Part 1- Qbit: Chapters 8 & 9

Chapter 8- It’s Like a Piñata!

{Chapter 2394 of the Book of Keepers}

Link to previous chapter- http://keepersoftheblueplanet.blog/2021/12/11/part-1-qbit-chapters-6-7/

Ryan entered the control room and walked directly over to Chad who was sitting in front of a computer screen watching something. He was laughing hysterically (Chad, not Ryan).

Ryan steeled himself and said, “Sir, I have good news and bad news.”

“Ha! Priceless!” Chad slapped the tabletop then turned toward the Ryan. “Ah, number two, just the person I wanted to see. Take a look at this YouTube video, it’s hysterical.”

“But sir, I have to tell you…”

“It can wait, I want you to see this.”

Ryan shook his head then leaned in to see what was on the monitor.

“Look at this, some idiot posted a video of a bunch of workers swinging a bat at a stuffed dummy.” He pointed at the screen. “See? There, that little stuffed dummy wearing a white suit and swinging from that rope tied around its waist. It’s like a pinata! It’s hysterical!” He laughed out loud then turned to Ryan. “They must hate that guy!”

Ryan leaned in closer.

Chad added, “You just missed the best part. That guy, right there, took a swing and missed. He hit the guy next to him in the arm. That’s him crumpled on the floor. Pfft, what a bunch of morons.”

Ryan reached over to the keyboard and hit a button. The view changed to another angle of the men standing around the dummy.

Puzzled, Chad asked, “Hey, how’d you do that?”

Ryan leaned back and said, “Sir, that’s not a YouTube video, that’s live video from… (he pointed to some words printed across the top of the screen) …camera twenty-two located in our warehouse building.”

Chad looked closer, squinting as he read. “Our warehouse?”

“Yes sir.”

“Really.”

“Yes sir.”

Chad paused for a second. “Tell me something, if that’s our warehouse and those morons are our morons, then who is that in the white suit supposed to be?” He pointed to the dummy.

Ryan looked down at the white suit Chad was wearing. “I would suspect that would be you, sir.”

Chad also looked down at his white suit then sat back in his chair looking confused. “Me? Why me? I’m a great boss.” He looked up at Ryan. “What have I ever done to them?”

Ryan’s brain quickly formulated a list but instead, he chose to ignore the question. “Sir can we please get back to what I was trying to tell you?”

Chad’s attention went back to the screen. He found the ‘zoom’ button and zoomed in closer to the dummy. He touched the image with his finger. “Me?”

Ryan could have sworn he saw a tear in the corner of Chad’s eye. He reached over to the keyboard, hit a couple of buttons that changed the image to that of an empty cell. “Sir, as I was saying, I have good news and bad news.”

Chad sat back again and let out a long sigh. “How can there be any such thing as good news after what I’ve just witnessed.”

Ryan pinched the bridge of his nose in order to regain his composure. “Okay then, how about I say I have bad news and more bad news.”

He looked up at Ryan. “Hm, bad news and more bad news. I like what you’ve done there, number two. Carry on.”

“Qbit has escaped from his cell.”

Chad leapt out of the chair. “What? How can that be! Where is he?”

“That’s the, uh, other bad news sir.” Ryan took a memory stick out of his pocket and stuck it into one of USB ports on the computer under the desk. He hit a couple of buttons bringing up and image. “As you see here, our surveillance cameras captured Qbit getting onto your boat at the South dock.”

Chad slipped back into his chair and leaned in for a closer look. “Who is that he’s with? Is that one of my Griffons?”

“Yes sir, and Professor Birshtein.”

“Birshtein! Who the heck is that? I don’t know any Professor Birshtein!”

“She’s a recent hire sir, from the Genetics Department.”

Chad’s head snapped up. “Did you say genetics?”

“Yes, sir, genetics?”

Chad suddenly looked worried. “Don’t certain people in the Genetics department know about the Egg, Number Two?”

“Of course, sir.”

“Then maybe one of those certain somebody’s told her about the Egg project? What if she knows about the Egg project Number two?” Chad jumped up out of the chair and threw his arms up. “She’s escaping Number two! She better not know about the Egg, Number Two, do you hear me?”

“Yes sir.”

“This could be disastrous.” He put his face in his hands. His next words were partially muffled, “Please tell me you captured them, number two.”

“No, sir we didn’t.”

Chad peered up at Ryan through his fingers. “Did you just tell me you didn’t capture them?”

“That’s correct sir.”

Chad buried his head again. A moan found its way through his clasped fingers.

Ryan continued, “We didn’t have a chance to sir.”

Chad took his hands from his face. “What? What do you mean you didn’t have a chance to catch them? They were on a boat with only one way off! How could you not catch them?” Chad grasped the edge of the table and pushed himself up. “Even I could’ve caught them!”

Ryan took a deep breath. “Please have a seat sir and watch.”

Chad reluctantly sank into the chair with his eyes locked on the monitor.

Ryan put his hand on the wireless mouse sitting next to Chad’s hand and used it to click the Play icon on the screen. The image sprang to life. It showed Qbit and the professor loading up the Griffin then Qbit moving to the front of the boat while the professor undid the lines connecting the boat to the doc.

“They’re still escaping Number Two! How is this helping?”

Ryan stepped back and folded his arms across his chest. “Keep watching sir.”

They watched as the boat pulled away from the dock then sped away toward open water. Suddenly the screen was filled with a huge explosion. Pieces of the boat flew everywhere as a ball of fire roared into the sky.

Chad jumped up out the chair. “Wha… what the heck!” He looked at Ryan. My boat just exploded!” Chad was grinning from ear to ear. “What happened? Why did it explode?  Did you hit it with a missile or something? That was excellent!”

“No missile sir. We, um, keep an explosive on board just for these kinds of possibilities. It’s remotely controlled”

Chad’s smile slowly faded as he realized something. He paused the video then looked at Ryan. “Wait. What? You’re telling me an explosive is always on board!” He looked back at the image of the explosion now frozen in place. “You mean all of the time? Like, even when I’m on it!”

“Always.”

Chad hit his forehead with the palm of his hand. “I’m wondering if, perhaps, that’s something you should have told me, don’t you think? Hm? What if somehow, I accidently set it off?”

“That would be a shame, sir.””

Chad dropped his arms. “Darn tootin’ it would be a shame. Next time let a guy know, will ya?”

“Yes sir, of course sir.”

Ryan reached over and hit the play icon again. They both watched what was left of the boat smolder on the water’s surface. He scrunched his eyes closed as another thought came to him. “Please tell me there were no survivors.”

“There were no survivors sir.”

He opened his eyes wide, threw up his hands and punched the air. “Excellent Number Two! Excellent!”

Chapter 9- You Had to Say Snap

{Chapter 2395 of the Book of Keepers}

They all watched a cloud of dark smoke rise into the sky. The professor regained her composure and asked, “What in the world was that?”

Qbit checked his watch then held out his hand, palm up. “That… was my diversion.”

The professor looked at him with an unsure expression. “What did you just do?”

“I’m sorry to say that you, Aura and I have just been killed in a horrible boat explosion while trying to escape.”

The professor was completely confused. “What? What are you talking about…”? She stopped in mid-sentence as she noticed a thin stream of glittering particles floating towards them. She watched, mesmerized as the stream flew directly to Qbit’s outstretched arm and disappeared into his palm.

“Hey! Those are your neutrinos!” She turned to him. “You made copies us out of your neutrinos, right?”

When the flow of tiny particles ended, Qbit closed his hand and lowered his arm. “Yep, and I had them get on Chad’s boat and try to escape.”

Looking impressed, she said, “That was a pretty good…Hey! Using the boat was my idea!”

“Exactly, and it seems to have ended up the same way your plan would have.” He gestured with his head toward the smoke still rising into the air.

“Hm, that’s probably true.” She paused then added, “Is this what you were doing back there at the lab, when you yelled for me to stop?”

“Sure was.”

“Pretty smart.”

“I know, right?” He glanced at his watch again then at the gate. “C’mon, we need to get through this before it snaps away.”

The professor gave him the sort of nod that left no doubt that she was still a bit apprehensive about entering the gate. “You had to say ‘snap’.”

Qbit put his hand on her shoulder in an effort to calm her. “It’ll be fine, trust me. The first gate will end in an alley between two office buildings. We’ll exit, get our bearings, then walk through the next gate, which should be about ten feet to the right. Let’s hope they’ve already picked up the trash. Ready?”

The professor moved herself and Aura closer to Qbit then stood tall and said, “Let’s do this.”

Qbit said, “Alright, let’s go!” They all stepped into the gate in a single line and disappeared. The only noise in the clearing was the sound of the birds chirping and the gentle tick of the truck engine as the metal cooled.

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