by Jobe

Chapter 3

When I walked into the office, John looked at me. "Well, stranger I'm glad to see you again."

"Come on John it has been only a few days. I had some personal issues to deal with. How's the project?"

"The server has provided the parts we need." Buying complete electronic hardware and then dis-assembling it to get the parts we really wanted kept our work secret. John and I have few secrets between us but I have one, Pesi. John knows that Pesi exists, but doesn't know what Pesi can do and I want that to stay that way.

"John, has that monitoring order been received from the New York governor's office?"

"No, they asked for a modification and I'm working on that "

"What did they want? Our proposal was fairly complete."

"They wanted the unit to notify several people beside the police. We proposed only the governor and police. They just added more people which requires a telephone directory. I think I'll give them some software so they can add phone numbers in the future."

"Be sure to put a virus in it in case someone tries to copy it. The virus should destroy the software."

That may sound harsh but this technology is protected. A smart hacker could hack it and get the software which would allow them to install it on any computer they have hacked. Pesi helped me to develop the virus and believe me no hacker will ever break into any system that has the virus. In addition, Pesi can access any of our systems world wide.

I called my lawyer for an update on the boy's parents. It seems Marcus was the easiest. The lawyer said at first they said they had no son so he showed them the school transcript with their name listed as parents. They hemmed and hawed for a while and then signed the papers. Robby's parents were a different situation. They told the lawyer that their son had run off and they would be glad to take him back. The lawyer had a paper for them to sign saying that their son had ran away from home and they would pay all expenses to bring him back home. When the father saw that and the estimated costs, he basically said hell no and signed the paper. His wife was in tears but his father was quick to sign and told her to stop crying. He was a wimp and no son of his.

"What's next?"

"Apply for adoption."

I looked at the mail, there were three quotes for surveillance systems and one for personnel security. "John have you seen these last requests for quotes?"

"No Doc, they came in today's mail and I was hoping you would be in to look them over."

"They are routine and not a lot of new technology. I wonder why so many firms are looking at personnel security?"

"I think those firms aren't interested in security of the personnel but rather security of their information. By monitoring their personnel they can check on who goes where and who talks to who."

"Maybe we should be monitoring these companies. Companies that monitor personnel generally have something they are hiding. I'll think about this and maybe we can insert a lead."

I worked on the surveillance quotes. We had a standard package and then we'd adapt that package to the specifics of the job. By late afternoon I was ready to go home.

"John I'll see you tomorrow. I'm going to take these requests home and work on them this evening."

As I walked to the car, I noticed a few young men looking at it. One of the guys came and stood in front of it taking a picture. I whispered, Electra start engine.

When the engine roared, the young man jumped back and fell on his ass. His friends laughed at him and then I felt sorry for him. "Here let me help you up. I'm sorry you were scared when Electra started up."

"This is your car?"

"Yes, it's an all electric intelligent vehicle, the only one in existence. Would you like a ride in it?"

"I'm with these other two , if they could come I'd love a ride in your car."

"Electra open the doors, please."

As Electra open the doors, the guys all got in. As soon as they sat down, Electra had them strapped in. I gave her the address and she took off. I spoke to the guy in front seat, as we moved through the traffic not paying attention to the traffic. One of the guys in the back seat, yelled watch out. I turned to look at the road in front and Electra had just managed to miss a truck backing up. "Electra that was close, our friends were worried."

"There was only a 2 percent chance of being hit Doctor."

I thought the guys were going to lose it. Just as we pulled up to their address, "Thanks for the ride Doctor. If you ever want to sell this car look me up."

"Electra, please open the doors so our passengers may leave." I watched as the passenger doors opened, seat belts retracted, the guys got out of the car looking back at us as the doors closed. They waved good bye as I told Electra to give a short toot on the horn. "Electra let's head home."

As we drove home, I took out a pad and began to write some notes. I wanted to talk to Pesi concerning monitoring our clients and also the virus. I wondered how the boys did today without me being there.

Pulling into the garage, there were two boys waiting to greet me. "Hi guys, how was your day?"

"It was good Doctor, we saw your hothouse and picked a few tomatoes from your garden. I hope you don't mind?"

"No, the animals might. What we don't pick they will."

"I've got some good news or bad news, it all depends on how you feel about your families. I had my lawyer draw up papers to have your parents relinquished all rights. This means that there is no way anyone could ever make you go back to your parents. What would you say about me adopting both of you?"

"I don't think you can do that. We are too old to be adopted."

"No, you can be adopted till you reach the age of 18, that' s when you are considered an adult with limited capabilities."

"Limited capabilities, what does that mean."

Smiling, "You can't buy alcohol till you are 21." They both laughed.

"Think about being adopted, just let me know, one way or the other, what your decision is. It will not affect you both staying here till you decided to leave. Now I need a shower and then I'll start supper."

Walking to my room. Pesi opened my door and started my shower. Showered and dressed I was heading downstairs when Pesi spoke, "Doctor, the boys made a phone call today to a friend. They informed the friend that they were being taken care of and not to worry. I checked the call and it seems that the friend was Jerry Cummings. Checking the school records, Jerry went to the same school as the boys. I suspect he was helping them in someway."

"Let's see if the boys say anything tonight. Did you start testing them for their academics?"

"Yes, they did very well on the mathematics test. They actually were able to grasp concepts beyond their school level. I suspect they'll do very well in mathematics."

"Good, once all of the testing has been completed, let me know so we can determine a course outline for them. I'd like to keep them at the same level unless one of them shows an outstanding capability."

That night at dinner, "How's school coming along?"

"Pesi gave us a math test today. Its was hard and there were several concepts we didn't understand."

"Actually, Pesi said you did very well. I wanted to see how far you could go so we'd know where to start. Pepsi will do that with each subject, don't become discouraged because you don't know the answer. Answer as best you can, there are no pass of fails in these tests."

I got the smiles I wanted. "Besides raiding the tomato patch, anything else happened today?"

"Yes, we called a class mate and told him not to worry about us."

"Who is this classmate?"

"Jerry Cummings, he is our best friend."

"Our only friend."

"I'm sorry to hear that Marcus. Was school really that hard to make friends?"

"Yes, Robby and I were considered outcast. Some of the kids went to my parents church and when they kicked me out, I tried to go to school. Jerry was the only one who gave me clean clothes and bought my lunch. Robby did what he could but his dad didn't give him money to buy lunch and his mother would give him a lunch bag when his father wasn't around. It was hard and Jerry was a good friend."

"What did Jerry say when you told him?"

"He was happy for us and told us if we ever get the chance to look him up and to keep in touch."

"Maybe after everything settles down a little, you could invite him for a visit or you could visit him."

Dinner wasn't anything special, meatloaf, mashed potatoes and a cucumber-tomato salad. The boys cleaned everything up. I used 2½ pounds of meat in the meatloaf and it was all gone. I forgot how teenagers could eat, "Pesi, make adjustments in our food order to take into account hungry teenagers."

We cleaned up the kitchen and I was glad when the boys chipped in. "Doctor, the freezer will be delivered tomorrow morning."

"Thanks Pesi."

I went to my office to work on the proposals from the office. The boys said they were going to the family room to watch a movie. "Pesi, we have a request from the governors office to expand the software so that if anything happens more people will be notified. John and I feel that by expanding the reach of this unit, a possibility of a hacker getting in would be increased. I need a virus that can detect any hacking and then destroy the software. That way we'll be called in and maybe able to locate the hacker. Will you do that please."

"Certainly Doctor, just let me know when you want it. Bring the software home and I'll insert the virus."

"Thank you Pesi"

It seemed I just got started when the boys knocked on the door and asked if was ok for them to get a snack. "There is ice cream in the freezer, help your self."

I decided it was time I turned in, "Pesi please wake me at 6:30."

I was mentally tired and not necessarily physically tired. Laying in bed and trying to relax as I read one of my detective novels, I could hear the boys going pass my door.

"No, Marcus, wait till we're in our room."

"Come on just a kiss."

"Yea it starts as a kiss and then you keep going further south."

"Come on, just a kiss I promise."

"I think you want the Doctor to catch us making out."

"No, I don't think he'd like that. Don't you think it's strange that he doesn't have a wife or boyfriend?"

"Maybe but I think he's probably too tech for a woman and I'm not sure there are any men who could keep up with him intellectually. You know there are people who are asexual."

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