Table of Contents Perry Portly and the Fake DNA Results, by Gary Gocek

[INITIATION II-f ] - Apostasis

Pippelini walked over to Perry's desk. "You know, Spitz, I've been doing some searches and I can't find any Spitzes in Pittsford, or on any of the usual hacker forums or neural network blogs. The neural network is losing track, too."

"Fora," retorted Perry.

"What?" asked Pippelini.

"The plural of forum. Fora," retorted Perry again.

"Don't get cute," said Pippelini. He snatched Perry's cell phone, risking their distance. "Hmmm, Perry Portly, Fairport, New York, obviously here to thwart our evil hoax." The jig was up. Perry's blog monetization status had frozen. He was no longer related to the emperors of Rome. "Take a hike, Portly," said Pippelini dismissively.

"That’s it?" wondered Perry. "But, what about my monetization and DNA results? After all I did for the project..."

"Oh, you're blackballed," said Pippelini. "We don't need to whack you or anything. We left you with a couple social media friends. Your grandmother, and some guy named Glover."

Perry walked out the door and up the stairs. He remembered the famous quote:

"What we need most right now, at this moment, is a kind of patriotic grace - a grace that takes the long view, apprehends the moment we're in, comes up with ways of dealing with it, and eschews the cheap and manipulative. That's what it means to be a Fairport-er."10

Perry imagined it sounded like something Minerva DeLand herself might have said. Perry needed to make things right. Not for himself, but for Fairport. He needed to figure out the origin of the programmers, unhack the hack, figure out Carrie Ann's role in all this, and maybe get another peck on the face mask from Della.

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©2020, Gary Gocek, http://gary.gocek.org/, @garygocek, gary@gocek.org