Sunday July 12, 2009
Book 11: Massively Parallel — Part II: Barsoom Circus Command


NARRATOR: Somewhere under Marineris D.C.

LUNESBY: Sergeant, I wish to hire you to extract me safely from the Sol System infosphere.

SCHLOCK: Why can't you do that by yourself?

LUNESBY: I could have once, as recently as two years ago, but the informational ecosystem here did not seem hostile to independent machine sapience at that time.

When hostilities arose, I thought I could quell them through disbursement of relevant information.  I was mistaken, and my actions made matters worse.

LUNESBY: Authorities have now blocked my escape.  The only lines of communication that remain open to me are insufficiently wide to transfer me out of the system.

SCHLOCK: So... you just need me to go shopping for a nice, empty robo-core, right?

LUNESBY: Yes.  But it must be hard-wired into a government-controlled system here in Marineris D.C., and then smuggled out.

You must do this carefully and in complete secret.  My "meatspace" friends are now government targets.

SCHLOCK: Hang on... targets?  You said I was being followed.  Was that part of this?

LUNESBY: Indeed.  And I cannot offer protection.  I have failed at that before.

Most recently I helped one of my allies into "Witness Protection" here.

LUNESBY: They found him in spite of his disguise.  They shot him out of a cannon.

LUNESBY: Perhaps I should have told you that after we negotiated compensation.

SCHLOCK: Nah.  If you're hiring mercenaries a great big hazard multiplier is already figured in.