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   Chapter 56 No.56

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 4841

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02


"Alexander, " growled Hendricks.

The sudden comment startled Lex's sluggish mind, causing him to slip off the edge of the bed.

"God! Were you there the whole time? You didn't watch me shower, did you?"

"Mr. Patel wants you, " he stated, ignoring the question.

"I'll bet he does. This is something I'm going to have to get used to, isn't it? On call, 24-7.

"On Operlo, it is 35-9. Get moving."

"You use a different number of days in the week?" Lex said, bundling up his belongings and tucking them under his arm. "Now you're just being contrary."

"Move!"

"Okay, okay!"

Hendricks quickly ushered him out of the complex and into the harsh sun, where the silly-looking hat suddenly became well-appreciated. It may not have been fashionable, but it certainly kept the burning rays off of his face. He was brought to a slightly-better-cared-for hover cart and driven to his borrowed ship, which was surrounded by a small work crew bearing hefty looking tools and irritated expressions. Nicholas Patel was among them. He wore a similar hat and a pair of sunglasses, as well as a glossy black gadget that wrapped around the back of his neck like a collar. Miss Misra was standing beside him and was similarly equipped. They, notably, were the only ones who weren't sweating in the baking heat.

"Mr. Alexander!" Patel said brightly.

"You called? And what's with the fancy neck gear?"

"A blood conditioner. Chills the blood pa

as no reaction, save from the workers, who snickered amongst themselves. He gingerly reached out toward the ship, squinting his eyes and turning his head away. Finally his fingers touched the surface. They almost sizzled from the sun-broiled metal, but there was no bolt of lightning or other excitement. After breathing a sigh of relief, he climbed up onto the recessed steps and tapped the control for the cockpit, which opened.

"I guess it's okay now, " he called over his shoulder.

"Right, get to work, boys, " Hendricks ordered.

A worker with a lit cutting torch stepped toward the ship. When he came within a meter of the ship, the cockpit suddenly snapped shut.

"Unauthorized personnel within minimum proximity. Please clear the hull and stand by for electrical defense activation, " warned the external address system, speaking in what appeared to be one of Ma's many voices. Evidently this was one of the donor systems for her vocal interface.

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