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the legacy of science... (long)

Author: Tridus ()
Date: 2000-03-23 00:00:00

(note: this starts shortly after the last story by Sam, when everyone has returned to Riptide HQ.

*Our heroes walk back into Riptide HQ and breathe a collective sigh of relief at the familiar surroundings, hoping to get a peaceful nights sleep... all but one at least.*

*Tridus quickly gathers up some accessories he left lying around before leaving last time and puts them into their rightful places on his person, then turns and walks back out the door looking like he's in a rather bad mood with Sashie under his arm as usual. SM_007 looks at everyone else and notices that they don't really seem to care.*

'How odd...' SM thinks to himself. 'If he's supposed to be our friend, why doesn't someone go after him?' After a moment, he decides to be the one to go, everyone else looks rather tired anyway.

*SM goes outside and looks around. After a moment he sees Tridus hastily walking away and runs after him.*




*Walking out into the forest at a hurried pace, Tridus rolled things over in his mind... 'Why did they have to ask questions like that? Why can't they just leave me alone about it? Why...' He hears someone coming up behind him. 'Ugh... I think I'm going to kill whoever that is.'*

*Tridus spins around ready to verbally take the head off of whoever was following him, but stops completely when he sees who it is.*

T - Oh... hi SM... I... I thought you were someone else. What are you doing out here?

SM - well... the way you ran off, I just wanted to make sure everything is ok.

T - ... I'm fine.

T - *paces a bit* look... I'm not very good at this... but thanks. I, *touches Sashie* we, owe you one... if there's anything you want to make it up... just name it.

SM - well... I don't suppose you could fix my memory could you?

T - very unlikely, the... *pauses* its... possible. But very unlikely. It'll probably come back on its own with time.

SM - oh... well I guess so. Well... then could you answer my question from earlier? Just... why is that computer so important to you?

*Tridus sighs... 'Of course, you just have to go and offer up the right to do anything, knowing full well that murphy will force him to ask the one question you don't want to answer...'*

T - alright... I guess I owe you that much... come with me.

*Tridus turns around and starts walking off again. SM follows.*

SM - Where are we going?

T - someplace quiet... very quiet.

*Tridus stops after only walking a few hundred feet, in a quiet grassy area with no other people around. He then takes out his cell phone and hooks it into his laptop.*

SM - What are you doing?

T - going home.

SM - Going home? With a phone?

T - Hey, you have that ungodly contraption you call a car don't you? I just have a more effecient method of transport.

SM - Car? What car?

T - gee you are in really bad shape aren't you... *presses a few buttons on the laptop and the phone dials* you used to have a Silver Jag... with enough gadgets in it to keep Tim Taylor busy for months. I wonder where it got to... did you put a tracking system on it or something?

*SM_007 shrugs.*

T - you don't remember, right... Oh, here we go..

*The modem finishes connecting and the two people and one laptop slowly start to phase out.*

T - ugh this is going to take forever with another person, I need a higher speed phone.

SM - What are you doing?

T - Oh... we're just being digitally encoded and sent across the net to my house, thats all.

SM - We're what!? *notices that the lower part of his body is fading away gradually* what the hell? I'm getting out of here!

*SM tries to get up but Tridus puts an arm on his shoulder to stop him*

T - I wouldn't do that...try not to move very much either, it causes packet loss. And thats a very bad thing.

*SM isn't really sure what to do besides sit and wait, so thats what he does. After several minutes, there is nothing left in the area to mark their passing except for some footprints.*




*Inside Tridus' cottage, the two people and one laptop fade in almost instantly. Tridus walks over to his large reclining chair and flops into it, then proceeds to unhook and put away his phone. SM_007 is checking himself to make sure everything is there.*

SM - don't you ever do that again!

T - alright... but its a very long walk back to Riptide from here.

SM - Where are we anyway?

T - The middle of nowhere, northern Quebec.

SM - oh... *looks out a window and notices the snow* Oh...

*SM looks around for a bit, then has another question come to mind*

SM - say why did it take so long to leave, but we arrived here so much faster?

T - oh... well thats pretty easy. Have you ever tried to send a file using a dialup modem?

SM - yes.

T - have you ever tried to send the same file using a high speed line?

SM - yes.

T - there ya go then.

SM - but wait a minute... usually it only goe as fast as the slowest connection.

T - not when you have it buffer the transmission before sending it the rest of the way.

SM - Oh.

T - yeah... god bless that OC48 I had put in here last year... the dual T3 was just not cutting it anymore.

SM - How do you get them to run lines like that this far north?

T - I have friends in high places in the local government. It wasn't too hard to get them to petition Bell to get the lines put in quietly.

SM - well how do you pay for it?

*Tridus gets up and puts Sashie down on a desk with an empty space on it, then plugs a few wires in and sits back down in his chair.*

T - Sashie take a nap.

*The laptop beeps and goes to a reduced power mode.*

T - You don't want to know the answer to that question.

SM - yes, I do.

T - Trust me, you don't... now I guess I should answer your other one... do you want something to eat?

SM - sure, what do you have?

T - Pizza.

SM - ... anything else?

T - nope, thats pretty much it. *takes his phone out* What do you like on it?

SM - Pepperoni is fine...

T - is that all? geez, how bland... *hits speedial 1 on the phone* Hey Suzie... yeah its me.. yeah I'm good... oh thats great to hear! Yeah... I'll have the usual, and an extra one with just pepperoni for a guest I have today with bland taste... hehehe, no not that kind of guest. Yes, I'm at home. Yes, thats great. Take care. *Hangs up the phone* Should be here in about a half hour.

SM - you have a pizza restraurant within a half hour of the middle of nowhere that can get through a blizzard like that?

T - thats another long story you don't want the answer to. But to answer your question, sort of. They can get here, yes. They've only been late once in three years. But how I do go on...

T - I guess I should answer your question now... *looks at Sashie* good, she's asleep. *SM looks and sees the laptop, doesn't look any different* ... I don't normally tell this story, but... well I owe it to you I guess for what you did back there.

T - about eight years ago, the government up here started a project to try and determine the ways humans and technology could be intermingled. Not in the usual sense of cybernetics and implanting devices into humans, but the other way around. My wife and I were both scientists working on that, up on a nameless island in the Northwest Territories, although I guess that part is Nunavit now. Anyway... there was no easy method of transportation to or from there... only the millitary came at all, and even that was very infrequent. So when the project started up, we took our approximately ten month old baby with us, not really trusting anybody else to take care of her.

*SM sat back and listened... already fairly sure of where this was heading, he payed attention anyway.*

T - most of the details of just what we did there are unimportant and classified information... but since that doesn't really matter anymore... we were developing a way to completely take over any computer system and make it do whatever we wanted. We tried several methods, and finally found one that worked... we created a system by which you could actually transfer someones consciousness into a special chip built into a computer. Now, this still wasn't quite what we wanted, since the person couldn't jump around from computer to computer unless they were all enhanced with the chip, however we were working that minor detail out. We also created systems that allowed the person to control their surroundings while in the computer, and to do a few other things that don't really matter.

T - We almost had the system perfected when word of it got out to the communists. At least, I believe it was the communists, no one really knows for sure exactly who was behind it... but I'm fairly sure I'm right, we were testing a system which would have allowed someone to take command and remotely reprogram the targeting system on the delivery systems (aka missiles) used to deliver Soviet Nuclear Warheads to their destination. Imagine their surprise when all their nukes turned around and slammed into Bejing eh?

T - Not that our goal was to destroy China... we wanted to disarm them first, so that the missiles would just fall back into the city and only cause minor damage. The real goal was to take away their Nuclear Arsenal, thereby meaning that North America could be the only continent armed with the damn things. Actually, my wife wanted to get rid of ours too, but I felt we could keep them as a means of deterring countries from attacking us with more conventional means, or biological weapons for example...

T - So... word got to them I think... and they, or whoever it was, sent this force of what I can only assume were superspies or some elite millitary force to take us out... being mostly scientists, we weren't in much of a position to put up a fight, and the millitary presence we had with us was far too small to stop them.

T - So those of us who were able to, hid. We took refuge in closets, air ducts, under desks, whatever was available. My wife, Sashie, and I were all together.. and we stayed that way until we realized that they weren't trying to destroy our work, they were trying to steal it. we couldn't let that happen, so my wife and I set out to try and sneak to any terminal on the network from which we could purge the entire project from existance... although it pained us severely to do it.

T - *sigh* in fact... I admit it now... I didn't do it. Oh I did manage to get to a terminal and issue the commad to wipe everything, and they were none too pleased about that let me tell you... you could hear them screaming in frustration all over the building... but before I did that, I dumped as much of the information as I could onto a laptop that I had been working on enhancing with the latest equipment. That was jepoardizing national security and breaking more rules then I can count, but could you really just destroy your lifes work?

T - so I was making my way back to Sashie when I heard my wife... apparnetly they had found her and were trying to get her to tell them how to get at the data I had already purged from the network. Of course they didn't believe her, and....

*T sighs*

T - they killed her for it.

T - I guess she was close enough that Sashie heard all this, because she came running out to see what mommy was upset about... to this day I wish I would have left my wife there with her so she wouldn't have run out... do you have any idea what the sound of a six year old getting...

*Tridus sighs*

T - no... I don't suppose you do know... I envy you... pray that you never find out.

T - anyway... after that, I sort of blank out... I don't know exactly how, but I know that somehow I managed to get to her and my wife after the goons had left them... my wife was too far gone to be helped, but Sashie was still alive, barely... somehow I managed to get her to my research lab, which thankfully hadn't been ransacked yet... and from there, I used the data on the laptop to get the eqipment started back up again long enough to move her into it. And then, again... somehow... I'm afraid I really can't remember... I managed to get out of the place with the laptop...

T - something I do remember clearly is what happened to that old place... I don't suppose you heard the story about how the US government lost a missile?

*SM shakes his head no*

T - oh yeah thats right, your memory... well, they didn't loose it, thats just what was told to people... very few people know this, but it wasn't lost... when I got out of the lab, it was an emergency code program that I activated during my escape. In the event the base were ever taken over like that, we were supposed to punch in a certain command which would tell the millitary to destroy it.

T - And so they did.

T - so after the government got through with grilling me over what happened, I guess they were satisfied with what I told them, since they let me go... and I came out here, and I've been here ever since... although it took a while to bring Sashie around... she was traumatized by the whole thing and wouldn't do anything... finally I had to get rid of bits and pieces of her memories of what happened...

T - well, thats about it... I hope the pizza gets here soon...

SM - ...

"If there were no words, no way to speak... I would still hear you..." - Martina McBride

the legacy of science... (long) - Tridus - 2000-03-23 00:00:00
-Cool! Time for me to write up a l'il story of my own... - SM_007 - 2000-03-23 00:00:00