The conference room was packed full to bursting with angry men and women all wanting to know the same thing. What the hell had just happened? The Fairgold Company was in complete disarray after their carefully, and hastily put together, new research vessel glitched out and took off while still in the hangar carrying off a visiting Senator and the head of the project. Not even mentioned were the five researchers, engineer, and four security team members who were also on board. Their fates were apparently of less importance. Kenric was barely keeping his cool throughout this meeting. He had only gotten in because he had stayed on past his shift and no one on the new shift had questioned it.
“How can you tell me we still don’t know how the Twitch Drive activated? What are we paying you for?”
“Are you sure it wasn’t espionage from one of the other companies?”
“What are we going to do? We lost a Senator!”
The discussions kept going round and round. Everyone trying to figure out what happened and how they were going to do damage control on the incident. If they could get another vessel ready in time to still beat the other companies also racing to reach Berith 2. It kept coming back to the bottom line. Profit for the company. Normally he could keep his professional mask in place regardless of whatever materialistic bullshit he heard or saw but the molten pit of fear and rage growing in his gut was about to melt that mask. He had to keep it together. He wouldn’t be able to help D and the others if he got himself thrown out. Just keep it together.
“How are we going to rescue the Senator?”
Finally! It was about fucking time someone asked that question. It still irked him that they were focusing on just the Senator and not everyone who was lost but if it got his brother back home safe and sound he wasn’t about to complain. In that regard he guessed he was just as guilty in his single mindedness.
Not quite totally single minded though. His anger kept competing with his guilt. He should have stepped through that doorway. Why the hell had he hesitated? When their parents died their last request was for him to watch over Dimitri. He’d tried his best to honor that request. Always being there for him. Making sure he was safe and cared for. That he knew what to do. He’d been called a mother hen more than once by their director but he couldn’t help it. They didn’t have anyone else.
He needed to take a breath. He had taught Dimitri what to do in about any emergency situation. He would be fine. It’s not like when he got himself locked in a trunk back at the orphanage when he was nine. Or when he got locked out on the roof at the elementary school when he was twelve. Can’t forget when he almost drowned sneaking into the public pool on the night of his sixteenth birthday. Maybe remembering all of that wasn’t the best way to ease his anxiety. He needed to focus on the fact that D wasn’t a kid anymore. He could take care of himself and the others. Soon he’d hear the plan to rescue everyone on the ship and things would be fine. Just breathe.
“Rescue? There’s not going to be a rescue attempt. There were no coordinates inputted into the Twitch Drive before it activated. The ship could be anywhere and we have no way of chasing after it right now. The military is sending descriptions to all of the ships currently out but there’s not much hope of finding them.”
He must not have heard that right. “What the fuck do you mean there’s not going to be a rescue attempt?” Did he just say that out loud? A good many annoyed faces turned his way from the executives and big wigs in the room along with shocked looks from the rest of the security detail. He’d never done anything like this before. Fuck it. “You’re just giving everyone up for dead?!”
There were uncomfortable looks shifting around. “We’re not giving anyone up for dead. It simply isn’t possible for us to do anything at this moment. Now be quiet or you’ll be removed from this room!” The security team was looking uncomfortable now. He’d trained quite a few of them and had worked with the rest for years. They all knew if he didn’t want to leave the room it would likely take all six of them to remove him. Especially with the close quarters of the conference room.
He didn’t care right then though. His vision was going red. Forget trying to breathe, it was taking all he had not to walk over and strangle the arrogant, heartless, shithead glaring at him. Anyone with the barest of self preservation instincts would have been backing up. Breathe. Just breathe. Keep it together. D needed him to keep his cool. Cool, calm, and collected. Oh fuck this shit.
“Not possible my ASS! That’s my brother on that ship! You tell me how you’re going to get him back!!”
Suddenly the stuffed shirt was right in front of him being held about a foot off the floor by fistfuls of his white shirt in Kenric’s hands. He didn’t remember having crossed the room. That was a bad sign. The blood pounding in his ears was an equally bad sign. He hadn’t lost his temper like this since he couldn’t remember when. The rest of the security team was around him and looking nervous. Shit. He needed to calm down.
“Thorne, you need to back down. We’re all worried about D and the rest but we can’t go splattering the suits across the walls. It’s not going to help anyone.”
If anyone other than Toby had told him that he doubt it would have gotten through. But Toby had known both him and Dimitri for years. They’d been groomsmen at Toby’s wedding. He released his grip on the man letting him drop to the floor. Turning around he let Toby lead him from the room. Breathe. Just breathe.
“We’ll get him back. We’ll get them all back. I know the Director’s been at Fairgold and isn’t going to let them get away with that bullshit. If there was even a remote chance of this happening he never would have accepted this contract. You know that. Keep your cool. I’ve got to go back in but I’ll let you know what else goes on. We’re not letting them sweep this shit under the rug. Not that they could with Senator Lawrence going missing too. There’s no way for them to get out of this.”
He nodded and watched as Toby walked back into the conference room. What the hell was he supposed to do now? He couldn’t just sit back and wait for them to pull their heads out of their asses. He had to do something but what? It wasn’t like he had any connections he could pull on this. If they had gone missing on any of the colonized planets from Berith 1 to Earth he could have done quite a bit. Outside of the colonies though he was limited. There had to be something.
Turning he was surprised to see Daisy standing by the conference room door. Aw hell, that was perfect. Of course she had seen all that. It would make sense though that others involved in the project and witnesses for the resulting shit storm would be there. Great. His brother was missing and he had just made himself look like a psycho in front of the girl he couldn’t get out of his head. All he needed now was to look down and realize he wasn’t wear pants today. As out of it as he was feeling it was a distinct possibility.
“I’m so sorry about Dimitri. It’s all my fault that he was even on the ship in the first place.”
“No need to apologize, you weren’t the one who launched the ship. Though if I ever find out who was responsible I’m making no guarantees on him living long. You were in there for the meeting?”
She nodded but was still looking far too nervous. He’d likely scared her by implying homicide. Especially after his psycho performance in the conference room. Oh well. It wasn’t exactly an act. He had no problem going to prison for family. “So you heard they’re not doing anything to get everyone back. Fuck, I wish I could figure out a way to chase after them.”
“What if I said I might have a way?”
That got her a shocked look. She might have a way? There was a chance they could go after D and the others?
“Then I’d say we should adjourn to the pub around the corner where we can grab a booth and you can tell me what the plan is.”