Spacer May 20, 2005
  | Asymmetry | Archive | May 20, 2005 |




Looks like both Lydia and I are coming down with colds. Oh, well.

* * *
    "Melvin accepted it, knowing that his job was not the most secure thing in the world, and being told that he was going to be given individual programming work with virtually limitless budget."
    "When did this happen?" I asked.
    "Six months ago. But like I said, they're coincidences. Once Melvin got moved into what was functionally social isolation, as his friend I was afraid for him, but Power stopped appearing with the regularity he had before. And then this happened. I admit, I might have held back a little bit in my last encounter with Power, the early stages, in hopes of not hurting Melvin, but tactically that proved unsound. I am glad that the final steps I had to take were not fatal, and I am hoping that you can tell me now either a, my friend is just missing and I can locate him somewhere else, or b you know exactly where he is and have some idea how to cure him."
    I examined his aura. He certainly wasn't human, and I wasn't sure if my primitive lie detector would be reliable. He didn't smile, and the way he talked was a little odd, which fit with the whole alien business. Thunderbolt later told me that he picked up a large amount of magnetic energy around Legerdemain's body. While the two of us exchanged a raised-brow glance, our visitor leaned down and began petting Stephanie.
    "Tell you what, Mr. Legerdemain," I said. "We may as well confirm for you that it is Mr. Dillinger. We will see if he wishes to speak with you."
    "I would appreciate that. Um, you probably already know this—no sudden actions."
    "Just making sure. I'll stay up here with the cat."
    I went downstairs to find out Melvin's state of consciousness, leaving Ezra and Thunderbolt with the alien.

    "Would you like some water?" Cockatrice asked as the man's eyes fluttered open.
    Melvin took it, drank, blinked a few times. "I'm hallucinating?"
    "No, but you are in very bad shape." Not an unreasonable assumption when the first thing one sees is a man in a chicken costume.
    "I've had another of my blackouts, haven't I?"
    "Interesting programming overlap."
    "We'll talk about that later."
    "Where am I?"
    "Boston. Do you happen to know a man with blue hair?"
    "Legerdemain's here?"
    "He's upstairs."
    "That's good. Is he going to fly me back to one of the hospitals in Washington?"
    "That becomes kind of a question."
    Melvin looked at him more closely. "You're not a doctor. You really are a man in a chicken suit."

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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2005 Rebecca J. Stevenson