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September 06, 2005
A Story, Bit-by-Bit
Superego: Part 23 - Bad Tidings
Posted by Frank J. at 03:00 PM | View blog reactions | Comments (9)



* * * *

When I got back to my hotel room, I didn't waste time mulling things over in my head before I pulled out my secure communication equipment. The mouthpiece was awkward, but it used sound cancellation to make sure my voice didn't travel any further than the microphone for my communicator. I didn't actually think someone was bugging my room, but now was the time to tread carefully.

"Dip, there's been a leak. They know I'm coming."

"I didn't tell anyone."

Was that another one of his jokes? Did he actually think I suspected him? I take it for granted that, since he's just a computer algorithm, he was incapable of betraying me... at least wittingly (as far as a computer program has wits). "I know you didn't. I need to talk to Vito."

"Will this change plans?"

"I'm simply passing on information at this point. How long will it take to get Vito?"

"I can try hailing him now, Rico."

It only took a minute to open a communications channel with my handler.

"Hey, I can't know the details of this one. You have..."

"Shut up, Vito. Just pass on to whomever you can that there is a leak in the system. The authorities know too much, and the only way they could know these details were if someone higher up told them."

"Okay, I'll pass that on. What are you going to do?"

"I'm proceeding as planned; the only thing they don't seem to know is I'm the one doing the hit. Now pass on what I told you and then get back to me. Okay?"

"Sure. I'll..."

I cut the communications there; no reason wasting time when I had so much to plan.

"By the way, Rico," Dip piped in, "I now have an escape plan for you with a 32% chance of full success and a 67% chance of at least some small piece of the ship escaping orbit."

I ignored the joke; I felt like if I admitted his attempts at humor were annoying me, he'd win. "One in three is good, but keep working." Right now, it seemed like there was less than a one in three chance of me making it far enough to require the escape plan.

"What are you going to do now, Rico? Is Diane Thompson still alive?"

"Yeah, she’s still more useful to me alive. Tomorrow I'm going to help her look for a Corloni hired lone assassin out to kill Senator Gredler."

"At least that will be easy. It will only become slightly complicated if you want all the credit for bringing him in since it might be difficult to properly handcuff yourself."

I was starting to think I needed to program a way to hurt him. "Dip, did you find anything else out about Senator Gredler?"

"No, I'm afraid nothing of interest, Rico."

"Then I guess I'm going to Bible study with the Detective."

"From most people's characterization of a higher power, it is unlikely God will help you. I think your success would be more likely if He does not exist."

"Very philosophical, Dip. Ever read the Bible?"

He paused a moment. "I have now. It's full of very implausible events. Am I right in saying that most religions are based on implausible beliefs?"

"Considers your worldview, Dip."

"And what is your worldview, Rico?"

I gave that a moment's thought. "I don't care."

"Have fun at Bible study, Rico, and please pass on what you learn to me. I will remind you not to kill anyone during it because they seem to have some rule against it. Actually, the whole Bible doesn't bode well for you if any of it is true."

Nothing seemed to be breaking in my favor right now.


Rating: 2.2/5 (30 votes cast)

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