The next several days were a whirlwind of paperwork, face-to-face visits, and extemporaneous explanations (aka “lying”). Fortunately, these were all things I’d had a great deal of experience with. It felt good to exercise them on someone else’s behalf for a change.
In the end, we had arranged for a new campus, a significant loan of funds, and the transfer – and, eventually, relocation – of a large host of high-end servers from Persephone to Samson. Delilah landed her next few employees from the host of “security experts” who had helped expose the CSO’s vulnerabilities. Most of them just wanted to go back to their old lives, though. We assisted by lacing enough bogus trace data through the worldnets to keep the CSO busy chasing ghosts for years.
In the end, Persephone came out ahead, with me still at the helm and a steadfast ally on the council. I think it’s not a stretch to say I was in a better place with some the older corps, too, now that I’d “proven loyalty” to their cause or whatever. Hell, Laurie MacKinnon made some subtle passes at me last time we chatted. Not sure where that’s going.
Jet ended up staying with Persephone, though I offered him a glowing recommendation to move on to Samsoncorp if he was so inclined. He seemed to think I still needed a “solid buffer” with their “head on straight” to keep things running smoothly. I could run smooth, right? Right? Maybe he had a point.
When it was over, I felt like I hadn’t slept in a week. I called on CH prerogative and went off to a private house in the islands. A case of old whiskey and a pile of books awaited me, as well as the softest bed money could buy outside of zero G.
I watched the sun set over the ocean and began to drift off, feeling a real peace for the first time since dad had died.