I scowl in frustration at the half-finished cover. Damn those line breaks that appear when you convert to a new file format. I should be studying for my final exams, yet here I am trying to edit my science fiction story into submission, to bring it under control. Today I have to drive 165 miles to downtown Seattle to meet the enigmatic CEO of Schneier Enterprise Holdings, Inc. As an exceptional voting systems security expert, his time is extraordinarily precious – much more precious than mine.

It’s a quarter to two when I arrive. The elevator whisks me at terminal velocity to the twentieth floor. “Mr. Schneier will see you now.” says an attractive, impeccably dressed blonde. “You don’t need to knock – just go in.”

“I have some questions, Mr. Schneier.” I swallow nervously, placing my 4,000-word tale of sizzling human on gay dinosaur action on the table.

He fixes me with a stare. “Elections organized by an unincorporated literary society are all about people. Directing their energies. Power is acquired by assuring yourself you were born to control things. A man who takes full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything to which he is justly entitled.”

My heart is pounding as I feel the delicious electricity between us charging. My inner T-Rex roars.

“I’m aware that this is a dark path I’m leading you down, Tingle, which is why I really want you to think about this. You’ve already signed an NDA.” He hands me a piece of paper. “This is the amendment.”



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