The Myopian Defence

Roger

Roger could hardly believe his luck. He was almost certain that this project was doomed. Luck had never been something that he had factored into strategic planning. He relied on sound research and a skilled team of analysts. On this project he had a clear lack of each, and yet he still achieved his mandate, at the 11th hour, by way of what could only be described as a fluke. Despite not believing in karma or some universal benevolent force, he had to admit there was a serendipitous aspect to the whole situation that gave him an uneasy feeling. For the first time in his life, the approaching accolades he would receive were not earnt through precise calculation. Roger would own it, nevertheless. There was a lesson to be learned here that was not to be disregarded, he would never over promise and under achieve again. As long as he remembered not to become complacent, he would claim this victory. There really wasn’t much choice. As Stanley Lucas was draped in a metallic thermal blanket and escorted out of the boardroom by the security staff, it signified the end of the crisis meeting. As the executives shuffled out Roger was dealt a few complimentary pats on the back and passing ‘never-had-a-doubt’ comments from various members of the board. He stood there, still dumbfounded, smiling and nodding as they exited. Arthur Cunningham was the last to exit, this was pre-meditated, Roger had no doubt. He approached with an exaggerated slow clap. ‘Bravo Roger.’ His smile was forced, and it was hard to read. ‘I don’t know how you did it, particularly with that rag tag crew you had put together, but it sure looks like you really have pulled a rabbit out of hat. Better than pulling another rabbit out of a scientist’s arm I suppose.’ There was the patented Cunningham sneer, he really was impossible to please. ‘I trust you will have a prototype set of serums fit to specifications delivered to our government friends before our agreed deadline of 8pm MST?’ ‘Of course, Arthur. I have eight samples prepared and locked in my bio-safe in my Penthouse.’ A lie. ‘Perfect,’ Arthur grumbled, still not a congratulatory word. ‘There is one other thing, Roger. Our government friends have been quite particular about your instructions for delivery. You are to deliver the test batch of serums to a lock box at Central Acetyl Station.’ Government contracts, always with the cloak and dagger routines. ‘Not a problem, I’ll Gyro in tomorrow morn-’ ‘No, you won’t,’ Arthur abruptly cut him off. ‘I will give you the details of the deposit box. You will get the Magnatrain directly to Central Acetyl from the station closest to your apartment.’ He took a breath to continue, clearly even with all the enhancements Arthur’s ancient body struggled to keep up at times. ‘They don’t care specifically when you make the drop, just as long as it is before the agreed deadline of 8pm, you deliver it personally and you travel by train.’ Of course, the government wanted back stage seats to his every move and would be somewhat hindered if he took the company Gyro. No, they would prefer to be tracking him with CCTV drones in case he ran into any interference en route. ‘I think I can manage that, Arthur.’ Roger couldn’t help but add in a touch of sarcasm to his tone. ‘Very well then, that will be all.’ Roger supposed that was Arthur’s way of telling him to get out of the boardroom, so he could contemplate and brood in peace. Roger turned and headed to the now less ominous onyx double doors. As he approached Arthur sang out, ‘And Roger!’ Perhaps he finally had given in to the urge to commend him, Roger thought. He swivelled to meet Arthur’s gaze, smiling. ‘Don’t fuck it up!’ Miserable bastard.

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