TNP2-17 "Meeting The Teddy Bear Lady"

TNP2-17 "Meeting The Teddy Bear Lady"

A Chapter by dw817

"I understand you are quite the collector of Teddy Bears. Well, so am I, but unlike you, I also sell them." She added, "I first wanted to check with you to see what you could tell me about Steiff ?"


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© September 2014 Written by David Wicker
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* * *


Sure enough, after only a short time, there was a gentle knocking at my door.

"Come in." I said. Trudy entered and it was then I noticed she was also in a flight uniform. Odd. To my knowledge there was no landing pad or even an airport nearby. I didn't question it, however, and just favored her company over Tricia's.

"How are you doing, kiddo ?"

"Fine." I evenly replied.

"Well, Trish sent me down to show you how to use the intercom. I think this is her way of saying, when she's busy, she wants you to call me instead of her."

"How is work ?" I asked, changing the subject.

"It's going okay." she said noncommittally.

"Will =I= be going back to work anytime soon ?" I really wondered since Tricia hadn't made much of a mention of my returning.

She smiled genuinely, "You should. I hope you do. You're the fastest and most accurate typist we've had in BBI."

"Okay, take a look at this." and she directed my attention to look at the intercom.

"There's only one button." I offered.

She nodded, then flipped up a panel from below that I didn't see earlier. a nine-digit keypad was revealed.

"I'm 717," she said. "And Tricia is 999. She runs the complex so she gets the highest number."

I pulled out a pad and quickly wrote these down. Then I tapped the pencil on the paper.

"What if I want to reach SHE ?"

She tilted her head, "Why would you need that ?"

"I have a feeling SHE will answer more questions of mine than Tricia."

Trudy nodded. "Fair enough. SHE is 123, like the Lotus. Just don't expect a scintillating conversation. She is simply an informative AI and security system after all."

"Okay, I have it. Is there a code for Smithers ?"

"No, he's not in the system yet, I'll get that to you soon. And just for your benefit, your code is 387."

I mentally counted in my head dividing by an irrational number. "So there are 321 people before me ?"

She looked taken aback, "What ? Did you just figured that by base 9 ?"

I nodded sheepishly, "I'm pretty good with math, I have to be for computers."

"Well that's impressive, I don't have a calculator but it sounds right. There's a little over 500 people living here in all."

"But this place isn't that big outside." I countered.

She tapped a finger on her nose, "You're forgetting the underground floors. There are people living in those too."

"Okay, got it." I folded up the pad and set it close to my computer.

"Right, well, I need to get back to it. Call me if you have an emergency. Definitely don't call Tricia right now. Even though it's a day off from BBI there are still duties we have to perform here."

I was going to ask her what those were but when I looked up, she was gone and I was alone again.

* * *

I dabbled on the computer for an hour or so, got hungry, went outside to the marked refrigerator and pulled out a breakfast Hot Pocket. Returning to the elevator and pressing my floor, as Trudy mentioned earlier, I did indeed see there was a strange green light between floors.

I would definitely give this a full investigation tomorrow.

Noontime passed with no interruption. I had made some progress on Doomsday. Instead of X-Modem I was now using Z-Modem for my file transfers, much more efficient. And I changed my code so the Email box storage from 5 for each user to 20. More private messages for me to splurge, I told myself grinning.

It was rough going programming in Q-Basic but I loved every minute of it, especially when new callers could see the changes taking place.

Suddenly there was a sharp beep at my intercom. Tricia spoke through a hiss of static, "David. Are you decent ? Well get your thumb out of your butt. Remember I mentioned we were going to meet someone today - that I think you might find of interest. I'll be there shortly."

The intercom clicked again and I realized there was no way for me to respond. I just had to get dressed - and quickly.

Finding nothing better than that stupid outfit in the closet, I put it on. Tricia true to her word showed up, but instead of knocking she just barged on in.

I was angry however, "Tricia ! What if I was still getting dressed and naked or something ?"

She narrowed her eyes and crossed her arms, "Well then, we'd just see how you measure up ?"

"Measure ... ?" I wasn't sure I understood her. Then she smirked and lowered her eyes. I turned away. Geez, was she going to be like this the entire time ?

We got on the elevator and without thinking I blurted out, "Why is there a green light between - " but I couldn't bite it back fast enough.

Tricia looked to me and smiled. "David, there are many maintenance floors between the regular ones. They are also quite dangerous. I suggest you stay clear of them."

"Dangerous ... ?" How could a floor be dangerous ?

"Exceedingly." she said and finished her conversation.

I was quiet then. Smithers was waiting outside and while I had a horrid monkey vest on that made me look like a prince from a foreign country, he was dressed in a very fine business suit that certainly showed he was the chauffeur.

He opened the door for me and Tricia - and then we were on our way !

After a few traffic lights and twists and turns, we arrived. The outside of the building itself was plain, if anything less defined than where we both got our marriage license earlier. I thought maybe it was a mistake but then Smithers opened the door for me.

"Are we here ?" I asked him.

"Yes suh. According to Tricia's map and directions."

I was quiet a moment hoping he would say more.

He clicked his heels together showing he was ready, "I'll wait for you here, shall I, suh ?"

I nodded and followed Tricia who was already passing the front door.

I entered with her and saw wall to wall - Teddy Bears ! Really nice looking ones too, some taller than me, and others under glass that appeared to be no bigger than my fingernail. This certainly was a great place to see Teddy Bears !

"Not just see," Tricia spoke as if reading my thoughts. "I'm permitting you to buy some here too."

I only nodded quietly, not wanting to break the magic moment.

An elderly woman stood over a counter who was wearing a vest that had Teddy Bears of all kinds decorated on it. She even had some bear pins on.

"David is it ?" she asked and offered her hand.

I readily shook it suddenly realizing her grip was like weak tea.

"That's fine, my name is Amanda." she said retrieving her grip and offered me to sit down.

"I understand you are quite the collector of Teddy Bears. Well, so am I, but unlike you, I also sell them."

She added, "I first wanted to check with you to see what you could tell me about Steiff ?"

I nodded eagerly and replied, "Steiff is a German-based plush toy company known for it's high quality and often expensive Teddy Bears."

She smiled and lowered her head respectfully, "I see I am talking with a real connoisseur. Well, let's get down to it then, shall we ?"


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