Your Mind Will Collapse: Chapter Three

In the last installment, Bill and Milton were caught in their safe house by the ‘feds’ – agents of the Internal Revenue Federation…

IRF Special Agent Holly Ryder returned her pocket watch to her vest pocket. She silently gazed at the Villa Pancho, a v-space property indirectly owned by CRM115 Holdings, a corporation registered in the Cayman Islands. She very much hoped to meet the owner of CRM115 Holdings, though that was unlikely to happen today. The huge streams flooding out of the property was indicative of criminal activities, but there was no sign of any character leaving or entering the property, other than Milton Theodori, well-known cyber-anarchist and general purpose trouble-maker. They stood on the hillside, looking over the villa’s flat roof, at the recreation of Horseshoe Bay. They were five minutes early.

Ryder turned to her assistant, standing at her side, and scowled. “You’re too tall. I’m going to get a crick in my neck, from looking at you.”
“Then don’t look at me,” replied IRF Mobile 7462-CVD, otherwise known as Carol van Dijk. “I’ve already reduced my height to the minimum recommended for my specifications.”
“You’re still wearing heels.”
The shoes vanished, and van Dijk stood in her stockinged feet.

Somewhat satisfied, Ryder turned back to the villa, but continued to talk. She wanted to find out as much about her new assistant as she could. Ryder disliked the idea of a computerized partner. The mobiles she had worked with previously had always been faulty. Some lacked initiative. The others were unpredictable. “They say you’re self-aware. I don’t really know what that means.”
“Nor do I.”
“Are you trying to be funny?”
“No. I don’t have a sense of humour.
“You have the capacity to learn?”
“And you’re going to learn from me?”
“That is the expectation.”
“Your expectation?”
“Mine, and my developers’.”
“And then you’ll be fit to conduct investigations on your own, without human supervision.”
“That is the expectation.”
“You’re not a good conversationalist.” Ryder looked her partner up and down again. “Not that I care about that, but it could prove a problem when trying to illicit knowledge from suspects and potential informants.”
“I will emulate your approach.”
“Good. That’s the smartest thing you’ve said so far.”

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