24 hours earlier —
Somewhere in the middle of Angeles National Forest —
At the headquarters of NewTron Power Corporation, the World leader in alternative power —
“D@mn it!” Dr. Joshua Jones threw his notes to the floor. “Stanley, just do something right for once!”
“It’s not my fault,” Dr. Stanley Lucas protested. “There must be some errors in your instructions?”
“Bull$hit!” Joshua fumed. Closing his eyes, he took a deep breath. “Get out of my sight. I’ll do it myself.”
Walking the other way, Dr. Lucas shook his head while looking at his team leader, Dr. Brian Carpenter.
“I should not have listened to you,” Joshua complained, “and fired that idiot a long time ago.”
“Relax, Josh,” Dr. Carpenter replied. “Stanley has been a valuable member of our team, in his own little way.”
The two scientists looked at each other, then both burst out laughing.
“See, you know I’m right. Stanley needs to go out and buy himself a brain.”
“You’re too harsh.”
“I don’t care if he hates me. They can all hate me.”
“Stanley did care about the money more than the science.”
“Precisely,” Joshua snapped his fingers. “That’s why I don’t trust him. I feel like he’s up to no good.”
“You don’t trust anybody.”
“I trust you. You’re my mentor, and you taught me everything you knew. That’s why I’m better than you.”
“Touché.” Dr. Carpenter bobbed his head.
“Brian,” Joshua admitted while staring at his mentor. “You’re the only person I trust on the entire planet.”
“I’m flattered. After all, you are my favorite student. It’s been a great honor to be working for you before I die.”
“Don’t go sentimental on me now, old man. We still have a few more hours before we get this show on the road. And Brian, you don’t work for me. You worked with me.”
“Josh, one last thing. How in the world did you come up with this new complicated design?”
“It’s simple,” Joshua chuckled. “I’m just ahead of the curve.”
Dr. Brian Carpenter rolled his eyes as they continue preparing their top-secret project.
An hour later, Dr. Joshua Jones whispered to someone. “10 grams? That would be over 40GW. What? Are you nuts? Flush them all to the core like last time? That’s a total waste of energy if you ask me.”
“Dr. Jones?” Dr. Stanley Lucas asked. “Who are you talking to?”
“Mind your own business,” Joshua placed his hands on his hip.
“Sorry, but Dr. Carpenter told me to come here and tell you that our guests have arrived. They’re all in the conference room.”
“Oh, thanks, Stanley,” Joshua glanced at his watch. “Tell Dr. Carpenter that we start at 10 AM sharp.”
“Yes, Dr. Jones.”