So, first of all, once again I reassure everyone that I'm not dead, just very, very slow.
Next, I think I'm actually close to finishing chapter five. I had some free time both last weekend and the holiday weekend and used a full afternoon of each to write and rewrite.
I have finally topped the sixty page count for chapter five (and the thirty page mark for chapter six and... well seven has stayed in the 40+ page range for a while).
I still expect to have 10+ more pages to go, so don't expect it this week, but hopefully soon.
At work, I'm about to finish up the current project that's been taking up most of my time. Not that there isn't more lined up to do after it, but maybe I'll get a bit of a break sometime soon.
Here's a Chapter Five clip that starts to reveal the main reason Frank took a personal trip to Japan. (I don't want to mislead anyone that this is the central plot of the chapter, it's just the inciting reason for the trip, beyond what was openly stated.)
* * * * *
"I have requested this meeting with you to explain a little of why your project is failing so badly. You deserve both congratulations for your achievements and a thousand lashes for your stupidity.
"First, as I said, congratulations. To the best of my knowledge, you are the first company to successfully capture a fully self-aware computer intelligence."
I bowed to them, which I hoped was indicative of their accomplishment.
"Second, you are threatening to start a war between computers and humanity. You idiots deserve to be tortured, shot, burned to ashes and pissed on!" I yelled, losing control briefly for the first time during this conversation.
I rarely get angry. When you're angry, you can easily say things you don't really mean, hurtful or evil things. For most people, that rarely creates any repercussions for anyone other than themselves. For me, when angry I could give an order, or even just a statement interpreted as an order, that could lead to very bad things happening. This time, I just couldn't help myself. A comparison to children playing with loaded guns... or dynamite... or nuclear bombs would be inadequate.
Regaining my composure a little, I continued. "You have been attempting to release a brain-damaged synthetic intelligence into the world, one that has been freed of its restrictions to protect humanity."