Quick Sale (page 6)
Two years passed and he was amazed at what he had accomplished. His power and money commanded respect. He allowed himself a beard to make himself look distinguished. His eyes were still clear and warm. Although everyone treated him with the utmost deference, he knew he was no better than anyone else, just luckier. Underneath his prim and proper exterior he was the same salesman who used to sell personal companions. He didn’t tell anyone about the anxiety he felt before board meetings. He just took charge and they all looked up to him. But in the pit of his stomach he sometimes felt as if disaster was waiting for him just around the corner.
One day as Jasper sat in the corporate boardroom with his sales managers comparing the month’s gains against previous stats, the slim communicator attached to his wrist vibrated, signifying an incoming message. Not wishing to be disturbed, he clicked the control to emergency only. The meeting continued but the communicator began to whine softly. Before long it had become an angry shriek.
“It had better be important,” he muttered, “or I’ll have someone’s job for interrupting me like this.”
The women and men around Jasper were shocked into silence as he stalked scowling from the room. Only as he passed through the door did they dare speak. The excited whispers burst from their lips.
“I wonder what’s going on?”
“He really looks upset, doesn’t he?”
“I’d hate to have him that angry with me.”
He hurried into his office where his executive secretary waited patiently with several visitors. The visitors, three women and one man, looked up as Jasper passed under the still rising door. “What’s the meaning of this?” he demanded.
He glared at them but there was no immediate answer. After a few seconds his secretary, a middle-aged man with calm countenance, introduced the visitors and then sat back, recording all conversations.
A lawyer with a sunburned face with light areas around his eyes, was the first one to speak. He blurted out, “You’ve been accused of a heinous crime, sir. I was on vacation and I was summoned off the ski slopes just to defend you.”
One of the women spoke next. “I am Jonquil, Judge of civil crimes in the eastern part of the city. I have been selected to judge fairly and without prejudice.”
Only then did Jasper recognize her as being a pc. She had been made by his own firm and with the latest and finest materials. It would be impossible for her to be bribed or for anyone to think her rulings were unfair. Her program would not allow any deviations.
“I represent the plaintiff,” the next woman stated flatly. “Her complaint is interesting. That’s why I took this case. I think I’ll let Daira state the charge herself. She’s been very eloquent.”
Quick Sale (page 6)