Waiting in his living room for his guest to arrive, Davis Bertans checked all his equipment with anticipation. Each component had been tested recently, but he wanted the reassurance that everything would go as planned. Plugging in his phone to the USB-C connector on the side, all the status codes came back normal.
The doorbell rang, and Davis was quick to answer it. When he opened the door, he saw the expected face of fellow Wizards player Thomas Bryant. “Hey dude, come in, the pizza should be here any minute,” Davis lied with a smile that he hoped looked natural. There would be no need for pizza on this night. Nor would there be any need to play video games, the activity that Davis had proposed in order to ensure that Thomas would be willing to “hang out” with him.
“Thanks for having me,” Thomas said. “Maybe I can get some shooting tips from you!”
“Ha, maybe,” Davis said. He reached underneath his shirt and flipped a switch on the home-built contraption that was strapped to his chest. Once he felt the vibrations on his torso which indicated that the machinery was operational, he slid the connected pair of goggles over his eyes. “They don’t call me the Latvian Laser for nothing.”
Thomas, who had been admiring the impressive furnishings of the apartment, turned toward Davis to say something else, but when Thomas saw Davis’ new eyewear, he paused. That was all the opportunity Davis needed. When Davis pushed the button on his hip, two bright-green lasers emanated from his goggles, one from each lens. Since he was making eye contact with Thomas, the two lasers entered directly into Thomas’ eyes.
The power of the lasers was such that Thomas was instantly blinded. Not only that, but the pure concentrated light beams quickly bore their way through Thomas’ skull and incinerated his brain. He fell limply to the ground just seconds after the laser generator had been activated.
“Now I’ll be the starting center,” Davis said coldly as Thomas’ melted eyeballs poured, smoldering, out of their sockets and down his motionless face.
“Let me go! Let me go!” Kristaps Porzingis howled as he struggled against the bonds that chained him to his own basement wall.
“Not until you admit that I’m the best big man ever to come out of Latvia,” Davis said. He loved the fact that his laser-goggles made him look like a crazed scientist, because that was exactly what he was.
“You are! I admit it!” Kristaps yelled. “My injury ruined my career while you somehow emerged from your injury a better player!”
Davis chuckled. “Your true thoughts are plainly written across your face, Kristaps. You still think yourself the better player. That notion must be…corrected.”
Kristaps made a renewed effort to escape, but it was hopeless. “Don’t hurt me!”
“Oh, don’t worry, it won’t hurt,” Davis replied. “Not for long, anyway.” When the lasers burst forth from Davis’ goggles and reduced Kristaps’ eyes to retinal sludge, his laughter could be heard over the piercing screams of agony, but the laughter continued well after the last scream echoed off the basement wall.
After having spent days thoroughly investigating his next target, Davis had finally received some information to go by, and had booked a flight to Lithuania. Now he trekked across the hilly regions of the country, expecting at any point to encounter the man who was also undertaking a solo hiking trip across his country’s relatively unimpressive geography.
Davis was resting on a bench at Lithuania’s highest point, which was just a hill slightly taller than the surrounding hills, when another man entered the clearing. When Davis saw who it was, he immediately stood up. “Hello Jonas.”
For some reason, Jonas Valanciunas did not seem surprised at all to have encountered a fellow NBA player at that remote spot. “Hello Davis.”
Having exchanged the bare minimum of pleasantries, Davis got right to business. “Some may argue, Jonas, that you are the best big man from any of the Baltic states. That is going to change very soon, however.” He affixed his goggles over his eyes. “Say hello to the Latvian Laser,” he snarled while pushing the button.
However, Jonas activated his own weapon at the same time that Davis activated his. As Jonas yelled, “you will taste my Lithuanian Lightning!”, an arc of pure electricity collided with Davis’ death-lasers, causing both to deflect dangerously off the trees in unpredictable ways. Knowing that even he, the one who harnessed and wielded the lasers’ power, was not impervious to their injurious properties, he took his finger off the trigger button as he dove to the ground to avoid getting hit.
The two men, breathing heavily, looked at each other. However, neither made a further attempt to injure the other. Jonas walked over and helped Davis off the ground. “I have met my equal,” Jonas said.
Davis nodded and clasped Jonas’ hand tighter. “You have. We are Baltic Brothers, united in purpose.”