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Dangerous Game

A Dangerous Game
By ReadWorks

Hi,Imthenewstudentintern,LisaMartinez.Lisasmiledatthereceptionistandheld
outherID.Thereceptionistinspectedthedriverslicenseandlookeduphernameinthe
computer.Yoursecurityhasbeencleared,shesaid.Mr.PizmoisobservingatrialinLab
302.Illtakeyoubacktheretomeethim.
ThereceptionistroseupandledLisadownthehall,highheelsclickingbrisklyacrossthe
polishedmarblefloor.Lisasnuckglancesatthehallaroundherasshescurriedtokeepup.
Everyoneshepassedmovedasquicklyasthereceptionist,asthoughtheyhadtobe
somewhereincrediblyimportant.Lisacouldntbelievethatshewasintheheadquartersof
OneThing,oneofthebiggestcompaniesintheworld.OneThinghadfirstmadeitsbusinessas
anInternetcompanyfifteenyearsago,butthenithadexpandedintoelectronics,energy
production,andtoomanyotherfieldstocount.Nowitmadebillionsofdollarseveryyear.
OneThingssuccesswasdrivenbyitscharismaticandmysteriouspresident,NoelPizmo.
Pizmowasageniusinventorwhoseemedtosucceedateverythinghetried.Hehad
writtenthecomputerprogramsthatledtoOneThingsfirstachievementsandwasresponsible
formostoftheirscientificbreakthroughsinotherfields.Herefusedtospeaktothepressorto
evenhavehisphotographtaken.Thisonlymadehimmorepopularwiththepublic.Everyone
wonderedwhatthemysterygeniuswouldcomeupwithnext.
LisacouldfeelherselfgrowingnervousastheynearedLab302.IfPizmowassosmart,
wouldhebeabletotellwhoshereallywas?Wouldheknowthathercoverasastudentintern
wasallalie?ShefacedthedoorofLab302.Therewasonlyonewaytofindout,andshehad
totry.
Lisapushedopenthedoorandwasquicklyshushedandpushedtothesideofthedark
roombysomeone.Ashereyesadjustedtothelackoflight,shesawthatshewasinaroomfull
ofpeopleononesideofathicksheetofPlexiglas.Ontheothersideoftheglasswasasecond
roomwithatinyobjectaboutthesizeofagolfballinthemiddleofalargetable.OnLisasside
ofthePlexiglas,scientistsincrispwhitelabcoatswerestaringatthattinyobjectwith
completeattention.Lisaheardatickingandsawthataclockonthemonitorwascounting
downtheseconds.Withacrispbeep,thecountdownreachedzero.BehindthePlexiglas,
nothinghappened.Inunison,thescientistsshoulderssaggedandasmallanticlimacticsigh
enteredtheroom.Anotherfailedtrial.
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2015 ReadWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Dangerous Game

Onlyonemanseemedunfazedbythefailure.Amandressedinblackwhohadbeen
slouchedinthecornerbesideLisasprangtohisfeet.Well,hesaid,clappinghishands
togetherabruptly.Thatjustmeanswellhavetogetstartedonroundtwo.Hewalkedoutof
theroom,ablurofaction,leavingthescientiststostareinconfusionathisretreatingback.
ThenheduckedhisheadbackinthroughthedoorandstaredatLisa.You.Youremynew
internassistant,right?
Lisanodded.Yessir,LisaMartinez.
Comeon,LisaMartinez,saidPizmo.Ivegotplacestobe.Ifyouregoingtobeofany
usethissummer,youllhavetolearntokeepupwithme.
LisaapologizedandmovedtofollowPizmooutthedooranddownthehall.Sothisis
themythicPizmo,shethought.Hewasbiggerthanshehadexpected,welloversixfeettall.
Nodisfiguringscarsthatwouldmakehimwanttohidefromthepublic,likesomepeoplehad
imagined.Justaverytallman,movingveryquicklythroughthehalls.LisafollowedPizmointo
anelevator.Asthedoorsclosed,shenoticedsomethingstrange.Theelevatordidnthaveany
buttons.
Pizmosmiledatherconfusion.Wonderingwherethebuttonswent?heasked.We
donthaveany.Theyreunnecessary.Imaginehowmuchmoreefficientitwouldbeif
elevatorsknewwhereyouwantedtogobeforeyougotintothem.Nomorestoppingatevery
floortopickupotherpeopleorwaitingfiveminutesforanelevatortoarrive.Ourentire
systemofelevatorsworkswiththis.Pimskopointedtoatinydeviceonhiswristthatlooked
justlikeawatch.Thisdeviceispluggedintomycalendar.Thatinformation,combinedwith
mybodygesturesandpace,warnstheelevatorswhenImapproachingandtellsthemwhereI
wanttogo.Itsallbehindthescenes.Elegant.
Wow,saidLisa.Butwhatifyouchangeyourmind?
Theelevatoradapts,saidPizmo.Ijustsignalitifmydestinationchanges.Weknew
thatwehadtoallowforhumaninefficiencies.Thisistheelevatorofthefuture.
Asifoncue,theelevatordoorsslidopenandtheyexitedintoPizmosoffice.Therewere
sweepingviewsoftheManhattanskylinebehindanenormouswoodendesk.Pizmogestured
toanarmchairfacingthedesk,Sit,Lisa.Letshaveachat.
Lisasmiledandthankedhim,butherheartratewasspeedingupandherhandswere
growingclammywithsweat.Relax,Lisa,shetoldherself.Youvepassedsecurityandyouve
beenpracticingforthismomentformonths.
DoyouknowwhyItakeastudentinterneachsummer?PizmoaskedLisa.
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2015 ReadWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.

A Dangerous Game

Becauseyoudonthavetopayusasmuch?Lisaasked.
Pizmolaughed.HereatOneThing,wehaveplentyofmoneytopaytopsalaries.No,its
becauseIliketobearoundsomeoneyoung,toobservethewaytheyusetechnology.People
changealotfromgenerationtogeneration.
IhopeIcanbeofhelp,Lisasaid.
Pizmonodded.Iknowthatyouhadtodoalotofsecuritytestsbeforewecouldletyou
start.Thankyouforyourpatience.Iwantedtotalktoyouabouttheliedetectorresults.
Yes?Lisaasked.Herheartwaspoundingsoloudlyinherchestthatshewassurehe
couldhearit.
Theywereunusually...uniform.Mostpeopletendtotellafewsmallfibsduringthe
test.You,Lisa,areexceptionallytruthful.Thatcanbeausefulquality.Ineedpeopletobe
honestwithme,Pizmosaid.
Lisasmiledandrelaxed.Hehadbelievedthefalsifiedliedetectorresults.Illdomybest
todothat,Lisapromised.
Youcangofornow,Pizmosaid.Therealworkwillstarttomorrow,sogoaheadand
takethisafternoonoff.
Lisasmiledagainandleft.Assheexitedthebuilding,shepickedupthephoneandcalled
herboss.Imin,shesaid.HehasnoideathatIworkforoneofOneThingsbiggest
competitors.Illstartstealingthedesignsandprototypestomorrow.
Fromthewindowofhisoffice,PizmowatchedLisaexitthebuildingandcalledhisown
businesspartner.Shesdefinitelyacorporatespy,hesaid.Nooneisthatcalmduringalie
detectortest.Putatailonherandseewhospayingher.Hehungupthephoneandsatback
downathisdesk.
LisaMartinez,hesaidtohimself,shakinghishead.Someoneshouldhavetoldyou
thatitcanbedangeroustotelllies.

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2015 ReadWorks, Inc. All rights reserved.

   


  

 

  




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