PICTURE OF THE DAY
Yes, this is old.
A fairly busy and quite pleasant weekend. Probably no updates for the next couple of days; my new contract starts tomorrow and I get to drive into Cambrige with half the state. And now, back to the Revolution. Got through another side of tape, woo-hoo.
* * *
"He is awake, he's talking, I don't think he's completely aware of everything that's happened recently," I told Legerdemain as we headed downstairs.
"Part of the problem that I've seen is that Melvin's always experienced blackouts. Migraines. At least, they've been phrased that way. What sort of condition is he in?"
"He's physically very weak. He was in the Power form for a long time and, well, we kind of beat him up a little bit taking him out. We've got him on saline."
Melvin saw him and smiled. "Hi."
"Hi, Melvin. Uh, you don't look very good."
"I'm not feeling too hot. And my work has been subcontracted to a giant chicken."
"Well. I understand a lot of them are coming over the border these days. Melvin?" He hesitated. "I think I finally figured out what's causing your blackouts."
"John said the same thing."
"Did he," Cockatrice remarked.
"He said they were being caused by stress. Put me in as low-stress an environment as he could find for me," Melvin added happily. "He's a really nice guy."
"Technically speaking, he wasn't lying," the giant chicken noted.
"Um. Yeah, yeah, I can see how stress... Melvin, I don't know any good way to put this. You're Power," Legerdemain told him.
"Remember the running joke we used to have, back when I first met you, that I never saw you and Power together at the same place in the same time?"
"Yeah, and I always said you never saw the president and Power together in the same place, at the same time," Melvin replied.
"Yeah, I know. But see, in your case, turns out there's a different reason than the one for the president. The self-sustaining energy program you were working on?"
"Yeah, that was years ago... I mean, I've been working on it again now...."
"Yeah. That's what did this to you. You black out, and Power is there. And then once Power disappears you wake up. It's why you were always near all those crime scenes."
Melvin chuckled nervously, looking at all of us. "This is an elaborate practical joke, isn't it?"
"If it were an elaborate practical joke, would I really have included the man dressed as a chicken?"
"Do I look the kind of person whose sense of humor runs to elaborate practical jokes on people I don't know?" the chicken asked.
"Uh... no," Melvin admitted.
"It's not a practical joke. Now we run into the second part of your problem, sir."
"We've run into the overlapping code issue. You seem to have suffered two accidents, the first of them involving a self-sustaining energy field that you internalized, the second involving the internalization of a combat protocol you've been working on. And then both of them again."
"But if this is the combat protocol John was working on, the levels of it would generate an overlap, it would constantly be at war with itself, everything would come up as a target."
"The primary infection that you had--look at it as an infectious disease, it's the easiest way to handle it--or a viral infection of a computer--responded only to overly violent activity, and only for the duration of it. Recently you suffered a secondary infection."
"It caused you to witness everything as being a target," Legerdemain explained.
"Okay. Right. Um... why aren't I killing you, then?"
"Because we drained massive amounts of power out of you," Cockatrice told him.
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Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 2005 Rebecca J. Stevenson