ETH USED HIS CUTTERS on the chicken wire nailed to the door. He cut along the top, bottom and the doorknob side. He opened the door and closed it again. Good for now, though some signal would seep through, he thought. He had just covered the walls, floor, and ceiling in this room and the adjacent bathroom with the chicken wire. Seth sighed in satisfaction and put his cutters neatly next to his other tools.
He went back to work on his computer. Of course, with a signal blocking mesh around him now, no wireless signal could get out. Seth connected the landline, which was attached to a server and an antennae in the detached garage out back. Maybe he could make some progress now. After some swift typing, and breaking some lame encryption, the human test records at the Federal Food and Drug Administration flashed across the screen. He found some files on nano-technology used to make mood inhibitor drugs. The technology was a decade old, but it might be useful. He downloaded the files. Then his connection was cut.
"Damn," he said.
He did another wireless search from his garage network, there were still a half dozen wireless networks around. He and Aaron had set up a dozen or so antennae around the neighborhood and he set up another half dozen by himself after Aaron went back to school. It could just be kids, animals, tree branches or any number of things taking out his antennae, he thought, but that many? He got back on his network, then disconnected and checked the files he had just gotten. The files were not damaged by the disconnect so he filed them.
Seth needed food, he headed downstairs. He bounced down the stairs a little. He went to the kitchen and sat down with a cheese sandwich and some cola. He had organized his mother's mail on the kitchen table, bills separated by the creditor and junk mail separated by the products being sold. He had not seen his mother since she met that new boyfriend earlier in the summer. In fact, he had not heard from her in days. I'm sure she is fine, he thought. Everything is fine. The only mail he got was from his father, the letters were from the halfway house his father decided to stay in 5 years ago to commit his life to the Criminals for a Cleaner World organization. These old guys went around and cleaned the streets and sidewalks voluntarily and were paid by local cities. His dad would send the money to him with letters of encouragement in school and be good to your mom type stuff. Quite a turnaround for a guy who used to get drunk and drive the streets looking for minorities to beat up and when not finding any, come home and beat his mom. But that was all better now, he thought, it's all super now. He shook his head and decided to go back to his room. He left his sandwich half eaten.
The Blooming Bead Trees of New Orleans:
by Kristin Fouquet