Billy Gilroy pushed the last of the long stakes into the ground completing the circle around the shuttle. “You sure these things are gonna work?” asked Doc Hunnicutt, walking up behind him.
“Guaranteed,” replied Billy, taking a small black box from his rucksack.
“Guaranteed by who?”
“Never mind, by who. They’re gonna work.”
“How you gonna collect on the guarantee if they don’t?”
“Doc, just watch, oh you of little faith,” said Billy and pressed the red button on top of the black box.
The top third of the stake in front of them hummed and started to glow. As the glow intensified, the top of the stake to the right of it started to glow and the process continued all around the shuttle. When the last stake lit up to complete the circle, the hum subsided.
“That’s it?” asked Doc.
“Ain’t nothin’ gonna get through that perimeter now,” boasted Billy.
Doc looked down at the ground around them and picked up a large pod that had fallen from one of the trees. He looked at Billy again.
“Go ahead,” challenged Billy and waved a finger toward the stakes.
Doc tossed the pod between two of the stakes in front of them. It disappeared in a bright flash of light.
Billy leaned up close to Doc. “Like I said, nothin’ gets through. You’ll sleep like a baby tonight.”
Doc Hunnicutt watched the mini light show as the perimeter fence zapped the night flying insects that ventured too close. His trance was broken as Charlie walked through his line of sight. The Indian would periodically stop and look intently into the dark jungle,then continue pacing the perimeter.
“I never seen Charlie so spooked,” said Doc to Mike Brackett, sitting next to him at the fire. “He ain’t ever been scared of nothin’.”
Brackett’s eyes followed the Indian along the fence line. “Charlie’s always known who he was fighting and always felt in control. He don’t feel that way now.”
A crackling bright flash lit up the night and Charlie raced behind the shuttle firing his pulse rifle as he ran. He was replacing the power cell when the rest of the team came around the corner.
“Whatever it was, it ain’t no more,” said Billy.