FB4-92 "Follow The Leader"

FB4-92 "Follow The Leader"

A Chapter by dw817

... Canter raised his voice, "You are special in some way and I want to know what that secret is !" In my continued silence he spoke nonchalantly. "There are a few ways we get what we want." ...




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F U T U R E   B A R R I E R
( The 4th Novel )
Secret Technology, Unrequited Love, Absolute Vengeance

© March 2021 - Written by David Wicker
Please do not reprint without permission



* * *

This chapter is Rated: TEEN

Slice Of Life (03-28-21)

(I've had no internet for several days so this particular weekly entry may be a big bigger than the others, just letting ya know).

Last Saturday (03-20-21) I babysat Katy as I think I may have mentioned.

And since I'm babysitting on that day I've had to come up with some new games.

I read the rules to "Hot Lava" online where you can't touch the floor and came up with a new game I call, "Hot Plates."

What you do is have the first player set red plastic plates on the floor (facing up so you don't crunch them when you step on them). You can get 50 of them for about a dollar.

They must place them in such a way that they know themselves can cross from the kitchen to the stairs but also TRY to make it so their opponent cannot for whatever reason.

In my case I have longer legs than Katy, but she is considerably more limber.

She introduced using chairs in the mix too as she would place a red plate on a chair in the path so I would have to step up on to the chair and off to the next plate, tricky with my balance but simple for her.

And yeah we played that game for a good 3-hours, me laughing at how agile and clumsy both and her howling with laughter at enjoyment of the game.

So good deal.

Considering I had precious little to any of a childhood I think as I was mesmerized by the TRS 80 computer and calculators, I am enjoying these kid games as much as Katy is. But yeah she says she's too old to play with dolls now, but not me ...

I had bought her a dollhouse some months back (this very one in fact) for her Birthday and while we played with it for a few weeks, eventually she got bored and said she won't be playing with it or any other dolls anymore.

So I gave it to Kay, she's with the government, visits about 3x a week and makes sure I stay healthy and well. She's also got a LOT of kids of her own, all ages down to 5.

Nope, Katy today really likes playing, "Bratz Fashion Diamondz" on my Gamecube. She lets me play some of it too but I think it is boring as dirt to be truthful. I only have it for her. I much prefer the Barbie games. Those are a lot of fun.

But now it's Tuesday (03-23-21). Nice rainstorm is coming down. I have my window open to kinna aerate the room with fresh rain coming in.

Saw some lightning in the distance. Gentle booms of thunder. Then it got quiet. Too quiet. I looked outside to see what was going on. The rain was still coming down strong as ever. Something wast just not -

And then it hit.

* BA-BOOOM ! *

All I saw was a blinding flash of blue and purple light up in my eyes and a deafening ear-piercing BOOOM of thunder. I kept blinking my eyes, I could not see for many long seconds as the light was so bright !

Finally I could, my computer was already rebooting. But that's impossible I thought as I had an uninterruptible power supply, it's a battery !

But sure enough the lightning had hit so hard that it =STILL= rebooted my computer. Once I could see, entered in my login password, I could see the internet was down. It also stopped raining apparently the moment the lightning hit. I looked carefully, there was absolutely no rain now.

Odd. I picked up my phone, it was also down as it was linked to my internet connection.

So I then picked up my cellphone which was on a different circuit to call Carlos. I heard screaming in the background, it was Katy, she's 12-years old you remember.

"Carlos ?"
"Yeah ?"
"Are you okay ?"
"Just barely. Did it hit there too ?"
"Hit here ? Hell it about landed in my lap !"
"It felt that way here too."
"Naaw I mean it, it had to have hit no less than 20-feet from me ! I was blinded by the light it produced for a good many seconds."
"Didn't do that here. Power flickered. The noise sure scared everyone though."
"My internet is gone. Fried in the lightning."
"Are you going to be okay ?"
"Yeah, I'll figure it out. How's Katy ?"
"She's really upset. It frightened her bad."
"Yeah, I can imagine ... just calling to check on you guys."
"We're good."
"Okay, let me - see what I can do here."
"Right, night."

So then I called up Charter to see what the problem was. They said there was an outage but it's gone now. However my line was STILL affected. They said as the existing trouble appeared only my end they wanted to send someone out to give me a new modem and make repairs.

I agreed and a date was set (03-25-21) at 1pm.

Let's see what else happened ...

Can you say "Stimulus Bill" ? Sure you can, it's 3-syllables pronounced, "Free money."

Wow. Someone needs to coin the phrase, "Stimulus week." I had just gotten my 2nd Covid shot and offered to treat Carlos to Denny's. We arrived in the parking lot where there were a bunch of cars. Now every time we went it had always been quiet and uneventful. Not so today !

It was about 2pm Wednesday (03-24-21). Not only was the place packed with people there were kids too and I know my niece for instance was already back in school. So I guess it worked out something like this:

Frederick: "Marjory, did you call in sick ?"
Marjory: "I sure did, hun. How about you ?"
Frederick: "Absolutely."
Frederick Addresses his children: "Timmy, Tammy, we called you in sick too, good ! We've got our money now so let's all go to Denny's !"

Denny's Denny's Denny's !! Yay !

Yeah, something like that must've happened.

The crane machine by the entrance had all of 3-toys left in it ! The rest I guess were won and we waited 30 minutes to be seated, another 30-minutes to get a waitress with our order, and ANOTHER 30-minutes more to finally get our food !

Chris wouldn't have put up with this. Probably just one look at the crane machine would've scared him off right there and WOW were they packed in the Denny's !

Guys, gals, boys, girls, husbands, wives, Fathers, Mothers, Grandmas, Grandpas, kids, toddlers, babies, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, and nieces.

All today (03-24-21) everyone just all got the smart idea was to skip work and skip school and go do something else - like go out to eat at Denny's.

I just checked with Chris. He said he had a friend that works at Pappadeaux and THEY TOO were packed to the gills on the same day at the same time with people. Just. Wow.

The guy from Charter finally arrived on the designated day and designated time. After 3-hours of his fiddling around with my stuff he managed to get my home phone back by replacing the entire modem. He said it really did get fried from the lightning. He also noticed the connector INSIDE my computer for my wired internet was fried.

He did confirm that I could do wireless internet by hooking up his router and letting my computer find it. I asked if I could buy his router, he said no, he needs it for work. But I can call up Charter and rent one for another $5 per month.

I thought about it. Then I called up Chris. I asked if he could hook me up with wireless internet as lightning fried my direct connect. He said yeah I can do that. I said I would treat him out for lunch then. So it was a date.

Carlos is likely coming today though (03-24-21) and I was going to set up for us to watch the 1984 DUNE movie, the remastered one that is now 2-minutes shy of 3-hours in length.

Good stuff.

My dreams are busy as always. I will have a good chance to talk to my doctor tomorrow regarding them and - go from there.

Continued (03-27-21)

Carlos called to cancel me babysitting, said that Katy caught something Friday (03-26-21) when she was at the hospital with Grandma and apparently gave it all to Carlos, Gayle, and Kathy.

Fevers, throwing up, stuff like that. Said he didn't want to give it to me - so that's fine. Gave me a good chance to work on EVE.

And I did work on it. What I'm doing in one part is pretty complex indeed.

You ever try to write out code for something but you don't really have a clear idea about how to do it yet you can still see what the ending results are supposed to look like ?

That's where I was.

I finally set aside the code and just opened up Notepad to write out some notes, trying to get clear in my head what I wanted. I finally got that.

I want to be able to create a frame that can overlay other frames so it has a Z-order to it.

Inside the frame every single pixel that is needed for a message that does not change is recorded as part of the single frame image to speed up output.

Any elements inside that change like virtual variables and the like I have to record separately in my Virtual Variable collection. I also need to specify how many characters (or pixels) each of these elements occupy.

Then it is a simply matter of drawing the frames in their correct Z-Order and displaying only the elements to each that actually vary.

For instance if it's just a message, then nothing else is drawn, all characters were already recorded as part of the frame image itself.

However if it contains for instance the X-coordinates of where you are editing your map, then that information must be sent directly after drawing the frame.

So, yeah, it's a little complex, but gonna be totally worth it when done. The purple means comment. I do tend to comment my code a lot as I get lost in it. My brain's not as sharp as it was when I was a kid. I'm definitely seeing that now.

Okay, I'm finally posting this lot Sunday today (03-28-21) but what happened earlier in the day ?

Well Chris is the one that gets the prize. He was the one that got my internet working again by hooking up a wireless router. And it was different than I thought. I thought it had to be on the stairs or something so it had a direct line to see my computer. He said this kind of wireless is better than that. That it can go through solid objects like walls.

Instead he hooked up the router pretty close to my ceiling direct where my computer was just above. And sure enough not only did he get the internet to work again but it had a much faster upload and download rate.

He said me using a direct cable from downstairs and trailing a 50 foot cable to upstairs was impairing my internet speed. Now that I'm wireless it's considerably faster. So yeah, good job Chris !

Very nice. So I treated him out for lunch - tried to at Pappadeaux, but the nice lady there said it would be 90-minutes before we could be seated !

And yah they were really REALLY busy. So Chris suggested that Mediterranean Buffet restaurant, the meal for $17 each. I said sure. Chris picked a spot way away from everyone else to sit down inside.

So as we picked out our food and talking quietly to ourselves a bunch of these I guess mafia-types all showed up and sat to my right.

While they didn't talk directly I guess it was just the way they appeared and just dominated the whole restaurant's conversation with loud talking reminded me a lot about Godfather the movie.

They were all dressed up in fine clothes like you saw back in gangster movies. Ties, hats of the 20s, the works, even those white shoes, and there was a 'boss' that was treating them out to eat I guess.

You couldn't help but hear their conversation as they were so loud yet it was really low key, like they didn't want anyone to be able to interpret what they were really talking about.

"I like the food here. I tell you the food is good !"
"The food is good ?"
"Yeah, that's what I said. Listen to what I said. Listen will ya ?"
"When are we gonna talk about yesterday."
"I don't wanna talk about yesterday. Yesterday is done. I wanna know what's going on today."
"I don't know what's going on today, do you ?"
"I do. I does."
"Spill it then."
"We're gonna do it right this time, yeah ?"
"Yeah ?"
"Right right. It's gonna get done this time around, right ?"

And they went on like this for an hour without ever hinting just what the heck they were talking about but it was pretty clear it was nefarious. The restaurant owner came to visit as well and thanked them for their business. Kind of weird, really.

But Chris had enough of all their loud talking though. After we got dessert where he normally sits and chats with me for a-while, it got as loud as a schoolroom cafeteria with those guys going on about the 'job' !

I kid you not, it was nuts the way everyone ELSE in the restaurant started raising their OWN voices to match these guys ! I guess to be heard over them.

So yeah, we left that noise-fest and saw a neat comic book shop just opened up. Inside it was really and blessedly quiet.

I asked if they had any Epic magazines. They said no, but we looked at their stuff anyways.

I found a pretty Sailor Moon poster for $5 and a Sailor Moon T-Shirt that actually fit me for $25.

Now years ago I was an avid collector of anything and everything Sailor Moon. I even remember buying a Sailor Moon sweater for $35 from a store one time.

Obviously it wasn't for me but a little girl and in time I gave it to Katy - who said she let someone borrow it and that it's for that, it's gone now. But that's fine, life goes ever on.

Quote me on this: "The things we leave behind in this world are not quite so important as the good memories we had with them ..."

Anyways, despite all that's happened in the week, let's get back to Dev.

. . .

Last we left Dev he had freaked out the Fortune Teller with his pick of 3-cards, Fool, Tower, and Moon. Berta, the strong-woman, arrived to escort him now to meet "The boss."

. . .

Berta, spoke to me, "That's too bad about your fortune."
"Well the boss wants to see you now."

I stayed where I was for a moment when she suddenly grabbed my elbow and thrust me forward. I realized that there was no way I could outmatch her physically.

Maybe I could with wits, but not now. Despite her being ahead of me if I lagged too much she turned her head to glower at me. So, yeah, I better keep up.

And then we entered another tent. I had yet to see any sky so maybe we were inside a building or something ?

And there it was the fellow I was supposed to meet. He didn't seem like much. An old man certainly, kind of an odd shimmer to his eyes. He could be wearing costume contacts or something to appear more sinister.

As for his dress he was garbed in robes of finery clearly showing his superior position to the others, sitting in a beautiful chair carved of what appeared to be some type of bone or ivory. And then I was before him.

He spoke in a surprisingly strong voice.

"Dev. The man of the hour. I'll come right to the point, shall I ?"

I nodded respectfully.

He continued, "I understand you won the Shell Game AND the Ladder Game despite ... odds being considerably against you."

I held my tongue. I was going to say, "They were cheating." but didn't.

He held up a bony finger to point at me, "You're going to tell me how you did this - now."

I had a hunch on something. I stepped forward and where his hand was I jerked my own hand in front and cut beside him with a chopping motion. Anyone else would've moved their hand out of the way. He didn't.

"You're blind." I told him.

Berta was furious and came up to me, ready to clobber me, when he held up a hand to stop her, "No, Berta. It's a good observation of his. Yes, boy, for all the good it does you - I am blind. I cannot see at all and was born this way."

Berta spoke now, "Blind ? I daresay Canter can see better than any man I've known, eyes or not, for he has VISION !"

Canter nodded, "Thank you, midear. That was elegantly put."

Canter stood up from his chair. At first I thought he would walk to me, but no, he walked behind his chair to the far recessed wall where there were 3 strange purple fabric covered globes, each about 20-feet in diameter raised about 10-feet in the air.

I followed him yet scoffed at Berta's words, "Vision ? You guys are running a silly carnival for kids just graduating from their diapers."

He turned to "look" at me and Berta who also followed placed a heavy hand on my shoulder. She growled, "Don't be so quick to judge, boy. We do much more here than hand out cheap toys to tots."

My mind spun in a loop for a second finally finding the answer. "A front for something else ?" I offered.

Canter now spoke, "See ? You're not as stupid as you look."

I smirked, "But you - can't see."

He shook his head with a slight smile, "But I take it you can ?"

He then approached a computer console and tapping a few buttons the purple cloaks were removed from the 3-glass globes I was viewing and lights shone on them.

Inside each of them were Tyr, Lilly, And Janet, being held in their respective sealed spheres by a huge chest harness elevating them several feet off the ground. They all looked to be asleep or unconscious, I couldn't tell which.

"Let them go !" I said angrily and approached the console. But I didn't get very far. Canter casually smacked me on the side of my chest with his hand and at once my own chest was burning.

He spoke, "You understand what is at risk here, now ?"

I nodded. Apparently old Canter was some kind of Karate master despite being sightless. I grimaced in pain, "I do."

He tapped a button on the keyboard and a protective sheath covered over it. He then walked back to his chair. I looked to the three girls. It was clear I was not going to be able to release them without his help.

I followed him back. He sat in his regal chair, "Good, Dev. I'm glad we understand each other. Now the question is the same, HOW did you win at both the Shell Game and the Ladder Game ?"

"I'm talented." I said. That was not half a lie as I did see the motor for the Ladder Game earlier and burned it out.

Almost as if reading my mind he produced the motor in his hands to show me. "This rotation motor was burned out at the source. Yet according to Milton you were nowhere near it."

I was quiet. I really didn't want to tell him about the plugin, hell that seemed to be all anyone was interested in anymore. Well it was either to have the powers of a god or to be a toilet brush for Scant in my remaining days at High School.

Which did I really want ?

* * *

He raised his voice, "You are special in some way and I want to know what that secret is !"

In my continued silence he spoke nonchalantly. "There are a few ways we get what we want."

He held up three fingers, "One. We could dissect you. Like a laboratory frog. I have the necessary tools for this."

I shivered at that awful thought. He retracted a finger so he was just holding up his index and middle now.

"Two. I could give you to one of my dancing girls and they could extract the sperm out of you through a nice evening of exquisite pleasure.

My face screwed up in disgust. "I would even reward you with a painless vasectomy. No doubt your DNA would then reveal how you did these miracles."

I shuddered to that idea too. He smiled wide. Could he read my fear despite being sightless ? he retracted the middle showing only the index which he now pointed at me.

"Three. You will tell me everything and I mean EVERYTHING you know about how you did this - you and your friends would be released and you would be free to go about your business."

"Four." he removed the last finger and bunched his hand up into a fist shaking it, "We will use brute force and pummel and punch it out of you and only when you are bloody, broken, and beaten, would you tell us what we want !"

He then jerked his hand open until it was flat like paper and drifted it down comically as if it were fluttering in the wind.

His voice grew quieter, "The choice, like the wind, is yours, my friend."

I looked behind me. Berta blocked my exit with both of her arms crossed. Canter was back in his chair. He had placed his fingers in a steeple position, awaiting my decision.

"Four choices then ?" I asked.

He nodded and spoke in a severe tone, "I suggest you take the one where you tell me everything. Any other choice may liquidate your friends. Oh we are not above murder, dear boy. Not for something this important."

Wow. I came up to him and - well - I told him of the plugin. A half hour of me relating my tale he finally bid me to sit on the floor in front of him. I did so.

He then stood from his chair above me. "You are either the world's most creative liar I have ever met - or you have had quite the real adventure to get here."

He smiled in thought, "However I will believe what you said, Dev, if and ONLY if you can produce this Darceon, this demon fellow you refer to that instilled this - what did you call it - this 'plugin' within you."

He sniffed audibly, apparently fatigued himself, "Because I know you are strained and tired I will give you a good 24-hours to produce this spectre. If you cannot summon him then we'll choose a more - creative method of extraction."

He looked to Berta, "Place him in the 3rd cell, the one with the cameras. See to his every need, food, pillows, sheets, comforters, so may have a good rest. Give him anything he wants - except freedom."

Despite his blindness his eyes took on amazing ferocity, "Record every second of his stay. If and when this Darceon character appears, I want to be the first person in there to greet our otherworldly guest."

"You are dismissed." he said and returned back to sit in his chair in a very thoughtful pose apparently thinking over everything I told him.

Berta acting considerably kinder now put a gentle hand on my back and led me out of the audience chambers.

"Come on Wizard. You are lucky Canter is in such a good mood. Usually he likes to torture his visitors first to get information. You have somehow escaped this. It may not happen again."

With that dutifully she led me to what was clearly labeled "Cell #3." Inside were cameras indeed, in all 4-corners of the cell. There was a large mirror on one wall too I suspected was one-way and also had a camera.

"Can you at least release Tyr ?" I asked Berta. "Darceon appears more often when we're together."

She nodded, "I can check with Canter about these special arrangements. Anything else ?"

I sighed, "Yeah, I guess some food and - blankets as he said. I think it's going to be a long night."

She nodded again, "Yes, it could be a long night. The quicker you produce that demon, the quicker you and your friends may leave."

She left. I tested the strength of the bars. They were indeed solid. They're recording ? So be it.

I didn't whisper, I didn't stay quiet. I got loud, "Darceon ! Darceon ! I need you please !"

But there was no reaction. All I could hear was what sounded like a new motor. Apparently they started up recording with a new camera that wasn't already.

Berta returned after a good 10-minutes with everything.

"Guest of Canter." she said. And had a tray of tasty food apparently from the carnival. 2 corny dogs with packets of mustard, 2 cones of cotton candy, another Chick-On-A-Stick, two cups of soda, and an entire napkin dispenser.

"The bathroom is over there." she pointed and I saw a small room leading away from the cell to an even smaller room.

"Enjoy your stay." she said as she entered, set down the food and blankets, then returned to CLICK and lock the cell again.

She pointed to the wall in the cell. "Press that button if and when you've reached this demon. We can see on our cameras but as you remember, Canter wants to be the first in the cell to 'see' for himself."

"With that, goodnight !" and she left suddenly to click off the lights.


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Featured Review

That sounds like an awesome game. I'll keep that in mind!

My friend had a Barbie fashion game on her computer that I liked a lot.

"Screaming in the background" reminds me . . . I like to screw with telescammers by singing "Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts." I started doing this when I was pregnant so I wouldn't get too upset at being woken up at odd hours. These days, there are times when my baby is crying, so when that happens, I just put the phone near him and don't say anything.

I'm having fun learning when to give my baby a pacifier and when to give him my actual n****e. He does this BS where he sucks for five minutes and falls asleep, then wakes up five minutes later and wants to suck more. This goes on and on for a good hour or so every day.

Yes, memories are indeed more important than things. Sometimes, we need to get rid of old things to make room for new memories.

Oh my, these chapters keep getting more tense!

Posted 4 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Months Ago

>> That sounds like an awesome game. I'll keep that in mind!

Thanks ... there was ano.. read more


That sounds like an awesome game. I'll keep that in mind!

My friend had a Barbie fashion game on her computer that I liked a lot.

"Screaming in the background" reminds me . . . I like to screw with telescammers by singing "Great Green Globs of Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts." I started doing this when I was pregnant so I wouldn't get too upset at being woken up at odd hours. These days, there are times when my baby is crying, so when that happens, I just put the phone near him and don't say anything.

I'm having fun learning when to give my baby a pacifier and when to give him my actual n****e. He does this BS where he sucks for five minutes and falls asleep, then wakes up five minutes later and wants to suck more. This goes on and on for a good hour or so every day.

Yes, memories are indeed more important than things. Sometimes, we need to get rid of old things to make room for new memories.

Oh my, these chapters keep getting more tense!

Posted 4 Months Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


4 Months Ago

>> That sounds like an awesome game. I'll keep that in mind!

Thanks ... there was ano.. read more

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