28: News, Shock, Isolation, Reversal, Flight

22:33 Fri 29 Sep 2006
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I was on the bridge, researching recent Board activity, when the news hit.

There was a crazy wave preceding it, excitement and anger and outrage.

It was Redmane. A Redmane press conference. A Redmane press conference in which they announced that Redmane had been responsible for the Rethril disaster.

I couldn’t take it in.

They said that they’d only recently discovered the truth. That it had been a secret program on Rethril, known only to a few. That two Board Members had been involved in a genetic engineeering scheme hidden from the rest of the company. One was the now-dead Lubomirski. The other was me.

They said that they’d put out the reward for this reason, and that they’d debated whether or not to admit the truth before deciding to come clean, regardless of what it cost the company.

Riots against Redmane facilities had already started. The public, and competitors, were already pushing politicians to inflict sever sanctions. The damage would be incalculable.

It was unbelievable. I knew they could fake the documents, make it look like a rogue project, but couldn’t understand why. When I was on the Board, exposure of this kind was one of our biggest fears. Was it internal Board warfare? But then why pin it on a dead man and an outcast?

Shara wouldn’t look at me, and ran off the bridge. My plans were ash now; I would truly be a pariah. I changed our course, aiming for a base outside the sector.

(250 words)

The above is part of a series of microfiction pieces.

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