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Little Lady

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"No.  Uh-huh.  Not possible."


          Norton exited the elevator and look carefully around the Cottage's basement work area.  Everything looked normal, but he knew better than to make any assumptions.

          Harrison had been on a roll, everyone falling victim to his practical jokes.  It was only a matter of time before the man set his sights on Norton Drake, and the hacker had no intention of going down without a fight.

          Rolling over to his coffee maker, he checked the machine out, then prepared a pot.  He checked the cups next.  All safe.

          Grabbing Gertrude's wheels, he swung around and rolled over to his work station.  No wires, nothing out of place.  He tested the keyboard.  Nothing glued down.  The screen blinked on.  He requested a system check.  Nothing there, either.

          Norton relaxed a little, leaning back in the wheelchair.  So far, so good.  Maybe Harrison had passed him up again.  After all, they knew the aliens were still out there now, and Beeton had hit the man pretty hard.  Maybe the practical jokes were a thing of the past…?

          He shook his head.  Not possible.  They were a Blackwood character flaw.

          Norton glanced around the room again.  And he was due…

          The enticing aroma of Mayan Magic wafted through the basement and he pulled Gertrude around and rolled over to pour himself a cup.  He took a sip…

          "Ahhh," he sighed, then grinned, remembering the dream he'd had not long after arriving at the Cottage.  He hummed the theme from Mighty Mouse.  "Here he comes to save the day… Coffee Man!"

          With a soft chuckle, he shook his head.  "Gertrude, to work," he commanded.

          The chair rotated automatically and started forward.  "Whatever you say, sweetheart."

          Norton choked on his coffee.  "Gertrude?"

          "Yes, Norton?"

          He set the cup down on the table and stared at the wheelchair.  "No.  Uh-huh.  Not possible."

          "What can I do for you, Norton?"


          "Harrison's taking a nap."

          "No, he's not.  Harrison, get your crazy ass in here!"

          Blackwood emerged from Suzanne's lab, carrying a laptop computer.  He grinned and wagged his eyebrows.  "Admit it, Norton, I had you."

Drake shook his head.  "Not a chance."

          "I did."

          "Did not."

          "Did too."

          "Did not."

          "Am I interrupting something important?" Suzanne asked, passing by the two men.

          "I got Norton."

          "He did not."

          "Yes, I did."

          "No, you didn't."

          Suzanne shook her head.  Just another shift on the mental ward…