Busted Axle Road
Chapter 111

Copyright© 1993, 2001, 2010

One of the things that had bothered Heather the most about Spearfish Lake had been the inaction. She had trouble doing nothing, and it caused her trouble. However, when the time came for action, there wasn't much that could slow her down.

John was waiting when she got back to her apartment, still coatless and shivering, but mad enough not to notice. "Where have you been?" he asked, a little concerned.

"John, can I borrow your computer?" she asked, ignoring his concern. "I've got to download some files from the mainframe, and the modem isn't real fast. I want to work on some of the files while others are being downloaded."

"I take it you saw the article in the Record-Herald, then," he said. "I saw it in the store."

"Lies," she said, "It's all lies. I can prove it from our own files."

It was clear to John that the idyllic weekend was over with. This was the fanatic side of Heather. Maybe the sweet and loving side could be resurrected sometime, but it wouldn't be today. "Sure," he said. "I'll have to have it back by the time school starts."

"Let's go get it," she said.

"We'd better get your car, while we're at it," John said.

"OK," she said in passing, getting in the car. "Floppies. I'm going to need lots of floppies. I've got a lot of data to download."

"I've got a few you can have," John replied as he got in and started the car. "Maybe eight or ten."

"That won't even get me started. I'm going to dump the whole mainframe. It'll take time to do, but it'll be quicker in the long run."

John flipped a nickel in his mind. It was worth going to a fair amount of trouble, just on the chance that Heather might be willing to play again, some time in the future. The weekend had been intense, a world away from quickies with reformed softball players. It had been a long time since he'd experienced anything even close. And what Heather could do with her mouth! It was worth a fair amount of trouble, indeed, just to experience that again. "They'll be enough to get you started," he said. "While you're getting started, I'll hunt you up some more. I can drive down to Camden if I have to."

She leaned over for a quick kiss. "John, you're sweet," she said. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

It took a few minutes to load John's 286, new the summer before, into the car, along with the monitor and printer, but in a few minutes more, it was set up and running in her apartment. "There's about 30 megabytes open on the hard drive," he said. "If you run out of disks before I get back, copy them onto the hard drive."

"Hang on a minute," she said. "Let me find out how many we're going to need." She plugged the phone wire into the laptop, booted it up, and accessed the mainframe in the Defender's office. A quick check of the system operator files gave her the amount of data loaded, as John looked over her shoulder.

"That's a lot of damn data," he commented. "It's going to take you a couple of days to download it over a modem."

Heather did a little math in her head. "Nobody's likely to notice, over the New Year's weekend," she said. "I'll need at least eighty low-density three and a halfs. Better get a hundred, just to be on the safe side."

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