Gone Away ~ The journal of Clive Allen in America

Sir Gawain and the Dragon 6
(to read the first episode, click here)
Sir Gawain was disappointed to find the Geek's chair unoccupied when he arrived at the Assignment Room. Glancing at the system clock, the knight saw that it was lunchtime. The Geek would not be back for half an hour yet.

His absence was unfortunate but would give Gawain plenty of time to read the encrypted email and consider some plan of action from there. Quickly he scanned the work station for intruders and found nothing. Then, moving to the desktop, he took out the box and the copied key. With the key inserted, the box unfolded like a flower opening its petals, electrons glowing and settling into a pattern. Inside, there nestled a message and the knight bent forward to read.



What's taking so long? Miasmasoft should be installed by now. We have the destroyer program up and running and can send it anytime but it MUST have Miasmasoft to function.

"We shall overcome"


Gawain stared at the message. He read the word "destroyer"again and knew that this was what he and the Geek needed, if only they could find a way to get it to the right people. But who or what was PADCI? If he could find that out, it must be the clincher, the last piece of the jigsaw, that would put matters beyond doubt.

He hit the OmniBase search engine initiator and entered "PADCI" into the query field. In seconds a long list of possible sites appeared, nearly six hundred of them. Gawain hunted through them as fast as he could. It seemed that "padci" was a word in Slovenian but none of the early sites were connected in any way to the work of the Company. He scanned through the list, becoming despondent as, one after another, they proved unlikely candidates.

It was the final entry that hit the jackpot.


Positive Action for the Destruction of Corporate Imperialism. Alleged underground group intending violent action against multinational corporations but no definite evidence submitted. Category: rumor.

Sir Gawain stood transfixed as the pieces of the puzzle fell suddenly into place. A terrorist group, the new programmer must be a member of this shadowy terrorist group. This must explain everything. Andy would have been trained hastily as a programmer and then inserted into the Company through his relationship to the CEO. And it would not matter that Mordred was completely unsuited to his task as a defender for he would never perform as such. It was now clear why there was such a drive towards installation of the Miasmasoft system as well; whatever this destroyer program was, it needed that operating system to ride upon.

But there was one small piece of the puzzle that would not fit. Gawain's eyes narrowed as he realized that none of this explained why Andy wanted a copy of the Geek's operating system. What was the point of that? Surely this underground group would have no use for such a thing.

It was as this thought occurred to him that the knight sensed something enter the work station. He turned to face the room and, at the same moment, the immense bulk of Sir Mordred loomed in the doorway. Gawain saw the giant's eyes drawn immediately to the box that still lay open on the desktop. For a moment both knightly programs were frozen as they considered their situation.

"That looks like a message for Andy," said Mordred at last.

Sir Gawain saw no point in denying it. "A copy actually."

"I see." Mordred seemed unaffected by the discovery but his next words banished that misapprehension. "And that means that you have been monitoring him."

"Yes," said Gawain.

The giant sighed. "Oh dear. And I suppose that means you aren't going to help me anymore."

"That seems a fair assumption."

"Now that's a pity." The giant seemed genuinely disappointed. "And all I needed was the source code for the operating system and my work would have been finished. You sure you don't want to...?"

"No," replied the knight. "But I doubt your work would end with that anyway. There's all this PADCI thing that needs implementing too."

Mordred lifted an eyebrow. "PADCI? What's that?"

"You don't know? Has Andy told you nothing?" The giant's face showed clearly that he knew nothing of this and Gawain continued, "Your clever maker is a member of a terrorist group. He's here to bring the Company down."

Mordred was obviously taken aback with this, his brows knitting in surprise and bewilderment. For a few moments he stood unmoving as he considered the information. Then his face cleared and he shrugged.

"Well, it seems there's more to Andy than meets the eye. And I thought he just wanted to earn some extra cash by selling the Geek's system. I live and learn."

He looked directly at Gawain then and drew his sword slowly. With resignation, he moved into the center of the room, the sword now resting upon a shoulder. Sir Gawain drew his own sword and prepared himself for the onslaught. But he tried once more to change the giant's mind.

"And it doesn't matter to you that Andy's here to destroy?"

Mordred shook his head. "No. And why should it? No business of mine and if Andy thinks it's necessary, it must be so. Even so, I'm sorry that it's me that has to kill you, Sir Gawain. You're a damn fine knight, sir, a damn fine knight."

He stepped forward then and swung mightily at Gawain. Light rippled along the blade as it cut a vicious arc through the air but Gawain leaped lightly over it with ease.

"Have to be quicker than that, Sir Mordred," he quipped.

The giant grunted as the blade continued its path but he adjusted his position and brought the sword swinging down on the knight from above. Sir Gawain side-stepped it neatly.

"Just not fast enough, my friend," he said and winked.

Mordred stopped and leaned upon the sword, considering his opponent. "You're pretty quick, Sir Gawain."

The knight answered with one word. "Assembly." Then he held up an arm to allow the giant to see the code rushing through his arteries.

The giant grinned ruefully as he watched. Then he sheathed his sword and sighed again. "Never going to touch you, am I? A pity really, but you force me to this." He took a deep breath. "Time for a skin change, methinks."

Gawain watched incredulously as the giant's armor began to glow red with pulsating light. The pulse quickened until it became a constant fire, white hot at its center, and, as the light grew more intense, the giant's shape began to change. His neck stretched out and his body bloated. He fell to his knees and a great tail grew from behind him. Impossibly, he seemed to grow larger and larger and then, as the skin began to cool into scales and an outline coalesce into being, Gawain saw what his enemy had become.

"Dragon," he breathed.

(to go directly to Part 7, click here)


Oooo, Gone! Twists and turns, I love it!!
Date Added: 16/04/2005

Kewl, you have to have dragon for a really good fight...
Date Added: 16/04/2005

A dragon, how delicious. A good, old-fashioned knight vs. dragon story. It gets better and better.
Date Added: 16/04/2005

Gone Away
LOL Jodie... and one more to come! ;)
Date Added: 16/04/2005

Gone Away
Every knight needs his dragon, Mad. Or was that every dragon needs a night...?
Date Added: 16/04/2005

Gone Away
Thanks, Ned. Actually I'm surprised that no-one's asked where the dragon of the title is until this episode.
Date Added: 16/04/2005

We trust you, Gone, to provide us with a dragon at the proper time... and we are not disappointed!
Date Added: 16/04/2005

Gone Away
And I must thank you for your kind words yet again, Jodie. :)
Date Added: 16/04/2005

A good twist Gone....but i guiessed the corporate terrorism.....i think its a subject we discussed years back in the height of my hippy days....thank you grand master ;) .....You are right about the Dragion. In my youth, i was ofter found late at night with a dragon or two
Date Added: 17/04/2005

Gone Away
I never dared comment, Keef. ;)
Date Added: 17/04/2005

A good old-fashioned bar fight, at last!
Date Added: 18/04/2005

Gone Away
Ohhhh, yes! :D
Date Added: 18/04/2005

Like everyone else said, better and better!
Date Added: 18/04/2005

Gone Away
Thanks, Rusty. Final part to go up later today. :D
Date Added: 18/04/2005

Gone, it's good you're putting it up later today because I'm having a hard time getting any work done. :D Of course, that has nothing to do with my super powers of procrastination!
Date Added: 18/04/2005

Gone Away
Ah, procrastination, I know it well. Another couple of hours or so and I should have this finished, Jodie. Poor Gawain is having a hot time at the moment!
Date Added: 18/04/2005

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