M.a.i.n.e. Frame PC II
by Sam Lakes
Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved
“Patrick O’Toole, I’m here to see Mr. Arthur Knots. I’m here to checkout some network problem your having” said Colt to the International Global News receptionist.
“Mr. Knots is in a meeting this morning.”
“Well, I canna come back today or tomorrow, so whatever problem he has with your computer network will have to wait until Friday afternoon. And we’re goin’ ta be chargin’ him for this call too.”
“One second, please I’ll try to get Mr. Bershire.”
Five minutes later, Fred Bershire appeared. He was a heavy set man with a shirt that looked as though it was two sizes too small. He was surprised to see Mr. O’Toole but relieved because he had been receiving numerous calls and complaints about the network being slow and hadn’t a clue what to do.
Colt followed Bershire to a room which housed the company’s network server computers.
“I’ll just run a few diagnostic programs and see if we canna find the problem” Colt said as he uploaded a program on to the network. He also looked around their systems and spotted a few routing problems which he fixed.
Twenty minutes later he announced that he’d found and handled the problem and even showed Bershire what he’d found and how he had corrected it. He left the building ten minutes before Arthur Knots exited from his meeting.
Fred Bershire received at least five calls thanking him for fixing the network problem and the same five left messages for Arthur Knots commending Mr. Bershire. When Arthur Knots personally thanked Fred Bershire for improving the network performance, Fred failed to mention Patrick O’Toole.
Colt waited outside the telephone booths as Darryl and Kevin finished their calls to Arthur Knots. When Darryl completed his, he gave Kevin a thumbs up sign. He and Colt left for Dover via train where they would meet up with Kevin.
Nikita Bravolovski watched as Darryl and Colt got on the train to Dover. His job right now was just surveillance. Darryl had given him the slip in East Grinstead, but when he arrived in London and showed a photograph of him to his comrade watching the trains from East Grinstead he recognized him. The problem with Darryl Cartwright was that he was so strikingly beautiful only a blind man wouldn’t notice him.
Nikita followed the couple into the train and sat down across from them. Darryl’s shoulder length flaming red hair was offset by his emerald green eyes and blemish free complexion.
Nikita, listened and observed the two as he pretended to read the Financial Times. Darryl glanced at him and then kissed Colt on the cheek, then Darryl quietly almost imperceptibly said “bus” as he kissed Colt behind the ear. Colt giggle saying “Com’on ducky, that tickles and makes me all kind of shivery.”
He kissed Darryl on the ear saying “bus” and he knew he got the message.
Colt looked at Nikita. He looked like he was about twenty-two with Sandy colored hair and grey eyes which Colt thought looked rather sad.
Colt smiled at Nikita “Hi. So, what’s your name. An alias will do as I doubt that you would be any more honest than I would be, if I was suddenly caught with my pants down. I saw you in East Grinstead and Darryl here saw you too. So, what’s up, Dude?”
Nikita was completely surprised that he’d been ID’d. But he was even more surprised at Colt’s friendliness. After a few seconds, he smiled. He’d been forced into this caper by his uncle who he distrusted, but felt obligated to serve. “Boris” he said quietly.
Colt offered his hand saying “Well, Boris. You can call me whatever you want Jamie, Patrick, Rye-Zen, but my real name is Colt Smith, I’m sixteen almost seventeen and I have a Ph.D. in Computer Science, but you never find any data on me or the people I love. I know you want my computer, but you can’t have it. Why? Because I don’t know who you are or the purpose you intend to use it for.”
Colt paused. He was amazed by Boris. Boris wasn’t shifty-eyed or nervous but was politely and intently listening to him much the way Arbor would do.
For some reason he felt safe and that he was making a new friend.
“I don’t know why I’m telling you all this! Maybe because you’re fairly close to my age and you look honest and friendly to me. You don’t look like a Horace Libbermann. Horace murdered one of my best friends several months ago. Alan’s only crime was that he new me and for that he got his brains blown out in front of my best friend who only barely escaped death. Horace was bad. He shot my father and he shot me too. You wanna see?” Colt jumped up and pulled up his shirt showing Nikita his scares. “There’s one on my butt too. Horace and the others are dead. They were evil and the world is better off without them, but I’m sorry I caused their death. I’ve sworn never to use my computer to kill anyone again. And so that’s my story.” Colt tucked his shirt back in his trousers and sat down next to Darryl.
Nikita shook his head in disbelief then smiled.
“You are incredible! I’m not Boris. I am Nikita Bravolovski. I’m twenty-two and I’m from Russia. I was told to follow you and report your activities and especially to report any incident involving a computer. I don’t work for the KGB. I’ve done this for my uncle who I do not trust. I am sorry to have bothered you. Perhaps, someday we can meet under better circumstances.”
Colt could feel Nikita’s disappointment and he stretched out his hand which Nikita took and they shook hands. Colt smiled and said “Perhaps. I shall look forward to that time.”
Nikita left the compartment. Colt commented to Darryl “He seems like a nice person, he wasn’t shifty-eyed. I think he’d make a good friend.”
“I have the feeling that will happen.”
“What will happen?”
“That we will become friends, good friends. I think he has the same desire to do good.”
“Perhaps.” Colt looked out the window at the passing countryside. The rocking motion of the train made him feel sleepy and he laid his head on Darryl’s shoulder, then looked at him and said “I really love you.” He kissed his forehead and told him he loved him too. They both fell asleep.
Darryl shook Colt gently “Jamie, wake up. We’ve got company.”
Colt opened his eyes and saw Sean Ferguson sitting opposite him with an gun pointed at him.
“Don’t be stupid. David’s got a gun to your boy’s head.”
“I should blow your fuckin’ brains out right now, asshole ‘cause you fuckin broke my nose!” said David O’Shea as he yanked Darryl’s head back and placed his gun to Darryl’s temple”
“No!” Colt jumped up. Ferguson punched him hard in the stomach and Colt folded in half and collapsed to his knees. Ferguson’s fist found it’s target and Colt’s body flew back against the seat.
Darryl tried to break free from David O’Shea’s hold, but it was too late.
David O’Shea slammed him to the floor, then his boot smashed into his face. He yanked him up by his hair. Darryl’s face was covered in blood then O’Shea said, “That was for breaking my nose, you bastard!” He held Darryl’s body facing Colt and Ferguson.
Sean Ferguson proceeded to pulverize Colt’s face and body until the boy laid in semi-unconscious, and was barely breathing. Turning towards Darryl he back handed his face “I’ve just begun with you, pretty boy!” as he started to beat him into unconsciousness.
“I want you to watch him die!” he said sardonically.
As Ferguson began, Colt cried out weakly for him to stop, but to no avail as a knife appeared in his hand and in one fell swoop sliced through Darryl’s jugular.
“No!” screamed Colt “Darryl!”
“Colt! What’s wrong?” he asked.
Colt sat up and looked around. They were alone in the compartment. It had been a nightmare. He closed his eyes and opened them again. Darryl pulled him close to him and hugged him “Colt?”
“It was just a nightmare! Ferguson and O’Shea. It was horrible!” Colt held him tight “I love you. I love you.” They just held each other.
Suddenly the door slide open and standing there with bandaged noses were Ferguson and O’Shea their guns pointed at them.
“Make one wrong move and your friend will be dead!” said Ferguson “Get over here you little bastard!” ordered O’Shea. Darryl had no choice but to obey as Ferguson put his gun to Colt’s head.
“I want that computer. And until I get it I’m going to keep something of yours” he nodded to O’Shea who grabbed Darryl’s arm forcing him to stand up saying “You’re coming with me!”
“No!” shouted Colt as he jumped to his feet in objection only to meet with Ferguson’s fist in his gut. Colt double over and sank to his knees he looked painfully up at O’Shea and Darryl as O’Shea forcibly escorted Darryl from the compartment and down the passageway.
Colt looked up at Ferguson. “Get up in the seat Yank!” ordered Ferguson, “We’ll just wait here till the next stop.”
“If you hurt him you will die. I promise you that!”
“Oh a real tough guy!” said Ferguson as he backhanded Colt which sent Colt flying across the compartment. Colt lay there with his nose bleeding and staring at Ferguson. “Go on try it! It will be my pleasure to blow you away!”
Colt just stared at him he had never wanted to kill someone so bad. He knew he had no chance of surviving if he obeyed his impulse to rush Ferguson. He had to help Darryl. Slowly he climbed up on the seat and half lying down.
The train slowed as it came into a station and then stopped. O’Shea and Darryl got off and stood on the platform in front of the compartment window. Colt could see he’d been hit across the face and his lip had a slight cut. He stood and looked at him. Darryl saw the blood on Colt’s shirt and watched him mouth ‘I love you’. The tears rolled down his face as he watched Ferguson push Colt back down on the seat.
Nikita moved to the next compartment. As he sat there he thought about what had just happened. He thought about what Colt had said and how honest the boy had been. Colt reminded him of his younger brother, Sergay, who had died many years ago from pneumonia. He started thinking about his younger brother as he watched the countryside pass by. He dozed off only to be woken by the sound of Colt’s compartment door being opened. He heard Colt shout ‘No’ and then heard the compartment door open and saw an armed man taking Darryl down the passageway.
Quietly, he opened his compartment door and tried to listen to what was happening. He heard Colt hitting against the door as Ferguson knocked him about and the curtain moved just enough for him to catch a glimpse of Sean Ferguson’s gun. Quickly he deduced that they were after the computer and were using Darryl as a hostage. He went up the passageway in the direction David O’Shea had taken Darryl.
In the next car he found a compartment with the shades pulled down. He listened at the door.
“Before this is over sunny-jim you’ll get a pay back for breaking my nose. But for right now we don’t want to upset that little fucker so this will have to do” O’Shea said as he back handed Darryl twice across the face.
The idea that this brute was beating on Darryl made his blood boil. He had to think, to use his intelligence not his emotions. First he would make sure Darryl was safe. Then he could help Colt. He figured they would take Darryl off the train first and as the train slowed for the station he waited to see if he was right. He moved forward to the car’s exit. Sure enough Darryl and the man followed. He made no attempt to do anything, but continued to look out the door’s window.
In the parking lot of the station he thought he saw a familiar face standing by a motorcycle. Before the train fully stopped he opened the door as many do and exited the train.
“Sir! I am Nikita Bravolovski. Do you know Colt Smith?”
“Yes” said Kevin.
“They have Darryl! You must help him! Please! There is no time to explain! The next stop is Dover!” pleaded Nikita and he turned and ran for the train barely making it to the door of the last car.
Kevin saw Darryl and a man holding his arm. He looked up to see Colt at the window looking at Darryl and telling him he loved him.
Kevin ran for the train even though the last car was well past the platform. He purposefully smashed into the couple pushing Darryl safely out of the way then bringing up his elbow with full force and breaking David O’Shea’s windpipe. He whipped around and picked up Darryl throwing him over his shoulder and rushed out to the bike before anyone knew what happened. Once at the bike he put him down and told him to jump the bike and they sped off. He could tell he was crying and after he knew they were safely away he pulled over and stopped.
“Are you okay?”
Kevin gave him a hug saying quietly “He’ll be okay. Who’s Nikita?”
“He’s a Russian. He was following us. We ID’d him and for some reason Colt told him everything. He said he wished he could have met us under different circumstances. I think Colt liked him.”
“Well, let’s hope the circumstances are different, because he told me to save you and he was going to save Colt.” Kevin smiled. “You okay to travel? We need to get to Dover before them.”
“Colt was right you are the best! Let’s go!” he said hugging him back.
They took off for Dover hitting speeds above 100mph most of the way.
“Personally, I think this idea of Patrick’s is crazy. But the stories he heard about your computer were worth a try.” Ferguson still had the gun trained on Colt.
“It won’t do you any good. There are only two people who the computer will do its super stuff for. It’s geared to the users DNA structure and continuously monitor’s that.” Ferguson looked blank and Colt knew the man was a computer moron and probably just a moron.
Colt closed his eyes. If nothing else maybe it would cause Ferguson to relax. And if not maybe he would fall asleep. He thought of Darryl and wondered for a few moments about him as he saw his tearful face when the train pulled away. For some reason though he felt he was okay. He reached out with his attention to find him and saw him! He was okay! He was safe! He was with Kevin on his bike racing toward Dover. With every part of his beingness he told Darryl of his love.
Darryl suddenly felt a warmth, a sensation he only felt when he was around Colt. He could feel his love and he knew he was thinking of him. Within his mind he thought “I love you too!” The feeling stayed with him for several moments before it left.
“He’s alright!” he shouted to Kevin and he held on tight as they went around a sharp corner.
Kevin just nodded.
Colt’s attention suddenly went to Nikita. He opened his eyes and could see someone standing outside the door. Slowly he looked over at Ferguson who hadn’t taken his eyes off of him. In ten minutes they would be pulling into Dover.
“Tickets!” someone said from the corridor. Ferguson covered his gun which he held pointed at Colt. The door slide open and Nikita was standing there dressed as a conductor. “Tickets please!” As Ferguson reached in his inside jacket pocket for his ticket Nikita’s leg and foot came up and slammed into Ferguson’s forearm which was holding the gun. Ferguson screamed in pain as his arm snapped and the gun dropped to the floor which Colt retrieved.
Nikita was about to deal a death blow to Ferguson when Colt shouted out “No! Don’t kill him.”
Ferguson held his arm in pain.
Colt looked at him.
“Ferguson, I’m tried of people dying because of my computer… Go back and tell Patrick O’Shea and anyone else that if I ever see you or David again. If any of your people so much as cross my path again I will cause the complete financial ruin of your country I shall infect every major computer system in your country with a virus so devastating that it will cripple every system that communicates with your country. And I will tell the world that it was the action of the Irish Republican Army’s fault and its leaders for the devastation!” Colt said backing out of the compartment “Come on Nikita.”
They exited the compartment.
“He’s alright” said Nikita.
“Yes, I know” Colt said as he turned to face Nikita “Thank you. I shall forever be in your debt.”
“No. You owe me nothing.”
The two left the train. Colt saw Darryl and Kev. He started running towards him then stop when he realized Nikita was walking slowly in a different direction. “Niki! Come on!” Nikita turned and smiled then ran to catch up.
“You called me Niki!” he said smiling as he approached.
“Does it offend you? I’m sorry if it did, it’s just that with my best friends I sometimes shorten their names like I call Arbor, Arb! Kevin, Kev.”
“No. My brother used to call me Niki.”
“What does he call you now?”
“He doesn’t he died.” Colt could feel Nikita’s grief and sadness.
“It’s been five years. He died of pneumonia. We were very close. You remind me of him in ways” Nikita forced himself to smile as he looked into Colt’s eyes and found someone who understood.
“What are you going to do now?” asked Colt.
“I guess go back to Moscow if my uncle doesn’t shoot me first.”
“He’d shoot you?”
“He doesn’t like me much and in his eyes I will have failed.”
“Then you don’t have anyone to go back to?”
“Good! Then come with us.”
Kevin and Darryl were watching the two in conversation when Colt grabbed Nikita by his jacket lapels and pulled him towards him so they were face to face. Nikita was a good four inches taller than Colt which made a funny looking scene then Colt tried to make tough guy face, but it didn’t work.
Kevin laughed and reading Colt’s lips he interpreted “He said ‘That’s an order, not a request you’re coming with us!’ “Looks, like we’ve got another companion,” said Kevin.
The two boys continued on towards Kevin and Darryl. Colt ran over to Darryl while Nikita re-introduced himself to Kevin.
He smiled at Kevin and Nikita saying “I guess we need to get going, huh?”
“Yeah” said Kevin as he led the way.
As Colt walked past a shop in Dover that had wi-fi his PDA started beeping.
“Hold on guys. I’ve got a message,” he said as he stopped and pulled the PDA out of his pocket and read the message on the screen.” His heart nearly stopped when he saw the message.
“Arb. Kidnapped. Sorry but Ruth and Paul terminated. – Have refused to operate properly in Mother Mode due to high stress level in Arb. Trying to keep him alive I have displayed message ‘REQUIRE COLT AND ARB simultaneous contact. Culprit is a secret US Agency. Use extreme caution.
Repeat. Use extreme caution. Get to Paris ASAP. Keep in touch.
Colt stared at his PDA. It was a message from Mother. She had become self aware three months ago. He almost couldn’t believe it but she had progressively in that time had been able to carry on a simple conversation. He hadn’t told anyone not even Arb his discovery. It had started out as a simple learning program back in the beginning just after he’d started putting her together.
But now there was a situation. He typed a message – “What do you mean, Paul and Ruth terminated?”
“Their human life has expired. I am sorry,” was the response. Colt felt like his heart had been ripped out.
Kevin saw the paleness of Colt’s face, “Bud, what’s the matter?”
Colt couldn’t speak. He handed the PDA to Kevin who read the messages.
“NO! GODDAMN THEM!” cursed Kevin.