The Precious

When the light broke in from a crack in the bunker ceiling, I was not alarmed. I knew it would inevitably come to this, that I could not stay holed up forever. Eventually they would find me. I thought about what this day would be like, off and on, for many years, wondering how it would play out. Would they come in force and drag me out? Maybe they would let me walk out on my own.

The footsteps overhead for the last hour gave them away, so I was not only ready, I actually had time to clean up, what little I could do in that dank hell hole. I skittered around straightening the few items I had, a tattered blanket and a musty pillow, though never more than an arms reach away from the device. I knew they would want to see it. It was after all what they were here for. I had kept it from them for years, doing everything I could to keep it secret, keep it safe. But the draw was too great. They could sense it no matter where I hid. It was only a matter of time.

The first one through was just a soldier. He came down on a tether with a light beaming from his helmet. I sat as calmly as I could on my solitary chair, but still my hands shook and my left foot jittered. He had his automatic rifle trained on me when he spoke.

“Wayward?” he said. Like I could have been anyone else. I did not reply, and he did not wait for one. “It’s him,” he called upward, which led to a lot more scuffling and shouts.

The next down was a man in a business suit, followed by two others in street clothes.  As the first two struggled to free themselves from the straps, the last one in sneakers and sporting a neck beard simply walked forward into the blue glow, pulling the ropes with him as he went.

“Is this it?” he said, looking away from me, into the device.


“All of it?”


His fingers reached forward and caressed the metallic exterior. It was cold to the touch no matter how hotly it burned inside. When the smile finally grew on his face, I knew he was gone.

“But what is it?” asked the suit, still unraveling his tie.

I just sat there and smiled nervously. The neck-beard knew everything now.

“Syntax trees,” he said, his eyes wide. “I see syntax trees.”

And that’s how Project Roslyn CTP came to see the light of day, and I was released from my four years of seclusion.

Discover the precious.