“We are not breaking any laws. We are simply creating a set of new ones.”Freddie Jackson – CEO, MercurEx
They hit the street and headed north toward the legal precinct. On the corner of State Street and Old Port Road, they encountered Raul French loitering near a police kiosk.
“Have you heard from Terry?” asked Tucker.
“No.” Eternally dull, French snorted some kwicky.
Tucker turned to Jackson. “Any idea where he’s holed up?”
A voice called out, “He’s probably gone on a bender.” They all turned to find Nigel Price stepping out of a silver sharecar. “So what monkey business are you baboons up to?”
“We are buying Episoft,” explained Tucker.
“Don’t jack me off, you diseased prick. I have better things to do.”
“We are buying Episoft,” confirmed Jackson.
Gob-smacked, Price followed Tucker and the others up the granite steps towards the Corinth Star Building’s entrance. “Why?” His voice betrayed a hint of excitement.
“Haven’t you heard? Episoft has gone volatile.”
“No.” Price fell briefly silent as the four men entered the elevator. “If that’s the case then everyone will want a piece of the action. This could get expensive. Do we really need Episoft?”
“Yes. In more ways than you could imagine,” said Tucker.
“Are you sure about this?”
“Have I ever been wrong?”
“No. Even though you’ve totally fucked up in the past year, I’ve never doubted your abilities to spot the good ones.”
“So you are not opposed to this?”
“Fuck no. I’m in, all the way.”
Tucker could sense Freddie Jackson grinning behind him.
Haverick Investment Corporation.
They jostled out of the elevator and shuffled into a conference room, led by a laconic office zoid meandering on the lumeglass wall.
A group of Haverick executives entered within minutes of their arrival.
Tucker’s mind went into overdrive; For CEO Thao Berry to take this flash meeting in person indicated that MercurEx still garnered some semblance of respectability out there.
If only Berry knew.
After a brief exchange of hurried pleasantries, Jackson nudged Tucker into action.
“We live in a world with five internets. We have never been able to tame the Cobweb. The Angry Tree will never be secure. The private internets are too private. Satnet and Ambercast have become too expensive and inaccessible. Mr. Berry, my money is riding on the free waves. Yes, it’s chaotic. It hasn’t the coverage or the security the other internets offer, but the value is in this very chaotic nature that Episoft has tapped. The magnetic field, wave peer-to-peer communication network is an ever-evolving beast, much like the early Cobweb used to be. It’s malleable, adaptable, egalitarian, cheap, and most of all, access is free. Our superzoid technology will plug the security issues and the way Episoft is going they’ll be plugging the gap in coverage in no time.”
What a sell!
In another spacetime dimension, Tucker would have made many people very rich. Instead, the prospect of making many people very dead haunted his immediate reality.
“It’s a spirited investment strategy,” said Berry. “You and your team have a very pragmatic understanding of what you are trying to achieve. I don’t deny Episoft is a powerhouse company and do agree its current crisis is at best superficial.”
“But…” said Jackson.
“We only invest with OE&S accredited firms.”
“We’re accredited,” countered Jackson.
“With due respect, Mr Berry. Time is of the essence here.” Price, a known sucker for Tucker’s pitches, could no longer hold himself back. “We need to act now before Episoft’s stakeholders snap out of their current jitters.”
“I agree that MercurEx is in the perfect position to pull this off, but I’m sorry to say we can’t provide you with the kind of funds necessary to make such an acquisition.”
“Fakeman. What is this shit?”
#According to the Haverick corefront cybe, they are certified by the Office of Corporate Ethics and Standards. They risk losing it. So do we.#
We are wasting time here.
The hustle began.
Team MercurEx left one prominent financial institution, crossed the street, and entered the sumptuous entrance of another.
Kallman & Kallman
In one instance, they traveled from floor to floor.
By sunset, they had no more Bluezone left on the peninsular to cover.
“Fuck this bullshit door-knocking for investors,” complained an exhausted Price. “I’m going home.”
“We’ll keep you posted,” said Tucker.
Price ignored him. He walked up, hopped into the nearest sharecar, and disappeared down Chesterton Street.
“I guess we try again tomorrow,” offered French, bored as usual.
Tucker threw his hands up, “This is a twenty-four-hour city. We can still keep going.”
“That is why you’re an Uberman, Tucker. You never say die.” French smiled, a rare occurrence, as he too departed on foot, leaving Tucker and Jackson to mull over their next move.
“What now?” After repeating the sales pitch over thirty times, Tucker felt married to it.
“We start over,” answered Jackson. “I think that Haverick CEO Berry seemed keen. Something’s holding him back.”
“Yes. He likes you, a fan for sure, and I’m certain he knows how good your instincts are. All he needs is a little more persuasion.”
“What have you in mind?”
What the fuck?
“No, no, no,” pleaded Tucker.
Tucker’s pleas fell on ears too preoccupied with assembling a crew and a ride.
“This is crazy.”
Jackson ignored him. “Tachyon, I want a team ready in five minutes. We are going on a raid… to the hills.”
“I won’t allow it.”
“Come on, Tucker. Don’t be like that.”
“This is not the right way.”
“You are looking at this the wrong way. We are not breaking any laws here. We are simply creating a set of new ones. Come on, this is where the fun begins.”