June 25

Phillip glanced at Chloe’s face, as the expression shifted from outrage to confusion to dawning surprise. “What exactly is Plan C?” he asked.
“You are not authorized to know,” Daniel said.
“I’m authorizing him,” Katherine said. “Spill it.”
“You are not authorized either, Doctor,” Daniel said, smiling politely. “I apologize, but it is a precaution that must be taken. We are in agreement, then, Miss Reed?”
Chloe nodded. “I understand. If we have no other choice, then, we’ll have to do that. I’ll fill you in later, Katherine, Phillip.” Katherine nodded once. Phillip saw no other option but to play along; he felt a bit like he imagined Rob must have.
“Very well,” Daniel said. “Moving on, then. I am hereby tendering my notice of an unpaid sabbatical.”
“What?” Phillip roared. “Effective when?”
“Around the time when you took your sip of coffee, Mister Brookfield,” Daniel said. “I was informed last night of immediate, pressing personal matters which must be attended to.”
Katherine glared at the accountant. “We’re in a crisis here,” she snarled. “What could possibly be worse than losing your job and the entire company? This had better be life-or-death.”
“It is,” Daniel said flatly. “More than you are aware of.”
“You are not ill, are you?” Chloe asked. If she was surprised by the announcement, she didn’t show it.
“I am not,” Daniel said, “but this situation concerns a family member I am close to. I fear that my presence here now is placing her in danger.”
Phillip paused before speaking. “All right,” Phillip said. “I hope it turns out all right.”
“You’re accepting this, Phillip?” Katherine asked.
“We’re not heartless,” he said. “Besides, I don’t think Daniel would say that we could still get out of this if he knew he had to bail out.”
“Impressive, Mister Brookfield,” Daniel said, smiling. “Indeed, my presence at the Foundation will not aid the recovery effort to a significant degree. I have given instructions to my staff on how to proceed in my absence.”
“If there is no other way?” Chloe asked; he nodded once. “Then I accept your notice. Good luck, Daniel.”
“Luck, Chloe, has absolutely nothing to do with this,” Daniel said, standing up. “Still, for her sake, I thank you.”
“Daniel,” Phillip said. “Keep in touch. Let us know how things go.”
“If I am able to,” he responded. “Perhaps…”
“Yes?”
“It is nothing,” Daniel said. “I am late as it stands. Please excuse me.” Phillip and Katherine nodded as he left, closing the door behind him.
“So,” Phillip asked. “What is this mysterious Plan C that doesn’t need its mastermind?”
Chloe grinned. “You’re gonna love this.”

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