Saturday, July 7, 2012

Crook Q Part 23

Smyrna wondered about Nic's mentality. "And how do you feel about the threat of our, your, life?"
Nic's voice went monotone. "What does it matter to you? You all have religion, so you'll go to heaven." He laughed. 

For the next few days the Smyrnas did nothing but work on their projects, during which time their hardest task was getting Nic to stay involved. It seemed now that he had two faithful scientists working for him that he lost all interest in the project. It might have been because Dr. Smyrnas work was done nearly entirely on paper and without substance that Nic couldn't keep his attention.
Ephesus had the kitchen mainframe on his second try. He then went to work on recreating the virus he had helped to develop on Mars, only now he was the only technician involved. Nic had retrieved some code from off of his old database.
Within the first few hours of reconstruction Ephesus had reworked well over half the virus, an astounding breakthrough even to Nic.
Nic retired early on the second day of their labors, much to the angst of his fellows. As soon as the door was shut and Nic's words about the indestructible carrot had died in the air, Ephesus burst out,
"I think he's insane."
Dr. Smyrna was still working on his heavy ion theories with a pad of paper when he son spoke. He looked up from his accelerator diagrams and decay chains. "What gives you that impression?"
"Look! He's quitting on science. He's accepting of the idea of death. And his jokes are crueler and darker than ever."
Smyrna settled down into his chair for what he figured would be a long conversation. "Ephesus, I think you're mistaking what he says for what he actually thinks. Now I don't have the kind of experience that you do with him, buy my guess is that he's in denial. He's gone a little crazy because he is out of control of his situation. Look what he he's got! He has to develop a weapon that will make his enemies powerful enough to control him, or die. To him, they might as well be the same thing."
"Then why did he have to get us involved?"
"You heard him. He is hedging for time hoping to delay the inevitable. With two other scientists to spread the blame, and my expertise, he'll be able to make a snails progress and get away with it."
"Or so he thinks."
"I never said his plan was a good one."
A voice came from the hall behind them, "No, you did not. But I appreciate your defense of it anyway."
Ephesus froze as Nic walked up behind them. Smyrna was unaffected. Nic went on, "You are close to right, gentleman. I am caught in a very difficult situation. But there is one thing you do not know."
Ephesus and Smyrna both knew that Dr. Nic would share his knowledge regardless of being asked or not.
Nic went on, "I am not only under contract to this United government, to create Red Rain and other armaments, though particularly Red Rain, but I am also involved in secret plots with an anarchist wing of the government. Since my transfer to this lab we have lost contact, but I hope it will be restored soon enough. See, those that love freedom have contracted me to develop this weapon so that, as I would have, they can threaten the rest of the United and save us all from tyranny. Meanwhile, completely ignorant of my other plan, the tyrants themselves have contracted me to make these weapons to preserve their power."
Smyrna finished for him, "And now you can give them to whichever you choose. Undoubtedly the tyrants have offered you your freedom, probably even a comfortable situation at the end of it."
Nic smiled. He was upset that Smyrna had so easily seen through his ruse, but pleased nonetheless to see the look of despair on Ephesus' face. "Yes, Doctor Smyrna. I am in a most favorable position, really. All I have to do is develop the weapon and it will be over with."
Ephesus asked, "Then why have you delayed so much?"
Nic's face closed, like a gate with a portcullis and drawbridge. He answered in a sheepish voice, "Death bothers me. Too much to hand over a weapon like Red Rain to tyrants. But I am still without contact from the underground organization. Which leads me to this awkward position."
Ephesus had never heard Nic speak in so many sentence fragments. He must really be off his guard.
Just then the communicator hummed to life and the speaker chimed, "Representative of the United to speak with you."


  1. That was good. And long. *wide grin*

    I like the idea of Dr. Smyrna working on paper, which is obscure by this era. It fits him.

    1. Yes, I was rather proud of myself with how long that one was. Dialogue comes much faster to me than action. I have a soccer game this morning, but afterwards I hope to bring out yet more today. Glad to see you are checking back frequently :)

    2. Dialog is fun. I've found that if I can get it to click - hit that first exchange/comeback - then sometimes it just really flows from there... One topic leads to another... cause and effect... that kind of thing.

      Who, me? Checking your blog frequently? What makes you think I was doing that? ;)

      I shall be eagerly awaiting to see if there's more today. :D Really I should make myself focus on some other stuff, but... Yeah, I'll be 'round. :D

  2. I am back online . Started with Philli 12 today .