The Exchange Diaries.
Summary: When you are young, physically if not mentally, then it is very hard to stop other people from 'helping' you. When you are also a self taught mastermind/millionaire, you keep a low profile.
At least until you become host to a pair of inquisitive, intelligent, older girls on exchange.
Pecunia, si uti scis, ancilla est; si nescis, domina "If you know how to use money, money is your slave; if you don't, money is your master." : The Boy.
Let me start by saying that I while I am open minded to many abstract and un-proven concepts, I have absolutely no tolerance of the Idea of faith.
Faith is merely an excuse. While you can look at molecules and see them bounce, I suffer from severe doubts that such observations can excuse apathy. Though nothing is certain in this life, I know that I will never cease to strive.
Now on to business. I am writing these memoirs purely out of self interest. Hopefully it will keep me sane, in a world where such feelings are denied to one such as myself.
I suppose that I should give a brief overview of my early year's, despite the fact that they are the last of my life's events that I'd enjoy recalling.
My parents. They exist, I do not wish to add anything more than that. Perhaps existed is a better term considering that I absconded from what could laughably be called their care at age nine six months one week and three days. Why I did so is self evident, or rather it is evident to myself and shall remain so.
I do not wish to document the nuances of my rather more difficult year's, particularly since my recollection is marred by perfect Clarity. Not only that but I understand every why and wherefore of those… Unpleasant times. If I one day need to use this journal as a reference material, then I'druther lose those moments than spend further time in recollection. They are sunk costs.
Of my moment's, many though they are, the first few which I consider worth enshrining on this marvel of modern magnetic memory; Starting with the instance where I first met Celia.
Dear Diary, today I arrived at the Central airport. The flight was pretty uneventful, in keeping with my usual luck, I was given the seat away from the group. Again in accordance with my usual luck the seat's on either side of my were occupied by guy's, both old cranky and one smelly. I'm fortunate I didn't have any dye or styles applied on this occasion otherwise I'm sure they'd have given me a lecture for the whole eight hour flight. Touchdown in terminal, lacking in happenstance.
Bus to the school, Boring; punctuated by bickering and gossip as the drive progressed. Arrived.
Twelve students were on the exchange. To tour the school we were paired off with two boys to a group of six. We'd just come from the library, turned a corner when sorrel tripped over and collided with a younger boy walking the other way. She hurriedly tried to push herself off the other person and the ground.
A tad too fast, because her glasses, always loose, had come off her nose. They splintered in her palm.
We were all looking at her hand where crimson rivulets of blood were running. All a little scared I guess, shocked. The person she'd landed on didn't hesitate. He undid his tie and grabbed her arm as one of our guides reached for it. "She's got a handful of broken glass, we just need to bring her to the nurses office; But touch nothing until I have this tourniquet on." He spoke while he worked. What surprised me later, was that he said all this not in English but in Japanese. After a scant few seconds he straightened up. "Would you like me to assist you to the nurses office, miss?" He offered his hand to Sorrel who was still a bit dazed. "Sorrel, Sorrel Marissa." She said as the boy helped her up with the aid of her good hand. "I'll go with you, they'll need a while to get the glass back and you'll have classes." I tried to speak in english, but when I'm flustered I make mistakes. I make less errors than most brought up speaking it even so.
Anyway he's all set helping sorrel along and I'm on her other side, when the chumps who'd been standing round watching finally twigged that this little boy was making off with two of the people they were responsible for (Plus I think it counts that Sorrel without her glasses is the prettiest of the group, not sure that was on little person's mind). " Are who you, doing what you are?" Not only did he not make sense, his accent was terrible.
The pained speech of the miffed year eleven set our miniature man off. He asked me to continue to help Sorrel and turned back at the person, "Who I am is of no consequence, Furthermore I do not wish to reiterate my actions to a person who has not even grasped the basic nuances of language and insists on butchering a beautiful tongue rather than merely keeping up with the events at hand. So please continue with your pitifully pathetic pantomime and pretend that you are accomplished enough to showcase a center of learning But Don't Elevate Your Ego Above Another Persons Wellbeing."
I doubt that any of the escorts understood more than a few words, though my classmates giggled. He didn't do anything else, just caught up with me and sorrel and led us to the nurses office. He even stayed on hand while they took the glass out. "Sorrel ; Your father was European? Sorrel is an edible plant, flavor… Rather like that of a kiwifruit or wild sour strawberry's. So how long are the both of you staying here?" When we told him he cracked a smile "Oh… May I suggest something in regards to your accommodation? Steer clear of the boarding house. Trust me on this." He got up as the nurse was finishing "There you are, I've got all the pieces I can find out. If it troubles you any more then come right back here and we'll take a look at it." The nurse was a woman just out of her thirty's with blond hair and a gentle hand with the tweezers.
I looked for the boy but he was already halfway out the door. "Wait are you with the language department? Are you in the senior Japanese class?"
"No to both, I'm a class unto my own." Added in english 'Tood-loo' .
Toodles? I ask you, really, way to break the whole mysterious stranger effect here.
Rest of the day, nothing, zip, lack of event's . Besides being hit on during the 'senior' language class, the day was pretty barren. Couldn't find that little guy again.
Then I got paired. Boy was heavyset, going on slightly overweight. Not much, only a few pound's here and there. His Japanese was passable. Hair brown 'n black, coarse. Was fine, his mother picked us up, we headed on home. I particularly disliked his attempts to appear sincere. Really, I'd heard him and his friends talking at lunch. It's amazing what people say when they think you don't understand. Amazing and slightly vulgar, a few of their comments and looks made me want a shower. However, when I arrived at their nice little orthodox suburban home, I found the rest of his family packing.
"Great news, I just a leave and that mail order competition your sister entered, we won. Family trip to Bali for three months, almost makes up for all the cash you wasted on that junk right verrucia?"
"Anyway, We'll get the most out of this trip if we leave right away, the first available flight is at four forty tomorrow."
"Dad that's awesome, three months Out of School! And to Bali! Freakinouter yes!" My host was filled with enthusiasm. I tapped him on the shoulder "Something the matter?" I forgot to switch to English, to be honest I think it's better for them if they do the translating; it makes them feel important and means they aren't quite so formal. Still in the circumstances I couldn't care less.
Before he could puzzle out a response in Japanese I shook my head. "I am fluent in english, I understand. This leaves me in what I believe is commonly called a 'bind' dear Daniel "
"Oh you do? Wow that's cool and all, uh Dad, Celia who's on like Exchange. She was gonna stay with us, but what now?" His voice not only lacked confidence and affirmation, but any trace of free will.
I hate people who are gelded, housebroken, meek or otherwise self retiring only in the presence of their parents and nowhere else.
Daniels father looked at me with all the annoyance that can be mustered at a roadblock in the way of a free vacation. "She'll have to find someone else tomorrow morning. We'll drop her off at the school. Can't go away with the alarm turned off."
I Reserve all commentary for now. After that I ate the pizza served from a dominoes box, (greasy and thick, like Daniel now that I think about it) Went into the spare room they gave me and wrote this out. Good night Me.
Morning- Uneventful. Any time prior to six o'clock is by default, too cold and too early to be worth bothering with.
Well, for any sane person it is. I am obviously not sane as I am writing this while waiting for the sun to come up. Let it be known that it is today that I declare myself Officially Mad. It's less fun than I thought it would be. And I'm still Danm Cold.
To me, in case I forgot (I never forget).
…and that was how I convinced them to link salaries directly to productivity and profit.
Another day dawned. I rated the sunrise at 6.5, Needed to work on its colour; Red's too strong, yellow a touch too pastel. Cloud's reasonable but arguably not quite sharp enough to elevate the effect's of directional sunlight.
I broke fast with the assistance of an omlette, toast, Iced lemonade and a few rashers of bacon.
Suitably satiated for the day, I arrived at 'school' with some thirty minutes before I was required to be in attendance. I utilized the opportunity to complete the many and varied sundry task's that are required of a student in attendance at a school of some prestige.
It has often occurred to me, that should students apply themselves, properly and fully; we might well do away with years of completely superfluous study. However such an innovation would probably create a Intellectual gap and chronological tensions in society.
I had however, not given up on it.
My chance encounter with the exchange group had rekindled some of my faith in the current generation and accordingly I decided that it would be interesting to see what exposure to a figure such as myself would do to a promising teens mental development. At least, that is what I'm telling myself these days.
Fate can't exist. I think. I hope.
This was… Unexpected.
Started out in English class, only find it mildly difficult to follow the teachers rhetoric; I took heart in the lack of comprehension from everyone else. The short narrative we had to assess had all the literary flavor of five dollar service station sandwiches, AKA cardboard.
Math proves to be a domain of disordered debauchery.
Chemistry lacks science content, honestly I think I could learn more watching the discovery channel than sitting there.
Japanese was a turning point, and one I'm not likely to forget as halfway through the lesson He walked in. The guy from yesterday, opens the door walks up to the teacher person; gives a three minute message which was so verbose it was nearly incomprehensible. Our languages lord and master just went 'wha? Pardon?' which sent the boy into a comical caricature of an exasperated and underappreciated underling; His shoulders drooped and his head pointed at the ground in one huge sigh. I sniggered.
The boy straightened up, the image of officiousness and again delivered his message, this time in English; I think he said "Mister mcgurhkin Will you be of a disposition predisposed to the consumption of the tim-tams on the uppermost shelf of your office? E.J Reid."
McGurhkin blinked and clenched his fist "So It Was her who's after my biscuit stash, Tell her… No I'll go myself, a declaration of war should be delivered In Person!" He Strode out of the room Red Faced.
The boy lounged at the door for a while as the class steadily became more and more disorderly. I was going to go ask him his name, when he straightened out, like a marionette on strings. He walked to the teachers desk and took the meter ruler, tapping it for silence. No-one cared. He switched the ruler edgewise and whacked it down with a deafening crack. The people closest to him cringed.
In a clipped and composed tone, he spoke in the wake of the silence "I will be taking the helm of this classroom in the teacher's absence. Of the many languages I speak, I am fluent in Japanese. Now I assume that you are competent in both sentence structure and basic verbs?"
I don't know what it was about him right then and there, but the boys followed him like so many subdued sheep. Responding instinctively to the voice of authority, he began a crash course in Japanese.
An hour after the bell for final period to end rang, they were still there; He had them composing conversation sentences one by one to answer the statement of the last person.
It was like magic watching him work.
The spell got broken when the 'real' teacher came in. He looked hot and bothered, and seeing the state of the classroom said "You may all go, it's well past the end of scho-" That boy held up a finger and cut him off.
"Ignore him, Finish the sentence, you were doing fine." The guy stumbled over the last few syllables, and looked up imploringly. The boy nodded. "Well done, at least eight percent of your capacity to speak and think in Japanese should have been accrued today. I hope that you are able to keep up this pace, if you are not lazy you will be able to master the language within a fortnight. That is all, you may go."
These last words were a release, as they all seemed to stumble and drag themselves out of the classroom, drained from the session.
"I Hope you don't mind, but I took control of the situation. I suggest you continue where I left off and have them composing sentence's with the proper structures and permutations of appropriate words."
Mcgurhkin was stunned. "They haven't even finished the sentence structures yet, how could they be composing sentences?"
The boy raised one eyebrow (He has freaking huge eyebrows, is weird) and almost drawled "I'm sure I don't know, they seemed to be doing okay there. I gave them fifty kanji to learn for tomorrow, I'm sure that is far more lenient than their average homework load."
"F-ffifty, the parent's are going to kill me, staying overtime, learning from another student, now a impossible homework piece." He finally noticed me in the corner, His eyes narrowed.
I guessed what he was thinking before he said it . "Boy I am going to be perfectly frank with you; you have caused me a lot of trouble, but you are going to make it up by being host to this young lady. You are more than fluent in Japanese and she refuses the boarding house."
The ice composure cracked "No Way, Why exactly do I Need to do this?"
The teacher hammered at the chink "Way, unless you want me to speak to your parent's."
The boys reaction was so totally unexpected. He sort of deflated and then straightened back out.
"No such thing is required , I will not shirk when duty calls. Excuse me."
He lost point's with me for that, it was like his whole superiority was a complete façade.
He opened the door wide and bowed low, motioning for me to step through.
However I was pushed aside by, of all people Sorrell, who looked pissed. She noticed doorman and smiled at him "Thank's little guy, for the help and the advice yesterday, I only wish I'd listened to you about the boarding house." She didn't switch to English.
"Quite welcome, I take it you have had issues with your accommodation." His accent was a flawless imitation of Sorrell's although I don't think she noticed.
"Issues, Issues" She was practically spitting "Some Creep offered to lick my wound for me, It's bloody harassment." The last few words were directed at the teacher, although me and the miniature male sniggered simultaneously.
"What?" She asked coldly.
"Nothing" We both answered in unison. I looked down at the guy, he wasn't so bad. I'd just thought that when the teacher snapped his fingers.
"Ah-ha, so you know these two, well then I'm sure you'll have no trouble accommodating them."
His hair hid his face, hiding his expression when he tonelessly agreed. Sedately he led the way out of the room; I stopped to grab my luggage, having left it there since that morning.
I had never realized how embarrassing a pillow was to carry round.
Sorrell picked her bags up from outside the door.
We walked, the boy, our host needed to pick up his bags. He handed what looked like a laptop case to me and asked me to hold onto it for a moment. The second he let it go my hand dipped and I almost dropped it, It must have weighed over a ton! I asked him if he was carrying rocks, he just smiled and said I was almost right.
But after he'd run off (Danm fast too) I let sorrel weigh the bag in her good hand. She dropped it.
We decided to look, both because of curiosity and to see if we'd broken anything.
What was in there would have been difficult to break. Below the E-PC at the top there was space for a normal sized computer. It was filled with bricks. Metallic, yellow, soft and heavy.
I have no clue who carries gold bricks around in their bag. No I do, this person does. We stuck the laptop back in as he came running back. He didn't comment or anything, he just thanked me and led the way out. A bus ride later I admit we were still speculating about the ingots. I had hoped for a fleeting moment that the boy would have a personal valet driven car or something, but he merely offered to carry our bags for us as we boarded the bus. I decided to let him, to see what he'd do with weight that probably equaled his own body-mass. He didn't mind. Yes he did sweat a bit, but he didn't say a word.
I'm getting tired now, so I guess I should finish up. Our final destination was halfway up an ordinary apartment building. The room's when we came in were immaculate, but dusty. He handed over the two vacant ones to us while he slept on the couch. This place, it sounds silly, but it seemed to be a place someone came to sleep rather than live. He peered into the fridge, tutted and then created sandwiches for each of us. There was no mention of the lack of parents. I didn't want to end up somewhere where I was permanently exhasperated, or worse the boarding house. Sighning out.
I don't get jet-lagged, I always wake up, no matter where or when I went to sleep, at around five minutes to six. This morning however I was pleasantly surprised to see and smell not the off white walls and musk of the boarding house, but the faded cream roof of the apartment room. There was a tray beside the bed with a tall glass of apple juice and a hearty breakfast;
Bacon, perfectly crisped and slightly curled at the edges.
Buttered and French toast in a rack.
Fluffy scrambled eggs.
A pastry filled with molten chocolate that gushed into my mouth.
It was superb, calorie heavy and guilt free. After all, how could I refuse without offence?
Throughly thoughourley danm uh, completely sated I sallied forth and infiltrated the kitchen, where I found him cooking up another round of bacon, to accompany a round of miniature pancakes. My stomach twisted. I love pancakes. Jealousy and greed and embarrassment fought.
I asked him if I could have a pancake or ten tomorrow, that is if he was cooking breakfast.
He just smiled, took my arm and lead me to the table. There were pancakes already there. I hadn't had lunch or a real dinner, so I feel that what I did then was justified.
There were no survivors, I mopped up the last of the syrup with the last of the stack. At that moment there was a small yell from the direction of Celias bedroom. I was full and in no mood to rush.
Our little host, (I may always think of him like that) Appeared from the direction of the rooms and began tidying, blushing furiously.
"You could have told me not to bring it to her." He sounded terse.
"What?" It took me a moment to figure it out, "Ha! She wasn't?" The poor guy was so embarrassed he actually flushed for the first time "She was!" I yelled before dissolving into laughter.
"If you keep that up you can forget about a me cooking a proper breakfast for you tomorrow." His heart wasn't in the threat. The way he "Wasn't this a proper breakfast?" My stomach was pleasantly full and I can still taste that syrup. He shook his head though "Of course not, his meager fair was brought about by a four O'clock visit to market to purchase ingredients. By tomorrow I should have acquired the proper supplies for a real meal. Normally I forgo cookery as I eat very little personally." The entire statement seemed to be one big apology.
Before I could assure him that the breakfast was wonderful, Celia stormed out, uniformed and bag in hand. "I am Leaving." She said coldly, Although she trailed off when she saw me. "This guy-" she began to gather speed for a good rant when I cut her off "Was delivering breakfast. I had mine, in bed. Plus pancakes out here."
"I left the tray by the door. The boy said helpfully.
Celia, unbalanced, made a quick sortie back to her room.
She came back, holding the tray and slid into her place at the table. "Sorry, I didn't realize; You could've knocked though." "I did, why did you think you were awake?" "Oh".
I propped-up my head on my hands and looked down the table "Heh, This like watching a live soap opera."
The awkwardness evaporated. The boy Just let his features turn into a picture of stony indifference.
Celia was more vocal "Hey! It's not like that, I just didn't want to seem ungrateful. Anyway he's in year eight right?" the boy shook his head "Technically I'm in year eleven."
I was taken aback quite a bit. "Eleven!"
"technically" He told us.
We waited. Eventually he sighed "My approximate actual age is twelve."
We still waited. "I am quite smart."
I mentioned something that had been bothering me for a while and seemed even more applicable now,
"Hang on, what are your parents doing leaving you here alone if you're twelve?"
The boy grimaced and hung his head. "It's…"
Celia interrupted. "I suspect he was lying, I don't think his parent's ever lived here. I unpacked another was nothing. At all. Just dust." As I am writing this in English, events are still fresh in my mind.
The boy just stared and ------(Pencilmark).
Someone joggled my elbow as the period ended. Joggled, why does English have so many words which mean the same thing that start with the same letter. Joggled jostled, jangled, jockular. Actually I'm not sure about what that last one means but well, same difference. Anyway After Celia had bluntly called our boy a liar he lifted his head up "Well. The games up I guess. I'm torn between open admission and the never plead guilty principle of Rumpole." Neither of us really understood that I think. He switched to Japanese "I am going against my better judgement. I'm going to tell you exactly who and what I am.
Firstly: I am a selfish and immoral wretch-
"-My parent's are not particularly pleasant people. All things strive, I have put that part of my background completely behind me. I have reimbursed them for all costs of raising me such as they were and some more besides. Legally there are a number of papers lodged at various places from various times which all amount to a complete separation from any relatives that I might have. This apartment and all assets I control are solely my own.
I am also a very low level fugitive; I am not old enough to deny that action on my own behalf is for my own good. Thus I remain inconspicuous, innocuous. I do not participate in sports. All my assignments and tests are carefully constructed to achieve a score of seventy percent; No matter how intelligent I may seem at school or in person, on the records I am mediocre. Not bad nor good enough to warrant attention. I spend my time learning other things. Languages, cookery, higher mathematics, diplomacy among others. I am a genius at least relative to others." It was said like fact rather than boast.
He blinked. "It's almost time, seven fifteen, we will need to leave now to account for travel time involving public transport."
He didn't look at his watch. I checked mine. It was set two minutes slow, and read 7:13.
This seems unreal. He's the kind of person you'd expect to be running something big, like a corporation or a government. Not a politician, he's too blunt. Certain. More like the permanent Vizier who pulls the strings. Still, I generally am good at telling lies from truth, and half truths from the whole truth.
This guy's got one hell of a poker face.
What I could tell was that he had hidden something. Secondly, but more blatant was that he was the most interesting person around. I mean who else carry's round what looks like a gold brick with them?
Query: Can one ever be gruntled? Disgruntled yes, but never do you hear someone being gruntled.
This requires some thought, if I ever find out the answer; Then it would be best if I put it here.
Bus again. Public transport. The worst place to bring up subjects most sensitive. Which is why I didn't.
It's Friday by the way. Don't know why I'm telling that to a diary which has the date entry up the top, but , what's the word? Feh. Such a great expression of apathy. Feh. Feh feh feh feh. Fine, I'm going to confirm the weird events of the last ninety minutes by writing them down. I am no longer resisting.
We got back at four fifteen and Celia dumped her bag in her room before coming back outside to monopolize the couch. "What now?" she asked our host who was peering in the cupboards inquisitively.
"Well it's up to you as always." He replied. I won't list who said what from now on, I remember and that's what counts:
"Well Do you have any games?"
"Any board games?"
"Those are for bored people"
"You don't need consoling right now do you?"
"You knew what I meant. Chess?"
"Do you in fact have any items that we can use to entertain ourselves at all?"
Celia looked round the dusty apartment.
"No television either. How did you live before we came?" I was horrified slightly.
"Is that a problem? I was quite comfortable."
"Hell yes! If we're living with you for more than three months it definitely is!"
"Well then, why don't we fix that?" All throughout this he'd had that same infuriatingly reasonable tone.
"I assume that you know where such items may be purchased where you used to live?"
"Well… Yeah." "Yep"
"So, we'll just take a jet over there, you can pick out the items you like and we'll be back by half past Saturday."
"Uh, you don't sound like you're joking." Celia was little shell-shocked. " I don't think he is."
"I'm not, I take it you both looked in my laptop bag?"
"It's fine. I keep such thing's around… because I really like the feeling you get when holding a big diamond or a large lump of gold. Speaking of which…" He began to fish around in his pocket "Would you like a emerald? I had them picked them up from my safe during lunch." He held them out, A couple of square cut gems with dark green heart's each resting comftorbly comfytobly comfely G, DAmmit! Resting nicely, nicely in the palm of his hand. He chucked them underarm to us. I'm holding mine now; He must have planned for this because he bundled us out into a cab to the airport, where to the surprise of both Celia and me we didn't go through the normal part of the terminal. No. Instead we ended up next to a sleek black plane which resembled a hawk in shape.
He stood in front of it and before us and bowed. "This is my personal plane. Prototype from general aeronautics, snapped it up when the company folded."
"It look's… fast." Was all I could say.
"It is. It is. I'll be piloting with some electronic aide. There are eight passenger seats. This was intended as a presidential plane. I won't say for which country."
"Need to know."
By that time we'd boarded the plane; where I still am. This seat is incredibly comfy, comftoble no Dang dang dang! Anyway, there are eight seats here along with two couches and a drinks cabinet and a few things I don't know what they are.
His voice emerged from the cockpit. "Belt up, I was just given clearance to depart."
"How exactly did he do that?"
"I don't know. I was under the impression that children generally weren't welcomed piloting planes."
I kid me not his voice came back in a moment saying "In case you were wondering they hear me and I am registered as forty one year old man. Otherwise I think they might be more than a bit panicked about me flying my plane, despite the fact that my autopilot does more than I do." I think those were his exact words. Who the hell knows-
It's halfway through the flight and the night. Didn't get a chance to make an entry yesterday after-noon, being on a plane that's moving put's me to sleep almost immediately. You know, pilot boy cant've slept since yesterday morning.
I just checked. He was in the cockpit ( Why is it called that I wonder? I'll have to find out one day.) Seemed more awake and alert than I was, which seems unfair somehow. I did find out something new though. It may be midnight and though we went wheels up somewhere in the land of after five, there's only thirty minute or so left to destination. About three hours Faster than our first flight.
There are still a lot of things left for Marissa and me to ask him. I.e. Why Can you fly a plane? Why do you have a plane? Why did you give me an emerald for no apparent reason? Why are we buying stuff where we live instead of looking up the shops at home?
Why is he doing this? I still am not quite convinced it's all real, this isn't how the world works.
It's not even how it should work.
Pilot log #2- of the nobuccaneer's'ere.
My 'maiden' flight has gone off without a hitch. Using the audio logging function to record flight details now that I am just out of approach range.
People may say, may think that theory and practice are two different type of knowledge.
I disagree, Theory is just practice recorded as it is understood by one person and practice is just theory combined with knowledge which is not recorded nor understood. That was not a particularly clear explanation… The important idea is that when assimilating and understanding theory in its entirety and from a number of viewpoints, I can forego the practical, at least to some degree.
In this case, flying a plane was deceptively simple. I mean it had been made to be flown, admittedly by men with several hundred thousand hours of flight experience proverbially under their belts (Why not 'neath their craniums rather than scrotum? I do not fear that I will never know) However the plane can't tell the difference. It's not quite as difficult as maneuvering two recaltricient businesses into partnership, or the well executed driving of wedge between a pair of influential persons; Without either suspecting it.
I am beginning to feel the faint pangs preceding fatigue, Fortunately the plane will land momentarily and I will not be required to remain fully alert before my next period of rest once I have ensured the safe landing of the plane.
*Crackles* Male voice: Inbound plane of unknown make, please confirm your heading, designation and destination.
Older male "I am slated to use runway eight. Private party, No designation. Destination self evident but I'm not allowed to hand it over because of a bloody security briefing."
Male voice: Confirmed, there is a scheduled gap in traffic from that runway. Should we be acknowledging security requests?
Older male "No, no… I'm just the driver, they say they want this thing discrete, then they put me in this thing. Honestly I haven't seen a plane like the one I'm in before. Beginning approach, stick around if yez wish."
"Traffic is sporadic at this time of night here, what does the bird look like? It's fast, do you know breaking capacity?"
"Was handed truncated specs yesterday arvo, afternoon. Is fast, came here at three quarters of maximum burn, they didn't want refueling stops and this thing is thirsty at full burn… Making my run. Reversing thrusters and applying breaks."
"Gotcha, Nice landing. Taxi over to the private shed farthest to your right, it's the only one vacant right now. Whoah, taking a look at your plane from the tower. Where'd that thing come from?"
"Heaven knows, hell suspects. Or possibly the other way round. Let'cha in on a secret, there are a whole Load of buttons and equipment that is most definitely not stock standard. I recognize a few of the abbreviations but not others. Any idea what a ILAMEN-CVI is? It's a red button, two inches wide."
"No clue. I've got another flight, check in with me later if you can, I'm going to try and discover what your flying."
"Right'o don't look too hard or they'll catch you."
*Switching noises. Background hum dies down*
Right'o engines off. Ridiculous voice changer Off.
Younger voice: Well, that went well. It seems my theory that age and confidence imply expertise was correct. As it is I was not found out when I deviated from rigid adherence to protocol.
I suspect this is because a truly experienced pilot after several thousand flights, knows it doesn't mean a danm what they say as long as the plane lands undamaged and it's contents intact at the end of the flight. So had I been rigidly spouting responses straight from the handbook it would have been more than a little suspicious. Time to muster the passengers. Ending Log.
It felt good to be back. When you get off a plane in the early morning, when the air is crisp and cool; The entire world just comes into focus. Nothing quite like it.
There wasn't really anything quite like our arrival either, No luggage apart from what we'd been carrying as we left and as far as I could tell no real plan except to purchase things. Now that I've had time to think about it, it seems strange that even if he didn't know where to shop for games and the like where he lived; It would have been far faster to pick them up there than to go halfway round the world by plane. I'll have to ask him about that.
In the meantime the boy lead us on a roundabout route to the train underneath the terminal. Although I couldn't quite see at the time, he phoned somebody as he got aboard.
The trip back was… strange, the atmosphere on the train was an amalgam (Great word!) of nostalgia and surreal. That we were still in school uniform with our bags and with a guy who just… stood out. It wasn't that he looked particularly strange, he just seemed superimposed over the world, making everything around him fade into the background. This earned him quite a few glances around the carriage. Celia leaned across me as we were halfway there to tap him on the shoulder.
"Hey, I'm not sure showing up back home with you a few months before we're meant to is such a good idea."
The boy nodded "I already have organized accommodation in anticipation of such."
I looked round as Celia straightened back out "Why didn't you just see up (not sure if that's quite right) places where what we want could be purchased where you live?"
He sighed switching to English "Please, wait till we've arrived to ask that. I promise to answer you in private." And I had to be content with that.
Pretty soon though we were travelling through the city, the unspoken agreement apparently was to go shopping first and then head to accommodation before flying back in the morning.
He said that by then his plane would be refueled for the journey back.
I still can't get over that! His own plane, no parent's, hands over a gem like he's offering you a peppermint!
For all that He does seem reserved and well, to be honest more than a little depressed at times.
I'm glad that he seems to at least look happier now. Well anyways, once we hit the city he glazed over.
Just gazing out at the increasingly tall and majestic structures, he sighed.
"A man who owns so much is shackled to his wealth. At a certain point he no-longer so much owns the wealth as the wealth owns him. When's our stop?"
I woke up out of my own daydream but Celia answered first, "Four more stops, or ten to fifteen minutes or so."
"Oh… 'kay." He gave small chuckle "heh, We don't really have many topics for conversation do we?"
"Well we don't know who you are. What you know. Why we've been whisked away to another country."
"If I told you I'd have to kill you."
"I almost believe you, however a real secret agent would have only one beautiful companion around now."
He actually smiled "So what do two cute companions make me?"
To be honest, despite coming from a person two thirds of my size, I very nearly blushed.
A fact which will remain here and never ever ever ever be admitted. Ever.
Celia interjected "Anyone else, a lucky guy. You however will be viewed with pure envy by any and all passerby's friends and family who remain single."
"Fortunately I don't have "friend's" to be envious of me. Male ones at least."
Our stop came and interrupted the awkward interchange.
"How does lunch sound?" I asked as we stepped off
"L-un-ch, It's closer to breakfast anyways."
"Do either of you know of any good restaurants where we can be served at this hour? My treat."
"We don't want to bleed you dry." I protested
"M'dear, you can't drink the Indian ocean in the same way I can't run out of money."
I suggested a few names, Celia said she knew better ones and to follow her, she knew the area better.
"I never hope to test that boast." Celia lead the way.
"Wasn't a boast. I could run out, but it would require years of pigheaded determination and bad decisions. Drinking an ocean might be easier, though marginally more fatal."
Once we got to the little restaurant there was more talk, but nothing worth noting.
It was still early morning so we shopped around. It felt a little weird to be using his money but, kinda fun. Still there was a damper put on the day when-
I never thought that I would be pissed enough to seriously consider murder.
He was carting our purchases back from the store when we bumped into a group of people Sorrel and I knew from our school. This would've been bad enough but, then I realized that one at the back of the group was rather more familiar than the rest. Both sorrel and I exchanged glances; Once I had unwrapped hers It turned out to be the same as the one she'd given me. A silent agreement to just act normal and try and walk past without incident; It didn't work,.
"Sorrel, Celia; What are you doing back? And who's the cutie?" Ryla dashed from the head of the group to greet sorrel "Did you come back early to show off your new slave?" I didn't have time to reply before, she leaned over Him. "Heya, What's your name? Isn't that a lot to be carrying?"
For someone with the same level of social aptitude as a bird has for tunneling He handled it admirably. "It's not so much, It would take another twenty five kilos before I would be encumbered beyond the point of movement and five more on that to make me collapse."
Ryla isn't really good at sudden changes in thinking. Suzi had arrived by our escort by then "Are you older than you look?"
"How old do I Look?" Suzi just blinked and answered "somewhere between 12 and fourteen." He nodded and affirmed it; "Close enough, I am pretty intelligent." Was true.
"Yeah." Ryla straightened out and greeted us "So what'cha doing back eh? Shopping with the proceeds from selling your ticket at the gate?"
"Uh.. well we were" I hadn't worked out a convincing lie but He stepped in "-I am treating them to this seeing as my own residence is not stocked with items that they may entertain themselves with during their stay. As a good host I am responsible for that and thus took them to an environ they might feel more comfortable shopping in."
"Ohhh is that right?" Suzi stopped for a moment "Wait, What? You flew them back here on a shopping trip?"
"I have done well for myself and it is the least I can do to abate any inconvenience, they were not meant to be staying with me in any-case."
And before any more awkward questions were asked, the rather appropriately rear member of the group butted in. " C, Did you dump me for this pipsqueak? I guess I should have been the one doing the dumping if this is your newest **** toy!" Tobiashi, a person who outwardly seemed decent always reminded me later, of an overdeveloped under achieving arse who's cool attitude was an illusory byproduct of lechery and lethargy.
"Celia Do you know this person?" He asked it politely but his inflection told me he was as pissed as hell at the rude interruption.
"I'm afraid I do. I socialized with him until recently. It was obviously a mistake corrected in hindsight."
Sorrel looked at me "I thought you recognized that the moment he said he couldn't be… 'arsed' going to a movie if I came as well."
"The thought occur's, Miss sorrel, Miss Celia that we might be better off letting your, friend go about his business."
"What are you doing calling me friend pipsqueak?"
"You wouldn't want me as your enemy, then again since you acted beastly towards Celia when she had the good graces to spend time with you personally; your sanity and regrettably intelligence really is questionable." His tone had a biting edge to it.
"Snob bast-" He'd shifted into what might've been a fighting stance. He wasn't about to back down. "Hold the bag's please, there is no need to let the content's get dirty." He handed us the stuff (Heavy! And no complaints again, is he human?) Sorrel and the rest of the opposing posse passively looked to intervene. The one good point of tobiashi though was that despite not exercising, he was still fit. The crowd around us had thinned, but those that were near were looking over worriedly.
"Runt, I'll smash you for saying that!" "Please don't lower you're perceived intelligence any further by doing something stupid."
The larger teen attacked Him. Or tried; the smaller guy was faster and knew what he wanted to do.
I'd been watching intently so I didn't miss a moment, Tobiashi charging had his hand caught in a punch and received a swift blow to the groin. He waited for a second and then jabbed out with lightning strikes. They lacked stopping power but each seemed to profoundly affect the already stricken assailant.
Tobiashi was gasping for breath when he gave a whack to his upper lip and dug his fingers deep into his collarbone.
"Don't start fight's you cannot win, Aut vincere Aut mori." His opponent fell to the pavement "Don't worry, he'll be fine in an hour and aching for a week." The last bit was addressed to the other two boy's trying to check if he was okay.
He left the larger boy groaning on the ground. His face fell into emotion when he saw our stunned faces
"I hope that was alright, you weren't too attached to him?"
"Oh right, Thats totally fine. He was being disorderly."
"Which is my thinking exactly; shall we adjourn to dinner?"
"Excellent form there, I didn't know you new martial arts."
"I don't. I'm merely better at not knowing any than he was."
He looked at the rest of the people in the posse, "Would you like to be in attendance, my treat of course although I don't know the restaurants around here."
They politely declined. We eventually ended up back at the hotel; that's where He conked out exhausted from carrying our bags. "Look, I'm kinda, all tuckered out here, I won't need to eat but I should probably get some rest if I'm going to fly that plane back."
I asked the 'wrong' question then. "When did you find time to learn how to fly?"
He was already lying down, blanket pulled to just under his nose. He opened one eye and it was all I could do not to laugh at him; my mood changed a bit after what he told me.
"I never have." "What?" "Had time to learn how to fly, I was winging it today ah aha."
"What, Freakinouter, you can't be serious!" "I always am. Why, Is that a problem?"
"But what, you haven't flown, yet you own a jet?"
"Be prepared, I hadn't needed it till now. To be honest it was less difficult than I expected, I'd read through the technical literature and theory; Anyway, Planes are meant to fly. That's why they are produced. If they actively resisted your control I suspect it would hurt sales." Later I concluded it was the reasonable off hand dismissal of my fears that got me riled up, that or the fact I was so pessimistically waiting for our host to reveal some kind of flaw or come a cropper on something that I overreacted when it did.
Sorrell practically dragged me out of the hotel room on the pretense of getting dinner; She isn't a person to cross when angry. I wasn't sure why exactly, but she explained the plane situation to me with increasing angst. We'd set out walking down the city streets randomly; A really stupid thing to do in hindsight.
"Anyways, it's not that bad." "Ceil's she hadn't told us." "He, He didn't tell us." "Rrrrggghh I hate speaking in the wrong language for no reason." "Why'd you do the course in the first place then?"
"To get a free trip out of it, who knows if I'd otherwise ever-" "-Hon, the ticket costs are added to your school fees." "Seriously. Well I'm now going to have to think up a way to placate my parents too. Thank you Miss fortune, you've kicked off and left me without a paddle once again." She'd begun to get all morose, looking up into the sky and all; hair streaming out very cinematically. Kinda ruined by being freaking freezing but I decided to fix her problems. I grabbed her by the shoulders and spun her round to face me. "Honestly, your problems aren't that big. You didn't even tell him you disapproved of his withholding information. Hell, we didn't even ask if he could fly, it turned out he could and he took us over here to by stuff for us to entertain ourselves with anyway so stop your whining!"
Sorrel looked stunned for about five seconds, before hugging me. Totally unexpected… IF anyone but me reads this I will personally insert your eardrums in beneath your heart and taste-buds within your lower intestines. Personally!
Warm hug's make
Cold night's breathtakingly
Sorrel had been right about miss fortune; one hundred and twenty seconds of happiness went kapoot when I realized that we were more than lost.
We'd gotten so far out of our way that it would have taken one hell of an effort to actually retrace our route even if we'd been starting from the beginning.
"Pardon me young misses, but are you alright to go wandering around this neighborhood?"
It was a security guard, private, probably from some building nearby.
Sorrell checked her phone. Her eyes widened.
"No. I forgot to bring my two by four, can you tell us the directions to-"
I was cut off when I found my friend barreling away with me.
"What the hell?" "He had the same ID badge as the sleeping security guard from a few blocks back; I think his intentions were less than honorable."
Something landed in the snow near us. It glowed. Sorrell picked it up, frowning. "What the hell. I think we either picked up an altruistic stalker or god finally learned that I'd believe in miracles."
"What is it?" "A GPS with our hotel as the current destination plotted in."
"Who cares then, I'm freezing." We just ran then, all the way back.
Immediately after those two made good their escape, having found the map I'd left, It was time to deal with the crowd of Spuriously displeased muggers and malcontents which I had preemptively prevented from intercepting the fleeing girls. Only twelve had bothered to confront me.
"Would you kindly leave me alone?"
They informed me in no uncertain terms that they would not, That I had some 'gut's' a claim which they wished to quantify by presenting them to me. I was forced, on the balance of evidence then, to classify them as official imbeciles.
Though they advanced in force I chose to reinforce my blows with a series of statements pertaining to what is morally right in our culture. I was particularly pleased when upon breaking a man's nose I simply stated "Sin is wronging another person." I'm sure that the statement will stick. I did incur damage however. An unexpected switchblade superficially slashed my shoulder and simply ruined the stitching of my blazer.
I resolved to fix it the moment I learned to sow and weave.
Matter's thus dealt with I returned to the hotel Via the short route.
One anomaly that must be noted is the size of the miscreants group. After much consideration I realized that it corresponded with the number of people who escaped a police raid on a local den of malcontents and people of dubious innocence and intelligence.
I believe that they were wandering in an attempt to salvage the night with dishonorable intentions towards the two unmistakably female… friends I seem to have acquired.
Ah. Well. After arriving back at the hotel no events of note enough to warrant being recorded occurred.
That was the night of Impact.
Now I've had time to think about it, there is every likelihood this will outlast me….
So some clarification if this is in some library archive thirty or forty years on from now.
The asteroid had crept up undetected; swinging round the sun caused it to curve. Though I don't pretend to understand the physics of it, the explanation from him was that the rock was not on an impact trajectory for earth. Had it been going fast enough, it would have clipped a cloud or two on the way through. As it was, it very nearly matched speeds with the earth; Causing it to sideswipe Asia instead of plowing straight down.
Even so it was a large sucker, with the largest chunk rolling to a stop beside Malta. Literally; it hit the island and stopped. But more on that later.
In the meanwhile, the bits and bobs which broke off from the asteroid in reentry caused a lot of grief.
Not the least of which was a large earthquake over in the US.
The most personally important side effect of the seismic disruption was the loss of the apartment where we would have been had we not taken this spontaneous jaunt over to Japan.
He however wasn't overly concerned with the possibility of us being in the apartment, pointing out that it was useless to fret over something that hadn't happened.
At least until he saw the rescue efforts.
He'd just come back into the room with a large plastic bag, he'd refused to let us leave the room in case we were hurt in the panic. He was setting up the laptop he'd bought and had just plugged in the headset and a miniature satellite uplink when he saw the picture of the destroyed apartment block appear on-screen on the room's large television. Just for clarification, when we got here (here being probably the biggest and shiniest hotel in town, the Aurumic grill and bar; He motioned for us to wait while he went up to the front desk.
He'd talked quietly to the receptionist, who'd looked startled and made a phone-call. Less than two minutes later, a portly and more important looking man came down to the front desk.
He ended up with an older fellow with thinning white hair who just nodded to Him and by the look of it ordered the receptionist to make a call.
Result of rumpus? We got the penthouse bridal sweet. I think he just asked for the biggest and most impressive room in the building.
When I look back, the apartment he'd lived in was practically Spartan. I think he pulled out all the stops because… Well, not to put to finer point on it, he felt it was his obligation to keep us happy.
And a bed the size of a developing nation is not to be sneezed at.
Anyways, large screen, crystal picture and a big ol' pile of rubble where the apartment once was.
I un-muted the television as sorrel came out from the bathroom to tell me the shower was free.
One fluffy towel for her hair and the other for the rest of her. He didn't even glance up.
It became apparent why, very soon.
"Rescue efforts are continuing, and…. What's that? Really? Well, an interesting development. Although the occupants of a single apartment are still unaccounted for, a large safe has just been unearthed. It appears to have been unscathed by the destruction."
He Winced. "Oh, OH Botheration!" He didn't yell. His words were just more forceful.
Sorrel nodded to the television. "I take it you owned the safe."
He was pacing around and came to a halt next to her, looking up, his face deadly serious.
"Excellent deduction Holmes. It's not the safe I'm worried about, it's the contents. I'll have to pull some strings and keep them from opening it on-site." He vaulted over the side of bed where I was sitting and began to type furiously on the laptop.
Sorrel and I exchanged glances. I asked him if the contents were really that important.
"Really, very; or at least they are important as long as they aren't thrown around in public."
The television chose that moment to speak.
"Just an update on the progress of opening the mysterious safe; the rescue team's equipment seems to be making short work of this box."
He cussed "Why, did they have to have oxygen lances. I hope they are idiotic enough to burn all the way though with them."
"And now they've stopped and are going to use power-tools to punch through the weakened exterior; Is that right?" The powder puff presenter talked to a soot-stained rescue worker.
"Yes, this safe was lead lined, so we're being cautious here. We don't know who it belongs to, but it is a seriously heavy duty piece of protection. Don't worry though. We'll know what Its hiding soon enough."
"Oh Double Drat!"
"Oh Double Drat!" he jumped up onto the bed to watch as the ridiculously thick steel door of the safe fell away, scattering rescue workers.
Both me and Ceils leaned forward as if it would make the dust thrown up clear sooner.
The people who were actually there got a much better view. " What the hell?"
"Holy….Shi*beep*" There was a pause and the camera operator zoomed in on the now door-less safe.
Music began to play. The eighteen twelve overture; he slumped backwards and stared at the ceiling one hand over his eye's. "I felt it was appropriate when I had the safe built."
The top shelf of the safe was taken up by ingots. Gold, immediately recognizable and what he later told me was Platinum, Iridium, niobium and more gold. All stacked up in neat rows.
That was the top shelf.
The middle was just orderly piles of rubies, emeralds, topaz, diamond, opal and sapphires; as well as less immediately recognizable things like shards of blue tourmaline.
The bottom was after all this wealth, something of an aesthetic disappointment.
It was documents. Pile after pile of hard-copy documents, Hard-drives and yellow files, fat with papers.
The police began to shout for backup as volunteer rescue workers edged towards the wealth.
The first officers crowded round, ordering the cameraman to cut off live broadcast but keep filming to make sure no one took anything.
The feed cut off except for audio, returning to the studio.
"Now the police are surrounding this find with the intention of protecting it until heavy reinforcements arrive. Almost every squad car in the city is being recalled to look over what appears to be a treasure-trove of priceless materials. I'm going to ask to look over some of the documents that are in the lowest section of the safe…."
There was a pause. "When backup arrives we will be allowed to examine the documents, but until then, they will not allow further information that might tempt unscrupulous persons to make a grab for the wealth to leak out."
He slipped off the bed and sat down, resuming his machine-gun style typing.
"That's my cue… All of the stuff they've got there is replaceable. I just need to make sure that they don't find the separation papers or else I can kick goodbye to being a free agent." He paused to look up almost absentmindedly while his fingers tapped over the keys; "Oh… yeah that and the secret compartment. I will be very upset if they find the secret compartment. It has all the really valuable stuff in it."
I resisted the urge to say loudly "Gold isn't valuable?" But then, it would have been a silly question to the person who keeps an ingot or two with him to make him-self feel better.
After a while he finished and looked up at the television where speculative speculation was being speculated upon by supposition experts.
"This just in." The announcer, clad in red with would have been called ruby-red had we not just seen real rubies earlier.
"A message: Touch my property and you will regret it. Lose my property and I will take it out of your hide. Even think about trying to investigate my keepsakes and I will exact an extremely cruel and unusual punishment. Compre-vous? And to put an end to your speculation, all of that property has been purchased legally and because I am still alive is not yours to take.
The documents are all legal papers. Do not Look at My Papers.
I am Not Kidding. Don't step on my toes."
They didn't believe it.
He kept trying through hook and crook to keep people from messing around further, but hundreds of others were making similar claims.
And then came the documents. He managed to get them to be stored for investigation at a later date, but not before it was revealed that they were transactions, Deeds of title and similar legal declarations of ownership, signed over to various pseudonyms of His.
He could handle it, until going expressly against all external (his) advice for the last hour, someone examined the empty safe.
In twenty minutes they'd forced open the compartment hidden in the back, removing the shelving to open the wafer thin door that ran the entire way round the inner frame.
Part's of the hidden compartment were refrigerated and immediately began to condense moisture after the door was unsealed.
There were phials, a lot of them. Racks and racks of multicolored liquids sheathed in glass.
"BUGGER!" he yelled.
That was the top left. Down along the top right side was a rifle in a rack. It looked like something straight out of a sci-fi film.
Below the rifle, in the non-refrigerated rack was a pair of pistol shaped objects.
Below them there was what I assume to be three grenades and ammunition.
Underneath the phials was a computer with a flat, green colored screen. A keyboard rolled out from beneath it, waiting expectantly for the user to approach. The Hard-drive was removable and behind plexi-glass next to the terminal.
Below that equipment were a range of unusual devices; What looked a bit like an injection gun, glasses, gloves, strange box-like contrivances and a final section with both the signs for bio-hazardous material , Radioactive material and inflammable etched on.
"oh, oh Fiddlesticks…. Feck! I told them not to touch!"
One of the rescue workers reached out for a phial and had his hand slapped away by a policeman who with a ruddy face told them to close the door and wait for the proper teams to get there before they touched something dangerous or ruined everything.
Ben seemed to tense a little more.
"I'd been hoping that they'd be idiotic enough to destroy it… At least then it would be done with. I could start from scratch… But Nooooo. Now some… Bastard" First time he swore. I didn't need to be smart to guess that he was very very upset. "Will just take credit for my work without understanding it! And then they'll screw up and hurt others. I Have Had Enough!"
He paused, as though trying to think of what to do.
"I'm taking a nap."
"What!" Celia and I Exclaimed at the same time.
"There is nothing I can do. So I get some sleep, we get some sleep and then we deal with this.
Sorry to drag you two into this. If you want, just stay here and run it up on my tab."
Our response was somewhere along the lines of stick it up your jumper, we don't want to miss the fun.
He paused. Then smiled broadly for the first time since we'd both been with Him.
"Well. I can't say it will be fun. But I'm planning on showing a government why you don't look at my things. Emphatically. Memorably. And now we sleep"
He just crawled up to the end where Celia still was, slipped under the covers and hugged a pillow.
After about sixty seconds the spell broke and I saw Celia about to say something, motioned for her to be quiet. She paused, calmed down, nodded and went to take a shower while I got changed.
We slept soundly that night.
Celia and Sorrel Slept. After approximately four hours of condensed sleep, I woke and with all due care extracted myself from between them to investigate exactly how I would inflict my revenge on those who decided to take what was mine by right.
I contacted Zak and after an exchange in pleasantries, he handed over the electronic equivalent of a skeleton key which would be valid for around the next 24 hours with directions to a secure uplink which had been set up between several independent nations governmental networks.
What I gleaned from the reports that swarmed around was the following; The US knew what was in my Box of tricks. The call was out for any and indeed every nation to try and A. Figure out my identity and B. Capture and bring me in.
I should clarify; the contents they were so riled up over.
Eight viral immunization compounds, for everything from the common cold to the Codename: "Nihili" synthetic neural inhibitor bio-weapon.
Nine Nanite prototypes and one with a mix of seven and the final iteration of my personal miniature medical microorganism.
Three cellular seed's; Based on tumors these had been designed to cause the growth of new organs and tissue types, one created stem-cells for use within the body, one halted the deterioration of cell quality after successive regeneration (Estimate successive does would keep given subject alive and active for several normal life-spans. Though may cause psychological trauma.) And finally an agent which encouraged the growth of Brownian adipose tissue.
Further detail can be found at ref:/#BIO-Illogical-R&D2223.
It wasn't the loss of the research notes. It wasn't the loss of the implosion grenades, my euphoria rifle or the 'apathy' Armor ignoring sidearm's. Not the research or the technology I'd stored, or the deeds of property or even the raw materials symbolic of wealth. It was the mere fact that they were taking what I had made, had stored and had refused to distribute until perfection. They were sullying my ideas, invading my inspirations, violating my inventions.
In any case. My motive is clear. If they feel that they can merely ignore repeated warnings to the contrary, Re: Stealing my research and property…. I may as well return the favor. Tenfold.
Personal note, on The First Fleet; It would have been far more difficult to create and nigh improbable to maintain had the cosmological event preceding the nationalization of my personal effects had not been preceded by the bulk arrival of a chunk of another planets mantle with the properties of a room temperature superconductor. That is to say, if the meteor had been made of rock rather than Perovskite then the First Fleet would never have come about.
Correction, a 26.7 degree superconductor. Although it had been distributed over a wide area, with approximately a ton of material distributed over Russia, Western Europe, Africa (Who sold theirs to china) and America; there was something of a problem.
The asteroid was initially on a tangential line to earths curve and would have clipped a few clouds and maybe a mountain had it been going fast enough. As it was it went fast enough that it only ploughed into the earth by the time it was along-side.
Effectively, instead of a straight down explosive impact, it sideswiped, lost momentum and rolled to a stop just short of crushing the island of Malta. It was a big sucker. About 170 tons of superconductive matter, present price; priceless. Thus a nations first response is to aim thermonuclear weapons at it, to ensure no one else can have it if they can't.
This would end in a bloodbath and the loss of practically all the superconductors. Without a little… Creative intervention.
To whomever it may concern. When revenge coincides with good business, it is an opportunity not to be missed.
Waking up in bed next to a friend is okay. Waking up in bed next to a friend in a hotel-room is not okay.
Waking up in bed with different friend in a hotel room with only fuzzy memories of how you came to be there and a boy sitting on the end grinning like a Cheshire cat in a hat is so far from okay you couldn't see it with the Hubble space telescope.
His first words were "Good morning, I'm planning to hoodwink several score governments and steal from eight more! Would you like to come with me to begin the preparations?"
I answered in a fashion that I only can describe as 'muzzily'.
"'cmon, It'll be fun!"
Sorrel was awake and up next to me. I hate it when I'm the only non-morning person in a room. It makes me feel guilty for wanting to blow up the earth.
We broke our fast with room service ordered by the early bird. He told us it was poor fair.
I estimate that the meal would alone be as much as I used to earn in a year working part-time........ I'm not going to lie, I could get used to this.
He explained over breakfast. "I've just been in touch with Malta. Who are now being targeted by most of the world's nuclear and non-nuclear ordinance."
"Whoa, why? What'd they do?" Sorrel asked, surprised as I was.
"Well. It's more what they will or will not do. Namely, when if and who they will be handing the room temperature superconductors that landed on their shores over to; it being assumed of course that they will be a good boy… or possibly girl and cough up for one of the larger world powers.
Once they announce it, they will be turned to slag by the losers to prevent others from gaining anything.
At which point the situation might deteriorate."
I paused, swallowed another mouthful of juice (Fresh, orange and mango) before asking;
He took on a comically contemplative pose, legs crossed, finger tapping on his lip and arms together with his eyes to the heavens. "Hell in a hand-basket."
To my credit, juice only dribbled rather than sprayed from my mouth.
Sorrel kept a straight face while I mopped my chin. "So when's ragnarok due?"
He glanced between us. His serious face curled into a small, slow, smile.
"Once I would have let those idiots fight, for it would have reduced the number of idiots…."
He paused "Now, well. I have a vested interest in keeping the world green without the glow. If things do come to a showdown, I can force the players to back down. Before it gets to that I will use gentle persuasion. Blackmail, bankruptcy threats, calling in loans and mopping up liquid assets with artificial problems."
"So. Where do we come in?" "We don't. Today, we go house hunting. I've already set the ball rolling. I expect to see spectacular results when it hits the bottom."
Anyone want me to write the rest. Ask and ye shall receive.