Sunday May 2, 2010
Book 11: Massively Parallel — Part IV: Mallcop Command


KATHRYN: Good evening, Nick.  You look dashing.

NARRATOR: "Evening" is an arbitrary term when you're not on a planetary surface.

NICK: Yeah, um... the Doc, she said I should wear somethin' dressy, somethin' that doesn't say "grunt" on the collar.

NARRATOR: Such arbitrariness is common among socially-oriented sophonts with a pronounced diurnal cycle.

KATHRYN: She has good taste.

NICK: There's no place for pips.  I'm goin' out in public like a civilian.

KATHRYN: Oooh, like you're under cover.  Now let's go!  I've picked a sweet little restaurant in the Green Wedge.

NARRATOR: Without it, nobody knows when to get together for shared meals.  Loneliness and starvation follow.

NARRATOR: On a less arbitrary note:  in 394 hours Thurl will be interrupting everything.

KATHRYN: Now, then... tell me all about yourself, Nick.

NICK: Umm... I don't know what I should say.

KATHRYN: Strong and silent only gets you so far, big guy.  I'm taking us there the long way.  You start to fill in the silence.

NARRATOR: Meanwhile, observing...

LEGS: Oh, yeah, this girl is good.

But we're watching, and she can't shut us off.

NARRATOR: Fifteen minutes of "the long way" later...

NICK: 'So then the Sarge shoots the grenade out of the air with his plasma cannon.  You should've seen the looks on their faces...

KATHRYN: You ought to be bringing cameras with you on your adventures, Nick.  It would be fun to see what's going on.

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LEGS: Yes!  Yes it would!