A Literary historical science fiction mystery
Table of Chapters
Chapter 0. Problems
Chapter 1. Headaches
Chapter 2. Happy Holidays
Chapter 3. Mr. Nice Guy
Chapter 4. The Brainless One
Chapter 5. A Little Crazy
Chapter 6. Grave Consequences ----------------->
Chapter 7. Core Directives
Chapter 8. Expect Difficulties
Chapter 9. Caveats
Chapter 10. Mister Machine
Chapter 11. Good News, Bad News, El Cheapo
Chapter 12. New Memories
Chapter 13. Little Problems
Chapter 14. Lasers, Language, and Happiness
Chapter 15. Chatterbots
Chapter 16. Ready Or Not
Chapter 17. Not a Turing Test
Chapter 18. Reality Test
Chapter 19. Chess, Anyone?
Chapter 20. FOM
Chapter 21. Chairman of the Board
Chapter 22. The Usual Suspects
Chapter 23. M. God
Chapter 24. Walkabout
Chapter 25. Why
Chapter 26. First Blood
Chapter 27. More Machines?
Chapter 28. POV
Chapter 29. ROI
Chapter 30. Last Blood
Chapter 31. Don’t Want to Talk About It
Chapter 32. Round Table
Chapter 33. A Change of Mind
Chapter 34. Threes
Chapter 35. Knight Moves
Chapter 36. Little Combinations
Chapter 37. Can We Talk?
Chapter 38. Pas de Deux
Chapter 39. The Jig Is Up
Chapter 40. Good, Bad, Ugly Chapter 41. Function Goes On
Mister Thin Raspy Voice cleared his throat several times.
Tramping through his memories, Doc forgot to be startled by the first clearing as soon as he heard the others. They prompted a thought: Is he a smoker?
“How’s your headache, Doctor?”
From his spot in the stuffed chair Little stabbed a look toward the “out” door. Only the voice was there.
“Better,” said Little, coming out of his reverie. “But I can still smell paint...”
“You drink too much coffee, Doctor.”
“What’s that got to do with anything?”
“Caffeine’s also a mild diuretic. It can increase the amount of calcium that goes out of the body, and it can interfere with calcium absorption. Any more than a cup or two is a risk factor for Osteoporosis and Osteopenia.”
“What? You’re giving free health tips now as well as free room and board?”
“You drink too much coffee.”
“I happen to like coffee, okay? Is that why I’m here? To cure me of caffeine addiction?”
“You and your programmer both drink too much coffee,” the voice said blandly.
“Leave Guy out of this… Is he in your jail too?”
“No. He’s probably safe; he’s just the programmer.”
Just the programmer? But Doc resisted the temptation to defend Guy. “You call this a ‘safe’ house,” he argued, “as if I were in physical danger. That’s rubbish. My work may be in danger, but I’m not. And putting me in this jail increases any danger that TM tech gets stolen. That’s what you want, isn’t it. You want it for yourself.”
“You are in danger, Doctor. And only the inventor can patent, so there would be grave consequences if you were to die.”
As Doc laughed, he heard at least two other people laughing underneath Raspy Voice’s sharp, “Quiet!” Their laughter seemed to place them beyond the wall behind the exercise machine, like ghosts.