Jake and Sara walked back to Emily’s office.
“How was she not there? That’s the only place she could be!” Sara said.
“Maybe she’s just exploring the city.”
“What do you think Emily’s going to say?”
Jake tried not to think about it.
“I don’t know.” he responded.
They approached the door.
“Are you ready?” Jake asked Sara.
They both took a deep breath, then the door scanned both of them, and opened.
Emily turned around.
“You’re back! Did you find Jennifer?” she asked.
Jake and Sara looked at each other.
“She wasn’t there.” Jake said.
Emily instantly looked at Sara.
“No, she has to be there! Where else would she be?!” Emily said.
“She might be exploring the city-” Sara explained.
“Shut up, Sara.” Emily said angrily.
“It wasn’t her fault, Emily.” Jake said.
“You checked the entire apartment?”
“Hang on, I think she might be exploring the city!”
Sara almost rolled her eyes.
“There’s a new idea.” she muttered under her breath.
“What?” Emily asked.
“If she is exploring the city,” Emily continued, “then we can’t let her find a way off the planet.”
“How would she escape? She doesn’t have any money.” Sara said.
“She could steal it.”
“Right, because the first thing she would want to do when she wakes up would be to steal money. Besides, you can’t just ‘steal’ money anymore, Emily. It’s all digital now.” Jake explained.
“Fine, but we still have to find her.”
“What should we do, then?” Jake asked.
“Impose a planet-wide quarantine.”
“A quarantine on the entire planet? That seems like a lot just to find one person.” Sara said.
“Don’t question me, Doctor.”
“Jake, you can leave now. I need to talk to Sara.”
Jake looked at Emily, and then walked out of the room.
“Before you ask, I’m not the reason why we couldn’t find Jennifer. She wasn’t in the apartment.” Sara said when Jake left.
“Why do you continue to question me, Doctor?” Emily asked.
“What do you mean?”
“First, with Operation 77, then just a few minutes ago.”
“I’m four years older than you, Emily. I don’t have to agree with everything you say.”
“I’m your boss, Sara. It doesn’t matter how old you are. Jake is five years older than me and he still listens to me.”
“That’s what you think! But he only pretends to agree with everything you say because you’re his sister!”
“Don’t pretend that you know him better than I do! I’ve known him my entire life! You’ve only known him for a few months!”
“We may have only known each other for a few months, but I know that he loves me more than he could ever love you.” Sara fired back without thinking.
“Get out. You’re lucky I’m not firing you right now!”
Sara left the room. Jake was waiting for her in the hallway.
“You look like you just got out of a heated argument.” he said as they walked to the computer room.
“I can’t believe she’s asking us to put the entire planet under quarantine. I don’t know why Emily’s doing something as crazy as this. It would be nearly impossible to find Jennifer, even with the quarantine.”
The door scanned Jake and Sara as they entered the computer room.
“Do you want to announce it?” Jake asked.
Sara took the microphone.
“Citizens of Earth,” she began, “this is Sara Fox. This planet is now under quarantine. No ships will leave the planet’s surface without authorization, and any who may try will be severely punished. No ships will be allowed to dock on any spaceport on Earth without authorization. All business trips will be cancelled. The quarantine will be indefinite.”
She looked at Jake, who was at a nearby computer.
“Display a holo image of Jennifer.” she told him.
“Anyone who sees this woman,” Sara continued, “bring her to the Thunderstorm headquarters, alive, and you will be rewarded a large sum of money.”
She disconnected the microphone.
“Good job.” Jake said.
“I hope Emily is going to be okay with paying whoever finds Jennifer.” Sara said.
“I wouldn’t worry about it. She’s been so obsessed with finding Jennifer lately that she’ll do anything to get her. Besides, she’s going to have to pay for that door, anyway.”
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