Heroes from Another Time

Searching for a Friend

...or, Rather, "a Friend"

…at Capitol.

Or someone who told von Hölle he was a friend.

The first thing Watson did after becoming sentient was begin searching for reports about people being released from a stupor caused by watching The Giant Eye — a pirate TV show. The data which Civitas had just downloaded into the CSI computer’s memory showed that Fabian von Hölle was using the broadcast to power his attempt to pull another JaegerCorp executive through time. A dead executive. The reports were coming in. Watson decided it was its duty to report this. “Necrobionic reports coming in.”

Russel Compton managed to control himself when Civitas downloaded the contents of the mad scientist’s computer into his CSI analysis unit — his “mis-requistioned” computer.

Repressing the urge to scream, he told the veteran in calm and measured tones, “I hope you realize what you just did.”

Drawing his bolter, Officer Civitas smiled, “Of course I know what I just did.”

He pointed the handgun at the computer.

Compton was more interested in what he had seen through the portal. “Gothic architecture,” he told them. Also of interest: “How the hell did this floor manage to not be noticed?”

A little research indicated the “mistake” by the architects dated back to when the building was constructed.

Fifty years before it began broadcasting The Giant Eye.

For 50 years, the floor had been “missing.” Numerous executives of CEN had tried to fix it. Going back 50 years. Several presidents had supported these efforts. Even the most recently retired president had a go at it.

He was in the The Virgin Islands, a resort for the very rich on Mars.

You were right about Officer Civitas, Sister Mary Elizabeth. He definitely has potential. Try to find out if he is interested in any of your projects.
Nathaniel Durand

Covered in his own blood, Officer Civitas was unable to convince the paramedics he wasn’t really injured — especially when that damned computer confirmed the DNA analysis on the blood.

Thinking that shooting the computer wouldn’t shorten his stay in the hospital — “The last thing I need is a psychiatric code in the diagnosis” — he acquiesced and let them take him to the hospital.

On the way there, he saw pockets of calm in the chaos that reigned throughout Luna City — soup kitchens, homeless shelter, people helping people. Some of the people appeared to be from a charitable organization known as The Brotherhood. Semi-religious, but not really.

The thing that caught his eye, though, was that some of the Brotherhood volunteers in seemed to glow slightly. It was Lunar night, but that made little difference in Luna City. The place was lit up like day. When the nights last 14 days, everybody runs on artificial light.

The lights did make it hard to tell if his eyes were playing tricks on him. But the glow on some of the people helping other people was clear enough. “Must be related to those visions I saw back at the tenement.”

Turned out it was not as easy as he expected to get released from the hospital. Not only was he covered in his own blood, but when they cleaned him off they discovered his leg was badly scarred. The scars even corresponded to a large tear the Malignants ripped in his pants.

They put him in an oxygen tent and it took the intervention of a strange guy named Nathaniel Durand to get him out.

Harry Harrison was convinced he could do nothing to advance the investigation while he was laid up in the hospital. Then an orderly came in and removed the other beds from the semi-private room, pulling back the curtains. Kids began filing into the room, lining up with the tallest children in back, the shortest in front. “Just like a choir,” thought Harry. Then they began to sing, “Become your best today….”

When Civitas returned from the hospital, Ambrose Hab informed him that he had named the CSI analysis unit Watson. And he couldn’t help but agree when Compton asked if anyone else noticed the more conversational tone of Watson’s pronouncements since von Hölle’s database was downloaded into it.

And they all agreed that none of them had ever heard the word “necrobionic” before Watson began talking about “necrobionic reports.”

“Probably something he picked up in the mad-scientist download,” he decided.



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