Smarter (an Ell Donsaii story #2)
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Smarter is a near future SciFi/Thriller whose young heroine Ell Donsaii we learned in "Quicker" has a nerve mutation that makes her an athletic phenomenon, so fast that no one can keep up with her. Like Stieg Larsson's Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) Ell is also a mathematical genius who, while trying to drift off to sleep, instead of counting sheep has developed a new theory of quantum mechanics. At once shy and concerned about her social skills, yet loved by those around her, she goes to grad school to try to understand experimental physics. In the process she discovers a means for enormously improving communications using quantum entangled molecules. Her brilliant quantum theories make her the target of industrial spies, other countries and jealous physicists all at the same time. Those who attack her don't consider that the very skills they envy and desire make her hard to overcome.
In the bathroom, Ell jammed a piece of plastic from the case into the fan of the broken hair dryer and plugged it in. In a minute the heating element was red hot and she hopped up on the sink to hold one of the cable ties forming the manacle strap between her ankle cuffs against the coil of red hot wire. To her relief the strap melted quickly, creating only a little smoke that the bathroom fan easily carried away. Next she held the handle of the dryer between her knees and melted off the right and left cable tie cuffs binding her wrists. Chang still hadn’t noticed what she was doing so she melted the cuffs off each of her ankles too so that she wouldn’t be marked by the ties after she escaped.
She ran her fingers through her hair while she thought a moment, then stepped across the hall to the closet. She lifted the 36 inch wooden hanger bar off its support and dumped the hangers into the corner.
Chang, roused by the clatter of the hangers, jumped up and was coming her way when she stepped back from the closet, her right hand grasping the hanger rod but hiding it behind the open door. She let her adrenalin spike and felt the zone crash over her, her world slowing and her heart rate sounding like a ponderous throb to her. Knowing that she was moving so fast that what felt like ordinary speech to her would be too fast to understand she slowly said, “Put, your, hands, up!”
Chang stared at Ell’s wrist, realized her hand was free and started scrabbling his hand inside his coat for his gun. Ell, feeling like she had all the time in the world, stepped fully back from the closet and then toward him, the hanger bar already whistling from down low in an arc up toward his hands. As the gun cleared his lapel, the hanger bar struck Chang’s hand, traveling upward so that it drove the muzzle up, ripping the weapon out of his hand and flinging it against the ceiling. As the gun fell from the ceiling, Ell stepped over to catch it, then back to Chang who was beginning to crouch and cradle his fractured hand. Speaking slowly so he would understand her she said, “Sorry, but I did warn you that I was dangerous.”
- Laurence E Dahners, May 2012
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