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Fuzzy Nation Part 9

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Holloway had two thoughts when the front rotors of his skimmer failed. The first thought was What the h.e.l.l? What the h.e.l.l? This was because while having a single rotor c.r.a.p out was not all that unusual, having two die simultaneously was. This was because while having a single rotor c.r.a.p out was not all that unusual, having two die simultaneously was.

The second thought was Oh, s.h.i.+t Oh, s.h.i.+t. This was because Holloway was by himself in the middle of nowhere, and he was about to crash-land on the jungle floor, where something large would almost certainly try to eat him.

Holloway smacked the manual override on the autopilot and jerked up the yoke on the skimmer. He'd worry about getting eaten later. Right now he needed to avoid the crash landing. If he could get the skimmer on the ground without cracking it up, he might be able to get it fixed and get out of there. If he crashed and broke the skimmer, his odds of ending the day partially digested rose astronomically.

Holloway reached along the dash of the skimmer for the pullcords for the emergency rotor engines. All the rotors were driven by the same power plant mid-skimmer, underneath the pa.s.senger cabin, and controlled by computer rather than by direct manipulation. But drive shafts wore down and computer hardware and programs degrade over time, two facts that presented real problems when one's conveyance traveled up to a thousand meters above the ground. In the event of emergency, small motors built directly into the rotors themselves could be engaged. The motors were too small for movement, and their power lasted only a matter of minutes. Their only purpose was to stabilize the craft and allow for an immediate landing.

Holloway grabbed the pullcords for the front rotors and yanked viciously. The pullcords tensed and snapped as the tautened cords yanked the activation pins out of the EREs. If Holloway survived, he'd have to have the EREs recharged and the cables and pins reset. It was one of those things that by manufacturer design was impossible to do by oneself and required a trained and licensed professional. Who would insist on recharging and resetting all the EREs, not just the ones that got used. Holloway would have to spend a thousand credits to have it done, cursing as he did so.



None of which concerned Holloway in the least at the moment. At the moment, he was praying the EREs had held their charge since the last time he had gotten them replaced, more than a year earlier.

They had. The front rotors clicked into default position and sputtered to life. A timer flashed onto Holloway's info panel; he had two minutes and thirteen seconds to land. Holloway minimized the timer and clicked on his undercarriage cameras, looking for a place to park.

The area, which Holloway had been surveying over the last three days per orders, was heavily forested. He'd been having a difficult enough time getting the skimmer through the forest canopy that he'd been relying on small remote-controlled robots to set the acoustical charges and the data collectors. They had gotten the job done, but took far more time than getting the skimmer down and using the digger/driller built into the vehicle.

But now he didn't have a choice. He was going to have to go in. Holloway nudged the skimmer forward, using its rear rotors, to a patch of the canopy that looked less impenetrable than every other part of the local canopy. He double-checked his seat restraints and then hit the EMERGENCY LANDING EMERGENCY LANDING b.u.t.ton on the dash. b.u.t.ton on the dash.

The seat restraints tightened to a breath-shortening degree, and Holloway heard the pop pop as the head restraint inflated and then formfit around his skull, obscuring his vision. Other restraints did the same for his legs and arms. The chair, which generally swiveled, locked in a forward position. Holloway was immobilized; he was now in the hands, so to speak, of the skimmer's automated systems. Holloway was briefly grateful that he left Carl behind with Isabel and the Fuzzys. It promised to be a rough ride down. as the head restraint inflated and then formfit around his skull, obscuring his vision. Other restraints did the same for his legs and arms. The chair, which generally swiveled, locked in a forward position. Holloway was immobilized; he was now in the hands, so to speak, of the skimmer's automated systems. Holloway was briefly grateful that he left Carl behind with Isabel and the Fuzzys. It promised to be a rough ride down.

It was. The skimmer lurched sickeningly as it began its rapid but hopefully computer-controlled descent, dropping faster than under gravity alone, using the skimmer's ma.s.s and build strength to snap tree branches when they couldn't be gotten out of the way of. The jolting of the cabin and the thunderous cracking sound told Holloway there was going to be a pile of lumber when he landed.

Seven meters from the ground, twelve short-burst rockets on the skimmer's undercarriage blasted on, the thrust of each precisely calculated using the skimmer's current position to arrest the descent, level the skimmer, and land it more or less gently on the jungle floor. As the thrusters kicked in, Holloway felt the painful tug of his internal organs falling the millimeter or so internally at descent speed before being slowed by the rest of his body. The nerve-rattling thump of the landing informed him that this landing was on the "less" side of gentle rather than "more."

The seat restraints slackened and the inflatable restraints hissed as they released; the skimmer's rotor drive shut off. Holloway pulled himself out of his seat and grabbed the infopanel for a status update. The skimmer had registered denting, and the left rear rotor's maneuvering apparatus was knocked off beam during the landing. If Holloway ever got the skimmer running again, it would be able to provide lift but not forward motion. But overall the skimmer survived. Holloway had landed without cras.h.i.+ng.

Holloway registered the fact and then ignored it. Now that he'd landed, he had other things to worry about. He moved through his cabin to one of the large cargo holds, pulled it open, and yanked out the bundle marked EMERGENCY PERIMETER FENCE EMERGENCY PERIMETER FENCE.

"Here we go," Holloway said to himself. He lowered the top off the skimmer and legged himself over the side.

When one lands on the jungle floor with a skimmer, via crash or otherwise, it makes a terrific racket. Most of the nearby creatures, evolutionarily designed to equate loud noise with predatory action and other dangers, will bolt to get out of the way. But eventually they come back. The ones that are actual predators come back sooner, intuiting in their predatory way that a big loud noise might, when finished, result in some small helpless creature being wounded or slowed down enough for it to be picked off without too much struggle.

What this meant to Holloway was that he likely had two minutes, give or take ninety seconds, to set up the emergency perimeter fence. After that, something large and hungry would definitely be on its way to see what might be for lunch.

Holloway wasted none of that time. He moved quickly, firmly setting six stake poles in a perimeter around the skimmer, extending them to their full two-meter length. That finished, he unrolled the magnetized fence material, feeling it snap into place at each stake. The perimeter was tight around Holloway's skimmer. The vehicle was large, and the fence not so much.

Holloway clicked the final bit of fence to the first stake, which held the fence's power source at its base. Once activated, the power source would do two things. It would strengthen the fence by making it one large electromagnet; as long as the stake poles were reasonably secure it would be difficult for anything to pull down the fence. It would also course twenty-five thousand volts of electricity through the fence whenever it registered a contact, frying whatever touched it.

The power source was rated for twelve hours when fully charged. After what happened to Sam Hamilton (and his monkey), Holloway made sure the power source on his emergency perimeter fence was always charged.

Holloway double-checked to make sure the fence was secure, and then pressed the green b.u.t.ton to prime the power source. He stood back to wait for the five-second power-up and the hum of the electromagnetic current.

There was nothing.

Holloway glanced down at the power source. An LED was blinking next to the primer b.u.t.ton. Holloway didn't have to read the lettering next to the light to know that it meant the power source was uncharged.

"Oh, bulls.h.i.+t," Holloway said, out loud. Holloway knew the power source was charged. He'd checked it during his monthly loadout of inventory.

A bit of movement beyond the fence caught Holloway's eye. He looked up. Thirty yards away a pair of zararaptors were eyeing him back, with a look that signified curiosity, hunger, or both. Holloway, very casually to all outward appearances, walked back from the tight perimeter of his fence, got himself into his skimmer, and then closed it up good and tight. Then he went looking for his shotgun.

A zararaptor was called such not because the creatures reminded anyone of raptor birds, but because they reminded them of those other other raptors, the smart and predatory dinosaurs that had roamed the earth, thankfully millions of years before humans could be on the menu. Like those raptors, these were reptilian, were obviously carnivorous, and walked bipedaly on powerful legs, which ate up distances on the jungle floor yet were agile enough to leap over and avoid the various obstacles that humans would stumble over. Unlike those raptors, these raptors had blunt, almost feline heads and strong arms that ended with hands featuring opposable digits. Zararaptors could grab at and hold their prey, gripping their limbs so they could not escape fangs. raptors, the smart and predatory dinosaurs that had roamed the earth, thankfully millions of years before humans could be on the menu. Like those raptors, these were reptilian, were obviously carnivorous, and walked bipedaly on powerful legs, which ate up distances on the jungle floor yet were agile enough to leap over and avoid the various obstacles that humans would stumble over. Unlike those raptors, these raptors had blunt, almost feline heads and strong arms that ended with hands featuring opposable digits. Zararaptors could grab at and hold their prey, gripping their limbs so they could not escape fangs.

Upon arrival on Zara XXIII, Holloway and every other new surveyor was made to watch footage of zararaptors attacking and killing unwary humans, in video caught by surveillance cameras, security feeds, and in one case, by a tragically overconfident surveyor himself. That one was the most difficult to watch, in no small part because the surveyor's blood had spattered up on the lens, obscuring the view. But it brought home the point that human brains, fine though they might be, were no match for the zararaptor's speed, grip, and teeth.

In the now-covered skimmer, Holloway pretended he wasn't on the verge of panic and knelt next to the small storage area by his seat. He opened it and fished out his shotgun. It was a small, blunt thing with a short barrel; it'd be useless at anything other than a very short distance. Holloway suspected at the moment it'd be perfect for his situation. He'd purchased it when he arrived on Zara XXIII but had never had to use it. It looked like there was a first time for everything.

He opened the barrel to load in sh.e.l.ls and looked into the storage area for the box of ammunition that always lay nestled next to the shotgun.

It wasn't there. Holloway felt a chill.

There was a metallic rattle outside the skimmer. Holloway looked up at the noise. The zararaptors were at the fence, pulling at it.

The fence.

Holloway suddenly had a crazy and desperate idea, because crazy and desperate ideas were the only things left to him at the moment. He grabbed for his infopanel as one of the zararaptors separated the fence material from the stake posts.

In most ways Holloway's skimmer was basic. He'd purchased it from another surveyor who had gone bust and was looking to make any sort of money he could before dragging his a.s.s back to planet Earth. The skimmer was built for purpose rather than for beauty, with a large cargo area and a spartan interior covered by a standard retractable roof/window combination. Four large rotors, cowled so as not to julienne unwary flying creatures or surveyors, were stationed at the corners of the vehicle, providing lift and maneuvering capability.

Holloway had done almost nothing to improve the skimmer after he purchased it. He liked a flashy conveyance as much as the next guy-he had been a lawyer, after all-but part of the point of a flashy conveyance was showing it off, and on Zara XXIII, there was no one to show off to. People there were obsessed with the getting of money, not the exhibition of it. So there was nothing to prove in the direction of ostentation. In a way it was freeing.

Nevertheless, Holloway had splurged on one thing. The skimmer's previous owner had equipped it with a single utilitarian speaker, for likewise utilitarian use-announcements from the skimmer and the infopanel, communication with his contractor rep, and so on. Holloway had blanched at this. If he was going to be spending most of his time in the skimmer, he was going to want to listen to music and audiobooks and other things that would keep his brain entertained while his eyes and hands and everything else were busy. Holloway wanted a sound system.

The sound system he got was ridiculously expensive, not because he wanted that particular system, but because it was the only one the ZaraCorp general store carried. Most surveyors, he was told, listened to their music on earbuds and went for the utilitarian speakers for their skimmers. The shopkeep offered Holloway what he a.s.sured him was a nice deal on a pair of formfitting earbuds. Holloway, who disliked the idea of sticking anything smaller than an elbow into his ear, bit the bullet and paid for the ridiculously expensive sound system.

The zararaptors had torn down the emergency fence and were now circling the skimmer, trying to make some sort of sense of it, and determining how to get past its hard outer sh.e.l.l to the soft chewy treat inside. Holloway focused on not wetting himself and on calling up his sound system's diagnostic software.

One of the things that made the sound system so expensive, or so the general store shopkeep explained to Holloway, was that the system put out sounds above and below the human range of hearing-the range of the system was in fact 2 kilohertz to 44.1 kilohertz. The point of this range was that even if humans couldn't hear in those ranges, there were psychoacoustic effects that propagated above and beyond human hearing range, effects that were lost in conventional sound systems whose speakers reproduced less than the human hearing range. This sound system reproduced everything, the shopkeep said, allowing for the best sound performance short of real life.

At the time, Holloway told the shopkeep that he suspected that was all just a bunch of sales bulls.h.i.+t. The shopkeep agreed that it probably was, but that Holloway was paying for it anyway, so he might as well know the excuse for it.

The zararaptors began pounding on the skimmer windows with their hands, first in open palm smacks and then with fists. The windows rattled but held; they were composite windows built to survive bird impacts at nearly 200 kilometers per hour. They could handle an animal fist.

One of the zararaptors broke away from the skimmer. Holloway, despite himself, watched the thing go. Its gaze was fixed on the ground, as if looking for something. Suddenly it paused and bent down and came up with an impressively large rock. It looked back at the skimmer and then swung its arm back in a frighteningly accurate simulation of a cricket bowler.

Huh, tool user, some part of Holloway's brain said. some part of Holloway's brain said. I'll have to tell Isabel about that. I'll have to tell Isabel about that. Then Holloway ducked involuntarily as the very large rock sailed through the air at a viciously flat trajectory. It smacked full into the front side window, leaving a small but distinct crack. The zararaptor rushed toward the skimmer to try again. Then Holloway ducked involuntarily as the very large rock sailed through the air at a viciously flat trajectory. It smacked full into the front side window, leaving a small but distinct crack. The zararaptor rushed toward the skimmer to try again.

Holloway tore his attention away, back to his infopanel, and to the sound system's diagnostic software, which had now loaded.

When Holloway purchased his sound system, he had looked at the horribly complex sound system software for half an hour, with its various frequency tests and acoustical settings and options. Then he decided that life was too short to geek out on speakers, went back to the front screen of the software, and checked the box for AUTOMATIC MAINTENANCE AUTOMATIC MAINTENANCE. This meant the software would take care of itself, and Holloway could just listen to his music and books. Holloway was on that screen now, jabbing the b.u.t.ton for MANUAL MAINTENANCE MANUAL MAINTENANCE instead. instead.

The zararaptor was now directly outside the window. It was reaching down to pick up the rock.

The infopanel screen changed, and a page of menu items displayed, in no apparent particular order. G.o.dd.a.m.n lousy user interface, G.o.dd.a.m.n lousy user interface, Holloway thought, and found the Holloway thought, and found the FREQUENCY TESTING FREQUENCY TESTING option just as the zararaptor rammed the rock into the window with force, expanding the crack about a millimeter. option just as the zararaptor rammed the rock into the window with force, expanding the crack about a millimeter.

Holloway pressed the FREQUENCY TESTING FREQUENCY TESTING option on the screen and was then treated to a soothing splash page graphic while a man's voice explained, in warm, rich tones, how calibrating the Newton-Barndom XGK sound system across all frequency ranges would a.s.sure the listeners of total sonic enjoyment. option on the screen and was then treated to a soothing splash page graphic while a man's voice explained, in warm, rich tones, how calibrating the Newton-Barndom XGK sound system across all frequency ranges would a.s.sure the listeners of total sonic enjoyment.

Holloway screamed in frustration and fear and searched desperately for the SKIP INTRO SKIP INTRO option. He found it at the same time the second zararaptor had picked up its own rock and started beating it against the same window as the first raptor. They were taking turns breaking the window. The window shattered as Holloway loaded up what he was looking for. option. He found it at the same time the second zararaptor had picked up its own rock and started beating it against the same window as the first raptor. They were taking turns breaking the window. The window shattered as Holloway loaded up what he was looking for.

Holloway launched himself away from the window and reached over to the one manual control on the dash a.s.sociated with the sound system: the volume k.n.o.b. He gripped the k.n.o.b as the first zararaptor punched the gla.s.s in the window, popping it out in a single sheet, and then drew its head into the skimmer cabin, hissing. It was clearly planning to jam its way into the skimmer. The other zararaptor stayed outside, waiting for Holloway to be flushed out.

Holloway managed not to c.r.a.p himself while he waited for the zararaptor to get about halfway into the skimmer. When it had, he jabbed a b.u.t.ton in the infoscreen. The sound system kicked on as it ran the frequency test for the 22.5- to 28.0-kilohertz range. Holloway cranked the volume k.n.o.b, turning it over hard and fast.

The zararaptor in the window screamed and thrashed and beat its toothy head against the side of the skimmer in a frantic attempt to pull its head out of the vehicle. After several terrifying seconds, the creature managed to reverse out of the skimmer, scrambling away from the broken window. The other raptor was retreating with it. Holloway was so relieved he almost cried.

But the zararaptors, while clearly annoyed, did not flee. After a moment they began to circle the skimmer. Holloway was briefly confused about this. Then he started the frequency test again, cranked up the volume even higher, and opened the skimmer roof and windows.

The zararaptors, confronted with an omnidirectional blast of painful high-frequency sound, screeched angrily and ran into the trees.

Holloway watched them go, disbelieving. Then he fired up the infopanel's sound recorder, made sure it could record inaudibly high frequencies, and recorded the frequency test. He set it to play on a repeating loop.

Five minutes later the jungle was silent, save for the wind through the trees. Apparently it wasn't only the zararaptors who hated high-frequency blasts of noise.

Holloway felt himself developing a headache from it, like Aubrey said he would, a few days ago. But there was nothing for it at the moment: The alternative to a headache was having one's brain gnawed upon. Holloway would stick with the headache for now.

He reached for the infopanel again and did another diagnostic test, this time for his front rotors. The diagnostic found nothing physically wrong with the rotors. They were operating within normal parameters.

Holloway looked around him to make sure his sound barrier was still working and then did a software diagnostic, targeting the subsystems relating to the rotors. They seemed fine, too. A diagnostic for general drive systems also turned up no errors or file corruption.

If there was nothing wrong with the hardware and nothing wrong with the software, could it really have been just a fluke-just a momentary glitch in the system? Holloway had to admit that it could have been, but he didn't like it. It would mean that his missing ammunition was just a fluke, too, as well as his drained fence power plant.

Holloway was willing to accept the combination of any two of those things as just bad luck or bad karma or whatever. But all three things together and at once smacked of intention to him. It sounded bad paranoid, and he wasn't generally the bad paranoid type, but what else could it be? Someone had just tried to kill him.

Who had access to the skimmer? Holloway did, obviously, but unless he was sleepwalking in an overtly suicidal sort of way, he was not a suspect.

Isabel had been at his treetop compound for a week now, so she would've had plenty of opportunity. But while Holloway had certainly given Isabel good reason to be angry with him over the time he had known her, the idea that she would try to kill him was inconceivable. That wasn't how she was built. And even if it were, were, Holloway thought wryly, Isabel wouldn't be sneaky about it. She'd come at him head-on. Holloway thought wryly, Isabel wouldn't be sneaky about it. She'd come at him head-on.

But that didn't leave anyone else. Holloway's life really was without a great deal of physical human contact. The only people he'd seen in the last week were Isabel and Aubrey and his lackey, Landon. But neither of them had been near the skimmer. Well, Landon had, but- Holloway's brain froze for a moment as he finally remembered the other person he'd seen in the last week.

Holloway flicked on his infopanel and did a search diagnostic on his skimmer's operational programs, looking for any programs that had been loaded or modified in the last week. He found two. One was the rotor power management program, which had been modified. The second was a program that had been added four days previous. It had no descriptor, but Holloway could guess what it did, and to which other program, and who had put it there to make sure that Holloway's defenses were compromised.

"Son of a b.i.t.c.h," Holloway said. He directed the infopanel to begin a system wipe and total reinstallation from factory settings. It would take time Holloway didn't want to spend on the jungle floor, but he had no intention of trying to fly anywhere in his skimmer until he'd reverted its operating system to system defaults and vaporized whatever the h.e.l.l that new program was.

The reinstall took two hours, during which time Holloway's headache became a blinding migraine and his nose developed an incessant bleed. Holloway spent the last half hour on the ground chewing on aspirin, first aid kit gauze shoved into his nostrils.

By the time Holloway was back in the air, the sun was setting. He pinged Isabel. She didn't answer. This didn't entirely surprise Holloway; she was probably busy watching the Fuzzys do calculus or teaching them metaphysics. Holloway waited for the voice mail signal.

"Isabel, it's Jack," he said. "Listen, I need to go to Aubreytown to handle a thing. It shouldn't take too long, but I need you to do me a favor. If I don't call you back by about midnight, I want you to call your new friend and have him come looking for me. Because if you don't hear from me by midnight, I think that one way or another, there's a real good chance I'm going to need a lawyer."

Chapter Twelve.

Holloway walked into Warren's Warren and found Joe DeLise right where he expected him to be: at the bar, third stool from the right. It was the Joe DeLise Memorial Drinking Stool; DeLise sat there enough that the stool padding conformed to the contours of his a.s.s. If someone else was sitting on it when DeLise came in, they weren't sitting there for long. DeLise would just stand next to them, glaring, until they got the hint. One time a contract surveyor didn't get the hint. DeLise sat elsewhere and waited for the surveyor to head out of the bar. The surveyor was found the next morning in the alley, not dead, but with an impressive crease in his forehead. DeLise didn't have to do too much glaring after that.

Holloway walked up to DeLise, waited to see the man's stunned look, and then slugged him right in his big fat face. DeLise tumbled off the stool, beer bottle clattering to the floor. The bar, moderately crowded, went silent.

"Hi, Joe," Holloway said. "I know you're surprised to see me."

From the floor, DeLise gawked at Holloway, disbelieving. "You just hit a cop, you dips.h.i.+t," he said.

"Yes I did," Holloway said. "I hit a cop, in front of witnesses, in a bar that's got a security camera whose feed is piped directly into the Security offices. So that way, if you have a mind to make me disappear this this time, everyone's going to know it was you, you fat gelatinous t.u.r.d. You're not going to get a chance to try to kill me twice." time, everyone's going to know it was you, you fat gelatinous t.u.r.d. You're not going to get a chance to try to kill me twice."

"I don't know what the h.e.l.l you're talking about," DeLise said.

"Of course not," Holloway said. "But I am curious about why you tried to kill me, Joe. We've never liked each other, but I didn't think you had that much of a problem with me. So how about it? Was this just because I p.i.s.sed you off out there at the camp? You couldn't take a few mean words? Or was this something you've been planning for a while? You can tell me."

DeLise pulled himself off the floor. "You're under arrest, Holloway. For a.s.saulting a security officer."

"Excellent," Holloway said, and held out his hands, close together. "Arrest me, you glutinous tub of lard. Then when you and I go to the Security offices, I'm going to call a lawyer, and then I'm going to tell him a story about you and my skimmer, and all the things that happened to it when it was left alone with you a few days ago. It's a really good story, and it's going to end with your flabby a.s.s doing time. So go ahead and arrest me. I really want you to, Joe. Let's do this." Holloway pushed out his hands in the direction of DeLise.

DeLise stood there, furious, but didn't move.

"That's what I thought," Holloway said. "It looks like you're just going to have to take that punch and like it. But look at it this way: I nearly got eaten by a pair of zararaptors today, and all you had to pay for that was my fist in your stupid face. I think you're getting off pretty easy, don't you? But a word of warning, Joe. Try it again, and you better hope you succeed. Because there's not going to be much left after I'm done with you. It's a promise."

Holloway turned and started toward the door, trying not to let a grin ruin the completely artificial bada.s.s act he'd been trying to pull off since he'd entered the bar. a.s.saulting a security officer was not something one could usually get away with. Holloway had weighed the odds and figured as long as he had witnesses watching and a secure video feed recording, he could make it stick. DeLise had too much to lose by retaliating now. Even if he saved it up for later, the video of Holloway accusing him of attempted murder would always be in the ZaraCorp security files, unerasable.

It was actually better than officially accusing DeLise of trying to kill him. This way Holloway didn't have to prove anything. This was as close as Holloway was going to come to having an insurance policy against future murder attempts. It was smartly done. Very smartly done. Holloway glanced up in the direction of the security camera with the intention of saluting jauntily as he left the bar.

The socket for the camera was empty.

Holloway stopped and turned to the bartender.

"d.a.m.n thing broke a week ago," the bartender said. "Haven't had time to replace it."

Any other thoughts Holloway might have had on the matter were disrupted by the pool cue DeLise applied to the back of his head. Holloway dropped and was out before he hit the floor.

"I don't see why you didn't cave in his head in the alley," Holloway heard a voice say.

"Too many witnesses," said another voice, this one belonging to Joe DeLise. "The a.s.shole got that part right. So I had to drag him here."

"You're still going to cave in his head," said the other voice.

"Yes, but now it'll be for resisting," DeLise said. "You'll back me up on that, right?"

The other voice laughed.

Holloway risked opening his eyes and immediately regretted it. The light stabbed at his retinas. He forced himself to keep them open and to focus on his surroundings. Eventually they came clear: He was in the ZaraCorp security holding cell. He'd been there before, on a drunk and disorderly, a couple nights after Isabel left him.

"Your friend is up," a form said, in the distance. Another form walked over to the holding cell and resolved itself into DeLise. DeLise, still in his civilian clothes, smiled at Holloway.

"h.e.l.lo, Jack," DeLise said. "How are you feeling?"

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About Fuzzy Nation Part 9 novel

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