The Incumbent: Chapter 47

The Incumbent: Chapter 47

Summary: It's an intricate web of murder plots, government conspiracies and rampant tanning. Oh, and the future of the entire nation.

TOPICS: Telcos

Botherington hadn't given up hope with her story. With little else going on, and with only two people left in Make Me a Celebrity Now, it would be over in a week. Perhaps then, public concern would heighten, and Channel Eight could give her story another run.

'Why don't we both head over there and see what's happening?' suggested Botherington, quickly slipping on a dress. There was no make-up, no time spent using various devices to do with hair; but she looked magnificent, straight out of bed.

'Maybe he just got too close to the government's plans...'

Twenty minutes later, Botherington and Jones pulled up outside the VastTel building. It wasn't what they expected to see. Teams of people were busy removing graffiti, painting walls and repairing furniture and fittings. The huge, steel doors had been removed, cut down to size and were being lifted by crane into a large truck parked at the roadside. It looked like it would only be an hour or so before the whole building had returned to normal.

In the atrium, a few hundred people were milling about, grabbing coffee and checking their phones. The network still wasn't working, of course, but that didn't stop people incessantly looking just in case. It had become an ingrained habit that would take a couple of generations to evolve out of.

Out of the crowd came a large, jovial character that Jones recognised, but he wasn't quite sure where from. He seemed supremely confident, although a little nervous to be in Botherington's company. She knew only too well who he was.

'I'm Sydney Musson,' he said. 'Your new CEO. I'm so sorry that you were demoted.'

He seemed genuine, and, Jones thought, quite an impressive character. Botherington had to admit he was very different to the timid individual she had met at the guest house.

'I suppose destroying the entire network might have had something to do with it,' Jones suggested.

'Or maybe he just got too close to the government's plans,' said Botherington, jumping to the defence of her new man.

'Well, that's all behind us now,' said Musson, smiling. 'Besides, let's not get too carried away with a job title.'

There seemed to be surprising balance and insight coming from a man who was supposedly a maniac.

There seemed to be surprising balance and insight coming from a man who was supposedly a maniac.

'The important thing is we all work together with the task at hand.'

'And what is that?' asked Jones, assuming Musson had been placed in the role as some kind of government stooge.

'Well, fixing up this phone company, of course.'

Jones and Botherington looked at each other, trying hard not to laugh. They wondered whether Holton-Lacey knew that this lunatic had taken over the asylum, and seemed intent on turning it around.

'Those days as a bumbling, inefficient bureaucracy are behind us,' said Musson, spreading his arms apart and leaning back slightly. Jones lurched forward to catch him. He assumed lifting him up again would be a major, if not impossible, task.

'I am going to turn this into an efficient company that makes customers glad they chose us and makes employees proud to work for us. And you, Jimi Jones, are going to help me.'

The Incumbent is Phil Dobbie's first novel and these excerpts have been used with his permission. All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. To purchase the entire novel in digital format, click here. It is also available in printed format ... for more details click here.

Topic: Telcos


Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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