CM1.01 - Jack In, Already

Don't think of him as pedantic. Don't think of him as fastidious. Don't even think of him as a sometime Zen philosopher who's too full of himself.

He gets enough of that from his students, usually in quite audible stage whispers. To wit:

"Geez. Why doesn't he just shut up and get on with it? Jack in, already!"

"Give it a rest."

"He should quit yakkin' and--"

"This is one of the best frackin' runners there is, and he's the best one who'll let you get a look at 'im, much less be willing to teach you anything. Shut up and pay attention."

The Wilson Memorial Academy had crested to an all-time high of five students. And Habeas Punter, self-styled "Headmaster," was getting good money for making a fool of himself in front of these soulless infants. He could take it most of the time, but every now and then it nettled him.

"All right, kids." (He smiled inside. They hated it when he called them "kids.") "How would you like to get a look at a real live AI? Or a real one, anyway. This will be a milk run, as they say. Just a little swing through enemy territory. A sort of reconnaisance mission. Our 'opponent,' shall we say, is busy with many matters this morning, and won't mind us taking a look at one of their longtime data forts. It will make a nice field trip for us. Mateo, let's have you join me in the Sidecar. The rest of you can watch the screen from Mat's POV." Sometimes Punter simpered when he used jargon. He was aware of this fault in himself; it was one of the reasons for his deliberate use of precise language. He hated simpering.

"How come he always gets to go first?"

"Frankly, my dear," said Punter coldly, "he pays more than anyone else."

No, don't think of him as a pedant. Deep down inside, he's really in it for the money.

Just like the rest of us.

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