Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith

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Schrodinger's Heroes: "Kid in a Candy Shop"

Schrodinger's Heroes  is an apocryphal television show about quantum physics and saving the world from alternate dimensions.  This piece of fanfic comes just after the two-part pilot.  It will help to know about Melannen's characters. You can find the menu post online.


Kid in a Candy Shop


"You're sure you don't want me to buy the whole place?" Alex said for the third time.  "It would be quicker."

Kay rolled her eyes.  Clearly Alex knew nothing about supply and demand, Army style.  "One, we don't need everything in there; some of it will just be junk.  Two, if they realize how much money you have available, it will take three times as long to get what we really  need."

"All right, you're the expert here," Alex said with a shrug.

Kay led her to the corral and yanked loose two olive-drab carts.  Wheels rattled against the concrete floor of the Army surplus store.  "Let's get started."

"Will everything fit in these?" Alex asked, eyeing her cart dubiously.

"Of course not," Kay said with a shake of her head.  "These are just for samples of the small stuff.  We'll pick out the large stuff and have someone pack it out to the truck.  Most of the gear will need to be boxed and delivered separately anyhow, but I insist  on getting at least the basics right now."

Alex watched, bemused, as Kay stacked the carts with a wide assortment of camping equipment, first aid supplies, field rations, durable clothing, and minor weapons.  "Hey, they have electronics too," the scientist said as they rolled past a display of GPS devices and similar items.

"Sure, you can look through this stuff and pick out anything that seems useful," Kay said.  "I'm going to talk with the guy as the counter."

Alex nodded, already lost in the display.

Kay strolled to the front of the store and leaned on the counter.  "Nice to see you again, Ray," she said.

He showed her his teeth.  "You too, Kay.  Keeping busy?"

"Oh yes.  I have a new job already."

"Sounds boring," he said.

"Thrilling, actually," Kay said with a shake of her head.  "It's even more exciting than my old job."

His eyebrows raised fractionally.  "Well, that's something.  I hope it pays well."

"Well enough," she agreed.  "It's a fun place.  My boss even taught me a new fold for paper airplanes."

"I'd like to see that."

"Sure," Kay said.  She fished a bill out of her pocket, keeping her thumb over the first digit, and quickly folded it so that only the row of zeroes showed, her phone number hidden inside the creases.

"Niiiiice," Ray said, "but will it fly?"

Kay flicked the paper airplane smartly into the air, hitting him in the chest.  "Like a bird," she said.

Ray closed his hand around it as it fell, then casually slipped it into his pocket.  "That's a neat trick.  I like your boss," he said.

"So do I, and I've been asked to help with the home decorating, so I want to make sure the results are up to standard," said Kay.

"I might know someone who's into that," Ray said.  "I'll put you in touch.  Ready to check out?"

"As soon as we finish with the electronics, yes," said Kay.  "We've picked up the smalls for you to scan.  Quantities and large packages are on this list."  She slid a piece of paper across the counter.

"No problem.  I'll get the boys in back started on packing up your order," said Ray.

Alex trundled up with her shopping cart, the top layer a precarious wobble of electronics laid over Kay's far more secure packing.  "I'm done," she said.  "You?"

"Done," Kay said.  Half an hour later, the pickup truck was full and they were ready to leave. 

"Does this mean we can skip the trip to the gun store?" Alex said.

"No, but it does mean I only need to pick up a few things there.  I've got a contact for some supplies that are actually suited to holding off an attempted invasion," said Kay.  "This and the gun store will just give us a good head start in case something exciting happens before we finish stocking the Ring properly."

"And yet you are smiling," Alex said.

"It's Christmas," Kay said, grinning at the pile of packages.

"Happy holidays," Alex said agreeably.

"So ... can I have a Snoopy for my birthday?" Kay said.

"No."

It's the only time Alex has said no  to Kay, at least regarding weapons.  Kay sighed and nodded.  She was relatively certain she could talk Alex into letting her have a suitcase nuke eventually ... as long as Kay promised to detonate it in someone else's dimension.

Tags: fiction, reading, schrodinger's heroes, science fiction, weblit, writing
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