Chapter 1 revised continued

*****


Casey was scared. He didn’t know what had just happened but he knew it was bad. “Damn you Jim why weren’t you here tonight?” He cursed to himself. He picked up the phone to make a call.

“Rogers’ residence.” A young female voice answered the phone.

“Is your Daddy there please?” Casey asked.

“Daddy’s in bed. He doesn’t feel too good.” The little voice said.

“How about your Mommy, is she home?”

“No she’s at work”

“Please honey, tell your dad it’s Brian from work on the phone and it’s important.” Casey was frantic.

“He told me not to wake him up. He’ll yell at me if I do.” The little girl was not being helpful.

Casey pleaded with the little girl. “Please wake him up and put him on the phone, I really need to speak with him.”

Roger’s daughter stood fast. “Daddy told me not to wake him up for any reason, he’s sick.”

“Damn it!” Casey’s voice began to break into a scream. “Put him on the phone now or I’m going to come over there and drag him out of bed.”

The line went dead. Brian fumed. It was a hollow threat. No one left early at Unicore. There was too much security for that to be possible. Any attempt to do so would be detected in seconds and security would notify management immediately. Others had tried and subsequently lost their jobs over it.

“Christ, Christ, Christ!” He swore out loud. The phone ringing interrupted his tirade. “Yeah!” Casey snapped into the mouthpiece.

“Jesus, Brian what did you say to Amanda? She’s crying, telling me you’re going to pull me out of bed. What the hell is wrong?” It was Rogers and about time, too he thought.

“Jim you gotta get over here now.” Brian said. “The ****’s gonna hit the fan buddy and you and I have a front row seat.”

“What the f.., what’s goin’ on Brian?” Rogers asked.

“Not over the phone.” Brian countered. “Get over here. I don’t care if you’re dying. If you’re not here in fifteen minutes, I’m going to get sick myself and go home. This is your shift I’m on. I’m you tonight, remember.”

Brian slammed the phone down and poured another coffee. More caffeine, he thought, just what I need.

“Calm down, I’ll be there in half an hou…r,” realizing he was talking into a dead phone, he hung up and redialed his office. Casey answered. “Brian,” Jim’s tone was curt, “I’ll be there as soon as I can. I have to wait for my wife to get home. An hour tops. In the meantime try to keep your **** together. Whatever it is, it can’t be all that bad.” He hung up before Casey could respond.

***
Jim Rogers pressed his thumb on the reader and opened the door to his office. He shared the space with Brian but there was only one desk. Only one of them should be on duty at a time. Brian didn’t look well. He was white as a sheet and despite the air conditioning, beads of sweat dripped off his temples and down his cheeks. Something very bad must have happened.

“So that’s the story.” Brian said as he wrapped up the events of the past eight hours. He had spent all night trying to undo whatever it was he did but to no avail.

Jim shook his head. “Dieter’s not going to like this,” he said. “You know he’ll fry us in oil over losing a file. Surely there must be a backup somewhere.”

“Tell me where and I’ll go get it.” Brian’s frustration was getting the better of him. “There aint no ****in’ backup at least none we can get to. Dieter is expecting a daily report and if it is not in on time he’ll be knocking on our door. You know what he’s like. Regardless of what actually happened, he won’t understand a mistake. You know he’ll make us pay. ****in’ Nazi!”

Jim scowled and thought for a moment, he didn’t like stereotypical remarks. “Calling him names isn’t going to solve anything, we’ve got the weekend. Dieter won’t be in until Monday so we can buy ourselves some time. Let’s keep digging and if all else fails we’ll make up a report. We’ll have to make one anyway, ‘cause last night’s is gone for good. With luck we can probably keep this under wraps for weeks. What about the other file is it okay?”

Brian thought about it for a minute. He was bushed. He’d been up for over twenty-four hours and all he wanted to do was sleep. “Yeah, it seems to be fine. Christ, this is really screwed up man. I gotta get some rest. Let me go home and I’ll be back in a couple of hours to give you a hand.”

“Not a chance. You got us into this mess and by all that’s holy, you’re gonna help get us out. Pull up a chair. Let’s get started.” Brian grabbed a chair and reluctantly got to work.