Trina would be the first. She’d told him that she wanted the final version of the prototype for herself. She would wear it for a week, make sure that it met the impossibly high standards of PomM (standards that were part of Sandra Jacobs’s legacy, as well as Trina Kurtz’s own meticulous nature and a lingering unspoken need to live up to the late Ms. Jacobs.) She wanted it before she left for the holidays, one of the few vacations she allowed herself and the PomM employees that answered directly to her.
Robert wouldn’t get the time off, of course, given Trina’s deadline. But then, he wouldn’t have taken it anyway. He had to finish the project. Not for himself. Not for his job. Not for PomM. Not for Trina Kurtz, or her fears of inadequacy, or Sandra Jacobs, or her legacy. He had to do it so he could change the world. He had to change the world for Maria, for the girls, for any children they might have some day. He had to leave them a better world to inherit than the one he had found, the one he had helped to make.
And that meant breaking Trina Kurtz’s mind.
With a final keystroke, he set the 3D manufacturer to begin assembling EAR and watched as the future of the world was laid down in layers of plastic and metal before him.