Twicebound: Chapter Twenty Five – Part One

Armelle sketched out a dozen graphs, comparing them, checking them against equations and then checking the equations.  Some she discarded before she even finished them, but one or two she redrew multiple times, constantly refining the shape of their lines.  Finally, she handed a sheet of paper to Vančura and yawned.

“Try that.”

He glanced at the paper, then hit a button on his desk, switching on an intercom. “Benz, get up here. She’s got something.  Oh, and bring some coffee with you, please.”

He didn’t wait for an answer, but bent over the paper, trying to follow the scrawl of equations.  Halfway through, he blinked, then turned a skeptical eye on Armelle.  “Benz came up with an energy pattern just like this, months ago.  It works as a disruption signal, but only on paper.  There’s no way to transmit it, even if we could figure out how to actually create it in the first place.”

She smiled, but it looked a little weak.  “That’s what you’d have to think, if you’re thinking ‘prevent STAd activation’.”

“That is the goal here.”

Benwright came in with the coffee, took one look at Armelle, and handed her a cup.  He set the rest of it out of Eddie’s reach, pointedly ignoring the little man’s sigh.  “So, boss, what’s she got?”

Vančura handed him the paper.  The technician glanced at it once, then handed it back and shook his head.  “We’ve already tried that, remember.  There’s no way to create that sort energy wave.”

“That’s what I said.  She says we’re wrong.”

Benwright started to bristle, then relaxed – bit by bit – into his chair.  He took a long, slow sip of coffee. “We are wrong.  That’s why she’s doing the math, after all the time we spent on it.”  He sighed. “Where’d we go wrong?  We couldn’t figure out how to build a machine to transmit that distortion, but if you say we can, I believe you.”

“I didn’t say you could”.  You can’t build one that will transmit the signal.”  Armelle laughed into her cup. “That’d be like transmitting… an earthquake, or a solar flare.”

Vančura raised an eyebrow.  “So… what are you saying?”

“That set of equations graphs a line identical to the energy signature from an activating STAd.”

Benwright choked into his coffee.

End Chapter  25 – Part 1

Saturdays roll past, work schedules come and go, and life trickles by a little at a time.  I don’t measure time in by the date anymore, I set it by which episode of which serial novel comes next.  Strange how fast something becomes routine, isn’t it?

Want to read the previous installments? They’re right here!

Chapter One, Chapter Two, Chapter Three,
Chapter Four, Chapter Five, Chapter Six,
Chapter Seven, Chapter Eight, Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten,
  Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve
Chapter Thirteen,
  Chapter Fourteen  Chapter Fifteen
Chapter Sixteen  Chapter Seventeen, Chapter Eighteen 
Chapter Nineteen
. Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twenty One

Chapter Twenty Two, Chapter Twenty Three

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