Monday, January 29, 2007

Joshua and Quentin

This excerpt covers how Joshua came by the facilities he's been using in previous posts, as well as introducing the minor character Quentin O'Riely. I don't like to use Quentin very often, because he's a very Deus Ex Machina character by virtue of how wealthy and, digitally, powerful he is. As I stated before, Quentin came from a story I started earlier, specifically my sophomore year of high school. His story, though very different, is the spiritual precursor to Joshua's. Anyway, on to Joshua and Quentin's meeting.

"Take this, Joshua. Do not lose it." Quentin handed him a small slip of paper. "That is who you are according to that bank. All of my dealings with them have been through the internet and representatives. If you lose that, you lose the money."

Joshua nodded and read the number to himself. He tucked the paper into his wallet, then looked at Quentin.

"But don't you have another copy somewhere?"

Quentin shook his head. "It's yours now, not mine. You know I don't keep redundant information. Besides," he grinned, tapping the side of his head. "It's all up here. If you lose that, I'll take it as my cue to resume control of those funds. Half a million dollars is not a small amount of money. I expect you to be responsible with it."

"I understand. Thank you for helping us out, Quent. I don't think I'll ever be able to make it up to you."

Quentin waved a hand dismissively. "It's no trouble. I've got the money to spare. 'A friend in need,' right? All I ask is that you don't involve me in this any more than you have to. You're in some pretty big stuff and I need to lay low for the time being. I did find a place for your little operation, as well."

Joshua looked at Quentin both puzzled and embarrassed. "You've already done so much, Quentin. You really don't have to get us a whole building as well."

Quentin shook his head. "It's fine. See, Tendall Corp. has just acquired a small internet venture called Falling Down Sober Industries that was based in the building that Tendall will be donating to your worthy cause, Cressman. And it's perfect, trust me."

Joshua looked at his friend uneasily. "What is so perfect about it?"

Quentin grinned again. "Well, for one, it's a modest office building. Perfect for the little business front you're running. But there's a bonus, too. In the early sixties, a man named Harold Baumrigger started a cult. He was ridiculously paranoid, convinced that nuclear holocaust was imminent. He built himself a huge multi-story fallout shelter. Harold taught his followers that only he could keep them safe from the rapidly approaching destruction of the Earth. After it was revealed he was involved in sexual harassment of some of his disciples, the operation was shut down. But the bunker is still there. Beneath that building."

Quentin looked at Joshua, who in turn nodded appreciatively. Quentin's characteristic grin returned. "A few years ago, just before Falling Down Sober invested in the building, someone went and deleted all mention of the bunker. I mean, no one had looked at the listing in years, so no one remembered any way. A certain hacker just made sure they stayed forgetful. I happen to have the last remaining blueprint of the fallout shelter."

Joshua was impressed, and it showed. A new thought occurred to him which prompted a question. "But if you bought it, does that mean you were going to--"

Quentin raised a hand, cutting him off. "Jesse and I occasionally used it for an office. And you don't get far in my profession without a little paranoia. What I mean is that if I think there's going to be a nuclear winter sometime soon, I'll be stopping by."

1 comment:

Renee L. said...

Really liked the line: "A certain hacker just made sure they stayed forgetful."
Very good!