Cold Effect E5

Novella Miniseries · Possible Cameo with Login


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No Sweat


When the interviewer leaves the room, she first examines Ray through a 2-way mirror for signs of nervousness. Ambyent also wants to hear if he phones someone about anything incriminating. Ray doesn’t even break a sweat. After 30 minutes, she tells the CEO, Starc Kontryst, about the potential hire.

“His credentials are impeccable but his focus is on serum development. Since we already have that, do we need someone from the outside?” asks Ambyent.

“If we turn him down, it might raise suspicion that we are not interested in a serum. We don’t have to reveal our plan to him. We can just get ahold of his data. Then we can assess the merits. Perhaps there is something that could improve our position. Bring him onboard,” concludes Kontryst while remaining behind the two-way mirror.

“Dr. Dyent, I am prepared to make you an offer for employment. I will send you a package by end of day. If you are in agreement, affix your signature and you can begin work on Monday, unless you need to give a longer notice,” says Ambyent.

“Thank you very much. Monday should be fine. Protocol is to escort an employee out the moment he notifies his employer he will be working for a competitor. This prevents him from confiscating records prior to departure. I will notify my employer on Friday,” Ray says with a wink.

“Great, I look forward to working with you,” concludes Ambyent.

After Ray leaves, Kontryst comes from behind the mirror towards Ambyent. “He seems a little too eager. Keep an eye on him.”

The Leak

As death rates climb, the Task Force is fielding questions about a correlation of deaths among hybrids. Vice President Taryn Alexander says that she has no knowledge of such data. After the press conference, she questions the President:

“I feel like I was thrown under a bus. Is there anything to these reports of the rhinovirus affecting only hybrid humans? If so, this bombshell should be coming from the RTF, not the media,” Taryn says.

“You handled the question well. We have nothing to report in this regard. Reporters are just looking for a sound-byte to publish a sensational headline. Stay in touch with the pharmaceutical consortium. That should be your basis for disseminating information,” responds President Thyme.

“Thank you, I will,” replies the Vice President.

Afterwards, President Thyme calls Stryk Baq into the Oval Office. “How did this leak out?”

The Chief of Staff nervously denies foreknowledge. “I have no idea Sir.”

“I should not have to emphasize the importance of confidentiality. Find the leak, and patch it!” exclaims the angry President.

New Job

After Ray receives the Genyologen job offer, he takes the packet to his handler, agent Jones. She has her forensics team go over it with a fine-toothed comb for irregularities. It appears airtight so he can sign and begin work on Monday.

“You will be under a microscope when you walk in. They will likely pick your brain before you can pick theirs. Acclimate yourself slowly. Do not walk in like Sherlock Holmes,” warns Maggie Jones.

“Understood,” Ray acknowledges.

On Monday, Genyologen Pharmaceuticals has cake in the break room to welcome the new hire. There he meets Mega Hertz, the programmer who keeps the company’s secrets. After introductions, Ray is led to his new office. While standing behind the desk, Ambyent asks for a copy of the NDA from his prior employer.

“I can bring that with me tomorrow, it it’s okay,” Ray replies.

“If it’s in the cloud, you can print it out on your new printer here. HR needs to see it so we can determine which projects you can work on,” insists Ambyent.

“Of course. Can you give me a couple hours to settle in and locate it in the cloud?” asks Ray.

“Sure, you can transmit it to me as a company document. Welcome aboard,” says Ambyent as she departs.

Ray sends a quick message to his handler since his real NDA would preclude his working for a competitor for at least one year. She agrees to make up a fake NDA and sends it back to him in time.

Ambyent shows the NDA to the CEO. He is suspicious of the omission of a non-compete clause. Keep him away from any sensitive information while I figure out how to handle this.

“Everything looks good. I would love to brainstorm any information about serums you have,” Ambyent tells Ray.

The two begin a lengthy discussion in Ray’s office. “Is it possible to see a lab?” asks Ray.

“We need time to prep an area for you,” replies Ambyent. “Jot down any other ideas you have and we can discuss them later today or tomorrow.”

The next day Ray shares a significant amount of actual serum research. Ambyent spends two days reading through it before having others in her room scour for anything of value. By Friday they determine that there is nothing useful to their own research.

During the first week, Ray drops flirtatious hints with Mega during coffee breaks. Only 5 years her senior, she finds him to be intelligent and attractive. But she keeps her guard up.

Ambyent shares her findings with Kontryst. He says, “It’s time to put this serum expert to the test. Tell him that all employees must be inoculated. Then inject him with the rhinovirus. Under that pressure, let’s see what viable serum he can develop.”

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