Astrid Maxxim and her High-Rise Air Purifier – Chapter 5 Excerpt

“Hey, Boss!  What’s up?” called Dr. Roger Maxxim from behind a large rocket engine.

“Hi, Dad.  You know, I thought it was pretty funny when you used to call mom Boss, but I don’t think I’m as keen on it when it’s me.”

“Yes.  She felt the same way.  On the plus side, you have fewer ways that you can show your displeasure than she did.  What can I do for you, Dear?”

“I need to talk to you about something,” said Astrid.

“And are you talking to me as my daughter or as my boss?”

“Um, boss, I guess.”

“Okay, I’m listening, and I promise to follow directions just as much as I did when your mother had that position.”

“Look, Dad.  I already know you do whatever you want, no matter what anybody else says, but I want you to at least give me a fair hearing.”

“Of course, Dear.  Let’s have a seat.”  He led her over to a pair of plush chairs situated near the door of his personal lab.  “What’s on your mind.”

“Uncle Carl and I want to get back into the commercial aircraft business in a big way.  I need you to come up with some great plane designs.  We’re doing well with smaller executive aircraft, but we think that now is the time for us to re-enter the market with larger passenger planes.  We need everything from commuter planes to jumbo jets.  Can you do it?”

“You know that I spend a lot of my spare time designing planes, Astrid,” he said.  “I have updated designs for just about anything you could name.  However, your mother has decided that this isn’t a market we can dominate.  What makes you think your Uncle Carl knows better?”

“Actually, this isn’t Uncle Carl’s idea,” said Astrid.  “It’s mine.”

“Well, I guess, then, that we have to do it,” said Dr. Maxxim.  “After all, if the whole thing blows up in our faces, it’s going to hurt you more than me.”

“How’s that?” wondered Astrid.

“Well, you own more company stock than I do, so you’ll lose more money.  Besides, it’s always the person in charge that takes the fall, and who do you think your mother will blame for tanking the company.”

“Gee thanks, Dad.  That’s a lot of pressure for a fifteen-year-old.”

“Good thing you’re wearing your big-girl pants,” he said.

“Um, I’m wearing a skirt.”

“Anyway,” he continued, “you’ll be sixteen in just a few weeks.  You really are growing up way too fast.”

“Do you think you can have a presentation for the board by the end of October?”

“My Halloween gift to you,” he said, reaching over and pulling her into a hug.

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