We got back
to our favorite hotel in London rather late. It was five in the morning and very dark
outside. Once we got to the room
Frank had me run out and buy a bottle of scotch. It was a wordless purchase as the store
clerk was a robot. Most stores are
open 24 hours a day and most just use a robot to mind the store while the most
humans are sleeping. During the
daytime most stores like to employ friendly humans to enhance their sales. Only a few, like the American company
Starbucks, still insists on using 100% organic labor.
When I returned with the goods
Frank was already in the shower. He
was just coming out, freshly dried, when the door knocked. I had already guessed it was a female by
the sound of the approaching steps from the elevator. I put it at 83% that it would be the
Princess and I was right. I was
surprised at the energetic reunion of the Princess. I thought my master needed some sleep,
but it did not take long for him to sleep with the princess. The passion was just reaching a climax
when I heard a knock at the door. I
started to approach it and said, “Who is there?” After all, my master was very busy and I
was not about to let room service spoil his biological processes.
It was then
I found myself suddenly off line. I
had no data feeds coming to me. It
was like the world disappeared. It
would be nine hours before I suddenly received data. It was only from Frank that I learned
later what had happened.
me, if that is possible, but it did surprise Frank. He remembers very little of it. According to Frank there was something
like a small explosion at the door.
He heard something buzzie and then he finds himself waking up in
found ourselves at the Golda Meir Air Base in Israel. It was the next day. When Frank woke up the Monsignor was
there sitting by his side.
Israel, Mr. Frank” he said after Frank opened his eyes, “Here look at your
paper. You made front
shifted his feet to the floor and sat on the edge of the bed. He rubbed his head and said, “I feel
like I’m coming out of an all-nighter.
Got any aspirin? How the fuck did I get here?”
to your newspaper you were abducted by terrorists or something.”
the paper and unfolded it. On the
front was a photo him with the headline “Journal Reporter Violently
Seized.” He slowly read the article
about how his room was found torn up and his robot assistant destroyed. The fire department had to be called in
to put out a small fire. Further
down in the article it described that a woman may have been involved since
several articles of female clothing were found on the smoldering bed along with
several fresh blood stains. The
article stated he was on assignment, but did not reveal what the assignment
was. The tone was one that implied
there was more to the story and that much remained a mystery to London
All of a
sudden Frank threw down the paper and shouted, “Where is the Princess,
“Safe. She is in the next room. Calm down. We had to do it, Mr. Huntington. After
you had your confrontation with Dr. Strangelove – “
“Yes, I had
a bug planted on you and we heard the whole thing. Anyway, she had run straight home and
contacted Lutts. They had decided
to kill you, so we figured we better do it first.”
“So how was
at Mossad took care of the whole thing.”
Israeli Secret Service? Why
Mr. Huntington, but the Holy See does not have the resources to pull off what
needs to be done. If you will
settle down I will tell you the rest.
A Special Team was used to extract you from London. We used several Israeli military robots
dressed as hotel menials and they laser blasted a hole through your door. They released a swam of micro-drones and
they took care of robot and both of you.
About a dozen latched onto Jack and then simultaneously did directional
explosions into his robotic body.
Another group latched onto you and your lady and simultaneously tasered
and injected drugs to knock you both out.
It happened so fast the entire room was secured in less than ten
seconds. Then two agents from
Mossad put you and your lady friend in a couple of laundry baskets and started a
small fire on the bed. They knew
the fire would be detected quickly and then took off to the airport. A leased El Al plane was waiting to fly
you non-stop to Israel. I came
along for the ride.”
is going to pay for my JAIC? How am
I going to cover Lutts?”
yourself together, Huntington. I
have already arranged for a new JAIC.
There are some clothes over there.
Bathroom is through that door.
We have a meeting with the C.O. of this Mossad unit. I have convinced them to let you be
embedded in their operation to take out Sir Terrance.”
not say a word. He slowly walked
into the bathroom and started the necessary process of getting himself
As to my
functionality, a JAIC was delivered to his room while he was in the shower. When Frank came out with only a towel
wrapped around his waist he immediately approached it and pulled out the keypad
that is located in the area where humans have a belly button. He keyed in a sixteen digit code and
then a ten digit numeric pass and then I had data. All JAICs have a virtual version of
themselves at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Urbana, Illinois. When the robotic body that I was allowed
to use as a physical presence was destroyed by the military micro-drones all
that really happened was my secondary data cache and sensors were
destroyed. In most places a data
link to Urbana allows realtime updating of my experiences and thoughts. In the rare instance that I lose touch
with Urbana my robot body’s internal computer acts as my present consciousness. As soon as my robot body can contact
Urbana again it only takes a fraction of a second to synch Urbana’s copy of
me. If I was out of touch for a
week it would only take .34 of a second to become synched. Thankfully, I was connected to Urbana
while in Frank’s hotel room. There
was no data loss at all.
recorded a long memo to himself that brought me up to speed on what happened to
us from the moment the attack started until I was reinvested with a physical
body. I think he did this so he
would not forget what the Monsignor told him what happened. Of course, I saw the newspaper article
while I was still just sitting in the Urbana computer so I knew something
interesting was going on. At that
time I had put Frank’s odds at being dead at 58%. He was lucky to be
encrypted to my cloud, Jack. Now
let’s go find Marianne” as he fussed with his military boots.
to the door and found it had two very big soldiers at the door with even bigger
guns by their sides. They informed
him he was to remain in his room.
They would contact the officer in charge and he would attend to Frank’s
needs. Frank closed the door and whistled a note of surprise and sat down.
can you tell me of this place?:
Meir is the newest air field of Israel.
It is 90 meters underground and most likely home to their nuclear
armaments. Also, all special
operations come from here. The
famous raid on Saudi Arabia seven years ago came from here. If you are looking to find the best of
the best as far as the Israeli military this is where you will find
soldiers do they have?” Frank asked while pacing the floor. Frank hates being penned
Sir. Estimates are 3,000 to 9,000
humans work here.”
there was a slight tap at the door and the Monsignor entered along with two
soldiers. One only got a brief look
by Frank. That was the young
Lieutenant. It was the Colonel that
Frank’s eyes focused on. I can
understand as it was Colonel Joshua Mann.
He was the very same man that lead the successful Saudi Arabia assault
that eventually led to the fall of the House of Saud. His special ops unit of both men and
women broke into a secret prison and freed 21 political prisoners. Three were from the United States and
sixteen of them had just disappeared from their home countries without a
trace. The uproar was that the
Saudis had taken over half of them as a favor to allies and it was all kept
hush-hush. No one knew they had
those sixteen people. All of the
prisoners had been tortured. Six of
them were basically crippled and had to be carried out. Only one of the special ops unit had
been wounded and no one died on their side. The Saudis lost nineteen men. What was interesting was that Col. Mann
only used a couple of robots. That
was rare these days. As shown in
Frank’s kidnapping robots are lightning fast. The reason Col. Mann had depended on
humans was the Saudis had at least forty military robots that were helping to
guard the prisoners. Thanks to
Israeli hacking technology they were able to electronically convince the 40
military robots that they were Saudis of a higher rank and ordered them to help
take the base. Fourteen of the
Saudi dead had been shot by their own robots. The robots believed they were putting
down a munity by the humans.
Sixteen of the Saudi robots had helped load up the helicopters with
prisoners and then protected them as they flew away. The Saudi military had to send two human
units to kill the robots before they could take control of their now-empty
prison. The parade of testimony by
the freed prisoners caused world-wide scandal and riots in the streets of Riyadh. I did not have to tell Frank about this
as he had covered the rioting for the WSJ and had met Col. Mann
Mann was a striking military figure.
Tall and broad his chocolate skin seemed stretched like a canvas over his
muscled body. His mother was
Abayudaya, a black African Jewess from Uganda, and his father was a big Russian
Jew. They had met in Israel at Tel
Aviv University. Mann’s father had
been born in Israel to a Russian couple that had moved after they were
married. The blend was very
striking in that Col. Mann seemed to inherit the best of both races to produce a
body that symbolized strength and cunning.
Colonel spoke first as was his fashion in the past - he was a no nonsense type
of man. You could see the intensity
and focus on his face. One realized
both brilliance and emotionally controlled mind dwelt in that
physically hardened body. For a man
of fifty-four years there was no doubt in Frank’s mind that Col. Mann could take
care of himself in any physical fight.
The only change Frank could see in Col. Mann is a hint of gray about his
temples of his still very short military haircut. While officers were allowed to have
longer hair his was still that of a new recruit. He was respected the world over
by military circles and had even taught for a year at West Point in
America. Ties between the American
military and the Israeli military were involved, although privately, the Jews
always quipped “A Jewish Colonel was really a General and an America General was
really a Colonel.” Meeting Col.
Mann after the Saudi rescue Frank had no doubt that was true.
Afternoon, Mr. Huntington. I am
glad you are up as we have a lot of questions for you”
“I will have
to take your word as to the time, Colonel.
Your robots gave me a rather long beauty rest. Before I answer your
questions I insist on seeing the Princess.”
made a gesture to the young Lieutenant and he left the room. Col. Mann turned back to Frank and said,
“She will be hear in a moment, but she can only stay a moment. She has been busy helping out
Intelligence people as you will be.”
opened and in walked the Princess who now wore an Israeli military uniform with
no rank marks on it. The only thing
that really reflected the Princess demeanor was the lit cigarette in her right
Frank,” she said and then took a drag on her smoke. It was interesting to see her hair all
pulled back into a tight ponytail.
There was no makeup on her face, but she was still stunning with her
natural beauty. On her right cheek
he did see the mark that was left by one of those flying mini-drones.
fine. Only one of those flying
bastards got me so I woke up a lot earlier than you, “she said with the briefest
of smiles. It seems the Colonel’s
mood was catchy.
I think I would prefer to hear it from you why we are here.”
guess?” the Monsignor said while giving Frank a look of
Mann has joined your Swiss Guard.” Frank said while reaching for Marianne’s
cigarette. She handed it over to
him without a word.
way. The Mossad has agreed to help
us with our problem.”
said as he finished the last draw of the cigarette that was now only burning
Lutts won’t stop his plan even though he knows we know about it. The only option is to take him and his
spoke up and said, “Other than the Americans we are the only ones who could pull
this off and the Monsignor realized the Americans would probably leak it out and
his head slowly up and down in agreement and said, “True, plus they tend to be
sloppy in execution.”
government does not want to see the Jewish religion wiped off the face of the
earth. I have been given carte
blanche in organizing an operation to take out each of Lutts's three
the Americans going to be pissed at you.”
will be sore, but their President will realize we saved their “In God We Trust”
voters from becoming atheists.
Without their religious patriots they would be kicked out of office. Both the Democrats and Republicans play
the religious patriotic card every election.”
argue with you there.”
“Good. Now that you have seen that the Princess
is okay, let’s get to work. Lt.
Steinmann here will take you to your briefing room. We need to know as much as possible
about these rat holes this Lutts has built.”
said the Colonel left the room and Princess Marianne left with him. It all happened so fast that Frank just
sat on the edge of his bed with a slight look of surprise and disbelief. It was hard for him to fully accept what
is a briefing and not an interrogation, how about some smokes and a big plate of
pastrami sandwiches, Lieutenant.
Some Scotch would be nice to wash the sandwiches down,
“I think I
can make most of that happen, Mr. Huntington. If you will follow me, please. Bring your JAIC along as well. I’m sure he can help fill in the
Lt. Steinmann took Frank and me about six doors down into a small conference
room. There were computer wall
screens and cameras about the room.
Frank picked a chair and sat.
Also in the room was another Lieutenant who was introduced as Lt.
doesn’t sound very Jewish.”
gave a nice smile in response to the remark my master had made and said to him,
“My mother was Jewish and my father’s family was mostly Swedish, but they both
moved here when I was four years old from California.”
Just then a
big cart was brought in by a robot with sandwiches, sodas, and coffee, but no
Scotch. I could see a brief scowl
by Frank, but he picked up a sandwich and immediately took a bite. After he swallowed he looked at both the
Lieutenants and said, “So what is on the agenda?”
“As Col Mann
has stated” Lt. Steinmann began with the same tone as his Colonel, “our goal is
to neutralize the three laboratories of this Lutts guy. We already have plans for his American
Laboratory. It is rather small and
can be taken out with ground penetration missiles.”
partner, you don’t think the United States won’t fire their antimissiles at some
oncoming missiles from Israel?”
Lieutenants smiled at Frank and Steinmann said, “Who said anything about
missiles coming from Israel?”
will they come from?”
be coming from 50 to 100 miles from the target. They will have no more than 15 seconds
warning. And actually it will only
be two missiles and only two if the first fails. We expect the shock wave to collapse the
laboratory. We will have people
there to make sure it is sealed and that no biologicals escape. We will have several foaming trucks that
will spray foam over the air vents and any ground cracks that
you do that for the other two?”
American laboratory is in an isolated location so we expect no civilian
casualties. The United Kingdom Lab,
while in a rural area does have too many civilians that could get hurt. There are a number of high traffic
highways close by. As to the
Norwegian Lab, we intend to try and capture both Lutts and
you be sure where they are?”
where the Princess comes in, plus we have one more asset inside the UK Lab. What we need from you and your friend is
help in confirming the layout. You
toured the London Lab and parts of the Norwegian Lab and we need as much intel
as we can get.”
“As far as
lay out, Jack can probably create maps accurate down to the centimeter,” Frank
said now in the same tone as Col. Mann (seems to be contagious) “he can also
tell you what kind of equipment he saw.
His memory is digital and my memories by this time are more emotional
that. I imagine your JAIC will be
able to point out cameras and any other sensors he noticed. We are particularly interested Mr. Jack,
in what you sensed from the other robots and computer systems you may have had
intercourse with.. We have given
you access to this computer here.
If you could download any information that would be great. Send us maps of the facilities
first. We will have you brief us
and add Mr. Huntington’s thoughts.
The Princess is trying to do the same thing in another room. Between you three sources we should be
have good enough intel to plans for the assault.”
With that I
prepared my data. It included
video, photos, and electronic data organized in a way to be as helpful as
possible. I did point out that my
electronic sensing of the Norwegian Lab gave me the sense there were at least
three more levels below the lowest level we saw and one more level above where
we were. As to the UK Lab I sensed
it was much smaller. It had not
more than three levels in all. I
pointed out that the depth of the facility in the UK was not as much as what
Frank felt it was. The elevator I
recall, but never mentioned to Frank, ran at a variable speed and when barely
moving was being probed by various scans to check us out.
break was that the UK Lab was built in the open and then covered with twenty
feet of dirt. Old satellite photos
gave them a perfect map of the layout.
Sending in a swarm of mini-drones would be very easy to plan. It was the Norwegian Lab that was built
with stealth. It had been mined and
so satellite photos only were partially helpful. They saw some of the larger pieces of
equipment and some of the environmental equipment installed, but the only floor
plan was my incomplete data.
By the time
they were done the plate of sandwiches had been replaced twice and even the
lieutenants looked exhausted. Frank
complained of a roaring headache.
He did not even ask to see the Princess but just asked for some Tylenol
and his bed. We just got back into
Frank’s room when there was a knock and the Princess entered. She looked as exhausted as my master
according to my emotion program.
The Princess just walked over to Frank and gave him a small kiss on his
cheek and then walked over to his bed and crawled in. Frank looked at her and said, “Make room
for me.” I don’t think I have ever
seen Frank go to sleep so quickly.
Frank had snuggled up to the Princess and that was the last conscious
movement he made. I wondered if the
drugs those micro-drones had used were still in his system. Most likely it was the thorough drumming
the Lieutenants did in going over the information that I had given them. In all they asked me 466 questions and
Frank 352 questions in their nineteen hour session.
The next day
they left Frank and the Princess alone.
He slept until 1:20 in the afternoon and she did not rise until 2:42 in
the afternoon; Israeli time. Frank
had slowly dragged himself into the shower and had me make a cup of coffee. After that he just sat there thinking of
all that had taken place. About the
only thing I heard from his mouth was, “Where am I headed?” He smoked a couple of cigarettes while
he just sat there next to the bed.
Finally, the Princess opened her eyes and sat up in bed. At 2:48 she got up and went into the
bathroom. A minute later I could
hear the shower running. After
about 20 minutes she came back out and sat on the bed still wearing the same
clothes she had worn yesterday.
she said with a small smile. Frank threw her his pack of smokes.
“Have the GI
Joes been back?” she asked.
not a peep from them. I suppose
they are off with the Col. Killer making their plans to save the world. Do you ever wonder if we are doing the
right thing in stopping your husband?”
Frank. I don’t. He stole something from me. He changed me without my permission.
I don’t wish to go back to being
religious, but I do feel I should have been allowed to come to that decision of
my own free will. It is free will
that is the real issue.”
you really free when you believed in God?”
always work within constraints put on us by our culture, our times, and our
physical abilities and limitations.
But within that there is always free will.”
that is true what is wrong with just eliminating the baggage of religion from
humanity? We would still have
plenty of choices in life we would have to make.”
you pointed out earlier, Frank, where would this technology end? What other changes would they make
without our consent? How much can
they change in us and still be considered human?”
get the dystopian stuff, but having religion has not been a picnic for humanity,
have to accept the Universe the way it is, Frank.”
“Maybe I just need a
good woman and an unopened bottle.”
“You’ve got one out of
two here” she said with one of her warm open smiles.
then there was a knock at the door and Col. Mann entered.
smiled back at her and said, “I guess that is zip out of two. What is up Colonel?”
to get you two outfitted with the gear you will need if you are going to come
along. We need you Princess to help
convince your husband to stand down.
We need you Mr. Huntington to be our only embedded representative of the
Press. You only have about two
hours before we leave. Our first
order of business is chow and then combat equipment.”
don’t know how to fight, Colonel” the Princess said with a slight
“Don’t you worry, Miss
Princess, you will be dressed as a non-com with only communication gear on
you. Mr. Huntington we will outfit
you with a camera and of course you can bring your JAIC, but do you want any
did you have in mind? Small thermal
Colonel did flash a quick little smile, but just as quick said, “I was thinking
of a side arm and one of our mini-drone packs. We would control the drones, but it
would help make sure we have all the resources to neutralize all the personnel
we might find down there.”
you expect them to put up a fight?” Frank asked.
are not sure how many he has on his security force. We know he has a lot of robots, but our
satellite intelligence can’t tell from space whether a man is a soldier or a
scientist when they all wear civilian clothes on the surface. We estimate that the Norwegian Lab has
over two hundred humans there at this time.”
“Terrance would never
have that many researchers or technicians” the Princess stated with an emphatic
do you say that?” asked Col. Mann.
likes to keep tight control and besides, he and Dr. Larson do all the real
research. Much of the experiments
are handled by the robots. They
only have humans doing piecemeal work so they can keep the true nature of their
cleared his throat and said, “She is right. That is why his new discoveries always
come as a big surprise with lots of grandstanding.”
there are fewer humans that is good news.
Let’s just hope the robots haven’t been programmed to be mad
scientists. Okay, it is time to go
chow down,” Col. Mann said in the form of an order.
about the Monsignor?” asked Frank.
will join us in the chow hall. He
is coming, too. We promised the
Pope he could come along. He has
gone all GI on us.”
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