A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter V: Day/Page 44 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . “Pils, look. You heard the Professor say that the military Hawks won’t be ready until tomorrow morning, and that’s the best case scenario. What if there’s a delay? What if something goes wrong? Then there won’t be time enough left for a second try, right? It’ll be too late.”
“That’s why we’re getting everything ready here, as a backup. You said so yourself.”
“But think about it. Our lab is practically all set. Theirs won’t be ready until tomorrow. We lose a whole day because the military has other priorities. Don’t you want to save Dr. Thrush?” she asks, knowing it was a cheap shot, but hoping it would propel him to action.
“Of course!” shouts Pils out loud. Then reverting back to telepathy, “Of course, I do. But you’ll have to talk to Professor Hawkeye about that. And I seriously doubt he’ll go for it.”
“Well, obviously he won’t go for it. That’s why we need to do it ourselves, without him knowing. So he won’t get into trouble. He can’t be involved.”
“But what about me? I don’t want to get into trouble either. I don’t want to be involved. I like my job here and don’t want to lose it.”
“So your job is more important than saving someone’s life?” she prods telepathically, knowing it was another low-blow.
“That’s not fair. I feel terrible about what happened and would do anything I can to help.”
“Well… then you can do this. You can do this one small thing.”
“No, I’m sorry, I can’t. This is not ‘one small thing.’ This is a big thing—a very big thing!”
(Better not push him too hard, just yet.) “Ok, look, we don’t need to make a decision right now. Let’s think about it. We can decide later.”
“I’ve already decided. I’m not doing it,” he says aloud, removing his necklace and tossing it on the table.
Sofia removes hers too, leans in and whispers. “Think about this… If I get to her pod before the military even launches, then not only do we save her life, but we also save the project, since then the military would not go through with the reset now either. Think about that. We’ll be heroes.”
“First of all, we won’t be heroes—we’ll be in big trouble, that’s what we’ll be. Second, there’s no way you can get to her pod before nine o’clock tomorrow when it takes twenty-two hours just to get there and back. It’s impossible. I’m sorry, Sofia, but I’m not doing it. I can’t.”
(Be patient.) “I understand. Let’s just think about it for a while.”
Pils shakes his head, rolling his eyes in frustration.
One of the support engineers . . .
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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