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Chap 1.5 - Page 2frangles: Skip book 1: Writer's Bricks

            Skip approached a park, and the first thing he saw was a busy man in a funny uniform with a funny device, pointing it at the root of a tree for potentially a funny reason if it was strange enough to bother making jokes about.  I was worth a shot.
            "Hello, uh, officer is it?  What are you doing?"
            Skip had no idea what "hshh" could mean, but could not pursue a formal inquiry because for some rare reason he felt the need to shut up for a bit.  An awkward pause ensued, and the only sound anywhere nearby was that of the man's alien device making bizarre noises, that might be described in prose as a  pulsing, erratic "bshmeeping".  The uniformed man's eyebrows lowered in  fierce concentration as if he'd finally discovered the secret location of the  Great Galactic Warlord Dreditron who initiated a long eon of death and chaos and madness throughout the galactic empire and most of the galaxy for longer than any records go back.
            "Are you--"
            Twip...  Twleep...  Twitltlteep...
            "Is that--"
            Tweep...   Shmeep...  Tatitleeeeep...
            "I don't suppose you--"
            Tweep...  Tweeep... tahhhwipiwipiwipilitilitilitiliti--
            "Alright, I guess I'll see you later, then.  It was--"
            "There were pigeons here.  Cyberpigeons.  3 of them.  And not more than 2 smits ago, if you consider skipping sevens to be a second temporal dimension, that is.  Fluttery, fluppupally things, cyberpigeons.  Elusive, manic, devious little devils.  They're probably in your sector looking for your local militia's storehouse of photophasic weaponry.   Likely scoping for some weapons of mass planetary destruction, too.  You  don't have any, do you?"
            "Weapons of mass planetary destruction.  You don't have any in your sector, do you?"
            "Well, I haven't really been around too long.  I inherited this case of  serious long-term amnesia this morning, and things are only starting to come  back to me.  I don't even--"
            "Brain wiped!  The pigeons probably used their technilepathy on you to  find your WMPDs, and when they were done they disrupted the memory storage  cells in your brain and wiped your memory so you'd never remember you were  scanned.  Here, let me run a full diagnostic."  The man spun the shmeep device right at Skip and began manically pressing buttons.  As Skip had never had  any kind of object that he could remember directed at him point blank, he didn't  know whether to worry about the man's intentions.
            "What are you... what... is that thing?"
            "Oh, this?  It's just a generic multi-siff scanning device.  Nothing  special."  Blmeep.  Shmleep. Shmititititileep.  There was an awkward pause  while the man pressed a baffling permutation of keys, while Skip hadn't much to  do but stand around and figure whether his current situation had any kind of  purpose, or was just thrust upon him by nut in a stupid uniform.  He almost  turned to leave.
            "Mnff!  No!  Stay still.  Now I have to start over."
            Pause.  Shmleep.  Beep.  Bleep.  Shmeep.  Pause.  Smpleleleeep.   
            "How much does your multi... How much does that go for?"
            "This thing?  Oh, well, in some systems they're pricey, in some places they give them away for free, in others everyone just sort of has one, but more often than not it's a cashless society in which any scientist or field operative is distributed one if they have any need for anything it does, with no explanation of how they're made or how many there are to be distributed on any given ship  or outpost."
            "And what does it do?"
            Smleep.  Blips.  Press.  Mleep.
            "Well, basically this.  It does this."
            It was left at this.
            "Ah, yes!  I see you've recently been in contact with them."
            "Who, again?"
            "The terrorists!  The cyberpigeons!  The ones who will probably curse your whole sector with apocalyptic chaos if they aren't found and vaporized or thrown out an air lock.   Or at least held in a multi-siff maximum security environment indefinitely until they can figure out how exactly to escape.  I seem to have my mission for the episode, so I'd better stick with you for awhile until you've told me everything you know or realize you're not very significant and get yourself vaporized."
            "But what's your name?"
            "Lt. Skiff Freckler, M.S.S. Flamemoth!  And how about you, Civilian?
            "Ah... Skip.  Skip Friter... I think."
            "Ah, I'll call you Bob, then, since our names' similarities might cause some confusion.  I'd never forgive myself if an incompetent Urgg vaporized a civilian when he was aiming for me!  I wonder how that would play out exactly.  'Glump,'  Glomp would say, 'frire our glumpulator agt Lt. Fregrer.'   'Oh, but which one's  Lt. Fregrer?  Is it the cat, the grog, the freelance nogelist, or the armed guard with the "Lt. Fregrer" insignia stitched on his uniformg?'   'I don't knowg, Glump; shgoot them allg to be sure!' "
            Skip was finally starting to get used to not having a bloody clue what anyone was ever saying in regards to context, vocabulary, terminology, or theme.  In fact in the past few minutes since he'd walked up to Lt. Freckler, his confusion on the matter had begun stretching way out into a big black lack of tangible substance that he couldn't think how to explain.  Not even ideas penetrated it, never mind the less-than-ideas than comprised most of Flutonia.  He seemed to remember someone once telling him that life is a just a haphazard mush of shit until it begins making sense, but right now it didn't seem to be doing it.  Or even give a hint that it would ever start.  And since the only thing this Great Vacuum threatened to do was expand its uselessness indefinitely, Skip decided to forever forsake his short-lived quest for enlightenment in favor the only thing he could think to do: nitpick the general inconsistencies of Skiff's comments sans any need to understand the particular context.
            "If an Urgg was simply to vaporize everyone it thought might be you, our names' similarities wouldn't be of any consequence since mine wouldn't even be known.  Unless we were in a place where everyone's first name starts with 'Sk' and their last starts with 'Fr', in which case anybody named 'Bob' would probably feel socially excluded to an extent that even his physical stance and walk would probably give away something and grant him a general immunity from such vaporizations.  So I think I'll be safe if we meet anything called an 'Urgg' until such time as you stop calling me 'Bob.' "
            "You're definitely the distractable one, aren't you?"
            It was an odd comment, considering Skip hadn't felt distracted in the least.  In fact, he thought nitpicking the man's logic with attentive precision demonstrated the opposite.  He still wasn't quite getting the hang of flow of dialogue.  Perhaps conversations were supposed to stray from topic to topic, and he'd deferred by staying on one.
            "...Especially when  there are urggs and cyberpigeons around that could nuke your sector by brunch, never mind what they'd accomplish by 8 o'clock if they really had a grudge with it and teamed up!   You definitely have that odd brain type I've heard about; the one most of the  needlessly creative scientists have that come up with the things that cause massive trouble for most sentient life at some point in their evolution.  Though I suppose they're responsible for the good stuff too, so I guess it evens out.  What was it, now... Defaculty hyper-attention?  Synaptic  manic-elative nanotendencies?
            "Abnormally Attentioned Dutz?  I think I heard that one somewhere."
            "A little primitive, but that's the general idea.  Now, if I have any innate hyperdistractable DNA in me at all, might I suggest we head to one of your local mess halls and discuss all this over a quick bite to eat?  I'm kind of hungry, and I find sitting down to chat about some meaningful aspect of the moral themes inbedded in our lives always serves as a decent sanctuary from sudden unexpected death."
            "Sounds like a memorable endeavor to me."

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