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   Chapter 58 No.58

Bypass Gemini By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5279

Updated: 2018-01-19 19:02

"Yeah. Yeah, there is something wrong. Were you in on that little jaunt through space he sent me on just now? Did you know what he had in mind?"


"And you were okay with it?"

"Your survival odds ranged from ninety-two to ninety-eight percent, based upon known factors. Intervention did not appear necessary."

"You were okay with ninety-two?"

"The mean was 96.85 percent. My default safety threshold is ninety-five percent."

"Maybe next time aim for ninety-nine."

"The survivability of your departure through the reduced exit window was only eighty-four percent. Perhaps your perceived helplessness due to the lockout of manual controls sensitized you to the risks involved for the return trip."

Lex stared blankly for a moment.

"Did he program you to psychoanalyze people, or was that your idea?"

"Careful analysis of intention, motivation, and mental disposition has become an indispensable skill when monitoring and reacting to Karter."

"Yeah, I guess it would."

A moment passed.

"Was your trip successful?"

"Well, it was very productive. I've still got the package, but now I'm pretty sure I pissed off the mob."

"That is an undesirable outcome."

"That's one way to put it."

A few more moments passed.

"Please gather your personal possessions from the vessel. The bus is waiting for you outside to--"

"Just give me a minute!" he snapped, shutting his eyes tight and cupping his forehead.

"You are showing strong indicators of stress. Would you like to talk about it?"

Lex sighed and climbed to his feet, beginnin


He spent a moment working up the nerve to sprint to the open door of the bus, then repeated the process when he arrived at the lab. Ma lit a path for him that led down a few floors to the Hall of Rejects. There was the distinctive sound of an impact wrench buzzing through the halls like a mechanical duck. The lights were still indicating his location, but it was hardly a challenge to locate Karter. The inventor was standing in the middle of one of the larger workshops, bolting on the cowling to some sort of turbine.

"Karter?" Lex said.

His host's head snapped toward him, and in a flash he fumbled for a hammer on a nearby work cart and whipped it at Lex's head. The pilot only just managed to pull out of the way.

"What the hell!?" Lex exclaimed, jumping aside as a wrench twirled toward him.

"'What the hell' is right!" Karter jabbed, stalking toward Lex and grabbing a crowbar. "I said seventy-two hours. Seven. Two. You were supposed to borrow that ship for three Earth days and bring it back to get the replacement."

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