Positrons and Paychecks (Part 3)

Read Part 1

Read Part 2


Two weeks later…

My suit was freshly laundered and tailored – it’s surprising how much weight and muscle mass you lose in orbit, even when the station has an artificial gravity. Looking at my reflection, I took a deep breath. The theorists had done an excellent job making the models, now I had to sell the system as best I could to a digital conference room full of scientists, defense contractors, even a few political leaders. No pressure, James. Right?  I grabbed a glass from my fridge and poured in a small amount of bourbon. Taking another breath, I quaffed the drink in one gulp, grimaced slightly, and went back to adjusting my tie.

I hated this part – I’d rather be in the lab or engineering bay than selling a product. At least Sam was happy again, though. She burst into my office a day after our meeting. Something about being locked out of her lab (all labs to be exact) as well as her email and workstation. Wouldn’t listen to a word of reason, either. It wasn’t until I had mentioned that she would be going planetside with Arianna that she finally calmed down and ran off to pack her things. It gave me a week of relative quiet to try and see if this plan was as feasible as I was making it out to be. Seeing the models relaxed me somewhat, and then Sam was back, working 18-hour days and doubling the station’s coffee budget single-handedly.

And now? I walked down the hallway to the digital conference room. The conference started in ten minutes. I had my cues prepared, the presentation was ready, and I was prepared for most questions that the audience would have. The scientists, at any rate. Who knows what will come out of the mouths of the other two types? I walked into the room, sat down in a chair, and tried to relax.

Two hours later…

“So, how’d it go?” Sam asked, mixing what was probably her fourth cup of coffee. She had walked – almost skipped – into my office almost moments after I had gotten back. I hadn’t even had time to log in to my workstation.

“Well enough. DoD wants us to send them the models, have their own scientists check the math.” I logged in, and saw that I had received a dozen emails from the time that I left the conference until now. People were excited, that was for sure.

“They’re wasting their time…” she said melodically, and took a sip from her mug. “What, are they hoping to find an error, or are they hoping to scoop us?”

“Most likely the former. I’m pretty sure that they’ve learned not to try and scoop you after the last time.” Sam had a bit of a reputation in her field, even more so than I did.

She laughed. “I have no idea what you’re talking about…” A full gulp this time.

I took the mug out of her hand. Her expression darkened for the briefest of moments. “All right, I’ll bite. Why are they wasting their time, and why are you so happy that you willingly came to my office in the middle of the work day?”

She snatched back her mug from my desk. “It works.” With that, Sam got up and left. After a moment of thought processing, I leapt out of my chair and followed her out the door.


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