He’d understood, but he hadn’t liked it. He’d seen it coming and he thought there might be relief, but there hadn’t been. He thought there might be a fight like the kind he’d grown up seeing, the kind they’d never really had, all screaming and accusing and throwing things at each other’s head. Instead it had been quiet. She’d announced she was leaving and he’d just sagged in his seat, said “Alright,” and listened as she packed. His typing never ceased. There was work to be done. The work he was doing would change the world. Sandra Jacobs had said so. Then she’d died.
Trina Kurtz, her replacement as CEO of PomM, had no interest in changing the world. What mattered to her was reclaiming PomM’s place at the top of the tech world. She’d personally reviewed all of the ongoing projects upon taking her new office, and she’d told Robert to his face that the work he was doing was no longer “essential to the company’s new direction.” He was too valuable to let go, she said, too brilliant an engineer and programmer, his skills and his interests too varied and esoteric to risk falling into the hands of a competitor, but effective immediately he was being taken off of SMILE and put onto EAR.