“Sci-fi is just that,” the blue-eyed television announcer stated. “Science fiction with the emphasis on fiction!” He’d departed from his usual caustic comments about politics and now proceeded to expound on the pinheadedness of those who believed that the literary world of sci-fi was a pre-cursor to the real world of science.
“Space travelers from light years away, with the technology and scientific know-how to get here, are not going to probe someone’s …” He paused and the camera crew laughed in the background as the lights above flickered from a thunderstorm that raged outside.
“Well, let’s just say aliens would be probing our minds, not the other end of our anatomy.” He shuffled his papers and as he did, the lights dimmed and it seemed as if the entire universe powered down. Then, utter and complete blackness as the electrical lines failed.
“Better head home, guys,” the announcer intoned from where he sat at the table that he used as a desk. “The power’s probably gone for the rest of the night, and we’ve shot most of the footage we needed. All that’s left is the opening line that got messed up because of the thunder.” His voice sounded strong in a blackness that would have felt suffocating to any other man. The emergency light bulb over the door came on with a dim glow and he continued, “All except for you, Jackson. You stay and when the lights come back on, we’ll shoot the opening line again.
A sigh from Jackson drifted across the room, while the rest of the men hurried out of the studio before the announcer changed his mind. The man had a temper to match his Irish heritage and had even been caught on camera chewing the crew out and pitching a fit.
“Get over here, Jackson.” The edge to the announcer’s voice caused the cameraman to nervously gnaw at his bottom lip as he crossed the room. The announcer’s eyes flicked off a spark, the blue in the iris turning to gold-green.
Jackson caught his breath, stopped in his tracks, leaned forward as if trying to determine whether he’d really seen that spark. With a slight shake of his head, Jackson straightened up and stepped closer. As he did, the announcer leapt over the table with the speed and ferociousness of a praying mantis about to devour its prey.
Grabbing Jackson by the neck, the announcer jerked the cameraman’s head back as easily as plucking the cap off a mushroom. A snap echoed through the room as Jackson’s vertebrae separated and then the cameraman slumped to the ground.
“There’s a sign on my dressing room door that says, ‘No admittance’ and it means just that.” The announcer almost growled the words and more sparks flew from his eyes as he stared at the crumpled form on the floor. “You interrupted me during the molecular change from my native form to human, and that is unacceptable.”
He picked up the body with ease and walked out to the dumpster, ignoring the wet drizzle that ran down his face and caused streaks in the pancake make-up he still wore from the earlier production shoot. The thin strands of hair on his head, colored to hide his age on camera, hung limply across his forehead and flopped into his eyes as he stuffed Jackson’s body deep into the rusted, green dumpster that would be the cameraman’s coffin.
Then, as if taking a walk down a wooded path on a sunny afternoon, he strolled back into the studio and sat at his table. The overhead bulbs flickered and finally, light burst forth. The announcer smoothed his hair back, straightened his tie, and with a cruel smile said, “I am Gyro Man-Conqueror of weaklings, the Center around which the universe whirls.”
His smile widened showing double rows of jagged teeth. He laughed at the irony of being perceived as a television anchorman … such a powerful position in human eyes and such a puny accomplishment in comparison to his own powers. Then, he swung his arm around to point at the darkened camera in the empty room, and with sardonic pleasure uttered the phrase for which his alter-ego had become so well known, “Caution, you are about to enter the no spin zone!”