Several months later, we were into the new year, 1983. I was
sitting on my bed one morning, when Ryan handed me a sheet of
paper and said, “Here, Erika wants you to have this.”
“Erika?” I asked, my attention perked, knowing that this was
very much out of the ordinary. I had never received anything from
“What’s this about?” I asked him.
“Read it,” he replied.
TO: IRA TELLER, ESQUIRE
KEEP RYAN WITHIN BOUNDS OF JUST REASON
When a system becomes completely defined,
some damn fool discovers something which
either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.
I started to read the note to myself then asked, “Esquire?”
“Uh-huh,” Ryan replied, nodding.
Then I read aloud, “KEEP RYAN WITHIN BOUNDS OF JUST
REASON.” I looked up at Ryan. “Oh sure,” I said with a small laugh.
“My first mission from Erika, and she gives me an impossible one.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Ryan replied, with a blend of sarcasm and a
bemused smile, “keep reading.”
“What’s this calendar thing about?” I asked him, pointing to the
Thursday, January 16th date.
“That’s from Erika’s desk, you know, one of those daily calendar
I read the caption, “Brooke’s Law” out loud then followed with
its substance printed below the date, “When a system becomes completely
defined, some damn fool discovers something which either
abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.” I pondered
it a moment and then looked up at Ryan, puzzled. “I don’t get it,”
“That’s Erika’s way of letting you know that your switch works,”
“Huh?” I asked, searching his eyes for the meaning of what he
had just said.
Then he reiterated his words slowly, in a louder and more deliberate
voice, “Your switch works!”
I couldn’t quite believe my ears, and so, I sat there dumbly, looking
up at Ryan, utterly speechless. Someone proved that it works?!
“The research shows significance and you’re the ‘damn fool’
who discovered it,” Ryan continued, as if to drive the point home.
“Are you … serious?” I asked, trying to absorb the news.
“Look, after our meeting at La Champagne’s, I didn’t know
if that thing worked or not, or if you were just crazy, so I asked
Erika to do the research. She put tens of millions of dollars from my
companies into it, and the research shows significance.”
“Wow…!” I replied, dumbstruck. It all began to fit together.
Tens of millions of dollars?! “That’s … fantastic!” I uttered, feeling
wholly beside myself with the news and Erika’s stunning generosity
to secretly invest that corporate money into researching the switch.
“Yeah, it’s fantastic,” Ryan agreed, and then grinned. “Well,
how does it feel to be the boy genius?”
“Who me?” I asked.
“Yeah, you!” he said. “Look, you better take credit for something
in your life, and this is it. You’re going to be known as the
father of Psi-controls. Now, how’s that make you feel?”
“Well, that’s great!” I finally beamed, as we both broke into