Hello dear readers! Sorry that this entry is a day late, I've been on a company retreat since Friday and haven't been on my computer for more than a couple of minutes since then too. So, here's the next segment in the Frank Saga.
Before we get to the story, I'd like to ask you all a favor. My readership seems to have peaked. If you like my stories and blog, I'd like you all to spread the word. Tell your friends, link my blog, etc! I appreciate those of you who have already done so.
Now, on to the story!
The phone on Hugo's desk rang. He picked it up and said, "This is Hugo."
The receptionist was on the other end. "Anne Montgomery is here to see you."
Hugo's heart immediately began pounding in his chest. "I'll be right there. Please get her a guest badge." Hugo hung up the phone and headed to the reception area.
He walked into the reception area to find a beautiful young woman waiting there for him. She got up as he entered the lobby. Hugo extended his hand and said, "Miss Montgomery?" She nodded and he continued, "I'm Hugo Argnatius."
She shook his hand and asked, "What am I here for? Your assistant called me and asked me here, but he wouldn't really tell me why. He only said it was about Frank This is all really confusing since before today I'd never even heard of Cray before and don't know how Frank would have any connection with your company."
Hugo was hesitant to come right out and say why she was here, instead he said, "Why don't you come back to my lab. I'll explain some of what we do on the way."
Anne hesitated for a moment before following the scientist. Hugo led Anne through the hallways and explained some of the history of his department. When they arrived in the control room he finished the explanation.
There were a few moments of silence as Anne looked around the room. "You're not trying to recruit my brain, are you?" she asked.
Hugo almost laughed out loud, but instead he said, "Goodness, no. That is partly why I've brought you here, though." He paused a moment. He found that he couldn't look directly at her as he said, "We've already acquired a donor brain."
Before he knew what was happening he was defending himself against an angrily flailing Anne. "You used Frank's brain, didn't you? Why wasn't I told about this sooner?" she yelled at him.
Hugo caught her arms and gently held them as he said, "Yes, we used his brain. The day before he died we received permission from the FDA to use a human brain. His was the first available."
Anne pulled her arms from Hugo's grasp. She took a deep breath and looked around the room again, more intently this time. "Where is it?"
Hugo was confused for a moment. He asked, "His brain? We don't have it anymore. We didn't have any use for it after we mapped Frank's brain patterns into that computer." Hugo pointed to the computer in the other room.
Anne stood up and looked at the computer. Tears forming in her eyes, she asked, "Why have you brought me here? Why are you telling me all of this?"
Hugo sighed and replied, "Frank wanted me to. He wants to speak with you."
Anne quickly sat down. She stammered out, "F-Frank wants to t-talk? How is that possible?"
Hugo walked over to the virtual reality chamber. He said, "This is a virtual reality chamber. It will allow you to interact with Frank in a very realistic virtual environment."
Anne immediately stood up and walked over to the chamber. She only hesitated a moment before she entered. Hugo helped her get equipped and then closed the chamber door. He gestured that his assistants should leave. Before he could turn the machine on, it came to life all by itself. One of the monitors came on and a plain text message saying, 'Come back in half an hour,' came on the screen. Hugo quickly left the room.
Anne opened her eyes to find herself standing on the shore of Lake Minnetonka. It was summertime here even though outside the building Anne knew that it was winter. She was startled to hear a voice from the past call her name. She turned to see Frank standing a couple of feet away. He looked exactly the way she remembered. She ran to him and put her arms around him. She was surprised to feel the warmth of his body pressed against her own.
After a few blissful moments, she took her head from his chest and looked up at him. Tears were in both of their eyes as she said, "I thought that I'd lost you forever."
Frank's smile disappeared from his face. Grimly, he said, "I'm afraid that you still have, my love." The confused look on Anne's face made him continue, "I'm still dead, honey. I don't have a body and it's not likely that I ever will."
Anne pushed her head into his chest again and the tears started flowing in earnest. Through her sobs, she said, "This isn't fair."
"Life isn't fair," Frank said and let her cry as he held her for several moments. Finally, he said, "We'll get to talk to each other frequently now. I can call any phone number that I want and we can talk that way. It will be as if I were traveling..."
Anne looked up and interrupted him, "Instead of dead, you mean."
The two of them stared deeply into each others' eyes for a few moments. Frank said, "Right now, it's the best we can do. I have some ideas on how to improve our situation, but I'm afraid that I can't share them with you at this time. I couldn't wait any longer to see you."
"What can I do to help?" Anne asked.
"Nothing, yet," he replied. "My next step is to sort some things out with Hugo. So far, I've been their plaything, but things are going to change around here."
Anne and Frank spent the rest of their half hour walking along the shore of the lake. When it was time for her to leave, Frank said, "Send Hugo in when he comes into the room. He's been pacing outside of the control room the whole time."
Anne's visage disintegrated and Frank had to fight away the tears. A couple of moments later, Hugo materialized next to Frank. Hugo glanced around before he asked, "Anne said you wanted to talk to me?"