He was late but then again, he was always running late these days. He tore off his lab coat and left it in the hamper along with his sterile booties. Then he practically ran down the stairwell willing his tablet to meet him in his office in the Engineering Centre. He emerged from the stairwell into the busy hospital lobby. This was his hospital, the first of what would become thousands. Thad was doing a good job putting together the company’s infrastructure, the buildings were almost finished and the hospital was already flourishing. He knew he had an intelligent team doctors and nurses from throughout the galaxy. Thad was a good choice and he liked his engineering team too. He could give them a concept, the seed of an idea and they could put the whole thing together. Sometimes they didn’t do it as quickly or efficiently as he would like or as he could have done but they were good enough. He was pleased with what he was creating.
“Bye Doctor!” a nurse called as he exited the main doors of his hospital. He didn’t respond, choosing instead to light a cigarette which he pulled from the drawer of his desk upstairs. He inhaled deeply of the pungent smoke glad that it was already afternoon and the planet was beginning to cool from the intense heat of the day. Another woman greeted him, a doctor this time, as he passed her on the walkway. He didn’t respond to her either though her scent followed her. It was pleasant, like roses and something else, verbena maybe? She had long smooth hair that made a slight swishing noise as she walked. Her hips swayed as did her heavy breasts. He could tell from the way the air moved around her. He felt a tightening in his groin, a prickling of desire, imagining how those breasts would feel in his hands, in his mouth. He inhaled deeply on his cigarette and pushed the woman doctor and her sensations out of his mind.
“Hey Ron!” Thad and two others joined him, jogging to catch up with him. “Bill, Karl and I we’re hoping you’d have a few minutes to discuss the plans for the device unit. Are you free now?”
“If you speak quickly,” he said. His cell was vibrating in his back pocket but he ignored it.
“We’ll talk as we walk,” Thad said. “You just listen and nod.”
Senya took another drag on his cig and then tossed it in the air where he willed it to disintegrate. He brought forth another one. He figured he’d be able to get in about three before he entered the Engineering Centre as long as he didn’t have to speak.
“Karl, why don’t you explain to Ron your idea,” Thad said. The one called Karl cleared his throat and started speaking about guide wires. His Rozarian vocabulary was very poor and he was nervous. He was making incomprehensible noises trying to speak and his scalp and palms became sweaty. Senya focused for a moment on Karl’s thoughts. He had a good idea about encapsulating the wire in a biodegradable plastic derivative.
“That will do,” Senya interrupted.
“What will do?” Thad repeated.
“The encapsulation of the guide wires,” Senya waved his hand. “That is acceptable. Are you finished or have you got more to discuss?”
“Bill?” Thad nodded to the other fellow. “Would you like to tell Ron your idea about…”
“Infidel!” someone screamed. He was immediately followed by other voices. “Infidel! Infidel!”
Senya could hear the crowd moving toward him. He scanned them, his lenses washing over the assembly and estimated nearly one hundred bodies. This was more than before. These protesters were becoming more prevalent and more annoying. “Kari-fa,” he said under his breath.
“Sorry Ron,” Thad apologized quickly. “I’ll ring security. We can’t throw them off campus but at least we can get you an escort out here.”
“I do not need an escort,” Senya said as the crowd circled him, shouting about the Saint and demanding that he leave Rozari. Senya stopped walking. Bill and Karl stopped too. Thad, too busy looking up a number on his cell didn’t notice and bumped right into Karl nearly knocking the other flat.
“Son of Karukan, go back to Rehnor!” a Rozarian dressed in a long robe with a flowing beard declared. He held up an icon of the Saint. “Or prostrate yourself before the Blessed Saint and renounce your evil ways.”
Senya felt his blood pressure rise. He was tired and now late for a meeting and annoyed with those who kept trespassing on his property even though the Rozarian government would not allow him to prohibit them from doing so.
“Repent! Repent!” the people screamed.
Their voices grew louder in Senya’s head as the blood rushed through his veins. His fingers started twitching. He debated for only a fraction of a second before deciding. It was worth it if it rid his campus of these people once and for all. He pointed at the icon held up by the leader and willed it to burst into flame. Now they were all screaming including his engineers.
“Uh, Dude?” Thad said dropping his cell and staring at the rubble of ash now at the Saintist leader’s feet. “Maybe we should leave?”
“I am not quite finished, Thad,” Senya replied taking of his glasses. He knew his eyes were exceptionally bright. They burned like fire on the inside when they got this way. The crowd began to back away but not all of them. The leader, the man with flowing beard cradled the icon’s ashes in his hands and shouted about evil and infidels named de Kudisha.
“Get off my land,” Senya ordered him. The man refused and instead shouted for him to leave Rozari. Senya sighed. He did not like being disobeyed. He did not like being accused of things which he was not. “Leave.” Senya tried one more time but the Saintist was stubborn. “Kari-fa,” he swore and let the light shine upon the man and with the force of it, he willed the Saintist to be carried into the air, to hang suspended upon the currents ten meters above the ground. “You will vacate my land and not return,” Senya declared. “I will have no more of this.” The man lost his bladder. His trousers soaked and the stream dripped to the ground, scattering his followers who stared in awe at him up in the sky.
“Let me down,” the man sobbed. “Please let me down.”
“No more of this,” Senya repeated. When the man did not instantly respond, Senya turned his back. The crowd gasped, the man screamed. He went plummeting to the ground but stopped not a meter from it. Senya turned back and shone his eyes on the Saintist again. “Well?”
“Yes, I promise, I won’t come back! Please let me down.”
“Sir,” Senya said using the Ancient Rozarian pronoun for a prince.
The man looked confused. “Sir,” he repeated, swallowing hard. “I won’t come back, Sir.”
Senya nodded and put his dark glasses back on. The burning in his eyes had lessened but a migraine was starting. He pressed his thumbs upon his eyes from beneath his glasses willing the migraine to dissipate. The Saintist fell the last meter to the ground.
“Come on,” Senya ordered, as all the protestors ran from the property. “What else have you got to discuss, Thad?” He lit a fresh cigarette, his third, and resumed his trek to the Engineering Centre. Thad, Karl and Bill stood frozen in place. When Senya realized they were not following him, he stopped and turned around. The one called Karl was shaking. Senya grew annoyed. “You want to run away too?” he taunted. Not one of them moved. “Fuck you,” Senya said in English and walked away.