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NanoSteps Brainstorming 3 - And a Step to the Right
RE: NanoSteps Brainstorming 3 - And a Step to the Right
"Come in, Mr. Sangnoir!" Wonka called out. The door next to his
desk opened and a familiar blond man stepped into the bizarre
office. "Charlie, meet Mr. Sangnoir."

"Hey, kid," the blond man said with a broad smile, quite unlike
the dour expression he'd been wearing when Charlie had met him
last. "Good to see you again."

"Slugworth!" Charlie cried.

"No, no, that's not Slugworth, he works for me," Wonka said.

"For you?" Charlie asked, frowning.

"I had to test you, Charlie," Wonka explained. "And you passed
the test!"

"Congratulations, kid," Mr. Sangnoir said, his smile if anything
growing even broader. "You've won the jackpot!"


(Like it wasn't obvious.)
-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
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RE: NanoSteps Brainstorming 3 - And a Step to the Right
Brooks Memorial Home for the Aged
December 24, 1946

As they stood at the entrance to the Brooks Home, Fred felt he
had to make one more try. If he didn't succeed at convincing
Kris to join them for dinner, the friendly old man would probably
be out wandering the streets until dawn, driven by his belief
that he was Santa Claus. And while Fred may have pulled off a
last-minute miracle and saved him from an asylum by actually
getting the supreme court of the the county of New York to
officially recognize him as Santa... well, as much as he liked
the old man, one had to be an adult and face facts. "Are you sure
you won't have the time to join us, Kris?" he asked again.

Kris smiled and patted his arm. "I know what you're thinking,
Fred. But I've got someone coming to pick me up and take me
where I need to go." In the distance, an odd sound, somewhere
between a whir and a howl, caught Fred's attention. Kris had
noticed it to, turning toward it as his smile grew even wider.
"And I do believe that's him."

Fred frowned in puzzlement as the howl grew louder and a...
vehicle of some kind appeared on the curving drive leading up to
the Home's entrance. A motorcycle was the only thing he could
think to call it, because it had two wheels and a man riding atop
it. But other than that, it looked like no motorcycle he had
ever seen before. It had more in common with a fighter plane
than anything else, with smooth panels and cowlings hiding most
of its structure; in the light of the street lamps it looked to
be painted a glossy black with cartoonish flames trailing down
its sides. A windshield swept back from above its headlight,
which shone almost intolerably bright as it swept around and
briefly lit them before the cycle-thing came to a halt in front
of them.

As the whir-howl suddenly reduced in volume, the rider -- a man
dressed entirely in gray from oddly-shaped helmet to boots --
turned to them and raised two fingers to his brow in salute.
A massive pair of black goggles hid most of the face that should
have been visible within the helmet. "Hey, Boss," he said. "I'm
Doug. The home office sent me to pick you up and take you to the
Minnesota depot. They're getting everything set up for you
there."

"A pleasure to meet you, Doug," Kris declared, reaching out to
shake the man's hand. "I take it you're a new hire?"

The helmet dipped in a nod. "Yep. I'm basically a temp; I can't
stay on long-term, but I'm happy to be a member of the team for
as long as possible. You need help getting on?"

"No, no, I should be fine," Kris assured him before setting
action to words. "And a motorcycle! How delightful!" he added.
"I've always wanted to try riding one."

"Yeah, they told me," the driver said with a smile audible in his
voice. "Maybe if you're a good boy you'll get one for
Christmas."

Kris erupted into hearty chuckles. Laughing softly, he began
strapping himself into the seat behind the driver with enough
belts to secure a fighter pilot. As he did so, the driver
turned to Fred.

"Thanks for befriending the boss, Mr. Gailey," he said. "The
home office keeps an eye on him whenever he goes on one of these
walkabouts, of course, but the world's a different place than it
was even just a hundred years ago. We're very grateful that he
found a friend when he needed one this time."

"You're welcome," Fred replied numbly, then, without consciously
planning to, asked, "The home office?"

He got the impression that the man inside the helmet was
grinning. "Located up north -- way up north. I'm sure you know
what I mean. We're technically a Canadian firm, but we have
branches literally everywhere."

"Uh-huh," was all Fred could think to say.

The driver turned his head as though looking back over his
shoulder, even though the helmet made that patently impossible.
"You good to go, Boss?"

"Whenever you are, Doug!" Kris replied.

"Right, then!" The driver glanced back at Fred. "You'll want to
step back a few feet, Mr. Gailey, just to be safe." Fred
obediently moved away, not taking his eyes off the vehicle and
its passengers. The driver flipped something on the right
handlebar with his thumb and the whir-howl spun up, almost too
loud to stand, but not before he heard the driver call back over
his shoulder, "Oh, hey, by the way, Boss, the Donners had a fawn
while you were out and about. You'll want to see him, he's got
the most amazing red..." The engine noise, because that's the
only thing it could be, drowned out the rest.

Then, to Fred's further astonishment, the motorcycle lifted
straight up into the air. He watched as it spun in place to face
roughly west. "Merry Christmas, Fred," Kris called down, waving,
and he waved back automatically. Then the bike shot off into the
sky on a jet of blue flame, like a meteor in reverse, leaving
Fred standing there, utterly speechless.


-- Bob

I have been Roland, Beowulf, Achilles, Gilgamesh, Clark Kent, Mary Sue, DJ Croft, Skysaber.  I have been 
called a hundred names and will be called a thousand more before the sun grows dim and cold....
Reply
RE: NanoSteps Brainstorming 3 - And a Step to the Right
Happy Holidays to you too, Bob.
--
Rob Kelk

Sticks and stones can break your bones,
But words can break your heart.
- unknown
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RE: NanoSteps Brainstorming 3 - And a Step to the Right
...For some reason, I imagine Doug fighting tooth and nail to *not* have to wear elf tights...
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