John and Ray

He stared at the printout. There it was. “J E S S I C A ”, repeated over and over.

He first thought about calculating the odds of some semi-random sequence spelling her name, but quickly dismissed that.

The director of the research division entered. “Ray, how’s it going? Kevin and Jeff just gave me the weirdest look as I passed them in the hall, and now you’re in here alone.”

“John, how long have you known Jeff?”, Ray asked.

“I didn’t know him before you brought him into the project. What’s that, about two years ago?”

“Yeah, well, I thought I knew him pretty well. But, he seems to have a pretty macabre sense of humor.”

“What do you mean?”

“He and Kevin apparently wanted to play a trick on me. They’ve both generated some obviously faked data.”

“Faked how?’

“The expected error offsets apparently somehow spell Jessica’s name, over and over.”

John stopped, his mouth half open. He then took an angry tone. “What the f[...]? We’re so close to finishing. Why? Why would they fake this?”

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