Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sophie from Shinola, Part 25 by Vince O'Connor

Having the soul of a gambler is dangerous. Some things just cannot be predicted. A minor player gambling that his opponent was as tired as he was and that a charge, even with out-of-date weapons, could disrupt the enemy, once foiled a greater gamble and changed the course of a battle, and a war.

Now his infection was being removed, Blink began thinking rationally again. Strangely enough, it wasn’t helping his confusion much. He didn’t trust not-Sophie, both by training and by personal inclination. But she had saved he as Sophie both. And the link he had with Sophie confirmed that not-Sophie had bonded with Sophie; actually cared about and wished to save her.

And therein was the glimmer of a solution.

He initiated the quantum cryptographic mind link with Lord Heinlein.

“Not only no, but fuck no! Absolutely not! Are you still under the influence of that damned virus?”

Blink tried to be patient.

“Sir, if we could just communicate with them. Find a way to so they can empathize with us and we them.”

He could hear the sigh in Heinleins thoughts.

“Cranston, you’re an agent. Yes, you’re brilliant. Yes, you have abilities no non-mutant has. Yes, you scare the shit out of me, and would scare the shit out of them if they knew about you. But here it is. For a century we and the Trageth have been at war. They started it. We don’t know why. We’ve never been able to communicate with them. And just because one of their agents feels sorry for the host she inhabited and decided to bring her home as a pet, it doesn’t change anything. If one of us has to be destroyed, I want it to be them. Now do what you were sent to do.”

Blink felt Heinlein leave his mind. Stupid get, he thought. No, not stupid. He just didn’t understand.

But Blink did. If you can understand the other person, truly understand them, then it is difficult to make them the enemy. And in not-Sophie’s empathy for Sophie, he believed he had found a way.

Then Blink did that most difficult of mental skills they had given him. He triple-thought. He set three different thoughts into action. At the most open level, he made contact with Sophie, sending her thoughts of warmth and support. At a more hidden level, he tentatively began probing not-Sophie. And at the most hidden level, he took over control of dreadnought UCF-17.

The gamble had been set in motion.


Random Michelle K said...


kimby said...

But you guys will gave to wait until tonight for mine...killer shift and i am zonked. I need to get some sleep...but i will make sure i have Sophie up by evening.

Tania said...

Lord Heinlein again! Yay!

Hmm. I might be writing mine while on the plane tomorrow, if this breakneck pace keeps up.