Spacer May 19, 2005
  | Asymmetry | Archive | May 19, 2005 |




The fiction section, A through S.

I'm rather beginning to enjoy my morning serial installment of Revolution. Hope it's not entirely boring everyone else.

* * *
    "Okay." I was pleased to have a destination, something to do. "I assume we're not going to want to make an open approach using the ship they so nicely gave us. Or do we?"
    "Probably not," Ezra opined.
    "No," Thunderbolt said firmly. "I'd rather not have FORCE Industries know anything about--"
    Something beeped, and a computer announced, "There is someone approaching the building, under their own power."
    "On screen," he ordered.
    The camera showed an individual at the outside edge of the force field, hovering on a metal platform about five feet wide. One of his arms was in a cast and there were bruises all over his face. His hair was blue, and he wore a blue and silver costume. He knocked on the force field.
    Sphinxnet IDed him as Legerdemain, one of the "allowed" heroes associated with Banner Aerospace. I dropped the field and turned on the intercom.
    "Come on up to the landing pad."
    As the three of us headed up to meet him, he zoomed up and stepped off the disk, which shrank to a foot in diameter and was slung neatly across his back.
    "Can we help you?" I asked.
    "Yes. I'm Legerdemain. I just heard on the news a little while ago that you managed to stop Power?"
    "I wanted to talk to you about that."
    "Okay. Would you like some coffee?"
    "That would be very nice, thank you. I'm afraid that I'm not in the best of condition after my last encounter with the big blue guy."
    "Understandable." We headed down.
    "On a professional viewpoint, may I ask what you ultimately did in order to stop him?"
    I looked at Thunderbolt. "It's a little bit complicated."
    "Took him by surprise and just pounded on him," Ezra supplied.
    "Never worked in the past, but I can't argue with results," our visitor shrugged. "You would be Needle, Thunderbolt... you must be the one who's giving John Force conniptions."
    "I hope so!" the Bosonic Man would have grinned.
    "Do you have a hand I can shake, young man?"
    "Unfortunately, no, and there's nothing around here I can disintegrate to make one, but thank you. Just call me Ezra."
    "What can we do for you, Mr. Legerdemain?" I asked when we were all settled.
    "I've been in conflict with Power on and off over the last five years, and I have certain suspicions regarding him, that I'd like to see proven wrong." He leaned forward earnestly. "You've managed to capture him, which is more than I've ever done. Which means that you've probably ascertained his identity. Is it Melvin Dillinger?"
    "What leads you to believe that this is the case?" I inquired, poker-faced.
    "When I first arrived on this planet I didn't know very many people. One of my first acquaintances was Mr. Dillinger. He was present at a couple of crime scenes. I would get involve d in something at the same time at the same time Power would get involved in something; after it was over, I was talking to the police, Mr. Dillinger was present. He's an outsider, a social outcast, to a certain extent. In that he and I were a bit of kindred spirits. However, there's only so many times you can chalk certain things up to coincidence. When there is one set of coincidences, and another, and another.... There was a brief period of time when I managed to get Melvin hired by Banner Aerospace. He did good work for us, but eventually his on-the-job absences began to be a bit of a problem. Now for those of us whose job it was, at Banner Aerospace, to have on-the-job absences, the boss was willing to look the other way. Melvin's programming was good, he was social, he didn't cause any real problems, however there were a couple of Power incidents and there were periods of time when he was just not present. And then, just as the file on him in Human Resources was starting to get particularly thick, John Force made him another offer."

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