Sunday February 6, 2005
Book 6: Resident Mad Scientist — Part IV: Old Habits Die Hard


Narrator: The Paris Hilton Hyatt Conference Center, Elltoo Starcology, Celeschul.
Ennesby: Captain, I've identified five tracks of breakout sessions, which promise to be either moderated shouting matches or unmoderated claptrap.
Ennesby: The central matter of teraport degradation is discussed in three tracks, but at conflicting times, so there's no way to attend all the relevant sessions.
Ennesby: And the irrelevant sessions! Divide me by zero! The whole conference is cluttered with rubbish like "How to Date a Scientist" or "The Marriage of Hot Glue and Duct Tape."
Kevyn: Juxtaposed, those two sessions sound pretty interesting.
Ennesby: And according to the flyers squirted onto assorted walls, there are at least twenty of these so-called "room parties."
Kevyn: Ennesby, at least half the people here came because it's the only social event where they can fit in.
Ennesby: Fine. Why are WE here?
Kevyn: Because we needed to get out.
Ennesby: The price on our respective heads has more zeros in it than Pearl Harbor in 1941. Certainly there are safer places to "get out."
Kevyn: Fine. We're also here because this problem sounds fascinating.
Ennesby: Well, the problem isn't going to get solved by this crowd. Not the way they're organized.
Ennesby: The whole thing is a waste of time, especially for our troops! The only things here for them are professional paranoia and free chips in the con suite.
Kevyn: Hey. . . That gives me a really, really wicked idea. . .

Elf, get me two squads of bored muscle.

Elf: Is it okay if they're a little high? The con suite has these sourdough hooch whiskey flavored Fritos. . .
Ennesby: I'm going to wish I'd left the maraca-node on perimeter duty.