Saturday, March 01, 2008

"Continuity Core," CTC, pt. 4, 405 words

Microsplicers in the contact end of the tap pierced the insulation of a lead that went to the wireless chip, patching directly into the drone’s uplink. The waldo jerked to a sudden halt and the damaged treads stopped their futile movements. Mudry and Rijn watched patiently as Mike tried to access the DI remotely.

“No good,” Mike said after a moment, withdrawing the tap. He tossed the broken drone to the ground. “The connection is too low-bandwidth for me to hope to achieve anything in any reasonable amount of time. We’ll have to look for something with a higher bandwidth connection along the way to the core itself.”

Rijn nodded. “Alright. Let’s move, then. Have you dug up a floor plan for this place yet?”

“I’m afraid not,” Mike answered. “Transportation and Security still haven’t responded to my interdepartmental information request. Based on previous response times, it’s likely that we won’t get the floor plan for another three hours.”

“Red tape.”

“So it seems.”

Sighing, Rijn scanned up and down the hall. The way the drone had come from seemed as good a direction as the other. She set off, Mudry and Mike immediately at her heels. “Keep mapping as we go, Mike,” she ordered. “Any luck with penetrating radar?”

“None,” he said. “The walls have up-to-date sensor baffling.”

“Lucky for us,” Mudry muttered. “It’s like they wanted to create a perfect opportunity let a dig’ go mad and then leave it a few hours to play unsupervised.”

“Paranoid thinking, Josh,” Rijn said, smiling faintly.

“Allegations of conspiracy against the upper divisions of government are subject to disciplinary action,” Mike said to no one in particular.

Mudry stopped dead in his tracks, staring straight at the biod. It was easy to forget that Mike was recording everything they said for the mission log.

“Though I’m afraid,” Mike continued, apparently talking to the wall, “that there’s been an error and the past thirty seconds have not been recorded in the mission log. Nor the next thirty seconds.” He looked back at Mudry and smiled, a rare enough thing from any biod that it looked a little creepy. “It looks like I shall still be working with you after all,” he said. “How fortuitous.”

That was the other thing easy to forget about Mike. He had a sense of humor with a bit of a mean streak to it, and liked to exercise it. Especially on Mudry.

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