Sisters In Slavery
Sisters In Slavery
"You're quite sure about this, Miss Osborne? There is no chance that it could be just a simple computer error?"
"Absolutely none, sir. I've checked and re-checked the figures. It has to be a deliberate fraud and the amounts involved are huge."
"Yes, I see. I can hardly believe it. And from what you have told me, some of my senior executives must be in on it."
"I'm very much afraid that at least some of them must be, sir. The scale and complexity of an operation of this size couldn't be hidden unless there was collusion at a very senior level."
"No, I imagine not. This has come as a great shock to me, you know. A great shock. To think that some of my colleagues have abused their positions to do such a thing...Are you absolutely certain of your findings? Certain enough to go to the authorities?"
"The evidence is incontrovertible, sir. I have dates and figures which prove it beyond any shadow of doubt."
"I see. Well then, I have no choice. Does anyone else know what you've found?"
"No, sir, not another soul. I've kept it strictly private, under lock and key."
"Good. It's too late to do anything this afternoon, but I will arrange a full meeting for 8:30 tomorrow evening. We'll keep it quiet for the moment. Can you be ready by then?"
"Yes, of course, sir."
"Very well, then. Bring everything you have to the main Boardroom tomorrow and when you have presented your results, I shall take the necessary action."
"Yes, sir. I'll be there. Uh... just one thing, sir. It might be quite...uh...unpleasant..."
"I'm sure it will, Miss Osborne. But don't worry; I'll make sure that Security is present to deal with anyone causing trouble."
"Thank you, sir. I'm sure that's a wise move. Good afternoon, sir."
"Good afternoon, Miss Osborne. I'll see you tomorrow."
As he lowered the phone back into its cradle, Andrew Morrison, European Chief Executive of Shimatsu Electronics, frowned angrily. Damn the woman, he thought to himself, why couldn't she have kept her interfering nose out of things that didn't concern her. How the hell had she managed to stumble across the "black" file? It was supposed to be top secret, secure against any normal investigation.
Mr. Shimatsu would be furious, he thought grimly and his neck would be on the chopping block, unless he could find a way to suppress the evidence that would blow the Company apart.
Not only his neck, either. The blasted woman had been right, the operation did require collusion at the highest level and he, Crespi and O'Keefe, two of the other Executive Directors, were all in it together with Shimatsu himself. If the story got out, they were all finished and Morrison knew it.
He forced himself to control his anger and concentrate. The evidence had to be suppressed, to disappear, until every trace of the massive fraud could be buried so deeply that no one would ever be able to find it again. That wouldn't be easy, but it could be done eventually.
Which left the problem of Miss Osborne...?
He lifted the phone to his secretary, "Beth, get me Miss Osborne's personal file, please and tell Mr. Crespi and Ms O'Keefe to come in to see me in an hour."
Five minutes later, he was on his direct line to Ozeki Shimatsu and the millionaire owner of the Company was furiously demanding to know how the disaster could have occurred.
"Dawnelle O'Keefe is responsible for security, isn't she?" the Japanese hissed venomously. "This is all her fault and I do not tolerate failure or stupidity in my employees."
Morrison knew better than to argue with his boss, but tried to soothe the angry Oriental. "I know, sir," he began, "but I'm having a meeting with Carlo and Dawnelle as soon as I come off the phone and I'm sure we can work something out."
"You'd better!" Shimatsu snapped, "If the truth comes out, my loss of face would be unacceptable