Friday, September 10, 2004
"The n=1 case is me," Grisha Perelman muttered. It didn't sound right. "The n=1 case is me," he said again. There was something wrong with his mantra.
Then he tasted the bile on his tongue, smacked his lips a little, and opened his eyes.
There was a man sitting in a chair across from him. He himself was lying on some sort of rough cot. The room was dank and dusty. The floor was concrete.
"Feeling better?" the man said.
"Who are you?" Grisha said.
The man just smiled. He was large and fleshy, with a pink balloon of a head.
"How did you get me?"
"Smart tranquilizer dart," the man said. "From a mile away."
"Oh shit," Grisha said. "The fucking government."
"What," the man said, "you think we're the only ones with that technology?"
"I won't tell you about the holes," Grisha said.
The man smiled again. "Oh, but you see," he said, "you already have. In your sleep. And now," he added, pulling out a Glock and screwing a silencer onto its barrel, "we no longer need you."
Grisha just had time for a silent apology--"prosti menya"--to his wife, his ex-wife, mother of his child, when a hole opened up in the ceiling and Grisha Perelman vanished.
Karl Rove, not an emotional man, grimaced briefly. Then he began unscrewing the silencer.