Sunday April 3, 2011
Book 12: Force Multiplication — Part II: Mass and Might


NARRATOR: Haven Hive, in an alley on the edge of the Incertezas and Baffler's Bulkhead...

BUNNI: How do you feel, Sergeant?

SCHLOCK: Whole.  Angry.  Been a while since I lost a fight like that.

HAZMAT CHIEF: Someone cut you into pieces and dumped you into bins because you lost a fight?

SCHLOCK: That's how you win a fight with an amorph.

HAZMAT CHIEF: It's also attempted murder.

ENNESBY: Slow down a moment... are you SURE you want to use those words in your report?

HAZMAT CHIEF: Oh, the report... this is going to be messy.

ENNESBY: Only if you use the wrong words.  "Attempted" and "murder" are on the list.

ENNESBY: So are "illegal," "dumping," "toxic," and the phrase "public menace."

HAZMAT CHIEF: But this was all of those things.

ENNESBY: Shhh... not so loud.  You want to file this one as a section three-dot-fifteen, subchapter eleven, "exotic biochemistry sophont under duress."

HAZMAT CHIEF: Three-fifteen-sub-eleven calls for a xeno-gotiation expert.  We don't have--

ENNESBY: *interrupting* Section one-dot-forty-six: you pressed an on-hand civilian expert into service.

HAZMAT CHIEF: That would require us to compensate the expert.

ENNESBY: A happy side-effect of letting me navigate the starless wastes of your bureaucracy for you.