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« The Science of Magic | Main | The Park »
Saturday
Jun102017

Lure

Paul slammed the newspaper on Cedric's desk and said, "How the hell did the newspapers get this before me?"

You’d have covered it up. Someone had to make sure people knew," Cedric answered.

"I would have studied it! We can't just announce something this important when we don't know anything about it except that it's a fish," Paul said.

"A fish found in ice from Europa," Cedric said.

"The President gave a speech today announcing a manned mission. A hundred billion dollar trip. Billions we should spent on schools, hospitals and public infrastructure!" Paul said, his eyes bulged, and the vein in her forehead throbbed.

"We're at the heart of the greatest discovery in human history," Cedric said and ran his finger over the newsprint photo of the perfectly formed fish which looked more alien in print than it had in the laboratory.

Paul stood up, the red disappearing from his face and he said "We’ll be celebrities."

Cedric glanced at the black and white picture and said, "You're right," then he paused for a minute and said, "But you know I don’t like being in public. I'd rather you take the credit, like the other times. I'll stay here and study the fish. Someone has to get a skin sample."

Paul looked at the picture for a few seconds then said, "I thought you were angry about that, but if it’s what you want."

 

***

 

The news anchor droned on about half a dozen subjects but, like everyone else on the planet, Cedric was only interested in the shuttle in orbit of Europa. It held twelve men and women ready to complete the greatest scientific mission ever created by mankind.

The mission had done a lot of good in Cedric’s opinion. Countries were working together like never before and the research for the trip had improved recycling and manufacturing techniques. But all of that was secondary to the real mission. They were here to explore an ecosystem that was advanced enough to have fish and as the massive ship began to descend towards Europa Cedric began to wonder if he had went to far.

That was because Cedric knew they wouldn't find any fish. There were no fish. In fact there had been no signs of life at all.

When they discover that there would be a witch hunt. And since it was Paul who had taken the credit for Cedric's work it was Paul who would be blamed and no one would ever question Cedric who had never been allowed to have his name on anything connected with the small rubber fish that was currently in the Smithsonian.

 

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