Transplanted Life
Monday, May 15, 2006
Well, that's one bit of tension relieved.
Say this about the rain: As much as it kills plans to do stuff outdoors or even watch baseball, it's not always entirely bad to be driven indoors. After all, it's getting dark in mid-afternoon, you've got wet clothes to peel out of, your boyfriend's roommate is stuck up in Maine because the roads are flooded. After what seems like a month of situations conspiring for us to not have sex, it's very nice for it to become inevitable.

And good, too - Alex occasionally talks like he hasn't had a lot of girlfriends, but he seems to have been paying attention. That, and he sort of sheepishly admitted that he'd done a fair amount of research in his teens and early twenties, figuring that he had to have more to offer than just his body. There's a story, apparently, about him paying his sister ten bucks to buy a four dollar romance novel back when they were in high school, because the guys at the bookstore knew him from haunting the sci-fi section and he always had a friend working in the supermarket. I laughed at that, because I honestly never would have thought to do it (no sister, anyway), and because otherwise I might have had my suspicions about how he knew what women like.

It is, by the way, hugely reassuring to see that he didn't make love anything like Korpin did. I'm not saying that that's something you can't disguise, but instinct sort of takes over, and even though a certain amount of that instinct is hardwired, I think Alex would have slipped at some point Saturday afternoon. Or Saturday night. Or Sunday...

Yeah, you get the picture; not much spying done for the FBI this weekend. It's finals week, so most everybody is in their dorms, apartments, or libraries studying away. Jones is depending on the tech guys a lot, which worries him. It's not that he's a growling old-schooler who feels the best way to crack any case is legwork; it's just an indication that getting to that point likely means he's failed. They've reverse-engineered some of the equipment recovered from the laptop Carter used to re-switch Sam and Alexei, but right now all they're sure that they can do is detect when nanomachines have been used and triangulate locations, given enough detectors in the area. Which they've done; I don't know what story they told the Harvard people, but they've been setting them up on campus just conspicuously enough that Korpin should know what they're doing. Gertie tells me that they're describing them as jammers, although I'm not sure that's really the case. I mean, if I were designing the switch equipment, I'd have it make sure there was a perfectly signal before activating the nanomachines, but this is pretty jury-rigged prototype stuff. What if it doesn't? Would the signal being jammed mean it just doesn't work, or would there be two people with their brains fried and empty afterward?

I don't know. And I don't know if the feds know. Which may be half the point; Korpin knowing that he might wind up not in a new male body, but in oblivion, has got to be a powerful deterrant. But I don't know if Jones and company are willing to risk an innocent life like that.

Setting up blanket-coverage jamming on the campus doesn't cover all the off-campus residents in Cambridge, Brighton, Allston, Somerville, Melrose and beyond... any of whom might be enticed into collaborating in some privacy-at-home with a coed, only to end up far more intimately conjoined to female flesh than intended. And then there are all those other guys who frequent Harvard Square but not Harvard...

On a happier note, there'd have to be decent error-checking done on the packets exchanged, otherwise you'd be a vegetable yourself (even at full-quieting, the RF spectrum is a noisy place, especially around computer electronics), so the more likely outcome is that the two sources would be unable to establish sync for the exchange.

Either that, or the exchange itself, what with all the delays due to retried transmissions, would be so protracted as to give the Feds ample time to find an immobilized Korpin and prevent him-again from cleaning up the notable loose end (the new boy-in-a-girl-suit) like he did his original flesh. Assuming they're listening, that is...
Was Corpin's original body shot in the head... or did the head just... explode?
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Note: This blog is a work of fantasy; all characters are either ficticious or used ficticiously. The author may be contacted at