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You are reading a dynamic short fiction. You are invited to participate however you'd like. Thanks for your time. If you're interested in more work like this, please check out the Writing page on my site, shawnrider.com.

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PiTP

by Shawn Rider
November 15, 2005


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The two men sat staring at the whiteboard. A line down the middle of the board separated two lists, one labeled "Life," the other "Death." Under "Life" were a few bullet points, written in all-caps. Under "Death" was only one phrase: "EVERYTHING else."

"You're fucking kidding me." Stan Marshall gestured toward the board.

"Look, Stan, we're gone. Done. Over. The era of RADDSTURR is in the past." Davis makes shitty breeders, they're ruining the newsquotation marks as he says "RADDSTURR" and overemphasizes the double-R. "What's more, we've held out so long that we can't even sell out. Our userbase is basically none, and we never had many. And we can't catch up technologically because Berkeley is in jail."

"We just need a couple new people on the tech team, that's all. I think you're blowing this out of proportion."

Davis breathes slowly through his rock and rollnose.

"Our tech team is comprised of Berkeley, your brother-in-law, and a couple of interns working tech support."

"Well, when does Berkeley get out?"

"2035. And then he'll be banned from all networked electronics for another 25 years."

Stan makes a sour face. "Oh, please. Those laws are so archaic. They'll be repealed by the time he's released."

"Sure. So what should we do in the meantime? How will you kill a I am sinking!couple decades?"

Stan knew exactly where he planned on being. He had bought a small island off the coast of Mexico and invested wisely. RADDSTURR had served its purpose. He had sold out. If it weren't for an obscure clause in the company's by-laws, he wouldn't even be here.

But he couldn't say that. He sat for a moment, and Davis spoke first.

"Look, I know you're not so concerned, is Carmen Sandiago?but I for one would like to realize whatever remaining value we can find in our remaining assets. This is what we've got."

Stan nodded, "I just don't like the idea of suing people as a business model."

"It's not suing people. It's protecting our property. Our intellectual property rights. Assets. We don't have to sue anyone. We just invoke some of the new governmental protections and the Feds take mmmm... 64 slices of American cheese...care of everything for us."

Sensing a change in Stan, Davis drove on. "It's the real information economy. Our information has value beyond just the stuff that's in it. The manner and appearance of the information is patentable. I've prepared the applications. I have dossiers of cases we can send along to the Feds. There are clear pathways for us here. This isn't a risk."


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