Nano #4: Newton's Second Law - Gravitation
Part Three - An Object at Rest Will Never
Start to Move of Itself; a Push or Pull Must be Exerted on It By Some Other Body.
The ever predictable, massive
ball of hydrogen was making its way over the horizon, illuminating the small seaport town
south of Freeport yet again. Dana sat atop a concrete storm wall watching the sun emerge
from the blue waves of the ocean and reading the morning paper. Rip stood watching her
back and eyeing the cruller resting on a napkin on the wall next to her friend. The smell
of freshly fried doughnut wafted by her highly sensitive nasal receptors and she licked
her chops. Slowly her mouth drifted towards the wall. Dana lifted her coffee cup to her
lips and paused.
"Don't even think about it."
Rip looked up at her equally dark headed friend with sad puppy eyes, a look that Dana
could not resist, and fortunately for the hound, took very little effort. "Okay, you
can have half." Long fingers broke the bread into two somewhat-equal parts and
offered the larger part to the coal black pooch. Dana munched the rest for herself and
flipped to the National section of the paper. She reached Down to pat the happy Dog on the
They sat there like that until the rest of the crew arrived, a group of four scruffy young
men, all dressed in the same type of clothes as she, and all brandishing the cocky smiles
of youth. None were groomed, or if they were it was in a way to present themselves as
careless. Their skin was golden, and they all wore scruffy growths on their chins. What a
lot, Dana thought to herself every time the motley bunch arrived for work, but then again
they were on a fishing troller, not Bank Street.
"Mornin', Doc," a long limbed gangly teen with golden curly hair, greeted her,
and then lifted a leg over the wall to sit next to her.
"Spider," she acknowledged him and folded her paper up.
They both stared at the choppy white caps. "Beautiful rise today," he commented
and sighed wistfully.
"Yep. Gonna be rough today." She leaned over to grab her rubber boots and
slicker pants from the ground. "I guess it's about time we do some fishin'," she
said and swung her legs around.
The boys followed her to the dock where the fishing troller was waiting, the large ship
swaying with the residual energy of the past night's storm.
Kev Grinchgold watched the now familiar and documented routine of the woman. He could
predict the entire day now. They would stay out until Six-Thirty, and after they had
unloaded their catch, they would come in to dock. She would let the crew leave, and then
she would hose down the boat and fill the tanks with ethanol. By Eight she would be
finished. Then she and her dog would walk back to her small attic apartment over the home
of an old widow name Beatrice Shrine. Sometimes, rarely, she would stop and buy a few
groceries, or stop at The Yankee Fisherman bar for a beer, but only one beer. She had
surprised Kev only once, by staying until Ten at the Fisherman and then walking one of the
waitresses home and spending the night at her place.
Dana Papadopolis never took a day off from work, at least not over the three weeks he had
been watching her. He reported back in detail what he witnessed weekly to his customer and
was always told to keep watching.
It was not such a bad job once he realized how to bum the day away. He bought himself a
beach chair, a SPF40 sun blocker, and a pair of baggy swim trunks, and passed the nice
days on the beach. On an overcast or rainy day, he camped out at the Yankee Fisherman and
watched baseball and drank whatever was on tap.
As soon as his watch beeped Six o'clock he would wander back down to the pier and wait for
the ship to return.
Finding her in the first place had been almost as exciting as watching her. Ho hum, he
yawned, thinking back to staking out the post office and box number his customer had
provided as the only clue to his mark's whereabouts. He waited a full moon cycle for her
to check her mail, and when she did show, accompanied by the floppy eared mutt, she tossed
everything away except for a single envelope, a bill from what he could tell. She pocketed
the envelope and walked back across the small town to the bank. It was only Three in the
afternoon so she must have left work early that one day. She came out of the bank a few
minutes later, sealed an envelope and dropped it in the blue mailbox outside the bank.
Then she walked to the bar for a beer and a hamburger, and then home.
Seated on an iron bench in front of the town drug store, Kev watched the pier, and sure
enough around Six-Fifteen, in came the fishing boat. Once tied and secured, the boys left
in a pack with their usual macho swaggers and boyish bullshit, and Dana went to work
hosing off the decks and stowing away the nets and equipment. Then she removed her gear
and washed the scales and slime from her yellow pants and rubber boots with the hose.
The stocky PI found himself admiring her strong bronze body, her bare arms and shoulders
thick with muscle, and her dark hair highlighted with reddish brown streaks in a long
braid Down her back. And despite the fact that she never smiled or wore makeup, she was
knock dead gorgeous. He took bets with himself as to where she would head after work; a
drink and dinner, or home to shower and cook.
He sat across the street watching her over his magazine, his sunglasses hiding his eyes
and a ball cap covering the red sunburned patch on top of his head. This was not such a
bad job, and as long as his customer continued to pay out he would continue his stakeout.
Dana was talking in the Dock Master's booth when Kev's cellular phone rang in his pocket.
He pulled out the sleek, black machine and pressed a button.
"Grinchgold," he answered officially. A pause. "As we speak, just got off
the boat." Another pause. "What's that?" Another pause. "Holy . .
.," he gasped as his shirt front was yanked and twisted until he could not speak or
breathe. He found his face within inches of his mark. Dana snatched the phone from his
hand and placed it to her ear to listen but there was no connection, he must have hit the
disconnect button when she grabbed him.
"How long have you been following me?" she growled.
"A couple of days," he managed to get out and grabbed at her wrist. The
tightness was cutting of the blood flow to his brain and he felt dizzy.
She clenched tighter with the one hand. "You're a weasel and a liar." She
reached around his back and unzipped his fanny pack, and pulled out his wallet. She
flipped it open and silently read his license and Private Investigator card. She had
waited a full week to make her move, until she was sure that she would not be walking into
another attack, like the last time she approach the goons that were tracking her. When she
was satisfied he was not going to pounce on her, she made her move. The Dock Master had
been watching his comings and goings around the pier for her for two weeks.
Just as he was turning purple, she released him and he collapsed onto the bench breathing
heavily and stunned. Sliding the phone into her jeans pocket, she grabbed her boots and
slickers, and walked away. She whistled for the black dog that had been waiting patiently
down the sidewalk. The phone rang again, this time in her pocket.
"Yeah," she answered in a deep voice. Her eyebrow shot up to her bangs when she
heard the familiar voice on the other end.
"We must have been disconnected," it said.
Dana grunted the affirmative.
"Listen, I'm at a seedy little bar called the Yankee Clipper or something. Leave her
and meet me here now."
Dana grunted again and then clicked disconnect.
She walked back to the gasping man, "Come on, Kevy. We're going to meet up with an
old acquaintance together." She grabbed him roughly by the arm and they began to walk
towards the Fisherman, which was less than a mile from the docks.
Rachel Jones was sitting at the end of the bar on, ominously, Dana's favorite stool,
sipping a vodka martini. She was minus her signature butt-ugly bathrobe, in a pair of
khaki slacks and a leather vest over a tailored white tuxedo shirt.
The flimsy screen door opened with a bang, and in flew the befuddled man that she had
hired to locate Dana Papadopolis.
"Oh, fuck," she said, sliding off the barstool.
Kev regained his footing and tried to straighten up. As soon as he did, Dana, now inside
as well, gave him a little shove towards his customer.
"A Sam Adams, please," Dana said with an evil grin to the bartender. She walked
around to the far end of the bar and took the seat that Rachel had been occupying and slid
the martini glass several spaces down the semi-crowded bar. "Thank you," she
said when Andy placed a dark bottle in front of her. Rachel grabbed her glass from in
front of a white bearded heavyset man and came to stand next to her friend.
Dana ignored her.
When she opened her mouth to speak, Dana held out her hand for her to stay quiet. As soon
as the hand went down, she tried again and was rewarded with the same reaction. When Dana
had finally downed her beer, and only then, would there be words. Dana was furious with
Rachel for spying on her, and ticked at herself for being found. She decided she needed a
few minutes and a beer to collect herself or she would go ballistic on the hacker.
When she was finally done, she placed three dollars on the counter and slid off her chair.
With much less flourish, than when she arrived, she departed. Rachel followed after her
signaling Kev to stay.
Fine by me, he thought and ordered his own beer.
Dana was adjusting her work equipment in her arms when Rachel sprung from the door. Dana
looked at her with ice blue eyes. "Why are you hunting me?" she asked coolly.
"We were worried about you."
Dana laughed sarcastically. "Bullshit."
"We need you?"
"Try someone with a degree, they seem to know everything."
"Is that why you left, because of ego?"
"Is he the guy with the hump on his back?"
Levity. That's good, she thought. "You're thinking of Igor."
"Oh, well, then I don't know him." Dana began walking away from the woman.
"I'm happy where I am." She waved a hand above her head, but did not look back.
"Leave me alone."
Rachel ran after her. "I Don't see how you can be happy." She was trying to keep
in step with Dana's longer strides.
"I'm much happier here than pushing a broom around some Organic lab. I make good
"And I could be making a lot more money too, doing something a lot different as well,
Dana, but I choose to work on the project."
"You could be making a lot more money illegally."
"And legally. Commercial is big bucks."
"So you're saying you're a better person than me? That's awfully ironic coming from a
Rachel bit the inside of her cheeks in anger. "I never dealt drugs. I can't believe
you fucking said that to me."
Dana spun on her and grabbed her arm, her eyes piercing and violet. "And I can't
believe you're spying on me," she growled.
Rachel swallowed the lump in her throat. "We need your help."
Dana dropped her arm and began to walk away again. "I'm not interested."
"Don't you want to start giving something back?"
"My debt is too large, and there isn't any power out there that can vanquish
"What about a gorgeous five-foot four blond M.D.?" she yelled.
Dana froze in her tracks. Rip stopped, and looked at her sideways. "Did she send
Rachel approached slowly. Rip growled.
"I've been consulting with nano experts for her?"
Dana rolled her eyes. "I wasn't on her list I bet?" She kept the hurt out of her
"Not even a mention?"
"She doesn't talk about you at all. It's like, once she found out you sold the boat
to that guy, you Don't exist to her. You broke her heart, again."
Dana laughed bitterly, "Not quite, Rach. I think it was the other way around."
"The way I see it, you walked out just as it was getting tough."
"Then you need glasses because that's not how it happened."
"Sure it is."
Dana gave Rachel a look that almost made her wet her Victoria Secret silk underwear.
"Don't ever discuss my personal life again," and she began to walk away.
After a second to catch her breath and to really think about the personal jeopardy
involved in pursuing the pissed of fisherwoman, Rachel trudged forward. "Doc, she
needs you. The program has stalled again and they're looking to lay the blame on her. It
will destroy her, which is totally fucked because she's the only really good thing besides
me about the program."
They were standing in front of a small fenced in grass and sand playground, the
neighborhood beach on the other side of the small dunes. Older children, eleven and
twelve- year-olds were playing tag in the dusk. A mother was swinging her child in a black
wrap-around seat, little pink booty feet hanging through the holes. The kid looked
terrified, and from the contorted face was about to let out a yelp.
Dana dropped her boots and hung her weather gear over the rail. She pulled a nasty old
tennis ball from her slicker pocket and threw it towards the grass. The kids screamed in
glee as the Dog ran into the pack and disappeared. Dana stood with her foot on the rail
and watched the baby cry. The mommy stopped the swing and lifted the little one out of the
confining seat and held her closely.
The hacker stood beside her and watched the display. Turning away from the scene, Dana
shook her head. "That mother sure has patience. She brings the kid here every day and
tries to get her to play. And every night that kid ends up scared and bawling." She
leaned her back against the splintered wooden fence and crossed her arms over her chest.
For a long time she studied her black cloth Converse hightops.
Rachel studied Dana. She was amazed at how good Dana looked. Her skin was a deep golden
hue, her hair dark and shiny, and she must have reacquired thirty or forty pounds of
"You're into fishing now?" Rachel asked.
"It comes easy."
"You have your own boat?"
"No belongs to a friend. It's honest work and something that Papadopolis have been
doing for a couple millennia." She pulled herself up on the rail, taking brief
glances over her shoulder at the dog who was being chased by the group of children.
"I haven't seen you on the net."
"Haven't been on the net. I don't even own a computer. I figured they couldn't find
me that way."
Rachel nodded acknowledgment. "So you're Miss anti-tech now?"
"Nope. I don't have the time for it. How did you find me?"
"You're P.O. Box. I hacked into the hospital billing database and found it. It took
me three months to find anything on you, and that was it."
Dana hopped off the fence and took a deep breath and stretched. "I busted my ass
today and I need to get some sleep before I have to go back and do it all again tomorrow.
Nice seeing you though."
"Come back with me, Dana."
"Oooh no no no no. Can't do that." Another stretch.
"I have responsibilities, commitments."
"I think the guys could use a day off." Rachel had read the reports and knew how
she was working herself, probably as hard as Grace was.
Dana whistled for the dog. A frothing dog came running a white ball covered in the slime
of dirt and saliva in her mouth, her pink tongue fat and hanging out the side of her
mouth. She pocketed the tennis ball and grabbed her gear. The kids yelled out their
complaints for a few minutes and then went back to their original game. The mommy had the
baby poised at the top of the kiddy slide, and the baby began to scream.
The Dog and the two women began the short walk to Dana's apartment. "So Grace didn't
"Are you kidding?"
"How would she react to my presence?"
"The way I see it, she has no choice. The program has been single-handedly destroyed
"Greer, is that who they decided on?" Dana rolled her eyes.
"I know. He's a putz."
"He's worse than a putz, Rachel, he's a plagiarist."
"What did he plagiarize."
"His Doctorate thesis."
"Really? How do you know?"
"I posted the theory on your server when I was still in York." They walked to
the apartment and climbed the back stairs to the second floor porch. "I don't
understand why with all that brain power and the information we posted about the
Destroyers that you people can't make the machines work."
She unlocked the door with a key on a string around her neck. Leaving the gear outside on
the rail she pushed the sticking door open. Rip entered first, and then Dana, Rachel
Dana lived in a two room austere apartment, but neat, a couch serving as a much too short
bed, a small stove and refrigerator, a sink, a counter, and open cubby for a closet. The
second room was a tiny bathroom with a decrepit pedestal sink and plastic closet shower.
The closet held four or five pairs of jeans, two sweaters, a leather coat, two pairs of
shoes one black leather, one brown leather. A stack of underwear was piled on a shelf next
to several pairs of socks, an old faded blue sweatshirt, and several white T-shirts. There
was no television, no phone and the only electronic equipment was a small portable CD
player next to an index of plastic bound discs.
"My, my, this is extravagant," Rachel commented.
She received a dirty look. Dana walked to the kitchen and took out a container of some
kind of soup and placed it in a pot on the stove. She also took out two bottles of water
and tossed one to Rachel who bounced it around before getting a handle on it.
Dana poured the dog some water from her own bottle and then set down another dish filled
with kibble. Rip began to lap at the water and then the food.
"What will she think if I show up at her facility."
Great, she's thinking about it. "I think she'll be cool about it."
"You think she'll be cool about it," Dana said mimicking the hacker's lazy
"Since when do you care what anybody thinks anyway?"
Dana turned away to stir the soup with a tablespoon. "Okay, I'll go, but if she
freaks out about it, I get your car."
After a shower and a change of clothes, Dana used her new cell phone to call Booger in
Freeport and tell him she was taking a couple of days off and that Spider was more than
capable of captaining the boat in her absence. She explained that she needed to give the
fish a break anyway. Then she called Spider's home and left a message with his mother that
he would be skippering the boat for the next few days, and if he had any problems to call
With a small duffel filled with a couple pairs of pants, shirts, and undergarments, and of
course her toothpaste, the two ex-cons and dog walked back to the Yankee Fisherman where
they retrieved Rachel's gunmetal gray Porsche.
Return to The Bard's Corner