A Walk in the Rain

by Royce Day



SUBJECTS: #1 Robert Namatjira (Ident#: 554-645-0013). #2 Martina Bolivar (Ident#: 331-734-0002)

SUPERVISING OFFICER: Captain Maryanne N'binja (Ident# 844-001-7382)

LOCATION: Junction of Mariner Ave. and 24th St.

SURVEILLANCE UNITS: Traffic Flow Cameras #33A + 33B, Pedestrian Flow Cameras #1236B, 4578E & 4190Q, LR Aerostat Survey #4, SR Hover Survey #11284327.

BACKGROUND: Subject #1 witness to ARES level event (specific details classified ARES MAGNUS). Surveillance ordered on Subject #1 to determine his prior level of awareness of situation.

NOTES: Addendum attached.

START TIME: 0214, 03-12-2148

ACTIVITY: Robert Namatjira (RN) arrives at corner, shortly after being released from interrogation by VCS officers, and meets with Martina Bolivar (MB).

RN: Hey, Martina.

MB: Bob! Are you okay? Why couldn't you tell me anything when you called?

RN: I'm okay. Just, um, tired.

MB: You don't even have an umbrella! What's the matter with you?

RN: Nothing. I'm fine. Just tired, that's all. Um, and fired too.

MB: What?

RN: I got fired from my job today. I can't talk about it.

MB: What do you mean? I heard there was a security alert at the airport. Has that got anything to do with it?

RN: [LAUGHS] Oh, yeah. You could say that. I was right in the middle of it.

MB: Was anyone hurt?

RN: No. no. It was just-- It was the weirdest thing that'll ever happen to me in my life, I think.

MB: Get under my umbrella, would you? We can walk over to the cafe and get a coffee.

ACTIVITY: RN & MB begin walking NW, towards the Drowned Goddess Coffehaus.

ACTIVITY: Two minutes of silence.

MB: Talk to me, Bob. Please?

RN: I can't. The whole thing is classified. I mean really classified, not just labeled so my idiot super can file it away and not worry about it anymore. [SIGHS] You shouldn't even be near me right now, I'm probably poison.

MB: Was it a Martian? Did the detector finally catch one?

ACTIVITY: RN begins laughing. This continues for thirty seconds.

MB: What's so funny? Bob, stop it, you're scaring me!

RN: [STOPS LAUGHING] I'm sorry, I'm sorry. It's just funny, that's all.

MB: It was a Martian, wasn't it? Did the detector catch it?

RN: Not exactly.

MB: What do you mean?

RN: I can't... I really can't... Oh, hell, I may as well tell you. It's not like there wouldn't be free food in jail anyway. The Martian detector was a Martian.

MB: What?

RN: It was a Martian, a Martian robot. I'd stood behind my console for over four years, looking right at the thing, and all that time it was staring right back at me. Then this evening it got a hair up its robotic [EXPLETIVE] and decided it wanted to quit.

MB: Quit? How could it quit?

RN: Simple. It just broke into pieces, floated up in the air and flew off. God only knows to where.

MB: Goddess! Did it do anything else? Did it try to hurt anyone?

RN: No. It was actually kinda polite. It even talked to me. I guess that's what really got me in trouble. The silvers couldn't believe that I was as surprised as they were when it talked to me. They're convinced we were involved in some kind of conspiracy to let Martians through.

MB: Oh, no. What did it say to you exactly?

RN: It said, "It's been nice working with you, Bob. I hope Martina says--" Um.

MB: "I hope Martina says--" what? Why would it say anything to you about me. You didn't really talk to it, did you? What did it mean?

RN: No, I didn't talk to it! It must have been listening to what everyone was saying around it. Just office jabber.

MB: But what did it mean, when it mentioned me?

RN: It's not important anymore.


MB: Bob, you can't stop there! What were you hoping I was going to-- Oh.

RN: It's not important anymore. Look, Martina, you have to stop seeing me, we have to stop talking to each other. The silvers are convinced I've been in on a conspiracy to let Martians onto Venus for the past four years. Anybody near me is going to fall under suspicion as well. That means you too, Martina.

MB: I'm not going to stop seeing you just because the VCS has got a hair up its [EXPLETIVE]. I love you, Bob.

RN: I love you too. I want-- I wanted to-- [SIGHS] Like I said I'm poison right now, Martina. I've probably got the silvers monitoring me, I've been taken in for interrogation, I've got no job and no employer is going to touch me right now. I can't ask you, ask anything of you, right now. Maybe-- No. You need to see other people. Anyone but me. I'm not good for you, Martina, I'm not.

MB: I don't care if you're good for me or not.

RN: I do.

MB: Bob, listen to me. I don't care. I love you. And the answer is yes.

RN: But I didn't ask--

MB: It's still yes.

ACTIVITY: They kiss, and then enter the cafe.

END SURVEILLANCE: 0234, 03-12-2148


TO: Col. Dmitri Suyahar

FROM: Captain Maryanne N'Binja


Sir, it is with the greatest regret that I tender my resignation. After watching this surveillance report and noting the probable direction this investigation is taking, I can safely say I've had it up to my expletive with this job. Mr. Namatjira is no more involved in a conspiracy with the Martians than I'm the Goddess Athena. He's just the poor slob that was manning the console when the Martian detector, which was built by a Venusian company, decided to fly off. But rather than investigate that embarrassing bit of contractor fraud, we're going to focus our investigation on one innocent bystander, wasting thousands of tax dollars and mega-hours of VCS officer time.

To Hell with it. Let the Martians take over the planet if they want. It can't possibly make things any MORE screwed up around here.