Broken Mirror

Broken Mirror by Cody Sisco

Book: Broken Mirror by Cody Sisco Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cody Sisco
Tags: Science-Fiction
spun around, expecting to see her standing behind him wearing her usual mocking smile. But she wasn’t there.
    Her sigh buzzed in his ear. “I’m moving offices. I thought you would take a few more days off after the funeral, but since you’re here, we need to meet. I have an opening at three o’clock. Hang on.” There was the sound of muted conversation, and then Karine said, “Don’t bother with your analytics today. The sample preparation staff are at a retraining, and we need you to cover for them. You should be able to handle it.”
    A few seconds later, his MeshBit buzzed. The message from BioScan Operations ordered him to report to the sample preparation room on the second floor for a temporary work assignment.
    Victor trudged to a room crowded with bins holding packages mailed in from all over the American Union. The procedures for preparing mailed cheek-swab DNA samples for replication were straightforward, basic manual labor that anyone who could follow a checklist could do.
    Sometime later Sarita, one of the office administrators, walked into the sample preparation room and approached Victor. She flitted in several directions at once — her frizzed hair, nervous hands, luminous eyes, and lips painted the deep red of poison berries all vibrated at asynchronous frequencies.
    Sarita eyed him gleefully. “Is this your new role? Filling the machines with spit?”
    Victor refused to meet her gaze. “It’s temporary.”
    “Sure it is.” She sidled closer. “Did you hear? Karine got a promotion. Second chief!” Sarita smirked. “You know what that means?”
    Victor pulled on a set of synthsilk gloves to avoid contaminating the DNA sequencing machine. “She reports to my auntie Circe now,” he said, stating the obvious.
    “ And she’ll pass you off like a hot potato. She’s meeting with each of her reports this afternoon.” Her breathiness implied something sinister.
    “Okay,” he said, shaking his head to himself. Sarita could have been sucking up to curry favor with the nephew of the new chief, but scorn for a Broken Mirror prevented her.
    She clucked at him. “Did you know about this? The acquisition?”
    Apart from Oak Knoll Hospital, the Holistic Healing Network had always been a vague, nebulous entity that he heard about in pieces and never really understood. No one could see the shape of the whole elephant from just one of its parts. But someone in the family could have — should have — kept him more informed. He would have to ask Circe about it.
    “Of course,” he lied.
    “Yeah, right, like your family would bother telling you . I bet she fires you today.” Sarita flounced away to infect someone else with her gossip.
    Victor told himself not to be concerned with her insinuations. He worked through the day’s batch of samples.
    In the early afternoon, while he waited in line for a buffet lunch, merger speculation and gossip found Victor again. A dark-haired young man wearing a sky-blue Facilities jumpsuit grabbed him by the shoulder and said, “Can you believe it? They might move the headquarters here.”
    The proposition was unlikely, and obviously so, to anyone with a working brain. Because of marketing and government relations, the Holistic Healing Network had always been headquartered in Europe, and Jefferson had traveled back and forth frequently. Why would BioScan under Circe do it differently?
    “You really think so?” Victor asked. Pretending to ask stupid questions always helped him avoid trouble.
    The Facilities guy said, “I don’t know. We’ve got the room to expand — we’d just have to rip out that dead orchard next door. I bet we’ll all get raises too.”
    “I’m sure.”
    “Come on, this is exciting. Don’t give me that Broken Mirror face.”
    Victor flinched. He tried so hard to blend in, but he didn’t fit anywhere. Maybe the Safe Places program had plastered his picture in the facilities’ workspaces with a warning: “Watch out for the freak show

Similar Books

The Elementals

Michael McDowell

Life in a Medieval City

Frances Gies, Joseph Gies

The American Girl

Kate Horsley

Pilgrim Village Mystery

Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Winter King - 1

Bernard Cornwell

Will Power

A. J. Hartley