“If you were a food, what food would you be?”
“A chef’s salad,” said our CFO, Cliff Rees. “No, wait,” Cliff said, “Sorry. I meant a cobb salad.”
“Mousse,” Leonard said thickly. “Because all my life people have thought of me as pudding.”
Julie said flatly, “Cream.”
“I would be a filet,” Whitley was saying. “A filet cooked well with only pepper and salt.”
Cliff really did seem like some sort of salad. Leonard really was pudding on the verge of becoming mousse.
Julie was unquestionably the smoothest, purest cream. Whitley was nothing if not well-done beef.
What food am I?
“He’s salmon cooked rare over an open fire,” Whitley said, and the rest paused. Pictured it. Then all began to nod.Here were the sentences from Friday:
Our stock price was up. Sales had quadrupled. We’d just bought this building. I now owned this view.
Three years ago there had been just thirty people. Now the five thousand all took direction from us.
“We could announce the creation of electricity,” Whitley said, “and the investors would line up to hand us their cash.”
The process had become known as drawing blood from a mainframe.
Every report, every plan.I took everything in.I remembered it all.Because really this company was my whole life.
The company it described had, from the beginning, formed an extremely intricate, carefully crafted lie.
And although I’d never wanted it to be this way, I was set to walk away with millions.
Because always it was there, the need to find a way.
Somehow, Robbie. Somehow. Keep the company alive.And from Saturday:
My lie, grown terribly large and impossibly complex in the three years since it had begun.
Each day keeping the company on track toward its demise. Still looking for a way out of the trap I’d created.
My own secret police, unintentionally hunting me down.
A high-tech fraud made up of a thousand interdependent deceptions.
The people who worked here, the companies we acquired, the stock we sold – all of it was an unseen disease.
And still, every day, the lie infected and reinfected each department, each system, each person who was here.
When it did finally kill us, it would do so suddenly. Completely.
The computers would stop working. The mainframes would shut down. The satellites might as well fall from the sky.
And no one would be able to decipher what exactly had happened.