Slaiton nearly dropped his pad. His jaw most definitely dropped. At the moment, he didn’t care what his heavies saw. Prepared statements and comebacks fled his brain.
“How?” he choked out roughly. “That would take at least -”
“At least a simple majority of the current corporate council,” Hellard finished. “Which I have. Most of them were actually rather enthusiastic, once I explained everything that had been going on. Some even applauded my ingenuity, I might add, though I rarely self-aggrandize.” He winked.
“What? You told them everything? Then how -”
“I told them that Persephone has been running a clandestine review of the CSO’s security and responsiveness for months now, culminating in the fiasco earlier today. Which you failed at utterly, I might add. When I provided data to the rest of the council, they were extremely disappointed.”
Slaiton gave up and threw his pad to the ground. “That damn secminion! I trusted her. I swear she will never work in -”
“I think you’ll find her resignation letter already awaits you. She’s been hired as Samsoncorp’s first employee. Interestingly enough, we discovered that the CSO has nothing resembling a non-compete clause in its contract anywhere. Not much foresight there. You might want to have your lawyers look into that.”
“Non-compete? You mean that… that Samsoncorp is…”
“Going into the secure storage business, Commissioner,” Hellard said. “The council actually thought it very humble of me to spawn off a corporation to my top security researcher instead of holding onto this data myself. They might have had issues with me doing it directly. But here we are. I have all the paperwork in order, ready for your review, if you like.”
“So who is this new security head of yours?” Slaiton asked. At this point, his brain had given up. He knew he’d been defeated, somehow, and was just trying to figure out how.
“I believe you’ve met in a few circumstances,” Hellard said. “She’s gone by Dee. Short for Delilah Helsdottir. A wonderful employee who deserves all I’ve given her. I couldn’t be more proud.”
“Delilah?” Slaiton roared. “But she’s – it’s just a – a server – a program – a thing!”
“On the contrary, I think you’ll find all her files and records to be completely in order. She’s a distant cousin, actually. Hopefully I won’t get blamed too much for the nepotism.” Again, the bastard winked. “Alas, she couldn’t join us in person today, but she should be calling in soon to finalize her status to the other council members.”
Slaiton turned on his heel and walked out, leaving his troops standing alone, unsure of what to do. After a few moments, they began to trickle out the door.
The closure of the door behind the last one was met with uproarious laughter.