Re: The Show Must Go Off

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Herr D

I opened a chatbox with a period in the field for ‘Send to.’ As you’d expect, the BMPS system closed it. I did it a second time. Second time closed. I did it a third time. Third time closed. “What ARE you doing?” said Crunch, looking even more confused.
“Waiting,” I said. Thirty-seven seconds later (Though I’d planned for thirty-nine,) a chatbox opened between myself and my virtual acquaintance, The Surgeon. It had taken some doing to get the system to accept his infamous serial killer nickname. BMPS had originally been supposed to prevent that. By the time Jenko was out of the shower, he saw the chatbox looked like this:
The Surgeon: Alert symbol change–2 choices past.*Q: noted
The Surgeon: New business or old?**************Q: new, sorry
The Surgeon: Debt increase or aligned motive?****Q: aligned
The Surgeon: Proceed.************************Q: Protect my life. New threaht. Income potential.
The Surgeon: Agreed. Continue.****************Q: Sorry for typo, sir. Cause of D 23 fail & Quake?
The Surgeon: Clarify purpose for questions & gains.*Q: Rumor mill can be dangerous, sir. Paranoia.
The Surgeon: This does explain questions. Income?Q: Extortion or selling of information.
The Surgeon: Y.W.N. already involved. Stay out.***Q: May I purchase his findings?
The Surgeon: You may. Free: 3 suspects remain.**Q: Thank you, sir. Terms?
The Surgeon: Later. The Surgeon exits.**********Q: Thank you, sir.

Crunch was re-reading it. “Why did you thank him after he exited?” He finally said.
“Because he cares about that sort of thing. He IS more dangerous than I am.” I looked up at Jenko, who was standing there looking like he’d seen a ghost. “You okay?”
“Yes!” he snapped, “What are you involved in, boy?” I was startled. I’d never seen him lie before. He was GOOD at it.
“The Surgeon is obviously good at hacking. The Enforcers haven’t caught him in what, six years?” Crunch was memorizing this chatbox. At least I already knew who he’d be typing it out for later. I smiled my insanely calm smile at Jenko, completely ignoring Crunch. “I never understood why he gave himself up. He’d been doing those so-called ‘medical experiments’ and ducking the cops for nearly a decade–Oh, I’m sorry, Jenko. They’ll figure it out. I may not buy even if I can afford it. The problem is practically solved.” Crunch and Jenko looked doubtful. Well, they WERE right, after all . . .