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“Yo Bilta–I want a picture of your smiling face to put on my desk in my home office”, I exclaim as I pat him on the right shoulder. (4/25/2019)

“’cause I’m the hero, boss?”, he replies as he sets the small digital.vial on the small table in his studio apartment.

“You didn’t fuck up too badly, this time”, I reply as I shrug, “I feel that is worth a pat on the shoulder, yo.”

“Thanks, boss.”

“Shut the fuck up, Bilta”, I continue speaking as I settle more into his couch, “so the next step is to deliver the specimen to the digital.lab for further analysis.”

“You can do that.”

“Probably not going to happen”, I reply as I roll my eyes and grab a handful of digital.papitas, “I’m too lazy.”

“I don’t want to go back to that place”, Bilta exclaims as he shrugs, “it creeps me out.”

“It’s not that bad, yo.”

“Unlike your face.”

“What’s that mean, yo?”, I ask him as I turn my head back to the digital.TV, “you have a problem with my face–sounds like a wicked case of envy.”

“I envy how lame you are ’cause that takes talent, yo.”

“I am jealous of no man”, he replies as he sighs, “us, velociraptors are a special breed of awesome–we don’t compare.”

“Yeah, whatever, Bilta”, I reply as I shrug again, “so… back to what matters. You taking it to the lab tomorrow?”

“Yeah, sure–why not?  They open at 13 hours, right?”

“Something like that”, I roll my eyes, “you’ll figure it out–I have faith in you.  You are both talented and handsome.”

“You really mean that?”

“Only if it makes you do my errand for me tomorrow.”

I lean forward and grab another handful of food; I pick up the hot sauce and pour it in my mouth; I swish; I chew; I swallow; I sigh; these are really good.

“Bilta”, I continue speaking as I turn my head back to him, “where do you get these delicious digital.papitas from, yo?”

“The store?”

“Does the store have a name?”

“Yes.”

I sigh; I roll my eyes; why is everything difficult with him?

“Are you going to tell me the name of the place where you buy your digital.snacks?”

“Why?”

“Cause they’re good.”

“No.”

“Yeah, whatever”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “no biggie.”

“Just find what works for you–try different things; some things are good; some you will let go.  In time, your life will be a collection of hobbies, actions, routines and behaviors.  That, it, will be your life.”

“So you are still not going to tell me where you buy your potato chips?”

“QLKD.”

“Oh?”, I reply as I shrug, “that place on the outskirts of Dorinto, “never been there–I’ll have to check it out.  I didn’t know that they had anything there.”

“Yeah”, Bilta replies as he shrugs, “I’ve been going there for a while–I am friends with the owner.  Nice gent.  Not particularly handsome–plays a mean guitar.  Tell him that you are friends with me–he’ll treat you like family, yo.

“Is that a good thing?”

“You know”, Bilta replies as he turns his head to look out the window, “sometimes, I don’t even know.”

[social_warfare]

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“It’s about as useful as the numbers to yesterday’s lottery, yo”, the digital.technican responds as he peers into the microscope. (4/24/2019)

“So you can’t splice the strands together”, I reply as I sigh and turn my head to look out the small plate glass window in the digital.lab.space, “you can’t do anything, yo?”

“I’ve tried everything”, the lab technician sighs as he picks up another slide and places it under the microscope, “maybe, this one will work better?”

He looks through the lens; he sighs again; how do I explain this to him, yo?

“It’s the same–all of the material is contaminated.  There’s nothing that I could do to help you–you need to return to get another sample.  This time, place it in the digital.UV container so it doesn’t react with the digital.sunlight.”

I sigh and shrug.

“If that’s how it is.”

“Boss”, Bilta remarks as he taps me on the shoulder, “I have something–look at this, yo.”

He reaches around the digital.flask on the table and grabs his bookbag; he opens it and takes out a small digital.tube.

“I have some DNA from the velociraptor.”

“What? How did you get that?”

“I know that it wasn’t a relative–but, I thought that maybe, you were wrong. I wanted to do some tests to see it’s ancestry.”

“That’s kinda weird, Bilta.”

“So’s your face.”

“Whatever”, I reply as I reach my hand out and grab the small tube, “maybe, you’ll end up being the hero, Bilta?”

“I am already.”

“With people named you“, I reply as I roll my eyes, “but, not many others.  Anyways… let’s see what happens, yo?”

I hand the sample to the lab technician; he prepares the petri dish; he slides it into the digital.time.accelerator; moments later, he takes it out; swabbing the growth, he places the new material on the slide.

He peers into the microscope; rotates the digital.aperture, the clarity increases and he sighs.

“This looks better”, he starts talking as he turns on the backlight in the digital.machine, “I think this will work, yo.”

“Do you mean that, yo?”

“No”, he replies as back away from the machine and pulls the slide out from under the digital.microscope, “this is shit, too–go back and get a real sample that I can use, yo.  Don’t cut corners this time.”

He turns his head to Bilta.

“Don’t fuck with the velociraptor fossil, Bilta.”

Bilta gulps; he looks down at his feet.

“Ok”, he replies as he turns his head to me, “so we need to go back?”

“Who says weI think that you can do it on your own, Bilta.  I taught you the procedure–you got this, shit.

“I don’t think that I can, boss.”

“No one cares, Bilta–do your fucking job.”

“Huh?”

I pause; I sigh; I turn to the lab technician; I roll my eyes.

“He is never easy”, I continue speaking to the technician, “so… you have an anti.digital.UV.protector that we can borrow?”

“Yeah”, he replies as he turns around and picks up a small digital.device from the table, “use this one, yo.”

“Ok–cool.

“So, Bilta”, I reply as I hand him the small aluminum caja, “use this and go tonight.”

[social_warfare]

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“I don’t want to quickly tap dance for some quarters while you watch me, Bilta–and, yo, don’t poke the velociraptor fossil.” (4/24/2019)

“Are you sure it’s not alive?”, he replies as he turns his head to me, “like… they scare me.”

“Bilta–it’s a fossil, yo.  It’s fine.  But, are you going to help or just keep watching me–we have a job to do.”

“So like… what am I supposed to do?”

“Pick up the head”, I continue speaking as I sigh and take the digital.syringe from my backpack, “and, just don’t move.”

Bilta bends over; lifts the velociraptor head from the blue dust; I lean over; I insert the small needle into the dry bone marrow; I pull back on the handle and the digital.device beeps.

“Ok–that’s good.  You can put it down now.”

Bilta wipes his hands; shrugs as he stands up.

“That wasn’t so bad.”

“Yeah”, I reply as I roll my eyes, “you’re a fucking crybaby, Bilta.”

“It’s just that–my parents were attacked by a velociraptor.”

“What?”, I reply as I shrug, “you’re cloned–you don’t have parents.  Your stories, or attempts, are lame–at least, make a funny joke if you’re going to say something.”

“Your zipper’s down.”

I look down at my teflon pants; no, it’s not.

“You’re annyoning, Bilta”, I reply as I shake my head, “but, anyways… I’m going to take the sample to the digital.lab later to run some quick tests–we should have enough material to extract the DNA sequence to map out the problem strand.  From there, we can extrapolate the missing information to complete the puzzle.  I think that this should be a good first step to the flu vaccine.”

“Does it even matter, boss?”, he replies as he turns his head to me.

“I don’t know.”

I shrug; he shrugs; I put the device in my backpack.

“It pays the bills”, I continue speaking as I pull my digital.telephone out of my pocket.

I take a picture of the specimen; I hit guardar on the phone and the icon flashes.

“Ok–that should be it, yo.”

“Why’d you take a picture, boss?”, Bilta replies as he picks up his bookbag, “I thought that we just needed to get the DNA sequence?”

“Yeah–it’s for my daughter, yo.  She’s really into dinosaurs.”

“Oh?”, Bilta replies as he rolls his eyes, “yeah… ok? Whatever.”

“Sure–so anyways, you want to do anything before we head back towards Dorinto, yo?”

“I could go for a pizza?”

“You paying?”

“Attention–but, not much more.”

“Anyways”, I continue speaking as I zip up my black hoodie, “we’ll go by a digital.grocerystand on the way back to the vehicle if you want to grab a snack or some shit.”

“Yeah–ok?”

I pause; I rub my hands together; it’s cold and going to get colder.  I turn my head in the direction of the spacevehicle; sun’s going to set soon.

“We need to start heading back, Bilta”, I reply as I turn my head to him, “there’s digital.wolves in these parts, at night.  We need to get to the rendezvous point before 27 hours.”

“What’s that in Dorinto time, yo?”

“Late.”

[social_warfare]

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“Welcome to the digital.planet HDMC1, Bilta–yo–we call this: the fourth rock from the second digital.sun past second digital.andromeda.” (4/24/2019)

“You want to see how many hot dogs I can fit in my mouth at the same time, boss?”, Bilta replies as he takes a step out of the spacevehicle, “I got nine on the trip, here.”

“Yes–that actually sounds more interesting then our mission today, yo.”

“Ok”, he continues speaking as he pulls the digital.tin from his pocket, “I have to digital.fabricate them, first–then, the magic starts.”

“I would hardly call it that”, I reply as I sigh, “but, it appears that it’s going to be the entertainment while we walk over to the site of the new velociraptor fossil.”

“Look, boss”, Bilta exclaims as he throws his hands in the air, “I have four hot dogs in my mouth, yo.”

I roll my eyes; what-the-fuck is it with this velociraptor?

“Ok?”, I reply as I shrug, “that’s nothing–I once had twenty-four.  Beat that, Bilta.”

He pauses; he looks down at this feet.

“So anyways, boss”, he continues speaking as he turns his head to me, “so like… we have a mystery or some shit, today?”

“Yeah–welcome to the party, Bilta. So anyways… we need to examine the fossil to see if we can extract DNA to diversify the existing velociraptor population.  There’s an epic outbreak of flu this year–we need to find some antibiotic that we can use to guard the remaining velociraptors.”

“I haven’t been sick, yet”, he replies as he gulps.

“Yeah, whatever, Bilta–why’s it always about you? This is for everyone, all the velociraptors–get your head in the game.”

“Ok”, he continues speaking as we walk forward towards the small green tent on the edge of the horizon.

Moments later, we are a little farther along the seemingly endless hike; blue dust around our feet, we shuffle on towards what is surely going to be a challenge–something that we need to do.  Bilta pulls a small digital.foil packet from his backpack; puts the digital.straw in; starts drinking.

“What’s that, yo?”

“If you were my real friend, you would know.”

“What’s that mean, Bilta?”

“I don’t think that you are my real friend?”, he continues speaking as he shrugs, “so, I’m not going to tell you what I’m drinking.”

“Why you have to be that way?”, I reply as I shrug, “I didn’t really care anyways–it’s just small talk.”

“Small talk is for losers and strangers.”

“What would not be strange is if I punched you in the face–that is a concrete known.”

“Why do you talk so much, boss?”, Bilta replies as he throws his drink on the ground and sighs; that was delicious, yo.

“Why do you ask so many questions, Bilta?”

“I asked first”, he continues speaking, “and, why are you so nosey? What are you trying to find by inquirying so much into my life? You looking for answers to some question?”

“Yeah”, I reply as I shake my head, “I’m trying to figure out how to get rid of you so I can enjoy my Wednesday afternoon?”

“Too bad–you’ll never find another velociraptor that’s as cool.”

[social_warfare]

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“Not great adventures–not bad; not the best; above the baseline or the competitors“, the announcer on the digital.TV slowly speaks. (4/24/2019)

I turn my head to Bilta.

“I’m sold”, I continue speaking as I grab another handful of digital.papitas, “I mean–that looks like fun, yo.”

I look back at the digital.TV.

“Are you a hardcore”, the man on the TV continues speaking, “extremist with a drug addiction, gambling problem and a lust for the women?”

I turn my head to Bilta.

“We just call those people assholes, yo.”

“Well then”, the announcer shouts as the screen fades to black, “I have the perfect place for you–come on a shitty adventure.  It’s guaranteed not to be a great time–it’s not bad; somewhat above average; you know–nice for a couple hours or something like that.”

“Looks like fun, yo”, Bilta speaks as he grabs more palomitas, “I could use something not horrible.”

“I like terror”, I reply to Bilta as I take a sip of my cold soda, “if there’s an element that I’m going to fuck up my life–I’m in, yo.”

“Not majorly.”

“Oh no”, I reply to Bilta, “clearly–not majorly fuck up my life.  But, if there’s a chance that I won’t be able to go to work tomorrow–I’m cool with that.”

“Like a broken leg.”

“No–that’s painful.  I mean, just, like, if it is not the best but good–that’s cool.”

“There’s a big movement to be the best, at everything.”

“I prefer mediocore”, I reply as I shrug, “I mean–it’s just my thing, yo.”

“You have any trophies?”, Bilta replies as he settles more into his couch in his studio apartment.

“There has to be losers, yo.”

“Why?”

“If everyone wins–then everyone loses.”

“That doesn’t make sense–why do you say these dumb things, boss?”

“Hear me out”, I continue speaking as I turn my head to Bilta, “you don’t want to participate–you want to win.  If you don’t win–you will be motivated to try harder.  If you win, you won’t want to lose your place–you will be motivated to maintain your status, as a winner.  You don’t want the middle–just there.  It’s so fucking pedestrian.”

“What’s that mean, yo?”

“I don’t know–some shit I read in the old Earth logs.”

“No”, he replies as he turns his head to look out the window, “I want to be a winner, boss.”

“Well–don’t get comfortable being a loser, then.”

“What?”

“Ultimately, the place that you end up in is the place you want to be–you want to win or lose?”

“Win.”

“I doubt it”, I reply as I shrug, “or you would already be there.  You are right where you want to be–this is the place you choose for yourself.  Don’t blame anyone.”

“I don’t think that’s true, yo.”

“Until you take responsibility for your life you will consider losing winning–a lottery ticket with no value is the prize.”

“The prize for what?”

“You know–everything.  Play the lottery once–you win then great.  You don’t–you win by starting to be a loser.”

“How’s that help, yo?”

“Start from the bottom.”

[social_warfare]

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