10 After the beep

Spin balance cover picture

After the beep



You know who this is


 Something’s come up

I'm on it


 I have to go right now


 I’ll fill you in later

If it pans out




Back in the hunt


As he hangs up the phone

Randall realizes his thoughts

are on the adventure before him

instead of the unfortunate allure

of his counterpart


This is a necessary and

much welcome evolution

resulting in a calm

in the face of the storm


Imminent danger

within the sister storm

of righting all of this with Susan

hasn't caught up with him yet


You take each turn as it comes




Logan airport, Boston


 Enterprise rental kiosk


 Yes please


 I need a car to be waiting

When I get to Minneapolis


 Yes I understand that

But I want to rent it here ok?



Here’s my card


 Can we be quick please?

My flight leaves soon


 Three or four days

Whatever you have available is fine


 Can we keep the card open?


 And it will be there?


 Perfect thank you




The address is wrong!


 Minneapolis airport at the car

Lydia enters the passenger side


 Uh huh they both are

Cities are switched

Zips are correct


 55114 is Saint Paul

I mapped it last night

On the internet


 Public Storage



 That makes sense

Do they have names?



 Public Storage



 Which one?






 Do you think the switch

Was intentional?



 Lightly veiled I’d say



 And the unit?



 I don’t know



 You don’t know?

Wow I wasn’t expecting that



 I’m not a psychic Sparks



 Recorders tickets

Secret meetings

Address switch?


 I was thinking 007

Jane Bond



 Efficient thought process

Deductive reasoning

Successive approximation

Common sense


 Ordinary assets

In my field


 And I should think yours Sparks



Is hardly a black art


 Though many fear it



 So all that deductive reasoning


 What does it tell you Dr. Carnegie

About which storage units?



 Making light of my doctorate?


 Did you do that to Jonathan?


 It’s Lydia


 If that’s too difficult, try L



 You’re right I’m wrong

I’m sorry



 You may call me Dr. Carnegie

In a professional capacity

As a courtesy Sparks


 Do you mind me calling you Sparks?


 If so simply say so




I don’t mind Lydia





 As for which units

We’ll see when we get there



 That’s your deduction?



 No Sparks

That’s common sense


 Shall we be going?




Public Storage 1


 2516 Wabash Avenue

Saint Paul MN 55114

Late afternoon


 No fence

Plenty of cameras


 There’s no way to know



 Go through slow

Down the left row

Then back up the right


 Stop here


 Let me see your key

That makes sense


 Right there


 Unit 16 has two locks

Let's try the keys




 The roll-up door opens

dust and cobwebs

boxes stacked to the ceiling


 Near the door a smaller box)


 There’s a hard drive here

That’s all in this one



 Let’s check a large box



 It’s heavy like books or something

Maybe printer paper?



 Open it Sparks



 Computer punch cards

It's full of them


 There must be thousands here



 Let’s go


 Grab the box with the drive

And one of the cards



 On to the other unit?





 Let's get something to eat first




Public Storage 2


 3245 Hiawatha Avenue

Minneapolis MN 55406



 There it is

Unit 34 has two locks


 (She spies the box

as the roll-up door opens


 another hard drive

along with tons more data cards)



 Doesn’t this seem a bit too easy?



 You’re catching on Sparks


 It’s probably a trap

But it’s what we have



 Yeah but

We don’t know who’s trap



 If it matters that much

You can ask when we find them


 Maybe they have a suggestion box


 But we’re stuck for tonight Sparks

We have to move these boxes


 In the morning we’ll rent new units

Pick up some locks and a hand truck



 We’re moving the boxes?



 Actually, we’re hiding the boxes


 We can’t ask about the units

Without answering a lot of questions


 But we can rent our own units


 We’ll have the keys and they won’t

Problem solved




Two units


Sharing one name


With duplicate contents

In two separate cities


A distance not far


Was it redundancy?

Or more of the same?


Two keys and two locks

Open two different doors


From two packages posted

From far away shores


And a friend from the past

Who is living no more


Was the path to be trusted?


Were the locks enough rusted?


And ahead of the questions

Two thoughts spring to mind


Do they know we are here?

And was it too easy to find?




I find your efficiency



 It’s spooky that’s all


 It’s like you come up with answers

Before the questions



 It’s a game

Called ‘What’s that mean’


 More an exercise really


 Jonathan started it

Maybe we did


 It encourages thought cascade


 This is what happened


 How did it start?

And what does it mean?


 He’d say


 “Often it’s easier

To find the question to the answer

Than the answer to the question”


 This is what happened

So boxes become the answer


 How did it start?

Someone had to put them here


 It might have been Alan

We don’t know that, and he’s gone


 It could have been someone else


 So what does that mean?


 It follows that the boxes

Could soon be gone


 Until we know what we have


 We need to make sure

We don’t not know

What we’ve lost


 Or who else has access



 I’ll bet you’re scary at chess



 Don’t know never played




Randall watched


Lydia’s response in near disbelief


Her expression so impassive

no smile nor tell of jest




Was her intellect so beyond sport

or competition?


She seemed almost Civil




We need a room for tonight




 I have a girlfriend


 A fiancé

And she would not understand





In the same room



 Doesn’t she trust you?



 She trusts me



 Do you trust you?






 Does she have

A reason not to Sparks?



Something you’re not sharing?





(Randall is flushed and speechless)



 Cat got your tongue?


 Relax Sparks your secret’s safe



 My secret?


 I don’t have a secret!

Can we change the subject?



 (she pauses)


 Could be a problem

Admitting your weakness


 All this sensual tension



 (she smiles)



 I get it

This is a joke, right?







Lydia's Axiom


 Conan meets Kermit

for the first time ever


 Do you even know

Who you are Sparks?


 To begin with you’re a man


 Men love with their eyes first

They see life as conquest


 Women love with their minds first


 They see life as survival


 There are three genes

A woman looks for

In the DNA makeup of a man


 She wants to mate

With Conan the Barbarian


 Communicate with Kermit the frog


 While Barney the Dinosaur

Watches the children


 Men want to be Conan

Until something scares them


 Then they fall back to Kermit


 Women revere Conan


 But he cheats, he’s a pig

And he’s pointless to talk to


 Women want a man

That knows when

And how much to be each


 Men want a woman

Who doesn’t threaten them


 Someone they can be Conan around


 Your Conan

Follows shiny things Sparks


 While your Kermit defends home


 Kermit struggles with contradiction


 Conan doesn’t care




Love is a liability


 You were lying to yourself

And needed a tune up


 Trust requires truth

Now it’s real and honest


 I don’t need you to be my hero

My Conan died


 Real is better

And love is a liability



 She is not a liability!

And if she was I wouldn’t care



 You’re the liability Sparks

That’s why we must see this through



 We still need two rooms

She wouldn’t get this



 Does she have a name?



 Her name is Susan



 ‘She’ is a Conan thing Sparks



You should refer to her as Susan



 I never thought of it that way

But you’re right



 Well then Sparks


 There won’t be anything

For Susan to get, will there?


 We’ll just make sure

To keep your little virtue intact


 Right Kermit?




Tell her


 Does Susan know?



 Not yet




Risk doesn’t depend on knowledge


 Do you intend to tell her?



 I don’t know why I said that


 Yes she knows

Not every detail, but yes



 Does she know

About Jonathan’s death?



 She was at the funeral



 Does she know about me?



 She knows

I tried to speak with you

And I couldn’t



 Start there Sparks

Tell her I’m helping you


 Tell her

The cosmos dealt me bad


 It took everyone I loved

And now it’s dealt to you


 Tell her you can’t protect her

You want to but you can’t


 She needs to know


 Tell her the truth

How you feel about her


 Tell her like you told me


 Then let her decide

And respect her decision



 It seems easy when you say it



 It is easy Sparks


 It’s only difficult

If you think like a man


 That’s not your fault



 Easy now



 It’s true!




Betas work together


 Alphas compete



 But alphas protect



 Trust me Sparks


 The last thing you want to do

Is threaten a beta


 When betas turn alpha betas can kill



 So where do you fit in?



 I draw from each as I need to



 I can see that


 I’ve never put it together before

It’s direct and I like it



 You’re honest yourself Sparks

You might have some beta in you



 Thank you Lydia

 It sounds good when you say it



 You’re ok Sparks

I can see why Jonathan liked you



 So did he have some beta in him?



 No Jonathan was pure alpha

That’s what I loved about him


 Let’s find our rooms

And get some rest




Two rooms please


 Singles please, cash


 Just tonight

No wake up thanks


 Good night




Adjacent rooms


 You want 47 or 49?



 47’s fine Sparks



 Thoughts on tomorrow?



 Early start, eight ok?



 See you then