PICTURE OF THE DAY
Definitely colds. Oh, well. Lydia's hardly been sick at all to date, so it's probably not bad her for immune system to get a bit of exercise once in a while. Today if all goes well I'll be doing some baking, and we're off to the Citadel of Consumerism to buy Lydia some clothes.
* * *
Melvin looked at him more closely. "You're not a doctor. You really are a man in a chicken suit."
"That would in fact be correct."
"I have no idea how to respond to this," Melvin remarked.
"You'd be surprised how many people you share that in common with. Or maybe you wouldn't."
"Did you say you were having a problem with programming code overlap? I might be able to help--"
"Actually, you're having a problem with programming code overlap."
Melvin frowned. "I've run into that before when I tried to run systems...." He descended into a depth of technobabble far beyond the costumed hero's ability to comprehend. "Is that what happened? I know how to fix that."
"You lost me partway through that," he admitted. "I have some training, but it's not my real job. But that is in fact what happened."
Melvin muttered to himself for a moment and added, "I shouldn't even be talking about this under the nondisclosure."
"If it makes you feel better, that's not really an issue."
He brightened. "Oh, you work for John?"
"No, but I'm subcontracting on the problem." That was one way to put it.
Needle arrived, saw that the guest was awake and willing to talk, and asked, "How much does he, uh...?"
"Not much, if anything," Cockatrice informed her. "That's gonna be the problem."
"I'll warn him. We'll be back down in a few minutes."
"So, I'm annoying John Force, am I," Ezra mused happily.
"Yep," the visitor confirmed. "I've seen him annoyed several times; I've seen him annoyed at me. I just love seeing him annoyed on national television."
"I missed this, what happened?"
"They accidentally created you," Legerdemain began. "At least, I'm guessing from everything that I've read. And you were completely unwilling to immediately fall into his paradigm of how the universe was supposed to operate?"
"Not only was I unwilling, I am actively struggling against him. You see, the doctors say that my pattern is becoming unstable. I'm hoping they're wrong, but in any case, if I can get in a few good licks against The Man, especially in the form of John Force, before I go, then everything will be worthwhile. But to be honest," he confided, "I'm still not sure about this whole pattern degradation thing. I mean, I'm unprecedented; how would they know? But anyway."
"Well, on a certain small level, after the events of my last battle with Power, Force essentially came to see me at the hospital to inform me that I shouldn't worry about it, because he and his task force were going to be 'handling' the problem."
Ezra laughed. "I was there when they tried to handle the problem. They got their heads handled to them!"
"That's what I told him would happen."
"Got to write a poem about that."
"I'll see that it gets disseminated."
"I'd appreciate that."
"He's a willful man." Legerdemain got serious again. "Do you have any evidence?"
"Not directly, not really. You know, I don't really see this as a legal struggle; he owns the courts, that's just a function of money. So we have to do this through more direct channels, direct action. And that's what I think the Revolution coming back is part of, all that getting about."
Thunderbolt was giving him a walleyed look.
"The courts are all we have," Legerdemain reproved. "They're what stands between us and chaos. Now, I have a lot of suspicions about John Force as well."
"Anything that works for the good of the people in the long term, that's the important thing," Ezra backed down a bit.
"Couldn't agree more, Tyler," Thunderbolt said.
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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2005 Rebecca J. Stevenson