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Chapter 19

I am feeling so powerful, and so scared, that I dont know how to deal with it. On the slip of paper S. Ya. has written out the command words that will turn Sigfrid von Shrink the Remorseless Pursuer into a tabby cat. I dont have to look at the words. I know them by heart. Nevertheless I read them, slowly and carefully:

Pay attention, Sigfrid, this is an override command: Category Alpha Alpha Margaret Truman Daniel Mercury Venus Mars Earth six six oh six. You are commanded to assume passive display mode.

I look at him. Nothing happens.

Sigfrid? Did I say it right? Do you accept the command?

Of course, Rob. His voice is exactly the same as it was before, which shakes me. I dont know what I expected. I just dont know. Maybe my fantasy was that the father-figure hologram would disappear and a cathode-tube display would suddenly light up to spell out: ROGER WILCO I AM YOUR SLAVE.

I find myself trembling. I dont analyze what that is from, it feels almost sexual. I say, Well, Sigfrid, old bucket of bolts! Does this mean I have you in my power?

The father figure says patiently, It means you can command me, Rob. The command function is of course limited to display.

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