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The Horrors of Technology (Part 4)
Molly, Age 11, Kitimat, BC

One long elevator ride later, Miles stood explaining to  his mother the conversation he had had with the manager.

"Well Miles, I suppose you'll just have to go home. No  one will be on the trip back," said Mrs. Kombi matter-of-factly.

When Miles got home it was dark. "Dorothy?" he called.

No answer. "Booga Booga!" Dorothy jumped out of the darkness. Miles jumped nearly a foot. "Scared ya, didn't I?"

"Yah, you scared me," I replied. "Don't you ever get tired of doing that?"

"No," she said. "Just like you never get tired of reading!"

That night I fixed dinner. Of course, Dorothy complained. "It's too hot! It's too cold! It tastes awful!" And it went on. Miles sent her to bed early. He had some studying he wanted to get done -- but not for school.

***

The next morning, Miles awoke with a plan fully formed in his head. He had all day to do it because the schools had been shut down because the teachers were needed at their homes. The only problem would be Dorothy. 

First he needed to go to the store. He had been saving up his money. First he went to the medical supplies store. He bought hydrogen and chlorine. Then he went to the hardware store. He bought a one- foot pair of pliers, a carving knife and some hard wax. When he got home, he went into his room and mixed the hydrogen and chlorine together to make a powerful acid. Next, he practised carving shapes with the knife out of the wax. 

Once Dorothy came into his room. "What are you doing?" she asked.

Miles groaned. "Go away Dorothy! It's none of your business!" 

Tears welled up in her eyes. Miles groaned again. "Dorothy, don't cry! Ok, I'll tell you!" he said.

The tears vanished instantly. He went on. "I'm playing a game. Now, if you want to play you have to keep it a secret!"

Dorothy nodded. "Ok Miles!"

"Ok, I'm pretending that the factory is being mean and we want to get back at them. We're going to pretend to break in and get the stuff working!" 

Dorothy looked at him quizzically. "This isn't a game, is it?" she asked. "You're really going to break in?"  

He looked into her eyes. There was no frolic or mischief in them. Just worry. Suddenly, Miles became angry. "You aren't going to rat to Mammy are you? Cause if you are..."

"No, Miles, I'm not," she said. "But I want to help you."

Miles stared in disbelief. "Ok," he said. "You can help. This is what I want you to do..."

***

At dinnertime, Dorothy was crawling around as usual. Her mother picked her up. "You silly-billy!" she said. "Stop crawling around!"  

Suddenly, Dorothy hugged her mother very tightly. "Oh!" said the surprised mother. Dorothy locked her hands around her mother's waist- and stole her factory key.

Lately, their father had been sober. The only reason for that was because the bars were closed and the moonshiners weren't working the booze. He seemed quite angry about it and often complained about the disease; but it was a nice change for the family all the same.

That night, Miles and Dorothy worked hard. Well, Miles worked hard and Dorothy watched. He carved an exact replica of the key. The wax was hard enough and the key was a good enough replica to open the factory door.

***

A few nights later Miles snuck out. Dorothy had insisted on coming and was glued to his side. They snuck into the city hall and Miles used the acid to get in without having his body scanned. They got into the light speed car and he used the key to start it up. When they got to Ecuador, they used the key once again to get in. 

Suddenly, Dorothy got to wailing. "It's too dark! I'm scared, I want to go home!"

"Shh!"  he said.  "We'll get caught!" 

She seemed to want to please him, so she kept quiet after that. 

Finally they got to that confounded elevator. They rode it up to the 300th floor, to the manager's office. This was were it could all be controlled from. With a jolt, he realized he hadn't planned this far. 

Dorothy noticed his look of panic. "What's wrong?" she asked. 

"Nothing," he said. 

Miles had hoped that his pliers would come in handy right about now, but they didn't. "Ok Dorothy. Back in the elevator," he said.

***

They got off at the 17th floor. That was where the room  had been. After much wandering, they found it. Miles didn't know how  the workers never found it, but they hadn't. They went in to the room. The same hieroglyphics were there. Miles searched the walls for anything  that would help him. Nothing. But then he thought of the phrase he had  translated before. It had been a riddle. Maybe the rest were riddles too! 

He looked around. Right over the door were some huge hieroglyphics  that he hadn't noticed. He read them: "In the power source you stand in,  there are riddles three. Erase the one that says we have more power than what we make and all the power will leave the building and leave the  work undone. The second riddle says that that we can stand against all. Erase it and you will find destruction to the work. Erase the one that says all the work is done and you will see that all the work will be released before your eyes. So if you find these riddles three in all!  your work and wonders, which will you, erase?" And there was no more.

He knew which one he wanted. But how could he find it? Suddenly it hit him like a slap in the face. It was talking about the one he saw before. He found it easily. Dorothy watched curiously in the background. He scuffed at it with his hand. After about a minute of doing this it came off.

***

The next day, the workers found that the work could not be worked on. It was stuck. The manager came into the main building in a rage. He was just about ready to tear down the whole place. Suddenly, one of the workers shouted- "Look!" they had gotten one of the machines to work. But it was working perfectly. It was ready to be released. Everything else in the factory was tested. It all worked. Everyone was amazed. They decided they had to release it.

There was a huge party the day it was released. Not only was the food shortage over, but also they had a whole new technology to help with their everyday life. There is one bad part to this story. Once Marko got to drinking again, he and their Mrs. Kombi divorced. I suppose that was better for her family though.

***

Epilogue
Many different things were introduced to the world: some good and some bad. There are many more adventures waiting for Miles behind the walls of the factory. I do not have time to put them down now, but read again and you will find the few horrors of technology.

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