How many people like Max were out there? If Kak was right and one of every ten people struggled with some form of mental illness, there were 6,147.1 Pax-Jupiter retirees right now staring at their butchered benefits packages with the same potential as Max to do something to themselves. If even one in a hundred of them acted on it and succeeded that was 61. People. Not numbers in an Excel file.
And he was guessing. It could be higher. There was no way of knowing the personalities or tendencies of the 614.7 to gauge the severity of their reactions. The lack of solid risk assessment made him uneasy. Unknown variables led to unpredictable results. He’d spent the last twelve years eliminating both.
But he was getting ahead of himself. If he couldn’t solve the Q4 problem everything else was lost anyway. He went to the mini-fridge for a beer. Kak. Why did he think he’d think better if she was here? It was unsupported by data. He’d never needed anyone before but the solitude of the four walls didn’t help here in the way it always had. Hours had passed since he woke and there was still no sign of her.
The light in the fridge didn’t come on when he opened the door. He bent down to where he could see the dark bulb and gave it a tap. Nothing. Damn. Even here.
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