Monday, March 22, 2004

TNT: Ch. 27

Gina woke up hog-tied in the back of a maroon pick-up, only now a tonneau had been added. Obviously they couldn't have the bed exposed with her in it. She surveyed her options. She might be able to break the bonds, it was mostly string and duct tape. However, then she'd have to get out of the truck. She couldn't manage it while it was moving, but she'd be closely guarded if it was stopped. Plus, she new Eric and Vlad would start a rescue attempt.
Keyword, she thought sardonically, attempt. As good intentioned and cute as Eric was, she didn't have a huge amount of confidence in his rescue ability. But then, they wouldn't kill her. In fact, if she played along perhaps she could regain enough standing so that when the guys showed up she could be even more helpful in getting the heating element.
But Gina was still a little puzzled. She knew Rob Bluntz. She'd known the dolt since she was little, and this kidnapping was not his style. He was actually, in some ways, a good guy. He would try a lot harder to convince her to come back before doing something as obvious as this. And why not wait until the lobster was with him?
No, it had to be this other guy who was in control. That could make things difficult.
Oh well, she thought, I'll just have to keep on my toes. Although that's hard when your feet are tied...

Sunday, March 21, 2004


Don't ask me how, but October is back online!

Thursday, March 18, 2004

TNT: Ch. 26

*Note: My October Archives are broken, and it was in October when Vlad said "Jack, cover for me." So his name may not be Jack. I'll check when I get home. EDIT: His name is, in fact, Jack.*

Vlad's time at home was more interesting than Eric's. He packed his stuff, set the lobster up in his bathtub, and headed off to Sears to see if he was still employed there.
"Vlad! Where you been!?!" screamed Ming Bergljotssen, his cranky Chinese manager, "We had three customers come in wanting to know about toaster personalities andyou were gone!!!"
"Jack," said Vlad under his breath to the man next to him, "I told you to cover for me."
"No!" interrupted Mrs. Bergljotssen, "You work here, do your job! That is what I pay you for!"
"I am sorry," he said diplomatically, "But I was, indeed still am on a quest. One of vast importance."
"A quest? You skip work two days for quest??? You crazy man!"
"A quest for a toaster. A good, kind, just toas-"
"I heard enough! You fired!!"
"Fired?" he asked theatrically, "Fired for doing my job? Ma'm I am an anthropromorphic toaster specialist, and I am trying, against impossible odds, to secure for your store, the specialest toaster there is (from an anthropromorphic standpoint.) You hired me because I know about toasters and their quirks better than anyone. So don't presume to tell me how to do my job!"
"I thought she hired you because you married her so she'd be a citizen," muttered Jack.
Vlad replied with a surrpetitious wink.
The manager meanwhile, had been thinking.
"How long you need?" she asked.
"I will be back at work in no more than two weeks," he replied, supreme in his confidence.
"Okay, we hire temp," she conceded, "You better be back!"

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

TNT: Ch. 25

Eric's experience was somewhat less exciting. He got home and packed quickly, than called his boss. He already had a perfect excuse for missing work, and it wasn't a lie. The trick would be getting the next few weeks off. His boss picked up.
"Hey, boss. This is Eric, ..."
"Eric? Where ya been for the last two days?"
"I was in a car accident, ended up in the hospital."
"Sorry about that. But you still shoulda called."
"But I..."
"That's alright, all is forgiven. Just come in tomorrow morning and get to work on the Johnson project."
"Yeah, about that..."
"Do you suppose I could take my two weeks paid vacation now?"
"What? Why? You know you're supposed to arrange that at least one month in advance!"
"Well, I just. The accident made me think about a lot of stuff, and I need to decide if I really want this job."
"I'll make it easy for you. If you're not here tomorrow morning, you don't want the job, plus you get as much vacation as you need, though it's not paid. If you are here, then all's well that ends well, kapeesh?"
"But I..."
"Sorry, Eric, but that's show biz."
And he hung up. Eric had always hated that guy. It wasn't even showbiz.
Well, what now? He had half an hour before Gina was due back, might as well make another phone call.
"Greetings toaster seeker," came the wizened old voice of Master Lin.
"How did you know it was me?"
"The ways of the caller ID are not so mysterious as you may think."
"Oh. Right. Listen, I don't know if I can do this anymore. I just called my boss and -"
"And if you follow the path of the toaster seeker, the path of the data processor may close forever, yes?"
"You could say that."
"Search deep within yourself, and tell me truly that the path of the data processor is the one you must choose."
"I can't"
"Then there you have it. The choice is yours, Eric Smellick. Choose well."

Thursday, March 04, 2004

TNT: Ch. 24

The plan for Indianapolis, however, was worked out. With Gina driving, she would drop Eric and then Vlad at their respective homes to pack. She would then fill up the gas tank on Ringo Harrison, do a little sight-seeing, and come back for Eric. The two of them would go to Vlad's and sleep - Vlad in his room, Gina in the guest room, and Eric on the couch. The first part of the plan went well. Eric was dropped off, as was Vlad.
But as Gina turned out of Vlad's driveway, she noticed something a little odd. She was pretty sure she was being followed by a maroon pick-up. It was trailing far enough behind that Gina couldn't see the driver's face, but she had definitely seen the truck a lot. Since I - 65 at least, probably longer.
Sure enough, when she stopped at the gas station, the truck stopped there, too. As Gina got out to pump the gas, she slid a knife out of her purse and kept it discreetly in her hand. She set the gas pumping and stood by the pump, looking nervously at the pick-up. A man got out. A far too familiar man.
"You get away from me, Robert Bluntz!," she yelled, "I'm not going back with you."
"Oh, but you are," he replied knowingly.
She quickly tried to analyze these words. What could make him so confident, so cocky? She didn't want to find out. She yanked out the pump, scanned her card and hopped into her car. Then she stepped on the gas and sped out.
She risked a look out the rear view mirror. Impossible! Rob wasn't following her. She pulled into a nearby out-of-sight parking lot to collect her thoughts.
And she was promptly knocked out cold by the man who had been hiding in her back seat.