The Synthium

When someone is lost in a computer, the usual procedure is to reboot. The Synthium has rules. In the case of a missing programmer, the fix is to always: unplug the computer, wait twenty seconds, then turn the computer back on.

“Did you try a reboot?” Shelly said. “You should know the protocol for dealing with these god-forsaken machines.”

“I’m still trying a file search. Once I’m convinced he’s good and lost, then we’ll try the reboot. But you know the risk. Sometimes a reboot results in a total deletion. Then what? If Bruce is deleted then we’re screwed.”

At that moment, Mr. Brickle stepped into the room.

“What are you people doing in here? Get back to work.” Theodus Brickle was a department chief, one of many, for The Synthium. He had no personality and less intelligence. But he was in charge.

“We’ll be through in a moment, sir” Anson said. Luckily Bruce’s body was well hidden behind the file cabinets. Shelly felt they had about thirty minutes to find Bruce. She checked the clock.

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