Allotropes (an Ell Donsaii story #8)

BOOK: Allotropes (an Ell Donsaii story #8)
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Allotropes

 

An Ell Donsaii story #
8

 

 

By

 

 

Laurence E Dahners

 

Copyright 2013 Laurence E Dahners

Kindle
Edition

 

 

Author’s Note

 

 

Though this book
can
“stand alone” it will be
much
easier to understand if read as part of the series including

“Quicker (an Ell Donsaii story)” 

“Smarter (an Ell Donsaii story #2)”

“Lieutenant
(an Ell Donsaii story #3)”

“Rocket (an Ell Donsaii story #4)

“Comet! (an Ell Donsaii story #5)”

“Tau
Ceti (an Ell Donsaii story #6)” and

“Habitats (an Ell Donsaii story #7)”

 

I have minimized
repetition of explanations that would be redundant to the earlier books in order to provide a better reading experience for those of you who are reading the series.

 

This e-book is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. 

 

 

Preprologue

 

Allan Donsaii was an unusually gifted quarterback. He was widely recognized to be startling strong and
a phenomenally accurate passer. During his college career he finished two full seasons
without any
interceptions and two games with 100 percent completions. Unfortunately, he wasn’t drafted because the pro teams felt he was too small.

Kristen
Taylor captained her college soccer team and was extraordinarily quick. She rarely played a game without a “steal” and usually had many.

Allan and Kristen dated more and more seriously throughout college and
married at the end of their senior year. Their friends teased them that they were only marrying so that they could start their own sports dynasty.

Their
daughter Ell had Kristen’s quickness, magnified by Allan’s strength and accuracy. The child
also
had a new mutation affecting the myelin sheaths surrounding her nerves. This mutation produced nerve transmission speeds that were nearly double those of normal neurons. Nerve impulse transmissions being faster, she had
much
quicker reflexes. Yet the new myelin sheath was also thinner, allowing more axons, and therefore more neurons, to be packed into the same sized skull. These two factors resulted in a brain which had more neurons, though it wasn’t larger
and
a more rapid processing speed, akin to a computer with a smaller scale CPU architecture that enables faster processor speeds.

Most importantly, under the influence of adrenalin in a “fight or flight” situation, her nerves
would transmit even more rapidly than their normally phenomenal speed.

Much
more rapidly…

 

Prologue

 

New York—PROOF WE ARE NOT ALONE! Today the journal Science announced the publication of a trio of papers regarding the third planet of the star Tau Ceti. The low key release belied the astonishing content of the material presented. The first paper describes the planet and its solar system. The second paper covers the biosphere and the intelligent though primitive inhabitants. The third paper outlines the early efforts to translate the language of the “Teecees,” as the inhabitants have been called. Though the scientific world has reacted to this announcement with shock and disbelief, the editors of the journal describe the evidence as “incontrovertible.” It is unlikely that many will be surprised that this technological feat was accomplished through the fifth dimensional ports described by Ell Donsaii, nor that she is a co-author on all three papers. While it is far too early to judge the impact this announcement will have on our world, several religious groups have already…

 

Shan rolled up onto his side, propping his head on his hand to look down at Ell. “How are you wanting to do this wedding? Are we just going to go to a justice of the peace?”

Ell’s eyes flashed wide. “You have
got
to be kidding!” She dramatically placed a hand on her heart, “I
am
a girl you know! Like almost every other girl in the world I’ve been dreaming since age four about my amazing, gorgeous, fantastic
wedding
!” She snorted, “Justice of the peace! Just when I’d been thinking you were different from all those other
unromantic
slobs.”

Grinning, Shan drew his head back, putting a hand up to deflect her ire. “Wait a minute! Wait
just
a minute. I’m
only
trying to understand. If I’m marrying ‘Raquel,’ who are you going to have as bridesmaids? What about a ‘mother of the bride’ and someone to give you away?”

Ell gave him one of her trademark crooked smiles and waved the backs of her fingers at him in a brushing away motion, “Tsk, details, mere details. Wedding plans are not something for the groom to concern his pretty head over you know. Your job is just to show up on time, look stunningly handsome and,” she pointed a finger, “do as you’re told.” Her expression faded to chagrin, “I wouldn’t want to admit that you have some good points there, however I will admit that I
shall
have to give this just a wee bit more thought.”

 

***

 

Shan looked up at the bank’s loan officer, “So you’re saying we don’t qualify for this loan. Even with both of our salaries? You
are
looking at my new salary from UNC aren’t you?”

“Yes
Mr. Kinrais, but we’re also looking at the unpaid debts from your education. And, despite Ms. Blandon’s relatively good salary, especially for someone who didn’t finish college, it isn’t quite enough to qualify you for this particular house. Perhaps a little bit smaller house? Or if you could scrape together a little larger down payment?”

Ell sighed, “My grandmother gave me access to her account in case we needed a bigger down payment. Would $10,000 be enough?”

The loan officer spoke quietly to her AI (Artificial Intelligence) then looked down at her screen. “I’m sorry, I’m afraid you’d need a minimum of $14,000 more for us to clear you. Even then my advice would be to look for a smaller house. Financial modeling says that stretching your salaries to a mortgage this big will significantly stress you.” She raised her eyebrows, “I assume you’re getting married?” At their nod she said sympathetically, “Money problems are a common cause for the failure of young marriages. Don’t make things too tight for yourselves.”

Ell and Shan looked at one another. She tried to look concerned but winked with the eye away from the loan officer. Turning back she said, “I’m sure we’ll be OK. Figure the loan as if we’ve upped the down payment by $15,000 and we’ll
borrow it from my grandmother.”

“OK,” the lady said dubiously.

 

As they walked out Shan said
worriedly, “What kind of interest is your grandmother going to want on her loan?”

Ell squeezed his hand, “I have enough money in my account. We aren’t really getting it from Grams.”

Shan frowned and looked at her quizzically, “So, if you’ve got the money, why the song and dance then?”

“Because,
” she gave him her crooked grin, “my Raquel persona
shouldn’t
have that kind of money in the bank.”

As they got in his car Shan wondered what the state of Ell’s finances actually were. As CEO of D5R he’d imagined that the board paid her a pretty good salary. But
D5R
was
a startup and a lot of its promising technology might lay in the pipeline, without significant quantities in production. He suddenly realized that, compared to whatever the initial investment had been, the company might not be bringing in all that much revenue as of yet. She loved the stuff they were doing out there at D5R so much that she might have signed on for a much lower salary than a more experienced CEO would have demanded. He considered it a moment, thinking that she really shouldn’t even
be
the CEO. After all she didn’t have the experience or the training in financials. At most she should be the Chief Technology Officer. That would be much more reasonable than CEO because, after all, much of D5Rs tech did depend on her special math.

And
Ell must have some large expenses. For instance, that little farm she lived on. Even if her roommate Bridget paid part of it, rent on that farm had to be pretty pricey. And she had a security team following her around. Who paid for them? And that woman Amy who seemed to assist with her life away from work. Did the company pay for Amy too? Or did she have to come out of Ell’s salary? And now she was buying another house?

Shan was in love but knew that the banker was right, marriages often foundered on financial shoals.
He wondered how best to approach Ell about the issue. Could he be stepping into a boat with a huge hole in its bottom? He turned to Ell, “Remind me why we have to get this house now?”

Ell looked at him
and shrugged. “We need a house near my farm to support my dual lifestyle. This one’s for sale right now and we don’t want to let someone buy it out from under us.”

 

***

 

Vanessa stepped into USA Gymnastics head coach Natya Kolmenya’s office. “Have you seen the December video of Ell Donsaii ‘dancing’ at a gymnastics exhibition for little kids in Morehead City North Carolina?!”

Natya
nodded.

“Well!
?”

“I supp
ose you’re excited because she can
still
do some of those floor elements that no one else can do?”

“Yes! We have
got
to recruit her to our team for this summer’s Olympics!”

“And I told you a few years ago that she’s
not
interested. I also told you that if you wanted her on the team you should ask her if she’d be willing to just show up and perform.”

“You really
don’t think she’d be willing to practice with the team?”

Natya
shook her head slowly. “You can ask, but I’ll bet you a hundred bucks the answer will be ‘no.’” She shrugged, “On the other hand, if you can get her to agree to just show up and perform, I’ll give her a spot on the team without a tryout. I’ve watched that vid at least fifty times, just trying to figure out
how
she does what she does. That’s enough of a tryout for me.”

“And why am
I
calling her, instead of you?”

Natya
snorted, “Her AI refuses
my
calls. I called her so many times before the last Olympics that I’m
persona non grata
. I’m hoping
you
might at least get to talk to her.”

“Okaay
,” Vanessa said musingly. She wandered back out to the gym pondering how best to go about this strange mission.

 

***

 

“So, it’s done?” Ell asked.

“Yes Ma’am.” The small man said.

Ell had been surprised when they’d hired Joe Spall, a retired miner, to build her tunnels. She’d had a stereotype in her head that the man would be a dwarf. The man wasn’t a dwarf by any means but he
was
burly and only about five foot three. Taciturn too.

Spall had worked small underground mines by himself for most of his life. Though
it would be easy to think he’d be an out of touch hermit, in actuality he used an impressive array of modern tunneling equipment with tremendous proficiency. He’d bored Ell’s tunnels in very short order, saying that he’d never dug though anything so soft before.

Ell grinned at him,
“Are we ready to go on a tour then?”

He shrugged and
wordlessly got up, leading the way down the stairs into her basement. Punching a catch, he pivoted a set of shelves full of electronic equipment out of the way. They stepped into the darkness and closed the door behind them. As the door switch closed and the sensors noted that someone stood in the tunnel, the lights came on. A relatively well lit tunnel stretched away to the southwest of the house. The fiber-reinforced shotcrete walls were fairly smooth and painted white. They got in a golf cart that stood ready in a small recess.

Ell drove. The golf cart shot down the tunnel like it
had taken steroids. She slowed as they came to a widened area. A recess on one side held another golf cart. On the other side of the tunnel stood a vertical shaft with a ladder up the side where Ell stopped. They got out and Ell climbed the ladder. At the dimly lit top she peered out through a fisheye lens. She saw nothing but darkness. Snapping another catch she pushed open the door. It had shelves mounted on the other side like the one back in Ell’s farm house.  Ell stepped sideways off the ladder and out into the little shack. The shack had been built over a “basement.” Once the shack was constructed, Spall had opened up the basement walls and used the opening to work the tunnel, taking dirt out the shack’s garage door. Now the shack, standing over that first shaft, served to hold the mowers and other grounds maintenance equipment for Ell’s little farm. The grounds keeper had no idea that his shack even stood over a “basement,” much less over a tunnel that served as a clandestine passage that could also act as an escape route.

Climbing back down from the shack into
the tunnel, they drove down a split in the tunnel to one of the houses where some of Ell’s security team lived. A different split in the tunnels led to the other house where the remainder of her security people lived. A third split would take her to her assistant Amy Reston’s house. Finally the center tunnel took her to the house that she and Shan were in the process of buying. She went down that tunnel and parked next to another of the golf carts. Exiting the cart they got out and Ell patted the outer surface of the concrete blocks of the basement of that house. “You’re confident that when we cut the door it will enter the basement right next to the bottom of the basement stairs?”

“Yes Ma’am. As long as the stairs are actually where they showed them on the blueprints for the house.”

“They are; I’ve toured the house.” Ell said, getting back in the cart. “And you understand the deal on secrecy? We’ll pay you $5,000 per year for twenty years if this remains a secret. If secrecy is lost, even through no action of your own, we’ll only pay $2,500 per year. If we determine
you’re
responsible for the loss of secrecy, then you get nothing at all.”

“Yes Ma’am. No one will learn about
these passages from me.”

“Great. Thanks for a job well done!”

 

***

Amy Reston looked up when Ell came in. “Hey Bosslady. I used the tunnels to get to your place. They’re pretty nice. I was expecting dark and rough from a miner.”

“Yeah, I thought he did a very nice job. You sent him his money?”

“Yep. It also looks like 301 Brostridge, the closer of the two security houses, needs a new roof.”

Ell waved a hand, “Minor details, Ms. Reston, minor details. I’ve got an important new job for you to take on.”

Amy raised her eyebrows, “What’s that?”

“I find myself in dire need of a wedding planner.”

Amy shot to her feet, “Shan? That guy Bridget’s been oohing and aahing about?”

“The same,” Ell grinned broadly.

Amy threw her arms around Ell. “I can’t wait to meet this godlike being that thawed the ice queen!”

“Ice queen!?” Ell drew her head back to glare, “Just because a girl waits for Mr. Right, she gets labeled cold?”

Amy, gave Ell another squeeze, then let go and frowned, “But I don’t know much about wedding planning!”

“You have time to read up on it. I’ve got to have someone planning this affair who’s already aware of my split personalities.”

“How long do I have?”

BOOK: Allotropes (an Ell Donsaii story #8)
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