Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dead Rite chapter 86.07

“They've gone missing, is what they've done, sir. I take it they didn't mention anything to you last time you saw them?”

“No. Why should they? I don't even teach them, really, just mark their attendance sheets so they can get their grants or loans or whatever it is they live on and leave them to it. I'm surprised not to have seen them, actually. I know Mr Farthing had an essay due in.”

“An essay? I thought you didn't teach them.”

“Oh, not an essay for me. He was doing a postgraduate level correspondence course at Bell's in London. He generally uses his machine for research.” Shadwell gestured to a sheet covered table in one corner of the room. “They spent most of their time here tinkering with that. Geniuses, both of them. They know far more then me. I mean, technically I'm a professor but what I know is four-oh-four-eight processor compared to the P-six of their intellect, and they haven't stopped learning yet.”

“Let's hope that's the case, sir, and they haven't stopped learning by virtue of, say, having their heads hacked off.”

“Goodness.” Shadwell paled. “Is that a likely scenario?”

“I hope not, but obviously we're investigate all possibilities. Two teenage lads going missing is obviously causing us concern.”

“Have you checked the pizza delivery places? They were very fond of pizza. Fast food in general, but mostly pizza. If they're still in the area the delivery places will know where.”

“That's a good idea, sir. Thank you.” White gestured to the table. “May I?”

“Oh please, help yourself. I'd rather you didn't switch it on, though, to be honest. It scares the willies out of me.”

“Oh? Why's that?” White twitched away the sheet to reveal several monitors connected the a number of racks of circuit boards. “It's just a computer, isn't it?”

“I wish it was.” Shadwell hovered a couple of feet away, clearly agitated. “Whenever they talk to it, it talks back. It's sentient.”


Stephanie said...

Now? Now you open up this whole new storyline???

Leatherdykeuk said...

It's Chekovian. I said in chapter three they were computer whizzes.