Day By Day
Monday morning, eleven-ish ante meridian. Barney banked the jet to port, looking down on the bayou and the boulevard. A short distance to the south along the wide way was the Manse. The world headquarters, former home of the Big O and the Offenders. He could see the roof of the detached garage cum hangar on the grounds now. The trees were still properly trimmed back, leaving plenty of room for landing.
“John, open the doors, would you?”
What A Difference A Day Makes
Fiona spent the night aboard Lady S. with Pandora by her side. She knew it would take a long time to defrag and optimize one hundred and twenty eight terabytes of storage, but she hadn’t counted on dozing off. She didn’t usually do that during an all nighter. She was reclined in the engineer’s seat with her feet propped up on a tool box. She lay there with her her eyes closed, listening to Pandora’s hard drive clicking away. I wonder what she’s doing. Fiona was still very sleepy. It must be time to reboot...
Enter The Barbarian
Of course he didn’t tell Barney where he was going. That way he didn’t have to lie and Barney didn’t have to think that Kevin had done so. He decided to enter the usual way, through his rooftop entrance. The Manse would announce his return to its’ occupant. He couldn’t see Hanna shutting the security systems down. Just wouldn’t be like her.
An Untitled Story
The nav computer showed an ETA of 10:15 AM local time. He adjusted one of the radio receivers to pick up the BBC World Service. He realized that he’d been listening to the Beeb for years... must have left a shortwave radio behind in the duplex. Or maybe some toy Barney cooked up.
Somewhere near the Azores he remembered that an important question had been overlooked. He activated the satellite phone. A computer answered. “Please hold. Mr. Engelhart will be with you as soon as possible.”
After about a minute Barney came on the line. “This couldn’t wait?”
He sits at the second story window of a rundown duplex, overlooking the main drag of the city’s bohemian neighborhood. Night after night he sits. Year after year. He never sleeps. Ever.
It is another hot summer night in this city near America’s Gulf Coast. At 3 AM it’s eighty degrees fahrenheit, relative humidity ninety-two percent. Typical.
Everybody likes costumed heroes, right?
“How serious are you about this ‘secret identity’ thing?”
“I dunno-- fairly, I guess.”
“Well, serious enough to keep it a secret from me?” she said.
“I think so,” he said.
“You’re fucked in the head, you know that?” she said, and exhaled a little cloud of cigarette smoke.