Sunday September 19, 2010
Book 11: Massively Parallel — Part V: Command and Conquer


NARRATOR: Meanwhile, 27,000 light-years away...

KERCHAK: It's a Foxtrot, all right, and the other guys are leading the orchestra.

KERCHAK: We've found the General, but Captain Tagon is down, the Teraport Cage is gone, and most of the team is pinned down by an armored infantry platoon.

The Touch-And-Go is approaching turnaround, but I don't believe it has enough firepower to be very helpful.

Summary: this would be the perfect time for one of those high-energy, punch-through-anything teraport extractions you're now infamous for.

PETEY: Do you have any idea just how much energy goes into those extractions?

KERCHAK: I don't know.  Petawatts?

PETEY NODE: Petawatts are chump change.

ATHENS: But rather than attempt to describe my energy budget by concetenating increasingly ridiculous prefixes, I shall share the terrifying opportunity cost.

ATHENS (collectively)
: If I spend the power to rescue our friends, an entire world full of innocent people will die.

PETEY NODE: You might regard that as merely a horrible tragedy in some distant place, but I can hear every heartbeat.

ATHENS: Which is of course why I cannot deliver our friends with my usual deific finesse.

PETEY: That is also why I employed you in the first place.  I gave you huge amounts of money because I can't spare the huge amounts of power.

KERCHAK: Oh.  Well... do you have any more of that money?

PD: I have a team of accountants whose job it is to count the accountants who keep track of my accountants.