La Fantasma Negra

By Wesley Jacobs  

I noted with sadness the passing of Herbert Banks in the "Borderline".  In 1969, Herbert and I were working the Sensor Van on the Pumphouse Pole Line in Chula.  I was his journeyman, having graduated one whole class ahead of him.  We detected sensor traffic coming up the pole line, so we got out and concealed ourselves in some brush, growing around the pump house.  Soon, we could hear two men singing as they made their way toward us.  Both drunk and sharing a bottle of Tequila.  Herbert asked if he could chouse them and I agreed.  When they were about ten yards from us, he placed his flashlight about waist level, with the beam shining upwards on his face and slowly rose from the bushes.  The aliens froze in their tracks.  We cuffed them and held them for transportation.  Pretty soon we had an inquiry, over the radio, from the Watch Commander.  He wanted to know what in the world we had done to the aliens.  They were scared to death and all they would talk about was  "La Fantasma Negra". -------------------------------------------------