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   Chapter 57 No.57

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5121

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02

"Whoa, hey, okay, back off!" Lex shouted, dropping to the scalding hot ground and covering his head.

When the worker moved away, the ship chirped and proclaimed, "Proximity clear, defense disengaged."

"I am losing my patience, Mr. Alexander, " Patel said sternly.

"Okay, everyone stay back, and I'll get in and try to turn it off, " Lex said.

"And what is to keep you from simply escaping at that point?" asked Patel.

"Well, the mooring cables, for one, " he suggested.

This did not seem to satisfy his host.

"Fine, I won't get in. I'll just reach in. That way Mr. Trigger-Happy over there can shoot me in the ass if I try something."

"Do it, " Patel said warily.

Lex climbed up, popped the cockpit, and reached inside. Stretching as far as he could, he managed to reach the command button on the console.

"Voice interface activated, " the ship stated.

"Computer, deactivate security system."

"Modifying safety and security settings requires level 0 access. You have level 1 access."

"Um. . . grant access to these other guys."

"Increasing access list requires level 0 access. You have level 1 access."

"Anyone have any ideas?" Lex called over his shoulder.

"Stop toying with me, Mr. Alexander, " Patel growled.

"I'm not toying with you! This isn't my ship! How many different ways do I have to say it!? Look, I'll just grab the case and hand it over, and then you guys can blow the stupid ship up, for all I care."

"Very well, " Patel said.

"Move slow, Alexander. I've got your

nger if he'd had control of the ship. This was chiefly because Lex had petty human concerns like survival. The course traveled by the ship was nearly a straight line, which passed through no fewer than six heavily patrolled regions of space, directly through the center of a debris-strewn nebula, and deep enough into the corona of a red giant to risk all sorts of nasty consequences at superluminal speeds. Somehow, though, he arrived in one piece, though the waste disposal system of the pilot's chair got quite a workout.

He peeled himself out of the seat and crawled shakily to the catwalk of Karter's hangar building when the cockpit finally opened. He hadn't even bothered to change out of the construction uniform during the trip.

"Welcome back, Mr. Alexander. The bus is waiting for you outside to take you to Karter's lab, " said the helpful voice of the computer.

"Yeah. . . I'm. . . just going to sit down here for a minute, " he said, slowly collapsing to the catwalk.

"Is there something wrong?"

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