Hard Cover edition
Catalina Saylor is allowed to work in Qubit’s Incubator on probation for thirty days. If she proves her idea within that time, she will be allowed to stay and try to obtain a patent on her device.
Qubit’s Incubator is a work place for bright people with good ideas who have no resources to develop their ideas.
If they are accepted, they will be provided with a workspace, equipment, and other benefits for thirty days. If they are not successful within that time, they will leave with nothing.
Excerpt from Chapter Five
On Friday afternoon, Catalina heard the door open and turned to see a new girl come in.
Just as Catalina had been tossed into the bullpen, this young woman stood alone, staring at the jumble of desks.
She was the first new person since Catalina had arrived a week before. She felt a sense of relief that she’d no longer be on the bottom of the pile and treated by most of the pissants and drones as something less than a stray dog.
As the girl—who looked to be about Catalina’s age, twenty-two—glanced around at the people staring at her, Catalina stood and went toward her.
The young woman smiled weakly, not sure of what would happen, especially with all the others either ignoring her or sneering, except for Joe.
“I’m Catalina.” She held out her hand.
“Tafi Ari Rivo.”
They shook hands.
“Did Victor tell you to come in and find a desk?”
“I’ve only been here a week, and I got the same cold reception. What do you think of this desk?”
McGill rolled back in his chair, staring at Tafi.
Tafi watched him as he glared at her. “Who’s my boss? And please tell me it’s him.”
Catalina giggled. “No. He thinks he’s king shit, but he’s just the prince of squat. You’re your own boss in this place.”
Tafi put her purse on the desk. “So, I just work out here in the middle of this place?”
“This is called the bullpen, and yes, we start out here. If we’re still here after thirty days, we get a cubicle and become a drone, like McGill.”
“Victor told me I had thirty days to prove my concept. So, if he doesn’t like my progress after the thirty days, I get kicked out?”
“I’ve seen three people leave in the past five days. They tell me the failure rate is almost eighty percent.”
“I know. It’s brutal. But if you make it and become a drone living in a cubicle, you’ve got a shot at a private office, up there.”
Tafi looked where Catalina pointed. “Nice.”
“That’s where the Monarchs live.”
“How do we get up there?”
“Receive a patent on your invention or idea.”
“Are you going to be up there?” Tafi smiled at Catalina.
“I have to. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I plan to make the most of it.”
“Good. I’ll welcome you up there with me when you make it.”
Catalina stared at her for a moment. “You know what? How about if we move this desk over there, next to mine?”
“Can we do that?”
“We can do whatever we want, but the other pissants won’t like it.”
“Did you say ‘pissants?’”
“Yeah. Pissants are the people in the bullpen. You take that end, and I’ll take this one.”
When the metal bottom of the desk squeaked across the cement, old Edison yelled, “Knock it off.”
Joe came to help them. “You two get on that end, and I’ll take this end. I think we can work together and lift it.”