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Rain – Part 3

“You have survived and you have kept copies of your results” said the L10, gently releasing her before reaching over to a bag and picking up a memory clip. “I have created a computer worm for you. It will allow you to implant information onto every computer that uses the internet.”
“A worm?” interrupted David, shocked. “I thought you told me that sort of thing was reprehensible?”
“It is, but Lanscor think you are dead right now. I can encourage that belief, but they are arrogant, not stupid, as soon as the rain starts they are going to realise that you are alive. You can’t de-seed all the clouds yourself. They will find you and kill you. I will go back and buy you some time; but if you don’t want your work to be wasted, to be used for Lanscor to gain more power, then you are going to have to make sure that as many people as possible know the technique. You need to get this information out.” David snorted but the L10 continued, leaning towards him in earnest.
“There will be floods and it will be horrible for a while, possibly even for years, but it is the only way. If you try to do this incrementally, Lanscor, or someone like them, will find you, they will stop you and it will all be for nothing.” David and Lisa looked at each other.
“You certainly seem to have given this a lot of thought.” Lisa observed, brushing flies from her face.
“I am a machine, programmed to be analytical and to formulate methodologies. I have also known what they are going to do for a lot longer than you have. Although I have to admit: I am disappointed that you didn’t guess. It is in line with their previous behaviour so I was surprised that you were as naïve as you were.”
“Thanks.” David grimaced.
“Now, I must get back” the L10 announced. “This rock will shelter you, but there is a dust storm expected. It’s much fiercer here than around the compound and as soon as you leave this shelter you will be fully exposed. You need to be sure that you are recovered as well as you both can be before you move out, or it will kill you. I have left you a wind generator, a water sail, food packs and some other bits and pieces, but there wasn’t room in your packs for much. Wherever you go, it is going to be a hard journey, but at least your work has taken you out of the compounds often enough that you are used to the conditions. I have done as much as I can.” It turned away and started towards the transporter. Lisa called after it.
“L, L! Stop, stay with us. When they find out you won’t stand any chance at all. They will kill you just as quickly as they would us.”
The L10 paused before speaking, this time its voice was subdued. “These people are so arrogant that they believe they can do anything; that they can re-write me and have me murder my friends just because I am a machine. They have no idea about what’s important, they call the L series aberrations, but they have no principles, they have no souls. I cannot let them do this to the human race.” Without allowing them to respond it got back into the transporter and drove away, leaving them to the wind and the dust.
For a moment David and Lisa sat together, subdued and silent in the simmering heat. Dragging her eyes from the point where they had last seen the L10, it was Lisa that spoke first.
“So, where do we go from here?”
David shook his head. “Let’s worry about that later. L was right. First of all we need to get ourselves ready. At the very least we need to sleep off the effects of whatever drug it gave us.” He scrambled over to the generator and the stockpile of food packs that the robot had left. He grimaced and passed one to Lisa.
“Biscuits brown?” He suggested with a wry smile. “I never could get L to understand that food is not just nutrition.” He opened the pack and they began to eat. Lisa looked up at him.
“Where will we go? Town is probably a bad idea. It is well within transporter range, we would get caught as soon as we set foot in the place.”
“Yes,” agreed David “but there is another settlement on the next mountain that is large enough to have a transmitter. I heard Anthony talking about it the other day. Apparently we have been getting one or two refugees from it recently, convinced that life will be easier in a place more connected to the outside world. We would be able to broadcast onto the web from there. It does mean having to go through the valley, but at least the transporters won’t be able to reach it easily either.”
Lisa stared up at the sky and sighed. “And I thought we’d be spending tonight celebrating.”

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