Another iWar: Eyes of the Rangers

Chapter Two

The night sky was chill, but comfortable. Stars lined it romantically, like a thousand diamonds strewn across the ocean. The moon was full. Ranger Angela Firewalker had just stepped out onto her balcony, where Jud was waiting for her. She'd heard the small pebbles he had been throwing at her window for the past three hours.

"What do you want," she asked, sluggishly. "I was half asleep."

"Can you just come down and talk?" Gage's voice rang out clear into the night air. "I'm sorry. I can't shout it. Your dad might hear me."

Angela nodded. Living on the Walker family ranch had its drawbacks for a girl who was, for the most part, all grown up.

Angela grabbed the robe from the patio and swung it over the balcony. She slid down, to Gage's level. The two embraced, for a moment, and then quickly separated, fearful of falling into the vision of the eye of the Ranger.

"Let's take a walk." She said.

They started. "What's wrong?"

"Yesterday, your dad said something to me that made absolutely no sense." Gage started.

Angela looked over at him. "So? You know my father's not the most articulate person in the world. He's a fighter, not a writer."

"No," Gage responded, his eyes on the ground. "It didn't have anything to do with grammar. I mean, sure, his grammar wasn't the best. It was the usual. But what he actually said- the ideas behind the words- made no sense at all."

Angela squinted curiously. "What do you mean?"

"Well," Gage began, "he pulled me into the office and started talking about the stock market, for some reason. We were talking about whether Trivette should be in the field or not. And then he dropped some conspiracy theory on me."

"Like what?"

"Like, he said that 'there was a lot of computerized trading' going on at the last half hour 'every day'. He seemed to be suggesting that there was some kind of 'economic terrorism' going on. But, people always trade crazily before the end of the day. That's how the stock market works."

"You're talking about the Network. It's not a conspiracy theory. It's not the makings of some lunatic leftist radical group. It's all true."

Gage was taken back. "You mean, you know?"

"Of course I know. I'm the leader of Netforce."

"You mean he told you already?"

"Of course," Angela said. "I've known for weeks. I'm the leader."

"Huh. So his decision is final?"

"Right."

"Whatever that's supposed to mean."

"What's your problem, anyway?" Angela asked. "It's like you don't trust my dad, or something. He's Walker: Texas Ranger."

Gage sniggered.

"What? What is it? What's with your sarcasm?"

"You know, Angela, don't you ever think things might not be how they say they are?"

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"I mean, don't you ever feel like the world we live in is a lie?"

Angela laughed. "You're such a free thinker, Gage. That's why I love you."

Gage looked at her, his jaw dropped. "Don't you get it, Angela? Trivette's name wasn't even spelled right in the prologue. The droid never came to Dallas. No one can tell you what year it is. I was there for hours. And President Huckabee? I was alive in 2008. I know for sure that he didn't win the el-"

Just then, Angela leaned over and kissed him- a long, sensual kiss.

Their lips parted. "Listen, Gage. You've got to get back to Dallas. I love you. Just don't give up, okay?"

"Right. I get it."

And with that, Gage disappeared into the shadowy veil of the midnight air.