M.a.i.n.e. Frame PC II
by Sam Lakes
Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved
Colt opened the door and before him stood his best friend, Arbor Maine. The two stared at each other for several moments. Arb opened up his arms and they fell into a tight hug.
“Bro I’ve missed you so much. So, many times I cried myself to sleep. I love you Colt. I always have; I always will.”
“I missed you too. I love you too. Any hope for sex?” asked Colt.
“Between us? No. You’re my brother and best friend. If we did anything it would be like incest.”
“Damn! I am so horny too,” laughed Colt.
“I’m sure you can keep it in hand.”
“Yeah, true, but I would have liked it to be your hand that I kept it in.”
“Dream on!” laughed Arb.
The two boys got caught up on the events that had happened during their separation.
“Mom and Dad never went on their European Honeymoon?”
“No. They decided to postpone it – you know until my younger brother came to his senses.” Arbor paused. “Colt, if I had known it was important to you I would have said something. I had nightmares after you left – I felt partly responsible for Aaron’s death…”
“Yeah, we all were, but deep down inside me I knew. It wasn’t until afterwards that it began to surface. If only –“
“It wouldn’t have mattered. He would have still killed Aaron and you even if you had given him Mother.”
“Yeah, I sort of figured that out at the farm. I needed the farm, lots of hard work, good food and time to think and figure things out.”
“Mom was sleeping when I left, I swapped out Mother with the Power Book and left. I guess you figured it out.”
“Yeah but I didn’t say anything to Mom or Dad. She was your invention you had a right to her. She belongs to no one else. I smashed that laptop to pieces so even Dad thought it was gone.”
“I worked on her a bit. She’s no longer Mother…she’s NUTS. So I got nuts,” laughed Colt.
“You’re nuts!” laughed Arbor.
“What about my nuts,” Colt wiggled his eyebrows,” Have I made you queer for me?”
They both laughed.
“Here let me show you something,” Colt said pulling a small digital recorder out of his pocket. “This is a voice link. Book two tickets destination Paris, France first class , no car, reserve suite at any four star hotel one week. Book two tickets destination London Heathrow first class, no car, reserve suite London Hilton one week. Book four EuroRail passes.”
“We better go tell the rents we’re all going to Europe,” said Colt.
Arbor leaned over and kissed Colt on the cheek, “That’s as queer for you as I’m going to get,” he laughed, “I love you, dude.”
A crazed man entered the coach area from first class screaming, “You will never land! Allah take me now!” he screamed then bit down on something. Within seconds he was convulsing on the floor and a minute later still foaming at the mouth he was dead. The captain announced that the man was attempting to highjack the plane. There was nothing to worry about.
“Colt, what do you think he meant by we’ll never land?” asked Arb.
“There must be a bomb somewhere on board!” Colt exclaimed as he started a search of the entire 747 to find any computer or device emitting an EMF signal.
While the search was preceeding Colt opened the commlink to the Captain “Captain this is Rye-Zen Starr. The hijacker said before he died ‘you will never land’… I think there may be a bomb aboard. I’m using my computer to search for the device, but it will only find it if it is connected to some electronic device which is emitting EMF signals. If it is an analog device or mechanical device my computer will not detect it. I will also send a communication to a friend in the CIA to do this I will have to transmit via satellite and this may interfere with your navigational equipment for a few minutes. I’m telling you this so you don’t panic I hope I have your cooperation?”
“Who are you really? You’re not on our manifest,” said the captain. The manifest appeared on Colt’s VR screen.
“Shit!” exclaimed Colt as he quickly made a correction to the document.
“I think you need to check that list again.”
“Sorry, my mistake” replied the Captain.
“I don’t want to get shot in the butt again” Colt said quietly to Arbor who had on his VR glasses and had seen everything. “Look, you narrow down the list and I’ll see if I can’t get some help. If it’s a bomb somebody is going to have to disarm it.”
NUTS had been modified by Colt to work as a multi-user system primarily so he and Arbor could play against each other in a game Arbor named Dog Prime. It was the ultimate dog fight game. The game was still a bit crude in that there is no scenery just two planes fighting in empty space. The planes looked totally real as they had been modeled from over 10,000 still shots of an F18, from numerous viewpoints, including the inside of the cockpit.
Arbor was still working on a new set of VR gloves which would give you the sensation of touch and feel, so when you grabbed the virtual stick of the aircraft you could feel it. When you flipped a switch you could feel the switch.
Colt typed a message to Maureen Eilson - “URGENT!!!!! Maureen, Serious situation - on 747 to UK suspect bomb on board am trying to find it - Flight Number is 472 need a bomb expert if we find it – Also need your help to convince the crew that Phoenix and I have the authority - Rye-Zen Starr”
He encrypted the message using Maureen’s personal key which Nuts had saved for his use and sent it on it’s way.
“Maureen is going to piss in her pants; I used her personal encryption key to encode the message. Still I think it was a fair trade I gave her a new sorting/search algorithm which will cut their workload in half.”
“I wouldn’t worry. She’s the chief promoter of the Colt Smith fan club of geeks! She was in raptures over you the last time I talked to her. I think if you were older she’d divorce her husband and marry you!” Arbor laughed. “Colt! I think I’ve found it!”
What appeared before them in the virtual world was a timer clock which was counting down and had three hours forty-two minutes and decreasing seconds left to go. They were scheduled to land in three hours and fifty-one minutes.
“Colt try linking maybe we can slow down the timer!” Colt tried, but with no luck the device was too primitive.
“Damn! Arb, it looks like it’s located near the landing gear. We need to go look. I’ll notify the Captain”
Colt acquired the comm link with the Captain “Captain, I think I have found the device. It requires a visual inspection. My brother and I need to discuss our plan with you, but I must insist that our identity remain confidential. We will knock at your door three times.”
“Our plan? What’s our plan?” asked Arbor.
“Simple, disarm the bomb and save the lives of everyone on board!”
“You know Kevin was right. You must have balls of steel!”
“No. I’ve got NUTS!” Colt said smiling as he took Nuts out of the over head compartment. “you know one of these days I’ve got to solve the issue of these damn batteries. They make the unit so heavy.” The battery unit weighed three pounds, but they lasted twenty-four hours of constant use.
“Hi! I’m Rye-Zen Starr and Phoenix Starr. Here put these on” Arbor said handing the Captain his VR glasses.
“Wow!” he said taking them off “Very impressive, son.”
“Is there some where we can talk?” asked Arbor “Somewhere private?”
“The cockpit if you don’t mind my flight crew.”
“That’s fine, sir” said Colt.
They all entered the cockpit and the Captain introduced him to his crew as Rye-Zen and Phoenix Starr. Arbor showed the Captain where they suspected the bomb was located.
“We need to check it out visually, so how do we get there?” asked Colt.
“I’ll have my 1st officer check it out. I can’t allow you boys to go there. It’s far too dangerous.”
“Captain, thanks for your concern about our safety, but I’m concerned about the safety of this whole plane load of people. How much experience has your 1st in disabling bombs? How many bullets has he dodged in the line of duty?”
Colt pulled up his T-shirt and turned around “How many bullets has he taken in the back while defending the country? Believe me this is a less dangerous situation than we were in two years ago! If he has more experience than I have, and more knowledge than I do, I’ll bow out. I’ve already sent a message to my contact in the CIA, and believe me if I have to, I’ll have the fucking President of the United States on the line to you, but then you’d better look for a new job after the call ‘cause he’ll be fuckin’ pissed.”
“Captain,” Arbor said calmly, “We would have kept our identity hidden except that we suspected there was a bomb. We’ve already risked our lives by coming to see you. I know you think we’re just a couple of little kids, well we are. But, we are not your usual teenagers. Rye-Zen has completed his Ph.D. and I’m starting on my Master’s in CompSci in the near future probably after our vacation in Europe. If there is a bomb on board this plane then my brother is the best person to have on board.”
At that moment the 1st Officer said “Captain, a priority call for you.” The Captain slipped on his headset and took the call occasionally glancing over towards Colt. After a few minutes he finished the call “Well, it appears Mr. Starr you have friends in high places” he smiled “Mr. Armstrong accompany these two to wherever they need to go and give them full cooperation. Keep me informed and don’t blow us up!”