Bad Timing, Part 2

So. Trapped in my own office and private quarters. As Middle Guy – apparently, Sergeant Black – had escorted me there, I was treated to a montage of CSO minions tearing apart the server rooms. Likely using tools as comparable to mine as a sledge and hammer to a manufactury robot. I wished them luck. But mostly I wished them the intelligence to not break anything beyond repair. Brutes.

Jet sat across from me in my social meeting room. They hadn’t known what else to do with him on short notice, I imagine. The rest of the employees had either been cleared out or detained for interrogation. My assistant, though, had been caught red-handed in the cables with me. No doubt he was suspected of… whatever it was they suspected of me. They hadn’t actually said.

As I looked around the well-appointed, professionally decorated and feng-shui’d parlor, I thought over all the guests I’d had here. Corporate heads of every major corporation, most of the middling ones, and a few of the minor ones that amused me or struck me with a particular genius. Some of them I’d even considered friends. I wondered which ones had voted to take me down?

It took a majority vote of the corporations as well as unanimity among the ten most powerful. Persephone excepted, of course. Did they think I had actually done something wrong? Or were they simply taking an opportunity? Heh. Some of both, I’d guess. I might do the same in any of their places. Maybe I’m not such a great friend, either.

Jet was shaking, head down on the table, hands clenched. I’m sure someone might have been able to comfort him, but it wasn’t me. We were both helpless here. Cut off. No comms allowed in or out. When the CSO came in like this, lawyers and courts were irrelevant. Those were for the little people, the little things. Here, the CSO would decide everything. It barely had precedent for actual use, but there it was.

Bzzt. Bzzt.

What the hell? My desk comm was buzzing. It couldn’t be the CSO. They’d just walk right in. And the lines should be locked, anyway.

“Mr. Hellard,” said a familiar voice, quietly. “I believe you and I have some things to discuss.”