Cinderella 2.0

Cinderella as SciFi – Opening of Act 1.

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Veronica Jones’ deskmate, Javid Daniels, wheeled his chair over. In his haste bumping her latte and causing it to splash up onto her new T-shirt.

“Jav! Watch it!” Veronica grabbed her precious framed photo just in time as the brown river rushed across her desk. It was a picture of Ada Lovelace.

“Have you heard? Your Dads sold GenTech.” Javid, oblivious to the mess was pleased that not only did he find out this news before Veronica, the founder’s daughter,  but he had also found out who had bought the AI startup.

“Yeah, right. Dad wouldn’t sell GenTech. He is pretty much married to it.. you know since Mum died.” Veronica surprised herself at revealing so much. Javid was a friend, but not a close one.

“Well, he did and here comes the new owner.” Javid wheeled back allowing Veronica her first glimpse of the new CEO. 

Jasper Jones was ushering a very tall, very glamourous woman around the offices. Their differences couldn’t be more pronounced. A tall, dark-haired brisk looking person, the guest sported a leather capelet, making her look like she just arrived by horse. 

Her father clad in his usual cardigan and corduroy slacks struck Veronica as tired and aged.

“Thoroughbred probably,” Veronica muttered under her breath.

“Ronnie! I’m shocked!  You know, women are worth more than their looks.” Javid received a swift punch in the arm.

“Who is she?” Veronica couldn’t take her eyes off her fathers fawning. It was embarrassing.

“None other than Meradith Splice. Founder of ProGame. The largest software corporation on the planet. Valued last week at over 3.5 billion. Original coder of GameOn the most successful genetically driven entertainment platform, winner of…”

Javid received another punch. This time it was harder.

The entourage had reached Veronica’s desk. 

“..and here is my daughter Veronica. She’s our top coder, and you may have heard of her breakthrough last year in AI. She was nominated for Sebastian Phelps’ development fund..”

“She didn’t win?” Thin Chanel lips revealed perfect teeth. The smile was limited to just a slit. Merediths eyes showed nothing but steel.

“Oh…yes well, there were so many entries of course. Veronica say hello to Ms Splice. We are now all part of the same family. Ms SPlice has two daughters your age!”

Veronica had no idea why her father was speaking to her as if she was three. Attempting to get up, she revealed more of the coffee had landed on her lap. Her creme pants now with a large brown patch in the worst place possible. 

“Nice to meet you.” She held out her hand. 

Merediths eyes glittered like a snake beholding its prey as weak. Veronica’s warm hand was clasped in a cold desiccated claw. 

Meredith pulled Veronica close.

“I’m so looking forward to having your help.” She purred. “I’m sure you will be instrumental.” 

This time Meredith’s smile was real, and it stretched across her cosmetically perfect face.

TBC…