Pluribus 4

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September 12, 2031, 1:00 PM.

“Welcome to my graveyard, Mr. Jin!”

George Seldezky stood in an empty room. He was a madman, a fat man and the team’s historian. He wore a lab coat, a two cyber gloves and a helmet. He handed Don a guest helmet so he could see what Seldezky was seeing, a black space full of floating icons and pages of documents.

Don tried to steady himself. “What is all of this?”

Seldezky laughed like Falstaff with a Russian accent. “This is the way of all corporate flesh, Mr. Jin. Factories, offices, equipment, people all go away, but paperwork is eternal. This is all that remains of Netrosonics. Like Ozymandias, look on their works and despair!”

“Is there any mention of Pluribus in any of this?”

Suddenly fifty years of documents disappeared. A handful of photocopies that had been fed at an angle through a flatbed scanner formed a circle around them. Handwriting in English, e-mails with delete marks, contact lists, photo IDs, cancelled checks, expense reports orbited slowly around them.

A good detective looks for something out of place. One document caught Don’s eye. He pointed to it and Seldezky stopped the motion with a wave of his left hand. It was some sort of legal agreement, but unlike any of the other documents, it was unsigned.

Seldezky approved. “Our late Mr. Freid caught that too. An unsigned agreement is not an agreement. We cannot exhume this corporate corpse and build our latest Frankenstein until this matter is settled. There is a list of names associated with document.” He dragged another document next to the first.

Don felt like he was on to something. “Give me copies of everything, but highlight these two documents for me please. Can you give me the latest information on them?”

“Of course. As you see, most of them are in America. Not a friendly place to be right now. You are not thinking of going there? Are you crazy?”

“I know what I am doing Dr. Seldezky.”

“Make sure you get your shots.” He was serious.

Copyright 2006 DJ Cline. All rights reserved.