A hundred of a second

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Change of the generations in the leadership of the companies and corporate contemporary world.

Spacewalk Co Headquarters

June 09, 2020

5:10:15 pm

Colonel Marcus Barca felt bored after hearing six of the job applicants. This complete farce of interviews was not his idea. At seventy, Marcus looked like a colorless coral, fossilized by the wind as if for centuries to come. The six feet tall man with an ascetic face, elegantly styled white hair, and carefully shaped beard, was the last remnant of one old generation. The Colonel kept talking about honor, responsibility in decision making, and self-sacrifice, in a World ruled by a thirst for profit at all costs.

Colonel Barca walked slowly from side to side of the room, looking thoughtfully out the window of his office, which revealed the panorama of entire ocean bay. At such moments, he always needed that view of the infinity from the fifteenth floor of the corporate building. The only thing left in his life was the last few steps to that infinity.

Perhaps only five from more than three thousand people, entering and exiting this building every day, had access to the page with personal data from Marcus' file. They knew what the Colonel did to secure the rise and domination of the Company. To everyone else, he was a strange silent employee in a military uniform. One proud with his history former Marine. But Marcus believed deep in himself: there are no such things like a former Marine. Ones you are Marine, you are always Marine!

One thing was certain, Marcus did not look like some friendly folk. He always carried with him a huge oppressive shadow of loneliness and introspection, which made the people in the building to bypass him and avoid casual encounters with him. He knew that, and this brought him some inner satisfaction. The Colonel observed how the fear was pushing people to keep a distance. From what?! From everything they were not prepared for and did not understand. Like love, selfless friendship, following dreams, patience, and sacrifice.

He used to try help people by talking about courage and overcoming inner fears. That was a long time ago. And although they were his age and spoke the same language, they did not understand him. Now it seemed even more pointless to him. Whole this young generation that surrounded him and made him feel like Ocean at low tide. In recent years he has patiently climbed the Tower of Babel, listening to languages he did not know, and realizing more and more painfully the futility of his presence here.

The ring of his phone brought him back to reality. Marcus saw the number of the caller and smiled, taking the call.

'I am listening, Boss.'

'Colonel, I just wanted to check if you made your choice?'

'Not yet, Sir.'

'Please, we need your opinion. One way or another, we will made decision, my friend.'

My friend?! Marcus did not believe that someone could be a friend to one of the richest men alive. Or if it was still possible with the father, it definitely seemed unreal with the son, who had taken over the Company just for week. Friend?! With the years,the Colonel Barca lost all friendsbehind the enemy line. Later, the borders have only become anarchaic concept with the rise of multinational private corporations. He was not sure he had lost sight of the enemies, either.And with each passing day, Marcus became more and more aware that he was a stranger to this New World, in which yesterday's enemies became today's friends. The only question that was unclear to him was: 'What yesterday's friends had become? Dust?! Or stars on the sky?!'

'Yes, Sir. I will do!', the Colonel turned off the phone.

Today had to be Marcus’ dream day. The last oneat work. With one task: to choose his successor.

There was a knock on the door, and the voice of his Secretary sounded soft:

'Sir, the last candidate is waiting.'

'Let him in, Amanda!'

‘I am sorry, Colonel Barca, but this is she,’ corrected him the Secretary carefully. 'Miss, please come inside.'

*

National Swimming Championship

March 07, 2014

5:12:25 pm

The energy of the finalists for the final discipline of fifty meters freestyle filled the Olympic Pool. In a few minutes, the fastest eight girls in the Nation, aged fifteen to eighteen, were about to blow the atmosphere in the hall.

The Speaker announced:

'Gloria Ramiel, with second qualifying time from this morning. Lane five.'

A dark-skinned, slender girl waved to the audience and climbed onto the starting block. She did it! Last year she missed the final with seven hundred of a second. It was the biggest disappointment in her life. She cried in the night when nobody could see her. She spent a month watching the stopwatch constantly, trying to understand how much time is seven hundred of a second?! And she found it - it was a huge interval of time, separating the winners from everyone else.

The Starter said calmly:

'Take your mark!'

*

Spacewalk Co Headquarters

June 09, 2020

5:14:55 pm

The slender athletic figure of a twenty-five-year-old lady with overlong black hair appeared in the frame of the open door.

'Good afternoon, Sir,' she said with a firm voice. 'My name is Gloria Ramiel, Doctor of Science.'

'It is a joke, isn't it?!' Colonel Marcus Barca stared at her, as if seeing an alien. 'You are young! And you are applying for the position of Leading Analyst of the biggest company in the world, not for Cheerleader of College team. Do you know this?!'

'Yes, Sir,' the young lady looked at him with piercing stern brown eyes. 'I am an author of unique Decision-making program and have a firm belief that Spacewalk Corporation can take advantage of it.'

'Please, take a sit,' he found it difficult to hide his irritation from a day, lost in stupid conversations with people, deprived of ideas about the responsibilities and problems, contained in the position they were applying for. 'So, Miss Ramiel, could you explain to me the essence of your Program in one minute?'

'If we need to visualize and solve a problem in life, we can use a Mathematical model with few parameters. Let us say: nine, for example. In most of the cases we are using a Binary operation: like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or exponentiation. The common human logic or artificial intellect will give us one "right" result always. But the reality is indifferent to the cold pragmatism of the computers. The reality is illogical, emotional, unmerciful. To make a lifesaving decision, we have to concentrate not on the result, but on the process. And if we return to our Mathematical problem, we could have 59,049 answers. Each of them could be a necessary solution. Not "right or wrong", but a genuine one. My Program Soft Touch determines the time we have to decide between those59,049 possibilities, 'Gloria relaxed calmly in her chair after the last word.

*

National Swimming Championship

March 07, 2014

17:15:00 pm

The Referee gave the start. Like one, all girls entered the water. It was silence for a moment, born from the magic of the jump. Then the explosion of applauses and enthusiastic shouts of the spectators shook the building.

For Gloria, everything was all about perfection. Two powerful dolphin kicks under water, followed by reaching the surface in the thirteen-meter sign. No time for breathing. Three strokes and a turn. At eleven seconds and forty-five hundred, her feet bounced off the opposite wall of the pool. She was on the surface again. One breath, growing speed, blood pulsating furiously. A voice inside her was screaming:

'Break the wall, girl! Break it!'

She hit the dashboard, but the clock kept working. Her curse - asoft touch!

Gloria hit the wall again, and again, feeling no pain. Finally, the cloak stopped. 

*

Spacewalk Co Headquarters

June 09, 2020

17:15:23 pm

Colonel Barca could not hide that she grabbed his attention:

'Interesting! And how long could be this time of yours?'

'If we are lucky - a few hundred of a second. If not - around a hundred.'

'You are kidding me?! Who can decide in a hundred of a second, Miss Ramiel?!'

'Theoretically no one! In reality - me! And I hope you too, Sir!'

Marcus laughed unexpectedly. For the first time today, maybe? No, for the first time in the last few years! Perhaps after all, the young generation could be not a dead end to Humanity?!

Amanda opened the door, frightened.

'Are you OK, Sir?! Is something wrong?!'

The Secretary had never imagined that her boss could show emotions.

'At the end, my dream day, Amanda,' said the Colonel still laughing. 'In a few hundred of a second!' 


Submitted: November 13, 2020

© Copyright 2020 D G MV®V. All rights reserved.

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