New Title 1

New Title 1 by Steven Lyle Jordan Read Free Book Online

Book: New Title 1 by Steven Lyle Jordan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steven Lyle Jordan
one side of the table, Lenz in the middle of the three. “Morning,” Calvin said, and walked over to that side of the table, pulling up a chair next to Reya Luis at the far side.
    “Good morning, Doctor,” Julian greeted him directly, while the other two nodded. They were all familiar with each other, Calvin being the Verdant Science Advisor… not really an official position, but a public and prestigious one. The Director of Science on Verdant was Dr. Jacqueline Silver, and Calvin was still amazed that she was not here … but lacking her availability, he was usually next to be called for public or policy issues. “I assume,” Julian said once Calvin was seated, “that you’re familiar with the goings-on on Earth?”
    “Unfortunately, yes,” Calvin replied sadly, mentally shifting into professional mode. “Things are going to be pretty rough for awhile. For everyone.”
    “Yes,” Julian agreed. “The President just got off-planet himself before air traffic was officially grounded over all of North America. He may be here for awhile, too. And while he is, we expect him to renew his efforts to increase immigration quotas to the satellites, especially this one and Tranquil.”
    “And ignore the facts?” Calvin asked. “Reputable scientists, the satellite GLISes, and every IS that has examined the issue say that the satellites are already above sustainable human capacity. Do they really think turning the sats into orbiting cattle-cars is going to help matters?”
    “Doctor,” Reya spoke up next to him, “as far as we can determine, Earth may be stacking up bodies like cordwood soon. I don’t think looking for any way out will be beyond their interest… even if it’s not an optimum one.”
    “We need to be firm,” Julian added. “We need to be able to give them the facts, and make clear why they must be followed… or we’ll be crash-landing this satellite on their doorstep, whether they like it or not.”
    “I think it’s fair to say they wouldn’t be pleased about that,” Calvin agreed.
    “So: You’re our Man of Reason today,” Julian said. “Be ready to be eloquent.”
    Calvin smiled. “What happened to Dr. Silver?”
    “Unavoidably detained,” Aaron volunteered. Apparently he felt he needed to supply more info, so he added: “She was sealed up in a clean room when we called. Hopefully she’ll be out soon enough to get here.”
    There was a commotion outside, felt more than heard through the conference walls. A moment later, the double-doors opened, and President Lambert walked into the room, followed closely by Enu Thompson and Harley, the staffer. On unspoken cue, everyone rose when the President entered. Two Verdant security guards followed them in, and took places at either side of the door, mirroring the American secret service men outside. Lambert started around the table, and Ceo Lenz met him halfway, the two leaders shaking hands warmly. Though the title Ceo, due to its commercial roots, was generally less officious-sounding than a state title, as far as the U.N. was concerned, a Ceo of the satellites, being sovereign territories, were equal in stature to the President or any other country’s ruler. Lambert and Julian exchanged the usual pleasantries, then Julian re-introduced Eo Luis and Coo Hardy to him. He concluded with an introduction to Calvin Rios.
    “Dr. Rios,” Lambert smiled, shaking Calvin’s hand after Aaron’s. “I’ve seen your news reports.”
    “Thank you, sir,” Calvin replied noncommittally to a matter-of-fact statement, but had not expected more, so he smiled graciously.
    In turn, the President re-introduced Thompson to the Verdant side of the table. Calvin was meeting Thompson for the first time, and he noted a strong handshake from the intense-looking African. Lambert then introduced the staffer, Harley, who seemed reasonably at-ease in the room full of political heavyweights… or perhaps just too preoccupied with the reason he was there to worry

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