Shawn fidgeted at his tie one last time before throwing the door open. A brunette woman in a white uniform smiled from his doorstep.
“Yes?” Shawn asked eagerly. He knew why she was there; her red briefcase and the red scissor logo on her uniform announced her position.
“Mr. Shawn Cordero?” the woman asked. Shawn nodded vigorously. “I’m Elaine from Sharp Development. Ready to be integrated?” she asked.
“Yes! Please, come in.” Shawn grinned and opened the door wider to let her in.
“Thank you,” she said as she stepped into his foyer. It was a simple hallway with white tiles. As soon as she was in, Shawn closed the door then led her to the kitchen.
“Would you like something to drink?” he asked as he gestured at the small two-person table in the cozy kitchen. Elaine shook her head and sat down on one of the chairs.
“No, thank you,” she said. She placed the briefcase on the table and opened it. Shawn sat down across from her with a bottle of water.
“If you don’t mind, I’d like you to tell me what you think of Dana Sharp buying your Earth. What you think is supposed to happen next. I have some information to work through; once I know what you know I’ll know where to start, okay?” she asked. Shawn nodded.
“Well, I didn’t even think it was possible to buy an Earth, so it surprised me at first. But once Ms. Sharp explained how everything is going to be better, I felt better about things. Ms. Sharp said that she wants to integrate our Earth with hers. She plans to move all manufacturing to one Earth and have everyone live the other Earth that isn’t being polluted by industry,” Shawn said. Elaine nodded.
“It sounds like you’re well informed,” she said. She produced a small glass card from her briefcase and held it out to Shawn. “Thumbprint please,” she said. He pressed his thumb on the glass. A picture appeared on the display under his finger as he pulled it away. He caught a glimpse of himself standing next to a blonde woman and a young girl.
“Well Mr. Cordero,” Elaine shook her head. “I’m sorry to say we won’t be needing you. Not to worry though, Ms. Sharp owns dozens of other Earths you can choose to make a home on.” Shawn narrowed his eyes.
“Won’t be needing me?” he asked. “What do you mean I can choose somewhere to make a home. You’re in my kitchen,” he said.
“Ms. Sharp has a specific intent for this project. Part of that means we don’t need two of you. The other Earth Ms. Sharp involved already has one of your Zeros; he’s married and has a child. We’re keeping them instead of you. I should also remind you that Ms. Sharp owns this Earth and everything on it; including this kitchen. You can either volunteer willingly and choose your new home, or put me in a position where I’m forced to choose for you.”
“No way!” Shawn stood from his seat with anger on his face. “I know my rights. I’m not going to let anyone just come and take my home,” Shawn growled while stepping back; he motioned toward the kitchen exit. He wanted to let Elaine know he was angry while also trying to avoid threatening her. He knew she was doing her job and didn’t hold any grudge against her. Elaine sighed but didn’t move to stand from the table.
“I’m sorry you feel that way Mr. Cordero,” she said as she reached into the briefcase. “Your rights expired the moment Ms. Sharp bought the Earth,” she quickly withdrew a black card from the briefcase. “You’ll love your new home though, it’s a Hell of a place,” Elaine grinned and tossed the card at Shawn’s feet. The card formed a black hole under his shoes, wide enough to swallow him instantly.