Luminous (part 7)

Posted: August 3, 2010 in Short Stories

* * *

Marcus rummaged over what he had learned. It still didn’t make any sense, but he could see why someone would want his sister dead. For all intent and purpose, she could prove in a court of law that she created Epiphany. He could see how corporate hounds would want to silence her up, but then… wouldn’t they have done so by now? From his perspective, it appeared as though someone not very versed in the corporate world took his sisters idea and tried to sell it and got duped instead, losing out on a marketable idea like that must have really hurt. The corporation, not knowing the creative process behind the breakthrough could not duplicate anything beyond what the person had given them, but they had enough to corner the market. It didn’t take a leap of faith to see that someone went to his sister to refine Epiphany, and then came out with their own version and labeled it Luminous. That brilliance in itself proved the corporation did not create Epiphany, and demand for Luminous increased, forcing the corporation to make Epiphany available to the public. Someone who wanted to keep his sister a secret may have killed her to keep her away from the corporate dogs. The question was, who. Since his sister was not shy about rambling on and on with whatever was on her mind, it would be easy for anyone to bug and or record her musings. That person should have bursts of unexplained income. But not one of her friends had any swells of wealth. He was at a loss. He needed more to go on. He needed to speak with the CEO of the Tant Mieux Corporation, the dogs behind Epiphany.

* * *

“I’m here to see Russell Theodore Phillips,” Marcus spoke those words with such authority that the receptionist felt compelled to page the CEO billionaire.
“Um, Mr. Phillips, a Mr. Marcus Gillian is here to see you.”
A long pause.
“Send him in.” Mr. Phillips finally spoke.
“Mr. Gillian, Mr. Phillips will see you now.” She buzzed him in.
Marcus strode through the door like he belonged in the corporate world.

* * *

“Mr. Gillian, to what do I owe the occasion?” Russell Phillips was a well dressed man, whom liked his world as well dressed as himself. Everything had it’s place. Marcus Gillian was a man who was out of place, and Russell felt determined to put him there.

“I’m going to cut to the chase, as I do not want to waste your time and I am sure you do not want your time wasted.” Said Marcus.
Russell nodded. “Have a seat,” he pointed towards a chair.
“No thank you, I do not plan on being very long.”
“Who are you, Mr. Gillian?”
“Suffice to say that I have an agenda. I know you did not create nor facilitate the creation of Epiphany; my sister Rhyana is responsible for that. What I want to know is, are you responsible for her death.”
“My, you are direct. So what is it you want, reparations of some sort?”
“Justice, Mr. Phillips. My sister was not the type of person to kill herself.”
“I see.”
Silence.
Russell rises from his seat and crosses over to bar and pours himself a drink.
“Scotch, Mr. Gillian?”
“Just answer the question, Russell.”
Russell sighs, and then takes a long swig. “I can read a man, or woman like a book. I can tell that you will be a thorn in my side and cost my company a very substantial amount of money. So, let me assure you, that neither I nor anyone working for my company is responsible for your sisters… let’s say, unfortunate turn of events.”
“Well, I see you at least acknowledge that it was her who created Epiphany. What do you plan to do about that?”
“I suspected, but as your sister has no academic priors, and she has been classified with a learning disorder and antisocial skills, it was ruled as improbable by my scientific team. They viewed her as having fanciful desires and manifesting them coincidentally with other events. Now, Mr. Gillian, what do you suggest?” He takes another swig.
“I suggest you give her credit, let it be known that she was neither slow nor an idiot. Let her shine as a beacon, and let her death have meaning.”
“Is that all?”
“That’s all I want for my sister from you, yes.”
“I can do that, but you have to do something for me.”
Marcus squints his eyes, crosses his arms over his chest.
“As you well know, your sisters ideas are at least 30 years ahead of our scientific community, and 20 years ahead of my personal research team. We are playing catch up with Luminous. We can not break down the process, outside of it’s environment, the bonds break down and everything begins to feed on itself. It’s like a suicide code was written into the RNA. Without her process, her notes, her hypothesis her theories, other people like her will never get a chance to have normal lives, and the risks those who take it will remain high. Not to mention the fact that the percentage of retention is 75% more probable in those who take Luminous than Epiphany. When we received the first glimpse of Epiphany several years ago, we thought it was ludicrous, as Doctor Ephram Cohen’s original intent was to create artificial intelligence. We had no idea of the implications until we got the sample code through an anonymous email and a demand for 10 million dollars if we wanted the rest. Naturally since we already had enough information to create our own version, we ignored the demand and went ahead with our research. It is a dog eat dog world out there, and the pups shouldn’t play in the pen if they don’t want to get eaten.”
“I will see what I can do.”
“You do that.”
“I’ll be in touch.”
“See that you do.”
Marcus nodded. “I’ll let myself out.”
“You need anything, let me know.”
As soon as he was gone, Russell pulled out his cell phone, dialed a few numbers. “Gustav,”
“Ja?”
“We have a little problem…”

* * *

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