Monday, June 05, 2017

Dawn on Jefferson, Chapter 24: Until Acted Upon by Something Absolutely Annoying

I then did the most brilliantly stupid or stupidly brilliant thing I had ever done to that point: I made Tom leave the gun in his hidey hole. And I nearly got roasted again by my Merry Pranksters again! They wanted the gun for whatever we encountered and I got it, I really did. A gun would give us some protection...but it was far more likely to get us killed.


Whatever would require a gun to stop, we'd be in far too much trouble to deal with even with a gun: we were going to go looking for someone in chameleon skinned armor! On an alien world! It would also give us a false sense of security. If your needlers could not handle the problem, we really ought to be running away or at least up a tree, as fast as we could, not having Tom open up like some soldier or hunter.

So, I made him leave the weapon in his hideyhole. Some times the smartest thing to do is run away. Especially when you are twelve. We were not rugged warriors yet: we were simply slightly pimpled Merry Pranksters.

We counted to three and pulled our boosters. It was not a physical pulling but rather a pause program I had written: they pretended to give updates and health information and locations for us. It would buy us a bit of time before we the adults looking for us. If they were not looking already.

The clean boosters I had were brought up and we synced with them. Their link to the planetary net was turned off and they would only talk to each other. It would not stopped the adults from finding us, but it would delay it considerably.

Then, we ran.

We had to skirt around Shadwell. Our fort was off the southwest. We needed to swing wide to Constitution Rock, which was to the north. However, we needed to keep our distance from town for two reasons. The first was simply not to be seen. The second was the clean boosters could be detected by radio trackers if we got too close. And we didn't want to get caught just simply because we were impatient! Oh to be undone by simply not taking care! No kid would EVER make that mistake! ha!

We moved carefully. We had all taken classes in forestcraft: if you live on the edge of an alien forest, you had BETTER take a class and practice what you learn. Otherwise, it becomes vicious monster in your mind and you will want to destroy it. We came to Jefferson for a new life, not to become the invading monsters and destroyers. Some space had to made for us, but we wanted to understand our new home and live as much in harmony as we could.

Besides, it was fun sneaking around. We were some of the best at it.

We made slow time to where I had found the helmet. The clearing was much the same. However, there was a banner saying to stay away and a fence up and around the site. The fence was not a physical one: rather it was a bunch of poles with sensors on them to tell the people watching the site if something or someone passed through. It was meant more to deter the curious rather than stop anyone. I could only attempting to stop an Upchuck with anything other than a wall: they were big, horned and ugly with a disposition to match. Think alien moose, but not really.

What the fence was NOT meant to stop was a Merry Prankster. because a Merry Prankster always finds a way and we'd defeated better security than this in the past. We sent Maven and her Derplicates to the chemical closet, right? You might think we did that because we knew whoever was going would be caught and it was an impossible task.

We knew SHE and her derps would be caught (but, yes, I did send poor Aitan to spy as a backup, just in case). However, we have raided the chemical closet a few times now. You can look up what happens when you flush pure metallic sodium down a toilet: we did it in small amounts, no toilets were actually exploded. Permanginate, sometimes known as the purple menace, makes an awesome purple die. Just ask the cheerleaders and what it did to their hair! And when you're all grown up we'll introduce you to ammonium triiodide, children.

If we had time, we would figure out what watch poles collected for data, look back into their logs for other days and then feed a loop of data into the watchpoles that was, well, false. After we hacked them, of course. You have to remember: what you see, what you hear, what you taste to a computer or a person, it's just really data. You fake the data is going and they cannot tell the difference. If its done well. And that takes time. Time we didn't have.

We were staring at the watchpole fence and thinking when Jackie started climbing the nearest tree. If you can't go through a fence, you ought to go over it. We looked at each other and started to go up. And up we went. What? You don't climb trees on Earth? What sort of weirdos are you!? I guess we might have looked weird to you though: leather clad monkeys or something stranger.

Jackie climbed up and over and dropped down from a tree limb. And down she went. Actually gracefully. There were times I was envious, but just times. The rest of us came down a little less cat-like. Tom made it into a grand gesture of goofiness. You would have sworn he was part rag doll and part windmill. All the way around, he was a comedian as he landed on his rump and let his roll around in a circle like it might fall off. The goof.

We all got up. We all dusted off. We all made sure the leathers were in place. We were okay.

Then came the bad news.

We looked around the clearing. We all but crawled with our noses in the dirt looking for clues.

But there were none to be had. Not a single stinking clue. The site had too many people there and a lot, a lot of Jefflife had come through. Any tracks would have been obliterated. We were just really out of luck.

We were stopped cold and possibly in a lot of trouble...for no results.

To make matters worse, there was a flashing light approaching: a security drone.  We were really in trouble.

No comments: