Scott flipped a page on a report and started to read. He groaned, set the report aside and leaned back in his chair. Why did these scientists have to say everything in such a complicated way on their reports? He wanted to keep a close eye on them and make sure that they weren’t doing anything that they shouldn’t, but the only thing that accomplished was making his head hurt. How did his father do it?
He pulled a drawer open on his desk and pulled out what appeared to be a hardened clump of red sand. He scratched at the surface of the clump and lifted it up to his nose and breathed in deeply. His eyes rolled back in his head and he let out a sigh of bliss. Without scrock he didn’t know if he could make it through the day.
A knock sounded at his door and he quickly replaced the clump of scrock in his drawer and slammed it shut. He picked up the reports he had been looking over and placed them in front of him. He cleared his throat and said, “Come in.”
Lawrence opened the door to allow himself in and closed it behind him. He smiled at Scott but his smile turned into a frown when he noticed a small trail of blood running out of Scott’s nose. He lifted his finger up to his nostril and said, “You seem to have a bit of a nose bleed, sir.”
Scott picked up a piece of tissue paper and dabbed at the blood running from his nose. That was the biggest drawback of using scrock to calm him down. If he didn’t do it someplace private the bloody nose was a dead give away. Why did Lawrence have to come to give his report now? He’d have to come up with a believable excuse to throw him off. “The air in this office is so dry. That’s not why you’re here though; is Tarren the one that stole our prototype?”
Lawrence shook his head. “I don’t think so. He seemed to be upset about your lack of help, but I didn’t get the feeling that he had anything to do with the attacks. He seemed just as in the dark as the rest of us are.”
Scott shook his head. Tarren had to be the one; he had access to the prototype around the time it went missing. Not only that, but he certainly matched the profile of the Masked Man. He couldn’t think of anyone else that would want the government off of Aquore badly enough to go as far as this Masked Man had. “Keep watching him, I’m sure he has something to do with this. Have the rest of our scientists keep their ears open for any other news that might help us figure out who’s behind this.”
Lawrence nervously cleared his throat. “Perhaps we could forget about Tarren for the moment and I could focus on our new project? I feel that would be more beneficial to the company as a whole.”
Scott frowned. He had thought that Lawrence wouldn’t have the spine to question him, especially after the way his predecessor was let go for doing that. Perhaps it was time to remind Lawrence of how he got to where he was. “I’m sorry, are you suggesting that I am wrong? Funny, the head scientist before you thought the same thing and look where that got him. Don’t forget how easily you replaced him, because I have an entire staff that could just as easily do your job.”
Lawrence shuddered and looked down at the floor. “Forgive me, sir. I can see now that following this Tarren should be my top priority.”
Scott smiled. That was the way that his employees should respond to his requests. Lawrence would do anything that he asked him to do now. He leaned back in his chair and nodded his head. “Good, I’m glad that you see things my way. How is your new project going?”
Lawrence hesitated before answering. “The project is developing, but we seem to have hit a bit of a snag. The acid eats through the rock well enough, but it alters the quorite whenever it comes in contact with it.”
Scott frowned. “Alters it how?”
Lawrence pushed his glasses further up his nose and shuffled his feet. “Once the process is finished it’s no longer quorite, it’s some other new metal that we haven’t found a use for yet.”
Scott shook his head. “This acid of yours was supposed to replace the suits that we lost because of that Masked Man’s attacks. If it makes the quorite useless, then it’s completely useless.”
Lawrence swallowed and replied, “We are aware of that, sir. We are taking another look at the formula to see if we can’t alter it to do what we want, but I haven’t been able to give it my full attention.”
Scott sat up and glared at Lawrence. “Are you trying to blame this on me?”
Lawrence jumped and replied, “Of course not, sir! I’m just trying to explain that it could take some time to perfect.” Scott glowered at Lawrence, and Lawrence picked up his clipboard and looked over his notes. “On the bright side, it has been suggested that we could spread some of this chemical over government mining sites to slow down their production of Quorite.”
Scott shook his head. “As much as I love the idea of that, it would simply make the supply of quorite diminish; we want to get as much as we can, not just more than the government. Keep at it, Lawrence. I expect to see results soon. You are dismissed.”
Lawrence opened his mouth to say more, but one look at Scott’s face and he just left the office. Scott sighed and sat back in his chair. Perhaps it was time that he met with the rebellion again. With all the chaos and riots going on the last thing he needed was for them to do anything foolish and get them all captured. The government’s focus may be on finding this Masked man, but they certainly couldn’t have forgotten about the rebellion. If he did it right, he could use the rebellion to take advantage of the confusion going on and send them on the offensive. Perhaps they even knew who this Masked Man was.
If he couldn’t get his prototype back at least he could use the Masked Man to continue his attacks on the government’s mining sites. That would certainly slow them down. He grimaced. He didn’t like the idea of it but perhaps he would have the Masked Man attack one of his mining sites to clear Daley Devices of any suspicion. The small mine near Lake Bed, that wouldn’t provide him with too much of a set back.
That prototype performed far better than he had expected them to. He knew that they would be able to mine quorite more efficiently than any team of humans could hope to, but he had never imagined the sheer power that they had. Perhaps he should have the project revived and sell them on some other planet as a weapon. No, he couldn’t do that. If the government came poking around at the wrong time they could blame the entire thing on Daley Devices, and his father wouldn’t be pleased with that. This Masked Man needed to be captured eventually and this whole matter die down before they could move forward with those designs. He would find out who this Masked Man was, use him until he saw fit to turn him into the government.
The first step of this new plan was to get in contact with John and start working with the rebellion once more. Scott pulled his drawer open once more and pulled out his lump of scrock and scratched the surface. He took a deep sniff and sighed in delight once more. His father may have been the inventor that started this company, but Scott was the mastermind that was going to make it greater than his father had ever dreamed possible.
Thank you for checking out my story, if you liked this and want to see more of it, come back on Friday when I will publish part three, and check out the other stories I’m working on writing, here: Tales of the Imagination, check out my facebook page to connect with me and give me some feedback: Facebook, and follow me on Twitter here: @EJBorchardt. Please like, comment, and tell your friends if you like what you’ve read, and don’t forget to check out my new book! You can buy a copy of it here: The Kids on the Case: Our First Case