A 500 word short story by Scott A. Gese
The hospital was on high alert as the seriousness of the event began to unfold.
The tsunami had struck without warning in the middle of the night, leveling most of the small seaside city. The emergency room was beginning to see the first of many serious injuries coming through the door. Beds were filling fast. Within the hour people on stretchers were lining the halls. All staff members that could make it in were on duty. It was nothing short of pandemonium.
Emergency services were summoned from towns further inland. Paramedics treated injuries in the field. Firefighters worked at controlling a large fire that had broke out near the edge of the disaster. Police officers and the military paroled the area keeping looters from taking advantage of the situation.
Peter Aldo wasn't a looter, but he was taking advantage. Trained as an accountant, he had gone to work for a large company whose business it was to keep the books for many smaller businesses throughout the area. Over the past year he was cooking the books for the company he worked for. They were embezzling money from a number of their clients. Peter was embezzling money from his employer.
With this current emergency situation at hand, the company had ordered Peter to take advantage and destroy the evidence. Blend it into the mayhem and make it look like it was unavoidable.
The servers containing the evidence were all in house. Fortunately, the building that held them still had power. Peter, always one to take advantage of a situation, began downloading all the incriminating evidence onto disks. When he had finished, he put the disks in his briefcase and then proceeded to systematically corrupt every hard drive on every server. He then set the building on fire and walked out the door.
The building burned to the ground. The company had gotten away with millions and no one would ever be the wiser.
It took time to get things back on track. They worked out of a temporary site until their new building was complete. They held on to clients that survived the disaster plus picked up a few new ones. Everything was going smoothly. Then it started again. Peter's employers began pressuring him to start cooking their clients books. He had dodged one bullet. He wasn't about to risk it a second time. He gave his resignation.
Peter's employers refused his resignation and threatened him. Told him to either show up for work or learn how to breath under water.
Peter wasn't intimidated by their threats. The following day he didn't show up for work which infuriated his superiors. Concerned that Peter Aldo knew too much, they began to make plans to follow through on their threats. They were about to put them into action when a package addressed to Peter's boss arrived. It contained several disks along with a note. “These are only copies.” signed Peter Aldo.
Realizing they had been out maneuvered, the plans were dropped that very day.
© Copyright 2018 by Scott A. Gese All Rights Reserved.