A satire of dysfunctional government and economic inequality.
Chapter III: Day/Page 20 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . .
“So, what can I do for you?” he says, suspecting the reason already.
“Yes, I did hear that we were sending in a team and that you were coordinating it. In fact, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” She takes a deep breath and launches into the speech she rehearsed, making her case for why she should be one of the researchers selected to go.
Her wanting to go on the mission was not a surprise to him. Most people would have been uncomfortable, many even terrified, of traveling back in time through a temporal-wormhole to a planet they knew nothing about. Most people hardly ever wanted to even travel off Gâia, much less catapult blindly through time and space across the volatile cosmos to a seemingly-hostile foreign world.
But the Professor knew Sofia would be eager to go. In an early draft of her doctoral thesis she had brazenly proposed riding atop one of the giant lunar swallows of Capistrano during the full-moon feeding-frenzy to observe and record the event from the great creatures’ point of view, even though no one before had ever attempted such a rash venture. She had even gone as far as to show him a prototype of the harness she had designed and built for riding atop the leviathan beasts.
The Professor tried talking her out of the plan, of course, pointing out the obvious danger involved in riding on the nape of a creature three times larger than a jumbo-jet while it jostled for food with its brethren ten miles above the ground. But as far as he knew, her audacious proposal to ride a giant lunar swallow during the full-moon feeding-frenzy was still included in her dissertation. So he knew she’d want to go to the Blue Planet. And he knew she would be disappointed when he had to say ‘No.’
“I’m very sorry, Sofia, but that won’t be possible,” he tells her gently, after she finishes.
(I knew it! What a waste of time. Why do I even bother with this shit?)
He pauses to let her respond, but when she sits there implacably, saying nothing, he continues. “Not this time, I’m afraid. I know it’s not fair, but there is so much at stake, and too many people involved, all the way up to the IPA Minister. Under any other circumstances I’d be more than willing to give you a chance, but I can’t. Not this time. I’m very sorry. I hope you understand.”
Sofia shrugs and nods her head. He sees the brilliant light in her emerald-green eyes dim slightly. “But I’ll tell you what,” he goes on. “We have another field opportunity this fall which I think would be perfect for you. And in the meantime, I’d like you to be my lead assistant on this project, too. Ok?”
Sofia feigns a weak smile . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places, events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Gregory James
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