Gina, Rus, & Percy: Putting it all together
[Author’s note: So this is where I try to put the previous two entries together and do a little editing where necessary. This is all Day 11, by the way.]
Percy closed the front door lightly behind him — you never knew when someone was sleeping in this house. The skintight running tech adhered to his body with the three hours of sweat he had earned in the Jersey Park Dome. It was monitoring his heart rate, had timed him and was now ensuring he cooled down correctly. The house was unusually quiet — Gardenia had dragged everyone out to some birthday or anniversary or something.
He heard movement on the balcony. From his position by the door, he was obscured by the ‘welcoming and relaxing’ houseplant someone was struggling to keep alive. Nonetheless, he could see Russell’s lanky form folded up and sitting cross-legged on the little faux-stone wall while Georgina was at the table tinkering with that awful metal cat of hers.
“So what’s the feed, Blue Eyes?” she asked.
“I think I’ve uncovered something and I don’t know what to do.”
Russell ran a hand through his big, messy hair; his all-too-young forehead wrinkling in concern.
“Well… I was researching BioFutures and Percy demanded I stop.”
Had he been able to hear, Percy would have cringed at the word ‘demanded’. As it was, he was spying on a silent picture show.
“So?” One of Georgina’s eyebrows rose lazily, but her eyes remained fixed on her task.
“So? We’re supposed to be the free press. Why the prohibition?”
“Did you ask him about it?”
“He said there are other lines of investigation that might be more fruitful for my first story.”
“When I pushed he just said ‘no’.”
“Blue, I think you’re overreacting.”
“People were murdered. Assassinated maybe.”
“In Missicity. Hardly headline stuff.”
“What about the ritualistic paraphernalia? The carvings?”
“Don’t go looking for glitches in a broken system, Blue.”
“Alright. I’m sorry.”
Percy was fiddling with the interface on his arm when there was a flash of light outside. He looked up in time to see Georgina — now standing — kick the chair she’d been sitting on a moment before. Russell was on his feet now too.
“What’s up with Moreau?”
“Don’t even get me started. Fraking cat won’t even meow now, let alone talk.”
“Is there a malfunction?”
“Well obviously. It’s functioning badly! Did you fail Latin at ASchool?”
She glanced up at him for the first time, and whatever he saw in her eyes made him take half a step back like she’d shoved him hard in the shoulder. She flicked a lock of purple hair out of her face and tilted her head to one side.
“I- No. I passed with distinction.”
“Good. So yes. Malfunction.”
“Hardware or software?”
“Built both myself. He’s got the voice modulator and it’s all linked up correctly. Triple checked.”
“So it must be the software then. What language bank did you use?”
“YaGooBle. It’s not fancy, but it’s the most popular. Didn’t even tinker. Just poured it in there. Then did a reinstall last time.”
“Does he have the pathways to parse thought into language?”
“Totally. And scans show he’s doing it.”
Russell bit his lip and looked up into the smog-shrouded lights above them.
“Exactly. Can’t figure the fraking thing out.”
Russell shrugged and hopped back onto the wall.
“We’ve hit the limit of my technical knowledge, I’m afraid. Sorry I can’t help more.”
Georgina tilted her head to one side and gifted Russell with her patented half a smile.
“Yeah, well. You’re a writer not a coder.” She laid the back of her hand against her bangs. “We’re from different worlds.”
Russell chuckled, a grin transforming his whole, childlike face.
“Very good. We could make a writer of you yet…”
Percy wished he could have heard the conversation. Frustrated and only now beginning to smell himself, he slipped upstairs towards the bathroom block.
[Author’s note: I’m pretty happy with how this turned out. Although I know it isn’t perfect, I’ve learned some stuff about my characters, their prejudices and how they react to one another. Pretty cool. As always, I’d love to hear your comments.]