An Exercise in Futility by TransmuteJun
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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No profit is being made. No copyright infringement is intended.



He waited among the trees, using their shadows as a place of concealment. This was a public area, albeit not a path that was well-traveled. But he knew his targets would be using it this evening, to return to their hotel. He would wait for them, even if it took all night. His mission was to intercept them, and failure was not taken lightly by his superiors.

He pulled up the collar on his black trenchcoat to hide his face a little more. Fortunately, his green pants were well camouflaged within the surrounding bushes. As he waited, his thoughts drifted back to a few days ago, when he had been given this assignment.

Lady Mala had been watching the inter-planetary transmissions, and had been especially interested in the broadcast of the Rigan Annual Galactic Race. While watching the competing teams, she had suddenly focused on one vehicle that was making its way through the course. The drivers of this vehicle had taken great risks to save time and get ahead, often seeming almost out of control, but at the last second they had always fallen back into place. Whenever there was a choice between a shorter, yet more difficult path, and a longer, easier path the team had invariably choosen the more difficult one. Yet, they had never lost their control. The man recognized that it took both teammates to control a car with that degree of precision, even though the primary driver was of more consequence. Perfection demanded that everyone involved be without error.

Lady Mala had immediately known that this was the team she wanted, even if they didn’t win the race. But they did win… as Lady Mala had known they would.

Pulling himself from his reverie, he spotted his targets coming slowly along the path. The male seemed to be staggering somewhat, as if he were slightly inebriated. The female was supporting him. The man quietly pressed a small device in his coat pocket and listened in on the couple.

“I can’t believe how many beers you drank!” the female exclaimed, “I thought you would have been dead on the floor, long before now!”

“A real man can hold his liquor, honey.” the male replied, his speech ever so slightly slurred, “Besides, we just won the race. The freakin’ Inter-Galactic Rigan Race! The best of the best! I’ve been dying to drive this one, since I was a kid, and now…. I’ve won… thanks to you being such a great partner…” He looked at the female with a drunken smile.

She gave an exasperated sigh. “I don’t know how we’re all going to live with such a swelled head! Why the others…”

She never got to finish the thought, as the agent took this moment to step out of the trees onto the path, surprising her into momentary silence.

“Your driving in the race today was incredible. I especially enjoyed your performance in the last few miles.” he said by way of greeting.

The male grinned wolfishly, but the female seemed wary of his sudden appearance.

“Uh…. thanks…” she said as she attempted to step around him. The agent stopped her by placing an arm in front of her body.

“Do you have any plans for the immediate future?” he asked her.

She never got a chance to respond. His companions stepped up behind the pair and quickly injected them with a strong sedative. They slumped to the ground, their numbered shirts gleaming softly in the moonlight.


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