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Short Story: "Under an Icy Sky"

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"I couldn't case less about the bankers. This is about the workers -- waitstaff, sanitation, tour guides, the operations crew that makes it possible to live under the ice. There's a lot of people like us down there, too, you know."

"Look, Phoebes," Alex said, exasperated, "I'm leaving now. You can do what you want, but if you aren't in the rental in five minutes, I'm going home, and I'll file for divorce when I get there."

She glared at him in agitation, glanced around Meg's lab for a moment, and finally turned to face Ferd. "I'm staying."

"Geez," Ferd said as Alex reached the door, "I thought he'd never leave. Thanks, Phoebe. It would have meant a lot to your mother."

"Too bad I didn't do it sooner."

"So what have we got?" Alphon said. "You told them you had some ideas. Like what?"

He nodded at Phoebe, who had started to unzip her Tyvek suit, revealing the designer t-shirt and jeans she had on underneath. "You had your finger on it earlier. Those hovercams."

"What about them?"

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"He's right," Alphon said excitedly. "The CalTrans hovercams at the Golden Gate Bridge caught the collapse of the Barrage last week. All we'd have to do is--."

"Not so fast," she said as she wadded up the suit. "Aren't the ones in the caves keyed to transponders?"

"Yeah," Ferd agreed. "They're used for ubiquitous vids of work crews, prisoners, high-value targets and even school outings. Which means they're mostly autonomous, and not set up for remote operation."

"And you think you can override that?"

"We've done it before, on a drone we captured. That's how we tested the tech that Meg used to down the one that killed her."

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Alphon winced. "Did that one explode, too?"

He shook his head. "No, but it didn't get dunked either. I'm beginning to think that might have been why that one blew."

Phoebe was visibly confused. "The water?"

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Ever since I learned to speak binary on a DIGIAC 3080 training computer, I've been involved with tech in one way or another, but there was always another part of me off exploring ideas and writing about them. Halfway to a BS in Space Technology at (more...)
 

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