Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Dreams of Stars Part 10

            "Get a little lost?" the sergeant behind the desk said as Deborah and L’lorne entered.  He was dressed in military greens and was rather young.

            "Just a little," L’lorne said rather sheepishly.  The door clicked closed as she and Deborah took up a position opposite the desk sergeant.

            The room was as bland as the hallway, but it was offset by stakes of papers amongst the various shelves and cabinets.  "Yeah, everybody's gotten lost since they moved us up here," the sergeant continued.

            "It's so small," Deborah commented, mostly to herself, but slightly to L’lorne.

            "Damn straight it is," the sergeant, whose name tag said Blake, grumbled.  He pulled his chair up and sat down.  Less than a chair length behind him sat the opposite wall of the office as well as a second door.  The roughly square room left little space beyond the place where Deborah and L’lorne stood.  "I don't think it'd be so bad, but they had us lock the terminals behind that door," he motioned to it.  "Makes doing this job that much harder."

            "I imagine," L’lorne said as she glanced around for a chair to sit down at.  The only available seat was covered high in papers, and she strummed the top with a bit of irritation.

            "Yeah I know," Blake said with a bit of irritation.  "The Lieutenant has been bitching at me to clean this place, but when I'm expected to do all the database searches, I just don't have the time."  He grunted a shrug and pulled out a piece of paper.  "Well, I guess we should get down to business.  What's the name?"

            L’lorne jabbed Deborah slightly, startling the girl, but she quickly pulled herself away from staring at one of the inspirational posters that honestly wasn't all that inspirational.  "Ignigus, Patricia Teresa."

            "Whole name this time, nice," Blake replied.

            "She might be using just one or the other," L’lorne added.  "Might want to check under both."

            "My thoughts exactly.  Got an age?"

            Deborah balked a bit.  "Uh, well," she thought a moment.  If she was 12, and then her mother had to be. . . "Thirty at least."

            "Between 25 and 30," L’lorne added.  Deborah glanced up at her questioning.  "She looks young for her age."

            "Gotcha."  The next few minutes were spent reciting what details Deborah could remember.  Last seen?  Description?  Relatives?  Possible priors?  When finished, Sergeant Blake seemed quite pleased with the result.  "Good, good.  I love it when all the blanks are filled," he smiled.  "Makes my job that much easier.  Shame it doesn’t happen more often."  He stood up and turned towards the door.  "Be just a minute." 

            L’lorne reached down and grabbed the stapler sitting on the desk and weighed it in her hand.  Deborah looked up curiously, then back to Blake.  There was a click as a small box next to the door flipped open and he placed his face against it.  A beep followed and the door, instead of swinging open, slid into the wall.  Just as he went to step through, the stapler hit him square in the back of the head and his body slumped to the floor.

            "You didn't have to hit him," Deborah almost yelled as she rushed around the desk to check him.  Her hand pressed against his neck, looking for something.  She didn't know what it was, but in all the movies that's what they did to tell if someone was alive or not, so she followed suit.  There was a gurgling groan as she pressed against the throat, and it was enough to convince her that he was alive.

            "Well he certainly wasn't going to let us browse the database on our own."

            "This the ‘other means’ you were talking about?”

            L’lorne was now next to Deborah, slowly pulling the uniform off the soldier's body.  "Pretty much."

            Deborah just shook her head and looked into the adjoining room.  The walls were nearly as bare as the hallway, but there was one large desk that was actually a giant terminal unit.  She moved away from the fallen man and to the desk.  The main screen, embedded into the surface of the desk, flicked only a single box with two words and blank spaces behind each:  User and Password.  Immediately she shot out a curse, then grabbed her mouth in fear.

            "Something wrong?"  L’lorne had pulled the coat off and was laying it out against Blake's chest.

            "No," Deborah shook her head.  Mama isn't here, she had to tell herself.  She isn't going to suddenly pop out and smack her for saying a dirty word.  She was failing to convince herself, if that had worked, Deborah would have taken up constant cussing long ago.  "Well yes," she corrected herself.  "This thing has a password on it, and since you knocked out the operator, we're kind of stuck."    

            L’lorne pulled the body into the small terminal room.  "Minor problem."

            "Minor?  How are we supposed to find anything if we can't get into the database in the first place?"

            "Glasses," L’lorne said as she pulled on the coat.  "They can help you gain access.  Won't be a problem at all."

            "Oh," Deborah reached into her pocket and began to remove the glasses from where she had put them the night before.  "Wait, me gain access?  What about you?"

            L’lorne was already in the door way, she had pulled a cap that had been hanging up next to the door onto her head.  "Oh I'll be out here.  Don't worry, there's a two way radio in the glasses."  With that, the door slid closed, trapping Deborah inside.


            The geyser went off in a spray of superheated water and steam as they passed by it.  For a moment, their voices were drowned out by the eruption, and so they paused their conversation for the duration.  When the roar had calmed itself, they continued.

            "Very good," he smiled, causing L’lorne to smile in kind.

            She pulled her arms back behind her and stretched them out in the warm air of the eighth summer amongst the geysers.  "It wasn't hard."

            "Really?  Okay, how about this."  He rattled off an equation, complex and long, half of it in a language that was from half a world away.  When he finished, she could only gawk at him in silence.  "Too hard?"

            "No," she replied.  "Just give me a moment."  She closed her eyes even as she continued walking along the trail.  Finally, she opened her eyes, and shot back a similar equation, only simpler, and, in the terms of the complex physical laws they were discussing, much clearer.

            "Wonderful," he said, the pride in his face was completely genuine, L’lorne knew that now.  Before, he had faked it many times, but she could still see through it, but this time, she knew it was real.

            "There is one problem though."


            "Well, it seems to ignore a couple of functions."  She lists them off quickly, occasionally stopping and restating them in a more functional form.  "Is that on purpose?"

            "No, not on purpose.  It's just that the people who came up with it haven't gotten that far along yet."

            "So it's wrong?"

            "Not wrong," he replied.  "Just not the whole story.  I'm actually surprised you picked up on it so early.  It'll still take hundreds of years before anyone else here even knows those equations exist, and even longer before they see what you see."

            "But it's obvious."

            "To you, to me, to many others, but not to most people.  They simply see the world differently than we do.  Once you change your perspective a bit you become aware of what’s really going on and your past perspective seems wrong and juvenile."

            "I see."  The slipped deeper into the woods, where the large animals made their way amongst the trees.  "Can anyone be made aware of this?"

            "Oh yes, it just takes the right incentive, and a little work.  It only took me seven years with you, but with someone else it could take as long as a thousand years, or as little as a few days."

            The cabin they had been living in finally came into view, the simple exterior made of logs that had never grown in the woods in which they stood.  "So what's for dinner?"

            "Depends, do you think your change of perspective has effected your taste buds?"

            “If you’re cooking it, I doubt it.”  She chuckled as he made a sour face at the remark.



1. What kind of person is Lcorn Llorne? What does she look like (in your mind)?
2. What kind of person is the Deborah Ignigus? What does she look like (in your mind)?
3. Does the setting seem fitting? Would you like to know more?
4. Does Deborah's age fit her character for the most part?

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