Margaret flipped through the invoices for five minutes before tossing the bound collection onto her desk. She stared at the short, balding man sitting in front of her. When he did not speak her stare turned to a glare. He tried to sink further back into the uncomfortable, expensive, wooden chair, but it only made him appear that much more pathetic in her eyes.
“Well?” She felt like the statement conveyed her needs well enough, but he still did not speak. She sighed, grabbed the invoices from her desk, and tossed them into his lap. “Why the fuck should I care about these, Carl? They’re bills. Assholes like you pay the bills, or pay someone to pay the bills. I don’t give a shit about the bills. That is your job.”
Carl swallowed hard and opened his mouth to speak, but his jaw clamped shut before he could utter a word. He did not want to get it wrong. She was in a bad mood. She had been ever since she paid a visit to DarkSide, and it was getting worse by the day.
“I swear, Carl, I will pay a visit to see your wife and kids again if you do not start speaking this instant,” Margaret said in a voice barely louder than a whisper.
“They’re not our!” The speed and force with which Carl spoke surprised him. “They’re DarkSide’s. They’re buying all of this stuff, and we don’t know what it is for.”
“Take it to R&D. Let them figure it out,” Margaret said
“We tried. We even sent it to the others, but they’ve had no more luck than we did,” Carl said. “We think it is something new that Aldric Dewitt is working on, and since…”
“And since I worked with him you’re hoping I’ll be able to make sense of it where your pathetic little scientists cannot.” She hated them, all of them, but the scientists the most. They were so far behind the curve that she considered changing their titles to technician, but that would have been an insult to technicians. At least they were useful for something.
“Yes.” Carl did his best to keep the tremor from his voice. His wife could only get to sleep with a heavy dose of sleeping pills since Doctor Vo’s last visit. He feared that another visit would break her completely.
“Very well,” Margret said as she stood up and walked around the desk. “Have that list compiled into a more useful format. I don’t care where the parts come from or how much they cost. I want names, descriptions, and quantity.” She put her hands on her desk and glared at Carl. “Are we clear, Carl?”
Carl licked his lips and said, “Very.”
“Good. Get out of here and have the list brought to me by the end of the day.” Margaret turned her back on the little man, effectively dismissing him from her presence.
Carl stood up so fast that he nearly dropped the stack of invoices. He scurried for the door, glad that no one else was in the room to watch him.
“And, Carl,” Margaret said as his key card hit the sensor, “make sure to say hi to your wife for me.”
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