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   Chapter 27 No.27

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5291

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

"Oh, right. I'm--"

"Trevor Alexander. I know. You did the entry interview at the door. Good job pissing off the computer, by the way. I'm going to have to deal with that now."

"Okay. Well, that's introductions out of the way. So. . . are you a human or what?"

His host began to answer. As he did, he pulled the tops from steam trays and shoveled food directly onto his tray. He hadn't bothered to get a plate.

"Accurately answering that question is a non-trivial exercise in statistics, anatomy, physiology, and philosophy. As of my last medical scan, the standings are as follows: Thirty-nine percent original equipment, thirty-five percent aftermarket parts, and twenty-four percent synthetic organics."

"That's only ninety-eight percent."

"I've got some bits on back order. So, the majority of my body is not human, but the plurality of it is, and that's good enough to win an election, so I'm going with human."

The mechanic finished piling up his tray, which now had a few pounds of red beans and rice and three burritos on it. After grabbing an extra burrito and tossing it into the pocket of his coveralls for some reason, he reached into a tray of ice and pulled out a can of some sort of soft drink. After checking a series of the steam trays and discovering that burritos, beans, and rice were the only things available, Lex helped himself.

"Where do we pay for this stuff?"

"Just eat. This is the smallest amount I can get the automated system to pump out."

"Oh, okay. Thanks. So what do you do here, Ketraskin?"

He answered with his mouth ful

you, and I'd have to deal with that. I'm as eager for you to get the hell off of my planet as you are, but if you're going to be doing it, you'll be doing it in a loaner ship from me, and there is no way I'm letting you take one of my ships through the moat until I know there's a safe window. You want to get yourself killed, fine. But do it where I won't be inconvenienced, and don't do it in one of my ships."

"Wow. Most people would be ashamed to show that degree of self-interest."

"I don't have a whole lot in common with most people."

Lex fumed for a moment. He'd dealt with people like Karter before. They didn't want anything to do with other people's problems. Usually, if he wanted something out of a person like that, he had to pay them, which he could probably afford to do. . . But screw that. This guy was a jerk. There was no way he was handing cash over to him now. Fortunately, self-absorbed misanthropes were easy to manipulate. Lex just needed to make his problems into Karter's problems, and Karter would spring into action.

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