A satire of dysfunctional politics and economic disparity.
Chapter V: Day/Page 47 CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY. . . . (This calamity is getting worse by the minute.)
“What can I tell you?” says Sinclair. “We’re doing the best we can. I guess it means the Major will have to really hustle, if he wants to save your bird in time.”
Sinclair pauses. “I’m sorry, that was insensitive.” (That’s better.) “I’m sure Dr. Thrush—that’s her name, right? Dr. Thrush must be a friend of yours. Look, I know how urgent this is, and I assure you that we’re doing everything possible, but there are specific steps we must take, and each step takes a specific amount of time, as I know you both can appreciate, so it is what it is. If there is any way we can shave time off the schedule, we will. I promise. We’re doing our best, that’s all I can say.”
“And we appreciate it,” says Sofia. “We really do. Now if you will excuse us, we should go and let you get back to work.”
“But you two just got here. Don’t you want me to show you around?”
“No, that won’t be necessary. You have more important things to do than babysit us. We’ll get out of your way. But please call if there is anything you need.” She touches her wrist phone to his. “Here’s my direct number, and our team should be over here in about an hour to help.”
After they leave one of the other military engineers approaches Sinclair. “Who’s that? A couple of egg-headed mouse-wipes from LAAC?”
“No,” says Sinclair. “That was Sofia Song.”
As they board the shuttle back to the Academy, Pils says, “I didn’t want to say anything in front of the military guys, but why did you want to leave so quickly? I don’t get it. We should have stayed to help them.”
“You saw—they’re not going to be ready in time, with or without our help. Meanwhile, we’re sitting around on our ass doing nothing, while Dr. Thrush’s crystal goes tick tock. We have to do something, Pils, and you know it.”
Pils chews nervously on his talons, or what’s left of them, glancing about the shuttle compartment, looking trapped, wanting to flee.
“You know I’m right,” Sofia says, pulling his hand away from his mouth. “If we don’t, she’s going to die. We—I—have to go there and help her. There is no other way.”
“How? I can’t exactly sneak you out, can I, with everyone around?”
“Nobody’s around! By the time we get back, everyone will be heading over to the military site to help them, and won’t return until tomorrow.”
Pils rummages through his mind for another excuse. “Well, in that case I can’t do it alone. We need at least two people to push the two launch buttons at the same time. It’s a fail-safe procedure so no single person can do it by accident. So, if everyone is gone, then I can’t exactly push both buttons myself simultaneously, since they’re on opposite sides of the room. So there! It’s impossible. We need two people, so forget it.”
“How about one of the . . .
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW. . . .
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
All rights reserved