My apologies about the hours of delay in posting this. My schedule today has been a bit different today. As a result, there will probably not be a Philli Part 4 today, unless I do it tonight, because that takes a lot of prep-work to get into the Philli voice. Especially because my personality is exactly opposite hers. Incidentally, one of these sentences was actually typed in by my little brother while I wasn't looking, and then when I looked back I just added the period to his sentence and went on. I doubt you can guess what it was. He imitated my writing voice exactly.
And now, our feature presentation:
Nic went to the
computer and immediately made requisition for all the information that
had been recovered from or about his base. Then he went to work
recreating that computer virus his genius assistants had made last time.
If the United wanted weapons, that would be a good one to start with.
Besides, he wasn't perfectly comfortable with recreating Red Rain. Too
much death involved. Maybe the United would be content with some of the
rest of his arsenal.
For a few days Nic busied himself working on viruses and bombs and such other delightfuls, spending the evening hours re-wiring doors, trying to hack the food provisions software so that he could get it without asking, and trying to forget that he was under arrest. He was having trouble with that part.
His base on Mars had been made of a lot of glass. With the design of this lab, one would think Unionists were allergic to sunlight. From the few windows, such as the one in his personal apartment, he could only see the walls of buildings towering higher. He had no idea what city he was in, and was not even entirely sure that he was in a North American lab as he had required.
Science progressed at a steady rate. Nic developed a few bombs that pleased him immensely. The accident on Mars had actually been instructive to him. One didn't need all the chemicals he was using to create a sufficiently large explosion. His final model could fit in a long test-tube. When you through it the fragile inner walls would break, mixing the chemicals and blowing the place to pieces. The explosive-proof room saw lots of those.
The virus was working pretty well, too, with what code Nic was allowed to salvage from his old base. Trouble was it would never wipe out all the information on a page. Lot's of stuff would be lost, but he could not for the life of him figure out what part of the code was restricting the deletion.
He had worked over a week on those projects when the statesman came back. He met Nic in his private apartment, or tried to.
The United representative opened the intercom into the apartment and said, "Hello, Q. This is your government contact. Can I come in?"
Nic, who had retired for the day, smiled with glee. "Yes, you may."
Nic laughed inside himself as access was denied and he heard his own voice, "It is my pleasure to inform you..."
Nic then unlocked the door, and the representative opened it, hearing the other of Nic's sound bytes. He did not appear pleased. "Please tell me that was not one of your official projects."
Q answered, "No, just a way of warming myself back into science after being in the Rott for so long."
The representative accepted that answer, but wanted more. He demanded, "I have been sent to be updated on your progress."
Nic regaled him with stories of bombs and the new grenades, and of his substantial progress on the virus. In reality he had made no improvement on the virus, only successfully downloaded it from the information he had been given.
The representative smiled slightly, then asked, "And what of this 'Red Rain?' I am not cleared to be told what the project is, but I am supposed to ask you how far you have come on it."
Nic tried to stonewall, "How can one quantify the feats of science?"
The representative wiped out his smile and demanded, "Give me a number. Fifty percent done? Sixty-six percent? Ninety?"
Nic finished for him. "Two."
The representative sat back in his chair and said, "You know, Q, I've worked with lots of weird cases. I work with all the people let out of prison on work leave." The representative picked up a carrot in his right hand. He held it around the wide end and let his thumb slide up toward the point. "And nearly all of them are uncooperative. We understand that, and are glad to see gradual progress. It reinforces our faith in the basic goodness of mankind when we can see progress in criminals." He returned his gaze to Nic's eyes, "but Nic, when after so long they have done little or nothing," he cracked the carrot in two with his hand, "they must be assimilated or removed."
Nic did not know how to respond. He didn't need to. The statesman kept talking, "For some sectors of people, assimilation just means the removal of bad habits, the re-education of poor ways of thinking. But for criminals, assimilation means going where they will fit in. Crooks fit well in Rott."
Nic began to think he might understand how that Christian girl had felt when she heard him speak. "And I don't think I need to define removal for a man of learning like yourself." He dropped the carrot pieces on the ground, then stood up to go. His boot smashed one piece.
"When I come again, give me a number better than two."
Nic smiled. "Like, three, maybe?"
The representative smiled back, and stepped on the other piece of the carrot.
Nic watched as the statesman went to the door, which gave Nic's recorded voice, "The scientist grants you permission to pass."
As he watched the irritation grow on the back Unionist's head, Nic preempted a response, "And of course, I will also change the sounds to something more appropriate."
The representative felt victory. With a grin he walked away.
Nic re-opened the control panel to his door and used the recording mechanism again, "The scientist welcomes you to the indestructible carrot project."