The Stengaud Conspiracy
The Budgetary Meeting
"You know I hate these budget meetings, Djondou," said Merceria Hood, the leader of the Strengaud Team Research Agency as they walked down the hall to the conference room. "And where is Samuel? He should be here by now."
"He is on his way," Djondou replied looking down at her tablet. "Should we wait for ---"
"Excuse me ladies," an attendant interrupted. "You should enter the conference now."
They walked to the conference room. The room was large with a circular table in the middle. Most of the seats around the table were filled with Strengaud executives and leaders of the other departments in the corporation.
"This way to your seats," motioned the attendant. After they sat down the attendant left and closed the door.
"Now that the leader of the STR is here we can get this meeting started," said Marcus Danbury, the CFO. "We will now begin the budgetary meeting."
"Let's get started then, Mr. Danbury," Djondou said sarcastically.
"OK," Mr. Danbury continued. "Either you or Ms. Hood or your aides Mrs. Aligant and Mr. Voulez will have to answer our inquires. The first question is: What is the latest project that your department completed?"
"STR project #6147302 codenamed: X-Eye is the latest project that was completed."
"I see here that you were the head of that project. Were you not?"
"Yes, I was the lead scientist on it."
"What is the nature of the project Mrs. Aligant?"
"The X-Eye is a tactical information system that displays critical information and updates to units in the field. The most recent development of it is in the form of a contact lens."
"During the testing stages were there any incidents?"
"To my recollection there were three incidents. I am also included in one of those reports. The device would get too hot , searing the retina and pupil causing blindness. We fixed this by adding a lower power consumption CPU, a temperature inhibitor, and use of cloud processing."
"Are there any units currently deployed in the field?"
"Currently there are seven units deployed. Ms. Hood, Mr. Voulez, and other leading scientists of the STR have units. I am also wearing one."
"How much do the devices cost?"
"We have 3 different models. Low end: $6,374.50. Base: $18,624. High-end: $56,980"
"Excuse me," interrupted Ayana Stokes, the head of the Stengaud Sentry. "I have been looking at the specifications of the X-Eye and I think this will be a very useful tool for the Sentry to utilize. We will do a trail run with 3,000 units. 1,000 from each model. Whichever works best we will buy in bulk."
The door to the conference room suddenly burst open and a tall man in a lab coat came in.
"Sorry that I am so late. The traffic here in South City is terrible and why do we have so many Strengaud building on one street?" He continued, "And the security here why do they have to check you 50 times before you come in? Then they go and ask you all these questions. After that they ask you for your ID,then they scan your your eyes, take fingerprints, and take a DNA sample. I don't have time for this bull---"
"Mr. Voulez if you'd stop talking for a minute we should be able to get on with this meeting," said Mr. Danbury. "Mrs. Aligant thank you for your presentation oin the X-Eye. Now Mr. Voulez please will you please enlighten us about the HASP project?"
"Yes it is the HASP project. It stands for Humans to Artificial Shades project."
"I understand that you are not the head scientist on this project. Why is Arus Conant, the head scientist for the project not present?"
“Right now Arus's location is unknown. We tried multiple times to contact and track him by GPS, but we couldn't locate him.”
“OK. Explain the project for us.”
“The project is mainly based on taking a regular human and making them into a shade.”
“How far are you on the project?”
“We have one working sample.”
“Did you use humans for the testing?”
“No, we made a clone of Ms. Stokes, ” Ayana looked surprised. She was about to see something when Mr. Danbury motioned for her to be quiet.
“Please go on”
“We call her Anaya. She looks exactly like her, but we ran into some problems.”
“Would you elaborate on the problems. ”
“Of course, Anaya is smaller than Ms. Stokes. From what we learned from research her temper is bad. We found this out when an attendant brought her food and it wasn't the way she liked it.”
“What happened to the researcher? ”
“She snapped her neck like a twig. ”
“Did you do anything to Anaya after that?”
“We moved her to a high security facility after some some abilities started to show up. ”
“What type of abilities showed up? ”
“Her strength, teleportation, speed, reflexes and most other shade properties already surpass most of our best shade agents.”
“Can you control her?”
“That is uncertain. We were thinking to get Ms. Stokes to meet her and make a subordinate in the Strengaud Sentry. We have also studied Ms. Stokes' life too see if we can predict what Anaya will do.”
“If you can get Anaya under control we will approve your budget request for 3.25 trillion. Ms. Stokes you will hereby work under contract with the STR in order to further their research. The STR will provide all associated costs. The Sentries budget will be increased by 5% during this project.”
Ms. Stokes looked furious, but nodded her head.
“Does everyone agree with the proposed budget?”
After the Budgetary Meeting
“Damn,” said Ayana slamming her hand against the mirror in the restroom. “Those fools from the research division. Doing something like making a clone of me without my consent and the board approved it.”
She sighed and splashed water over her face. While she was drying her face with a towel, the door opened. Looking over she saw that Djondou Aligant and Merceria Hood walked in. Her face contorted angrily.
“You bitch,” she said walking over quickly. “How dare your organization go against laws and ethics just to try to gain favor with the executives.”
“Our department has many projects Ms. Stokes making it virtually impossible to track each of them,” said Djondou. Then with a smirk added, “Just get over it. We are here to take you to meet her.”
“I won't go,” said Ayana. “And you had better wipe that smirk off your face before I punch it off. ”
Djondou signaled with her hand and five guards rushed into the room. They went over to Ayana and pinned her down.
“Well we have something to fix that,” Djondou said pulling out a stack of papers. “Here is a copy of your work contract. It includes your duties and obligations to the Strengaud Corporation. You will follow us or face immediate termination. Without any support from the Strengaud Corporation how would your life be?”
“Okay. I will follow, but that doesn't mean I have to like it.”
They walked out of the building where vehicles were waiting. There was a limousine, two sport utility vehicles and a cargo van. Djondou and Merceria got into the limousine.
“This way Ms. Stokes,” said one of the drivers leading her to the cargo van. “We wouldn't want you to see where we are going. Please put this hood over your head.” She did so reluctantly and the convoy got underway. The convoy stopped after 3 hours of driving.
“We are here, ” said the driver. “I will lead you.”
They went through multiple security gates and down an elevator. Then she was lead through corridors that twisted and turned. Finally they stopped.
When they took the hood of Ms. Stokes' head bright lights filled her vision, so she had to wait for her eyes to adjust. Once adjusted she noticed that she was inside of a place that looked like a medical facility. The room that she was in had a two-way glass showing a patients room.
“Ms. Stokes, as you know, the girl that we are about to release into your custody is a clone of you. Her genetic code is 99.98% similar to yours. Certain enhancements were made to her body to make it more resilient. However, her growth has been accelerated tremendously resulting in some difficulties. We studied your childhood and followed her behavioral patterns. She has a bad temper and does throw tantrums,” said Merceria. “Once you leave here we have a tablet with all the data we have on her. It will also give you periodic alerts for her medication and checkups.”
“What kind of tantrums does she have?” Ayana inquired.
“An attendant brought her food once, but the vegetables were touching her other food,” Merceria replied then added “, she killed her swiftly. She never saw it coming. Since then we have tripled security. Sometimes she gets moody, but overall she is a cheerful girl. She often doesn't know how to handle situations, lacks common sense, and has almost no self control. Your objective is to teach her how to live a relatively normal life.”
Merceria turned to the guard and said, “Deactivate the privacy screen. Ms. Stokes you may look through the window now.”
Ayana looked through the glass. The room was sparsely furnished with a bed, desk, and a chair. On the bed was a little girl. The was nothing else in the room.
"Her name is Anaya. That's who will be in your care from now on," said Merceria. “You will go in to meet her. This way to the room. A guard will buzz us in.”
They walked towards the door and a buzzer sounded. Then they walked in. The door locked loudly behind them.
“Anaya wake up,” said Merceria shaking the girl on the bed.
“Mmmm, ” she groaned. Getting up slowly and rubbing her eyes. “What time is it? Do we have to do more tests today?”
"No there won't be any tests. Starting today you will be living with this woman," Merceria replied while pointing at Ayana.
“Who is SHE?” Anaya practically snorted.
“This woman is something like your mother,” Merceria answered. “Now introduce yourself,” gesturing towards Ayana.
Ayana introduced herself reluctantly.
“She will be taking care of you from now on.”
“Our team has already prepared your vehicle. Once we have escorted you from the area, we will drop you off at a parking garage,” said Djondou.
They led Ayana and Anaya back to the van. Anaya went in first.
Djondou walked over and said ,“Here is the tablet and the address to your new apartment. All of your belongings have been transferred. You also get an allowance of $5,000 per month to spend on Anaya. We have made sure that all accommodations will be top notch.”
The van drove for 3 hours then stopped. Once the masks were taken off they were in front of Ayana's car. The cars left and Ayana sighed.
“Get in,” Ayana said opening the car door. “We are going to my new apartment.”
She started the car and drove out of the garage.
“So Anaya, what kind of things do you like? Do you have any hobbies?”
“I don't like anything in particular. No… I really don't have any hobbies.”
“Okay we'll figure that out when we get there.”
When they pulled up to the address Anayas and Ayanas eyes got big. She looked at her GPS to double check. They ended up at the Strengaud Executive Apartments. Towering 2,785 feet with 168 floors.
The security at the gate said“, Welcome Mrs. Stokes. We have been expecting you. Here is your welcome packet. Your parking space is in front of the elevator. We wish for you to enjoy your new home.”
She drove the car into the parking garage. “They really did give me my own reserved parking spot.”
She got out of the car and said, “Let's go up.” They took the elevator to the 166 floor. Ding the elevator sounded and the doors opened.
An attendant waiting outside. He looked up and said, “Ah, Mrs. Stokes. Please come this way.” Leading her to a door. “This is your new home. The entire penthouse apartment is yours. All of your possessions have been transferred here. Many of the other rooms are already furnished. Cleaning staff will come twice daily. If you need immediate assistance please call the number on the directory by the phone. Here are your keys. If there are no other questions, I will take my leave.”
The attendant left and they went inside. The area around the main entrance was hardwood floors. A few more feet inside was a plush carpet in the living area. Everything was made from top end brands with a gigantic flat screen television, full living room set, and surround sound system.
Down the hall was an office filled with everything Ayana would need to complete her work from home. Towards the back was Ayanas room, the master suite. It was three times larger than her previous apartment. All of her old furniture had an area, but all of the new put it to shame.
Next was Anayas room. It was plain like the room in the hospital laboratory, but it was much larger. Both of the rooms had walk in wardrobes and bathrooms with spas in them.
“Once we figure out what you like we can fill your room with more things,” said Ayana. “It's getting late so we should go to bed. I will wake you up tomorrow at six.”
“OK,” Anaya said hopping into the bed.
Ayana went to her room and went to sleep. A few hours later Ayanas alarm clock started ringing. She got up quickly and went to Anayas room to wake her.
“Anaya, wake up. It's morning, ” Ayana said shaking her lightly.
“Hnnnm,” Anaya yawned and opened her eyes. “Can I have five more minutes?”
“No, ” Ayana replied. “We have a full day ahead of us.”
Once Anaya got up, she walked into the kitchen. She went over to the tablet attached to the wall and started ordering her breakfast. Five minutes later the doorbell rang.
The attendant from last night came in and said, “Breakfast is served.” He was pushing a cart full of breakfast foods. “You may eat whatever you'd like.”
Anaya went over and immediately started to stuff her face. Pancakes, waffles, sausages, eggs, and biscuits.
“Hey. Slow down a bit before you choke. There's more than enough and the butler can always bring more,” Ayana said sipping from a cup of coffee. “Attendant, could you please send a tailor up, so that we can have Anaya measured.”
“Right away, madam, ” the attendant answered walking out of the apartment. Two minutes later the tailor came up and measured Anaya.
“She will need an exact copy of this uniform,” Ayana said pulling out a Strengaud uniform. “Please make sure that the materials are the same.”
“Yes. I'll make sure of it,” the tailor said.
“Ok Anaya,” Ayana said. “We will be going shopping so that you can get more clothes.”
They exited from the elevator and went over to her car in the garage.
“Hop in, ” Ayana said getting behind the wheel. “We only have about one hour to shop.”
They went to the Megamall with over 600 stores, shops, kiosks, and dining venues. If you couldn't find anything here you weren't looking hard enough.
“Ok Anaya which store should we go to first?” Ayana asked.
“We can go to any one of them,” she replied.
“OK let's go in this store, ” Ayana said picking a random store.
Created by • Last edit by on Jul 06 2017
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