heli.JPG (38123 bytes)            Y.T. can see him out the window. It's Hiro. He's all covered with smoke and blood, and he's holding a pistol in one hand. He's just fired a couple of shots in the air, to get their attention, and now he backs behind one of the parked choppers, taking cover...

            "Well, what do you want?" Rife yells.

            "I want the tablet," Hiro shouts. "You give me the tablet, then you can take off and let your million wireheads kill me. You don't give me the tablet, I'm gonna empty this clip into the winshield of your chopper."

            "It's bulletproof! Haw!" Rife says.

            "No, it isn't," Hiro says, "as the rebels in Afghanistan found out."

            "He is right," the pilot says.

            "Fucking Soviet piece of shit! They put all that steel in its belly and then made the winshield out of glass?"

            But Hiro will not shoot, not after he sees Y.T. on board. So instead she tries to join him...

            She makes a dive for the door and gets halfway out, under the downblast of the rotors. Tony grabs her coverall's collar and hauls her back inside. He shoves her down on her belly and puts one knee in the small of her back to hold her there.

            Meanwhile, the engine is powering up again, and out the open door she can see the steel horizon of the carrier's deck drop from view. After all this time, she fucked up the plan. She owes Hiro a refund.

            Or maybe not. She puts the heel of one hand against the edge of the clay tablet and shoves as hard as she can. It slides across the floor, teeters on the threshold, and spins out of the chopper. Another delivery made, another satisfied customer.


To follow the flight of the tablet as it hurtles toward Hiro, try this route.

To stick with Y.T. and see the repercussions of her actions, please continue reading.

To discern Fido's ruminations on Baudrillard as he wrestles with humanity and the CIC Librarian, head for the Doghouse.