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   Chapter 34 No.34

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5797

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:02

The view thorough the ring began to shift. It was pulling back, like a camera on a dolly, until it swept past them and continued down the hall. Lex turned to see what was viewing them, but there was nothing there. He looked back to the "mirror" to see the view retreating further down the hallway. When it reached the wall, it continued, flickering to blackness when the viewpoint passed into solid metal and stone. Then it moved off to the outside.

"Uh. . ."

"This sucker, in its current state, can give me a view of anything within roughly 0.05 astronomical units. I can even dial it a few days into the past or future. Give us a demo, Ma."

The view swiveled toward the sky, and abruptly seemed to show a time lapse. Thin, wispy clouds rocketed across the sky, the fuzzy white disk of the sun flowed from horizon to horizon. As it did, the view became far less focused and the whir of fans increased. He watched his ship crashing in reverse in the distance, then blinked as the sun began to whip in the other direction, ticking forward in time to replay the crash and continue onward. The once-clear image became an unrecognizable blur, with a vast blotch of darkness high in the sky, then collapsed into the black dot in the center. Whatever that dot was, it was larger now, having grown from a pinpoint to a small, featureless black marble.

"That's. . . that's remarkable. How does it work?"

"Using a proprietary blend of high-velocity particles and gravitational interaction. In theory, if I dialed up the power and tuned the filtering algorithms enough, I could show any location in the universe at any point in time."

"How the hell is this still considered a reject!?"

"It is taking about ninety-seven percent o

ere aren't any. I sort of just grafted stuff on, you know?"

"Freeform. Nice. But a bitch to repair. I'll just pull up the schematics on file, then. Ma! Get the diagnostic cart out here and draw up the schematics."

"I don't know how useful the official schematics are going to--"

"I'm not putting it back together the way you had it. Obviously the way you had it sucked. It needed fixing before it even crashed."

"Look, it might not have been top of the line, but it did what I needed it to do."

A small, motorized cart appeared from an access tunnel on the far side of the hanger. It was heavily hung with tools, both from its sides and from a gantry that was supported over its work surface. As it puttered along the floor, a roll of paper that jutted from one edge dispensed a sheet, which was clamped down and cut to length. A pen plotter descended from the gantry and danced quickly across the poster-sized sheet, so that by the time the cart jerked to a halt in front of Karter, a full structural schematic was completed. He pulled it free, grabbed a pen from the rack on the cart, and started awkwardly folding and notating the plans.

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