The man puts the graphs down and walks back to me.
"So. The carrier pigeons." He shovels more mashed potatoes into his mouth. "How much will it cost to retrieve them? They're carrying some very sensitive information."
"How sensitive?" I ask, watching my mashed potatoes slowly disppearing, like the polar ice caps in twenty years.
"Top secret government stuff," he says vaguely. "It was being delivered by carrier pigeon because we figured no one would guess that we would carry secrets of national importance using birds."
"Shocking," I say with a snort, "someone outsmarted a pigeon." I wrestle the bowl of potatoes away from the man and dump it into the sink. If I can't have any, no one can. "Did ya ever think they just flew away?" I ask him.
"No, that thought never crossed my mind." It had crossed mine already. Like a friend I never should have hurt. "You see, they are mechanical pigeons."
I stop and look at him. Shadows cover most of his face. "Robot pigeons?" I whisper. I had heard rumors about robotic pigeons before but I had never taken them seriously.
"Yes ma'am, robot pigeons," the man responded.