A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter V: Day/Page 41 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . The Professor stiffens. “Twenty-four hours! No, that’s far too long. We’ll have everything set to go at our site in only two hours.”
“With all due respect, Professor, I’ve seen how things work over there, at your site, and I’m not about to have you dip—have you try again with my guy. Besides, we need that much time to prepare the reset code.”
“The reset code? What does that have to do with this?”
“Professor, obviously it doesn’t make sense for us to go through all the trouble and expense of sending the Major all the way to the planet, and then not initiate the reset while he is there.”
“But I already have two other researchers there.”
“Professor, please. You’ve come to me for—Oh, thank you, Private.”
The Admiral takes the two coffees being handed to him.
“Here you go, Professor—cream with extra sugar. Now, as I was saying, you’ve come to me for help. And I’m happy to provide it. But we have our own objective, as you know, which is initiating the reset. You asked for two months to conduct your research, which despite my reservations I agreed to, but now that this new situation has developed, you can’t expect us to simply drop everything to help you, without us also trying to achieve our own objective. Therefore…”
The two debate the issue for another 20 minutes until the Professor decides it is pointless. He resolves instead to take up the matter directly with the IPA Minister and let him put the necessary pressure on the Admiral. He regretted not having thought of doing so earlier. The Admiral did not need to do anything that LAAC requested, but he did have to heed the IPA. They provided oversight for all his activities and approved his funding as well.
With a renewed sense of hope the Professor thanks the Admiral again, says he needs to get back to his team, and tells him they are available to support the military in any way possible. As soon as he is outside the building and confident that he could not be overheard by any of the thousands of recording devices he suspected the military had ferreted around their building, he calls the IPA Minister.
It’s a short call. And the blossoming hope he felt only moments ago is summarily crushed. The Minister expresses his “heart-felt sympathy and deepest regrets,” but says that the Admiral called him earlier and made clear that under the circumstances they must move forward with the reset, and so the Minister is not in a position to countermand that decision. Even though the IPA provides all the high-level objectives for interplanetary affairs, he explains, the military has complete tactical authority for how those objectives are achieved. There is nothing he can do. His hands are tied. “But please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything—absolutely anything—that I can do to help,” he adds.
“Uh, huh. I see that. You’ve clearly done everything possible so far.”
“Thank you. I’m so glad to hear that. As I said, if there is anything… anything at all… all you have to do is ask.” . . .
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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