"There Really Is An UNSec"
"Model-Tís Only Come In Black"
"And Next Youíll Be Telling Me the Suretani Are Real, Too."
© 2001, Derek R. Smith, all rights reserved. All wrongs disavowed.
"Iím sorry Iím late. I had a total dorkwad of a customs official checking my one little carry-on bag."
"Well that I can believe. This time we were gambling on a completely unsupportable excuse." ::amusement::
"Yes, and you lost You owe me one-hundred thousand credits."
"Whatever. Write it down someplace." ::irritation::
"Have you too been fighting again?"
"Donít be absurd."Overlapping identical thoughts are rare enough in general, but not with us. It happened with alarming frequency. Twenty or more years of friendship, training, and team study will occasionally obtain such results.
::amusement:: Okay, so whatís the score as they say in these parts?
"Red Sox 24, Indians 8."
"Will you be serious!"
"Now he owes me my hundred thousand credits back." ::amusement::
"Erase it up someplace Now letís get to work. I donít suppose either of you has discovered anything about our new, local, assignment."
"Yes. Apparently someone high up has been pulling some serious strings to get us all assigned to this new ship theyíve built. The same ship, not just ships of the same class."
"The Drakeís commanding officer seems to be able to figure out just whom to influence in order to get the crew he wants. I believe that the commanding officer of the Nelson is equivalently talented. It makes me nervous that he should choose the three of us specifically."
"Have either of you read either of them?"
"Yes, but we all know that that means precisely nothing."
"Only if theyíre not human. If they are human, they canít have developed our little tricks. So a negative reading might be genuine. Call Dennis Rodman, heís from another planet. He can tell us."
"What the hell does that mean?"
"Iíll tell you later."
"Ahem! Our CO is human but there is some indication of supernormal resilience on both the cellular and genetic level."
"That happens sometimes. Are you thinking that it isnít just a positive mutation?"
"Thereís no way to know for sure without more data."
"But we have more data. His influence over so many higher ups should not be discounted as just Ďsomeone who has racked up a bunch of big favors. But it in no way indicates supernatural phenomena.í"
"Your point is well-taken. It could be indicative of some skills such as our own."
"Very well then. We have one, perhaps two, who need our special attention. We will be on the same ship as one of them. We may need to call in another team if it isnít too late."
"It is too late, for the Nelson. I just returned from home, and they canít insinuate another team into the proper places in time to meet the Nelsonís final crew designation deadline."
"We could interfere cause the deadline to be extended."
"I donít think I like the tenor of that."
"If you are thinking of rendering some of the Nelsonís crew choices ineligible, Iíd actually be in favor of it. We certainly could do it."
"Certain key positions are needed. What did you propose to do about the candidates already selected?
"I thought perhaps we might kill them."
"I canít support that."
"Consider it a scientific experiment. We vent them and then see if they can learn to breathe vacuum by giving them no other choice."
"Will you cut that out?!?!"
"We donít need to take such drastic steps. The two commanding officers will keep in contact as much as possible. Theyíre marriedÖ To each other no less! We can probably learn what we need to know that way. Iím more concerned about UNS Cook. That ship has a real methane-breather* for a commanding officer, and heís stacking his crew with people who are associated with revolutionary factions."
"Can we at least kill them?"
"Christ on a Ritz! Donít you ever think of anything else?"
"Sure I do. Well once in a while."
"Jeez. Okay. It appears that one of the secretary-generalís wonderful new ships might already be compromised. We already know from whence come the bad-guys. But we canít do anything about it openly. Itís looking as though we may have more on our plates than we can eat."
"Commanding Officer, UNS Drake, favors using Mumbai as a practice target for orbital bombardment. I think we can assume heís not [completely] serious, but I think we can also conclude that he also knows whatís going on with the Cook."
"That seems highly probable. But we may be parsecs away when the excrement impacts the rotating blades."
"And we have no way of warning the secretary-general about our suspicions without having to explain our methods of arriving at them."
"I do believe you have it surrounded. Perhaps outside help doesnít require careful insinuation, and is less far afield than might be obvious. Directive: Compute."
"The Rebel factions are relatively small."
"They will need help."
"There is an opportunity for them to get help by performing a few atrocities on some real non-humans."
"And arranging for it to be blamed on the UN."
"Good. That seems to be where we need to focus our attention. That and the COís themselves. Agreed?"