Truth. Justice. Minesweeper.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

The TV was showing footage of chaos in the streets of Empire City--basically, a lot of the major streets and bridges were clogged with crowds trying to get the hell out of... out of everywhere, as far as I could tell. Then they cut to a shot of the Army and the Air Force coming in to take on the spaceships and try to restore order. Then to Icecap and one of the spaceships blasting the crap out of each other. That was when the elevator door opened and Ingrid ran in.

"Dennis!" she said.

"What the hell are--are you okay?"

"Huh? Oh. Yeah. Listen--"

"You're all beat up. And it's freezing out. Where's your jacket?"

"Shut up and listen!" she said. "I just talked to my mom."

"Yeah?" Good idea, I thought. My parents must be out of their minds worried about me here in the middle of all this.

Ingrid took a chair from the blue room and wedged it behind the desk with me. She sat down. "She told me that the spaceships were there too. She described them and everything."

"Hold on a second. Your mom's farm is being attacked by spaceships?"

"No. They landed in the next farm over, and aliens got out. They busted into the barn and stole all the stuff left over after the harvest, and loaded it into the ship. They were really fast about it and quiet; they didn't attack anybody."

"Okay. So the aliens are stealing food," I said.

Ingrid looked uncomfortable. "Well, not really," she said. "See, these neighbors grow a bit of food for show, but really they make their money growing marijuana. And that was all the aliens touched."

I couldn't process that. "What?" I said.

"Apparently the aliens are here to steal pot."

That's so weird. "That's so weird," I said.

"But don't you see what this means?"

"I really doubt it."

"It means that all this--" she pointed at the TV "--is a diversion!"

"Okay, hold on," I said. "You're telling me that these aliens have come down in their leafy green X-wing fighters and are blowing up major cities all over the planet to distract us while they steal our drugs?"

"Yeah, but that's not the whole thing! How did they know where the drugs are?"

"You tell me."

"They must be working with someone local," she said.

"You're nuts," I said.

"I think it's worth checking out."

"Oh yeah? And how do you suggest we do that?"

She punched me in the arm. "For Christ's sake, Dennis, you're sitting in front of the largest crimefighting database in the known world. What the hell do you think I'm doing here?"

I looked at the screen. It was an intriguing idea. I started typing.
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