11: Blackmail, Discussion, Assumptions, Demands, Complications

19:32 Tue 12 Sep 2006
[, , , , ]

“What if that’s all a cover?”
“What if the whole point of the archive planet role is to make us assume that’s where he got the information?”
“Where else could it come from?”
There was a pause as the Board Members considered this.

“You don’t really think that it’s—”
“He knew about the project. He’s been out there all this time. This is a perfect opening salvo. He could reshape the Board with it. This is his scheme.”
“But there’s been no sign—”
“Of him? No. I find that worrying. Haven’t you all worried that he’s going to reappear suddenly? But why reappear at all if you can work through a proxy?”
“What if you’re wrong?”
“What’s Lawrenceson going to do? It lets us delay, gives him a chance to make a mistake.” The others nodded assent or simply shrugged.
“Bring him in.”

Bruce Lawrenceson was escorted into the Boardroom. He was nervous but exultant. Even getting into this room was a magnificent achievement. And it meant they weren’t going to kill him yet.

Sturl spoke for the Board. “We have examined your materials and your offer. It’s compelling. You have covered yourself well.” Lawrenceson’s heart leapt. They were going to give him what he wanted!
“However, there is one problem. You’re working with someone else.”
Lawrenceson blinked. “Someone else? Who? If your rivals knew about this they wouldn’t keep it se—”
“Not them, Mr. Lawrenceson. Your boss. Truder Redmane.”
Lawrenceson was stunned. Truder was an ex-Board Member, had been missing for years. What did he have to do with this?
“We want to deal with him in person. We’ll let you arrange this.”
“But I’m not working for him!”
“We need more proof than your word. The discussion is closed pending further developments. Please escort him out.”

(300 words)

The above is part of a series of microfiction pieces.

Leave a Reply