Books written by Ray Sullivan

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Project: Evil - Inaugural Project Meeting part 1

Project: Evil Chapter Five -Inaugural Project Meeting Part 1

Brian looked around the table at the assembled group ranging from engineers, scientists, financial experts to the public sector guy.  He tapped his pencil on his pad to bring the meeting to order. 
‘We need to decide on the project definition, to determine what the project will deliver,’ he said, adding, ‘obviously a weapon capable of reducing the planet to rubble is a given.’   One of the engineers raised his hand.
‘Are we talking space borne or sub-surface?’  Brian hadn’t considered sub-surface weapons of mass destruction, but then again his project preparation had been limited to the comics at the newsagent stand he passed on his way to work. 
‘Fair question.  OK, let’s SWOT the options.  Strengths, first,’ he asked.  The engineer pitched straight in.
‘Sub-surface doesn’t need a delivery platform to take it into space,’ he pointed out, adding, ‘reducing attrition to the ozone layer.  That’s got to be worth a smartie point.’  Another engineer interrupted.
‘Space delivery is so much cooler.  If we had multiple missiles targeting the planet simultaneously from all directions then everybody on the planet could see their imminent destruction as it happened.’
‘Apart from those in darkness,’ interjected the public sector man, examining a sandal, ‘they’d miss the show.  Probably wake up dead.’  The second engineer weighed up the problem momentarily.
‘OK, how about phased destruction of the planet, missile strikes on the hour, every hour for twenty-four hours.  That way, everybody gets to enjoy the attack.’  Brian was sure there would be some weaknesses raised on the back of that idea.  Predictably it was public sector guy who raised his hand.
‘What about daylight saving time?’  Everybody sank into silence as the enormity of the problem struck them.  One of the scientists piped up.
‘Why are we considering sub-surface at all?’ he asked.  He didn’t wait for an answer, ‘You committed to producing a heat ray from space at the Friday Brunch and by definition, that comes from space,’ he stated.  Brian felt impelled to interject; partly because it was his job to challenge bullshit ideas but mainly because if he got this wrong he could be dismissed.  And the company dismissal policy involved weapons and death.  Specifically his.
‘I’m open to alternative ideas, but the sub-surface concept is simply the fall-back to the death ray from space idea, not a replacement,’ he said, squirming.  Inside he was shitting himself, partly because he didn’t remember actually promising a death ray, let alone making it an exclusive approach, but mainly because of the in-house buffet. The scientist continued.
‘Anyway, we can’t start this project until we have a meaningless acronym to name it with,’ he said.  Brian realized that the man was right, he’d jumped the gun.  What would British tyranny be like without stupid project names?  In fact, what would British projects be like without stupid project names?
‘OK, let’s get some ideas flowing.  Remember the rules; use the capital letters from each word in the project title unless they ruin the acronym.  In that case either ignore the letter or put it in lower case.’
‘How about “Death Ray from Outer Space”, DROS?’ suggested one of the engineers.
‘Or “World Annihilation of the Nuclear Kind”,’ suggested another.  It sounded reasonable. 
Brian felt inclined to pitch in with his own idea.
‘How about “Super Heated Antimatter Gun”,’ he asked, distraught by the negative looks around the table.
‘You’re just being silly,’ said one of the scientists, ‘or you have absolutely no idea how expensive antimatter is, never mind the technical issues associated with super heating it.  Plus you’d need to build an antigun with an antitrigger.  And I have absolutely no idea where you would find an antifinger to pull it with,’ he finished with.  Brian felt crestfallen by all this.  Then the room collapsed into childish laughter.
‘Got you,’ said the senior engineer, pointing.  The scientist who’d pulled Brian’s suggestion apart stood, laughing.
‘Only kidding.  You want a SHAG, you got it,’ he said, picking up his papers. 

The characters, companies and places referred to in Project: Evil are fictitious and any resemblance to people, companies, businesses or places is entirely coincidental

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