PICTURE OF THE DAY
Moving right along.
More Revolution todaythis actually finishes off the first tape.
* * *
"Dr. Sleifert. Good to see you."
"I'm just here to ask you a small battery of questions, in order to make sure the degradation of your bosonic state has not affected your mind."
"That's all right?"
The colonel seemed to think it would be a good idea for us to leave. I invited the commissioner out on his tour, trusting in Paul to keep an eye on the proceedings while I pondered the word degradation.
Ezra was on his guard as they asked their questions and recorded the results, answering in the most calm and level-headed manner he could. Some of the questions were similar to ones she had asked in previous sessions, such as those about his political beliefs. Since she already knew what he thought about such things, he felt free to give her the truth, though since he wasn't as angry as he had been then his speech was considerably more temperate. For Thunderbolt, though it was hard to read the Bosonic Man's expressionless form, it wasn't hard to read the hesitations in his speech. Stephanie had turned into a cat and was watching the room from the top of a book case.
Dr. Sleifert finished her notes and her comparisons against something recorded on a small camera. "Tyler... uh, Ezra, I have to let you know that judging from the evidence I have in front of me, your state degradation has accelerated. And based on the conversation that we just had and the information at my disposal, I don't think you're quite aware of what that means? The longer that you are outside of a controlled environment, the greater the degradation of your body, and the more risk you are placing yourself and others in. You have a very limited lifespan, and the less you receive proper medical attention, that's just going to get shorter."
"I understand that."
"'Are you sure you do?"
"The important thing is I think that where I am now is much better for me as a poet, and I prefer to stay here."
She gave the Colonel and Thunderbolt a "can you talk to him?" look. "Colonel, I have to declare that Mr. Benson is not violent, and other than the instability of his physical state, he does not pose a threat to society at large. However, the instability of that state does pose a threat. We do not know what would happen if the pattern degradation were allowed to continue in an uncontrolled fashion. Judging from what I've seen, he is already losing the ability to rapidly make decisions. It seems as if some of his personal ethics are sliding, and that makes me a little bit concerned."
"I've been through a lot in the past day or so!" Ezra objected.
"I've taken those factors into account. They speak very highly of you for what you've been doing, and I think that the supervision that you're obviously under is trying to keep you focused."
"Then let's go with that."
"My final recommendation is that we cannot in good conscience and for his own safety allow Mr. Benson to operate on his own, outside a confined environment, past the next twenty-four hours. Now, I trust you, but I don't think that given the information that was presented here, that you'll run. And I know that you want to experience more of life while you still have it. But in the interests of personal and national security, you should be confined before your pattern degredation gets any worse. Captain Sutton, I trust that you understand what I'm trying to say here?" she appealed. "If Mr. Benson is your guest, it would be in his best interest for you to advise him to seek medical confinement."
Thunderbolt wasn't interested. "At the same time, Dr. I respect that opinion, I respect his opinion. He wishes to remain here, at least that was his last request to me. Would it be possible to monitor him here? I would think that an environment that makes him more comfortable would be better for him, would you agree?"
She nodded. "Until the pattern degradation reaches past a certain point, yes. I think that's an excellent midpoint solution."
"And one that does not serve the law particularly well," the colonel rumbled. "But we have forty-eight hours in which to find a solution to these thorny problems. As soon as the commissioner comes back, I think it would be best if we exit and make our report. Captain," he nodded farewell. "Mr. Benson."
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