Chapter 5: Grayson

Even though it might seem that I haven’t been devoting much time to the book, the impression is misleading. True, I haven’t been putting down copy and busily increasing the word count but I have spent the time plotting like a scheming mad man. True to the old adage “Plot before Prose”, I worked out a tightly woven network of main plot, side plots and surprising twists which is going to drive our heroes right up to their limits and keep the reader riveted to the book up to the final page. I really love it!

It is only fair to mention that several people — who will all be named and thanked profusely in the acknowledgements to the book — have gracefully devoted their time and attention to weaving this devious network.

With that out of the way, I am back to writing again and have started with Chapter 5 in which I introduce Grayson, our third hero next to Liz and Raoul. I think you might enjoy reading the opening paragraphs to that chapter as a taste in which direction the story is going to turn next. Here goes:

Grayson Louderman was all but relaxed on today’s bus ride to work. Even though he pretended to be mindlessly staring outside through the rain streaked windows of the company’s commuter bus, his thoughts kept circling back to his decision from a month ago which had started this. Grayson had applied for the position of a Computer Maintenance Technician at Quantum Computing Unlimited, QCU for short, a position which was going to earn him a measly 35 thousand a year. To be honest, he would have gladly paid that amount of money just to get this job. That’s how important it was to him.

QCU was a huge company, headquartered in Seattle, which held the technological edge with their new generation quantum computers that were orders of magnitudes faster than anything else before. Their five national computing centers were networked together, with the one in Seattle being the main hub, its brain. That’s where Grayson had applied for, and gotten, the job.

The bus slowed down and passed a security checkpoint which marked the entrance onto the QCU campus in Seattle. A quarter mile later, they reached Cloud One, a daring structure of steel and glass set in a lush green lawn, facing its smaller sibling, Cloud Two. The bus stopped and the doors hissed open. About half the people got off the bus and hurried in little chatty clumps toward the entrances of the buildings.

The bus held next at a structure nicknamed Deep Space Nine because of its layout which was reminiscent of the space station of that name featuring in the old sci-fi TV classic. There was a central tower housing mainly administrative offices, enclosed by a circular, covered walkway that connected various other departments’ offices spaced evenly along its circumference.

When the doors had closed again, there remained only a handful of employees still on the bus, headed toward the last stop. It was a small and squat building, lacking in grandeur and architectural extravagance in comparison. The building, or at least what was visible of it, was only the proverbial tip of the iceberg: it comprised a total of 22 floors, of which 19 were hidden underground. They were home to all the top secret development labs and the mainframe quantum computer which everybody knew by the name Schroedinger – as in the Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger who had made far reaching contributions to quantum physics at the beginning of the 20th century.

By the way, Erwin Schrödinger really was a pivotal Austrian physicist. He is probably best known for his cat. Check out the next post to see why.

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