the front; a ticket counter and information booth near the back. The knot of security guards and sprinkling of patrons looked up in alarm.

Lopez pushed his equipment cart into the foyer and pulled his own blaster. The Chulkos fanned out, some of them with blasters and the rest with clubs.

"Sir," said the chief security guard in heavily accented Imperial English, "you cannot bring weapons in here!"

"Weapons?" I said. "Oh, no, compadre. These aren't weapons. This is photographic equipment. PHOTOGRAFICO. Lopez, take the man's picture."

Lopez shot the guard high in the chest. The force of the blaster took him off his feet and laid him out on the ground where he moaned quietly. Minimum power setting. Swam1's orders.

The Chulkos drew beads on the remaining security officers. I saw the Mastazi at the information counter pick up a handset. Activating my left glove, I melted the top of the metal detector archway; it fell into two pieces. I pointed the blaster at the caller.

"Hi honey, I'm home!" I bellowed.

Lopez scampered over, took the phone from the lady's hand, and put it back in the cradle. "What's for dinner?" he asked, smirking.

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