Fred Wu: Missing In Action

The Paltry Facts

Fred and I were evil opposites. Fred was on when I was off. We would see each other at the changing of the guard.

Then one day Fred wasn't there when I arrived to start my shift. He had started his shift as usual. I spoke to him as I was getting ready to leave--as usual. He had been in an especially ebullient mood, even for Fred. I remember he had been going on about finding the motherlode this time out. He talked about striking it rich and retiring. None of it made sense--as usual. But when I came back on after break--no Fred.

I inquired as to his whereabouts. I was told, "Mr. Wu is no longer with the company." Period.

Suddenly it's as if the man never existed. No further explanation. "Mr. Wu is no longer with the company."

That phrase has taken on a deeper meaning among the rest of us. If something has a hint of conspiracy or back-room shenanigans we say, "Mr. Wu is no longer with the company." It's right up there in popularity with " Open the pod bay doors, please, HAL."

The Lavish Rumors

1. The Man Never Existed In The First Place

Although this seems ludicrous at first glance, the more time I spend in the hypersphere the more I am willing to believe the incredible.

2. He 'Knew Too Much'

That was his job, dammit. He was the best and the brightest of a very bright lot. If knowing too much can cause a trained hypernaut to just disappear then aren't we all at risk? Is knowing too much an occupational hazard?

3. He Was Working A Special Assignment And He Found What He Was Looking For

I believe the part about the special assignment but I don't know how this is connected to his disappearance.

4. He Found Some Dirt On The Company That Was Too Dangerous

What could possibly be that dirty. This is a company that lists as one of the corporate goals in its annual stockholders report 'World domination within five years.' That same annual report lists, as corporate assets, seven countries on three continents. School kids take tours of the corporate espionage division. What could an outfit like this have to hide--that they've been fluoridating the office water coolers?

5. He Became One With The Hypersphere, Made The Leap, Exchanged His Body For...

See number 1 above.

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Flightless Hummingbird:  A Pseudo-Periodical