Re: Corruption's Daughter
on Monday, May, 16, 2005 9:14 PM
Chapter One: Telephone Calls
"Ariana? It's Heather."
"How are you?"
"Not so good. Carson got that toy car he wanted, but he wishes he could show it to Dad. How are you?"
"Good. The twins are their usual demonic selves, but I can handle it. Sorry about Carson and the car."
"It's okay. He'll get over it. He always does."
"It's still so sad."
"No one knows it better than me."
"Except for Carson."
"So, what have you been doing?"
"Not much. Carson's been playing video games, so I couldn't watch TV. Not that there's much I want to watch."
"There will be. Star Trek: First Contact. 8:00. Picard is soooooo hot."
"Are you sure Carson will be okay? He's very sensitive."
" You sound like a psychiatrist. He'll be fine."
"Any bad calls?"
"And you're right. Picard is hot."
"Listen, I gotta go. My parents are home and they need my report on what happened."
"Okay, now you sound like an Army officer. See you tomorrow."
Ariana hung up. The problem with Heather was that she didn't understand the Thorne family's plight. She couldn't. Heather's family was big and noisy, but it was whole. Heather also couldn't understand the little pang Ariana felt whenever the phone rang and she moved to pick it up. For the first month or so after her dad had gone from Encom to fCon, he had called regularly. The Thornes had recorded every call, word for word, in a tiny notebook. Then there had been one last call. Ariana remembered her father saying, "I'm going to do something very risky. If I don't call again in two weeks, the company will explain everything." But there had been no calls for months now. And fCon hadn't explained a thing. Then the virus had appeared-Thorne.EXE, infecting computers all over the world. Ariana had always assumed an Encom programmer with a grudge against her family-there certainly were many-was responsible. The fact was, no one could understand what Ariana was going through, ecxept the family and friends of James Thorne, the ones who had to live with it.