The van pulled off the street into an industrial park and then slipped into a warehouse. The loading door closed and the van’s passengers exited. The man in the County Jail jump suit looked around, seeing the other occupants dressed in their colorful elf costumes and carrying Candy-Can Machine Guns. His gaze settled on the man in the charcoal gray suit with the hideous black skull mask. The Jester skipped over to where the well dressed man stood, bowing deeply, “And to what do you owe the honor of my presence?” he says, coming up to look into the hollow sockets of the skull where eyes might be.
“I was told that you were an engineering genius. I am in need of one.” The Black Skull said, spreading some blue prints out onto a small table. “I need someone to build this for me. Are you up to the task?”
The Jester looked over the diagrams, running his fingers along the lines and figures. “Do you have the original these copies were made from?” he asks, his attention still focused on the diagrams.
“I do.” The Black Skulls said, “Why?”
“These numbers.” The Jester says, indicating some figures scrawled on the diagrams, “Are they in color on the original?”
“Are they in multiple colors?”
“Then you only have half of what you need. These look like World War Two era mimeographs of blue prints. The engineers that put these together didn’t want someone to be able to build this from the blue prints alone. There is probably an engineers notebook that is also the code book. Do you have that?”
The Black Skull’s mouth twisted into a grimace, “No. But you have been the first engineer I’ve shown these two that suggested such a thing.”
“Then you’ve been showing them to idiots.” The Jester says with a smile, “It’s a good thing you finally brought me to them, otherwise you’d have kept on killing engineers to no avail.”
“Indeed. Without this code book, if it even exists, would you be able to build the device?”
“With the code book even one of the dolts you had to kill could have made it. I’m guessing these figures are code. Some colors refer to dimensions, some to materials. The figures themselves are coded, but if it is a World War Two era code, then it’s possible we might be able to decode that part with time and software. I can certainly build a three dimensional model of the device now, perhaps out of chocolate if that were your wish, to any scale you might enjoy. But for it to actually do what it’s meant to do, we will need precise information. For that, we will need time, or the code book.”
The Black Skull nods, “I will conduct a search for the code book. In the meantime, I will get you color copies of the diagrams. I will leave the software and decoding up to you. I will pay you for your time and effort.”
“But will it be fun?” The Jester asks.
“No, it will be serious business. But we mustn’t deprive you of fun. All work and no play makes the Jester just another criminal mastermind. I ask only that you tell me of any schemes before you put them into play. I want to make sure to have a good seat from which to watch the hilarity.”
The Jester grins, “I like the elf costumes and the candy cane guns. It was a nice touch, very in with the season.”
“I tried to think like you might think. I’m sure I fell short, but it was fun to try.”
“And that’s the point isn’t it? Fun.”
“And toys. Let’s not forget about the toys.”
Both men laugh.