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Rain – Part 1

They stood side-by-side, transfixed as the rain fell, David grinned at Lisa and stuck a mug into the clattering rain. He fished out a couple of the crystals that had started to fall with it and took a long drink before handing it to her.
“Can you remember the last time you saw this?” He asked, his voice full of awe. Lisa smiled bitterly.
“It was at my Grandma’s house. I was just 13 and we’d been out for the day. Her neighbours had seeded the clouds to keep the rain from their daughter’s birthday party.” She stared out of their shelter for a moment and when she continued her voice was subdued, “I never saw rain again.” She snorted and her voice went hard “Even then people were so arrogant that they were seeding clouds to keep the rain away from a child’s birthday party.” David put his arm around her and pulled her close.
“But it’s all over now. Look, it’s the beginning of the end. It’s raining!” His voice rose and trembled as his grip tightened and he shook her slightly.
“This is fantastic. We’ve done it. We’ve actually done it!”
“Too right we did!” Lisa’s grin reflected his growing excitement as they began to dance around the room. Laughing like children they returned to the doorway to stare out at the falling rain.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to dance out there?”
“Only if you didn’t like your skull intact.” Lisa snorted. “The seed clusters would kill you in minutes, besides, we need to get our report done” Lisa was suddenly business-like, focused. “We need to do this now and then we can party.” David grinned and, still playful, offered his arm like an old-fashioned gentleman.
“Indeed we shall my dear girl.” He declared closing the door and leading her back to the machine. Standing at the back of the room, an L10 robot was processing results from samples it had collected. Its recently pristine bodywork was pitted and dull from the impact of so many stones, but it didn’t seem to notice as it busily attended to its allocated task.
“So these are cloud seeds” Lisa mused, taking one of the L10’s samples and turning it over in the palm of her hand. “They are uglier than I remember.”
“It would appear that the intervention works as expected by causing them to clump together so that any cloud which formed around them loses integrity. This, in turn, releases the rain.” The L10 informed them. David grinned at it before returning his gaze to the crystals.
“Well, that is what we were hoping for.” He took a selection of the crystals for analysis. “The clusters are going to make it difficult to create rain over populated areas though unless we want to hurt someone.”
“I think we can claim success” Lisa laughed as she tinkered with the input to her console, “We just need to release the solution over areas which are uninhabited and which can cope with a sudden flood.” Her eyes shone as her excitement rose once more. “David, we can make it rain! We can finally clear this awful cloud blanket.” As she spoke the internal door opened and a tall man with a luxuriously clean and tailored appearance walked in. David and Lisa both straightened, waiting for their boss to speak.
“Well, it certainly looks like congratulations may be in order.” His smile was insincere and froze around the edges of his mouth. “Are your reports ready?”
“Erm, yes. Almost.” David spoke uncertainly, “Isn’t this wonderful, Anthony? This could be the beginning of the end. The greenhouse gasses will still be there, but with the cloud blanket gone the cooling could begin. We could…”
“Control the world?” Anthony suggested coldly, nodding at the L10 who grabbed David, pushing a small vial against his neck. Almost immediately David’s slight form went limp and he dropped unceremoniously to the ground as the machine turned its attention to Lisa. Until then she had been standing in apparent stupor, her face slack with shock but as it began to advance she suddenly jumped into life. Dragging chairs, boxes and equipment into its path as she fled, Lisa reached the door ahead of the impassive metal hulk. Outside the deadly rain still fell and she hesitated just long enough for it to reach her. A brief struggle later, she too lay lifeless on the floor. Anthony smiled again. This time it reached his eyes.
“I trust you have all of their documentation?”
“Of course.” The L10 passed a clip to him before returning its attention to the two bodies on the floor.
“Make sure they aren’t found.” Anthony turned and left the robot to its task.


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