by Jonathan Wood
It was day four of the siege at the McSalination plant, and the Greenpunks were still slinging biodegradeable flash drives over the walls and shouting slogans.
Greaves grabbed Terry. “We need to break this siege,” he said. “We're running out of water.”
“This is a desalination plant.”
Greaves shook his head. “No power for the process. PepsiCo stopped manufacturing the rechargeable batteries to up the profit margin and we're running low. So now we only got salt water.” He shook his head. “We're hitting them tonight. When their solar's weak. According to the marketeers specs we've got enough juice to power the rifles for one big push.”
Terry would have objected but he'd reread his contract at the beginning of the siege. He'd known this would happen.
It turned out opensource battreyware was more reliable than the marketeers had made out.
Terry looked down the barrel of the modded pulse rifle, sweating.
“Look,” said the 'punk, “this is stupid.” He lowered the gun. Terry stood frozen waiting for the trap to spring.
“We don't want any proprietary data,” said the 'punk. “That's the whole point of opensource. We've got better tech than the corps, just worse propaganda. This siege isn't to take the plant--that place is just compost waiting to happen.
“This is a recruitment drive.”
He swept his arm around the camp. One tent was one fire, but that had been the extent of the damage Greave's crew had caused. The Greenpunks had put out the worst of it and were roasting marshmallows over what was left. “Hemp,” the 'punk explained. “Plastic would just give off fumes so we couldn't use it. See, things are better here.”
He pressed a flash drive into Terry's hand. “Upload,” he said.
Terry was watching when the McSoldiers showed up. He watched them scratch their heads.
It was amazing how much he and the others had been able to salvage. Greaves had been against it of course, but there wasn't much he could do once they read the data on the drive. They'd stripped the place in under forty-eight hours, set up a new camp down the road. He'd only come back to scavenge aluminum casing for the chlorophyll batteries.
So Terry stood and he watched as the McSoldiers loaded Greaves up onto the chopper and left the pile of metal sheets that had once been a desalination plant behind.