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by James Killus
Category: Science Fiction/Suspense/Thriller
Description: A smog researcher dies, and a monster is born of human nature, atmospheric poisons, and the twisted spirits of the air. To combat this evil incarnation the heroes must bring to bear the forces of science, magic, and computers. There is time for fun and love and some pre-cyberpunk computational terror in this exciting book.
eBook Publisher: Hidden Knowledge, 1985
eBookwise Release Date: May 2005
4 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [228 KB]
Reading time: 142-198 min.
I Love L.A. * * * *
The pentagram on the CRT cast phosphor green-light into the room, and made his face look sickly and gaunt. The only other illumination was provided by the scented candle, which perched upon the fossil skull in the corner. The only sounds came from the rattle of coils in the small refrigerator and the occasional hiss of the coffee pot.
He arose abruptly, his movements jerky and agitated. He yawned and stretched, then shook himself convulsively. He stepped over to the refrigerator and opened it. It was nearly barren, but he found a candy bar in the freezer. He unwrapped it, crammed several mouthfuls down his throat, then washed it down with bitter coffee. He opened a vial of amphetamines from his pocket, took three, and washed those down with coffee also.
He returned to the terminal, sat down, and began to type.
EXECUTION TRACE: SMOGMOD IV
FAST FOURIER ADAPTIVE CYCLE TECHNIQUE
PARAMETER SEARCH; STOICHIOMETRY
1A INVALID MASS BALANCE; CARBON
1B INVALID MASS BALANCE; UNPAIRED OXYGEN
2A NEGATIVE CONCENTRATION DETECTED
2B IN EXECUTION
Run 2B finished as he watched. These things were taking too long and not leading in the direction he'd hoped. He sighed. Maybe this next trick would work. He typed:
For a moment his hands felt sticky, as if someone had spilled warm syrup on the keyboard. He looked at his hands and was briefly startled to see them covered with blood. Then he realized that the sun had risen and that, to his CRT-bleary eyes, everything seemed red in the dawning light. He hit RETURN.
The pain in his chest came suddenly, giving him no chance to cry out. He died immediately, slumping forward so that his hands pushed forward into the scarlet morning light.
The day was June 6. It was six A.M. The monster's birth had no living witness.