[Fiction] Why? [first draft]

Arshush paced the floor…and the walls…and the ceiling…his nine legs carefully treading the proper path to avoid wear and grime on the carpet, tapestries and ceiling mural.

He was fretting over the meeting he had just had with the chiefs of the Grand Bureaux — it did not go over well.

After all…

…his poor performance and scanty presentation could get him…relieved of his duties to the company…and of his life and family.

How could this have happened…how could this disaster to his career occur, he wondered.

Did he mistakenly delete the files in his data-box?

Was there a hacker who accessed it somehow, despite the safeguards in place?

Did the ‘box suffer the qubit equivalent of a data panic and not properly rebuild the internal memory?

Perhaps a stray cosmic ray particle disrupted the delicate entanglement of the qubits even with the shielding, corrupting the files?

Yes, perhaps that was it!

He cursed himself for not upgrading to the premium level of shielding for his data-box.

He seethed in frustration while hanging on the ceiling, fraught with self-loathing as the blood rushed to his foreheads.

The holocom in his office rang and hummed to life, it’s projector-beams resolving themselves into the image of his third-born son…

…his unworthy, disinherited and soon-to-be-fatherless third-born son.

“Dad…about the game I was playing on your data-box a couple of hours ago…we need to talk…” The voice on the holocom quavered…

…and then Arshush knew…he knew!..

…even as the retirement squad kicked in his office door with a crash to deliver a permanent — and fatal — dismissal notice.


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