Georgia walked towards the podium. By the time she turned to everyone, silence had stretched throughout the room and they all were watching her. She’d never needed to ask for people’s attention. She commanded it; something she enjoyed tremendously. She cast an imperial glance over the assembled guests.
“I would like to have a toast.” They all raised their glass. She could ask them to toast to the rain falling and they would. That was the type of power she held. But as much as she enjoyed it, she always used it cautiously. She might be arrogant and proud but she always gave credit where it was due.
“Before hand though, I’d like to thank the Museum to host this very special event; we never forget that the Museum mission has as much to do with what we celebrate as we. On behalf of the team, I would like to thank the Foundation for Advanced Science who have supported this project from its inception and through the challenges we have encountered.”
She took a pause, so that those involved could congratulate each other. They were after all going to make a fortune in return on investment even though they’d have nothing from the sales. Georgia had negotiated hard.
“I would like to thank you. You’re here because you’ve believed in this project and supported either financially or by being there for your partners, spouses who have worked on it. Without your support, we wouldn’t be here.”
Another pause to let them breathe: but the truth was they hung on her every word.
“That brings me to the toast. I’d like us all to raise our glasses to the team of amazing scientists, researchers, engineers who have made this possible. Without their relentless dedication and work, this day wouldn’t have been conceivable. I praise their patience, their passion and their resilience, for as you know I’m not the easiest boss,” a chuckle at that. “And I want to thank them for their work will make this world a better place.”
Applause started to spread throughout the entire room; it went on for a half minute before it subsided.
“And I want you all to toast to Dr. Lea Marshall who has single handedly convinced me that her project wasn’t entirely crazy. Who has – through sheer willpower and conviction – started this all adventure. Without her vision, we wouldn’t be looking to the future. Without her, we wouldn’t now have the means to return to the place we all came from.”
She rose her glass to her friend, the real genius in this.
“To Dr. Marshall who has found the way to decontaminate the earth and its radioactive atmosphere. I couldn’t tell you how: I’m not a genius myself.” Well not in atomic science at least. “As far as I understand her complex research, it’s got to do with atoms and how the ones she’s engineered are going to attack the radioactive ones in the atmosphere.” She stopped there. Not one of the people present would get it, except her team. She went back to the crucial message. “Soon we’ll see the light of the sun again. For the first time in 250 years.”
The room rang with cheers and applause, as Lea blushed. The guests were excited and by the end of the night, they’d probably have another few million credits to continue this project and implement it not only here but everywhere.
Soon 1 billion people would be able to leave the lithosphere. Lea had only one request; that the return to the outside world not become a question of money. And Georgia was willing to grant her that. As long as she made her money.
In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Guest and to the Flash fiction month July 12 theme