Short Story – excerpt
Aiken Conner was anything but sure, so he lied to the supervisor towering over his workstation. “Yes, sir,” he said. “I love communications engineering, and I especially like working for Bicogen.”
“Sonny boy, you get paid for doing your job, not shopping for some…,” Mr. Shepherd went on with the lecture. Aiken tuned him out.
The guy was worse than his father. At least his father had helped him buy a house, but that only meant Aiken had more to lose if he got sacked. Maybe he could get the old man to back off his cut of the energy stream the solars generated while Aiken looked for a new job?
It was Aiken’s turn in whatever conversation they were having. “I’m sorry, Mister Shepherd. Bicogen landfills are my life,” he said. “It won’t happen again. Not on company time.”
Intombe snickered in the next workstation.
“You bet it won’t,” Shepherd said.
Buying his girlfriend a present was a crime? So what if it had taken an hour or so?
“And to make sure that it doesn’t happen again,” Shepherd said, “I’m giving you a tour of duty with Incident Control. You can install the new telemetry net in one of their Rovers, and then field-test it yourself for a couple of weeks. Pack up your stuff.
”Thank you, sir.”
When Shepherd had gone, Intombe leaned over the cubical divider. “Spend credits on your girl and get downgraded in the same day. You’ve got talent, Conner.”
“Run Off” issue 18 of the UK magazine Jupiter, October 2007
Ian Redman – editor