"This could be dangerous," whispered a low voice in the shadows.
"I know," was the reply from the man who had called this meeting. It was set in a narrow alleyway in New York, and the year was 3231. The first was merely an accomplice to the second, who was a highly-esteemed inventor. However, in order to avoid the ever-present possibility of attracting the press, this meeting had to be staged somewhere discreet and deserted. No one ever walked these streets anymore, and since there was no moon or stars tonight, the inventor saw this as a perfect opportunity.
"We can't keep pretending the government will have anything to do with this!" continued the first. "The risks are too high, and the benefits are fairly non-existent!" The man was raising his voice as his temper rose.
"The government barely knows anything about this project," replied the inventor in an eerily calm voice. "They know nothing of the risks, and the benefits for us could be monumental." He remained calm, despite the remarks of his colleague.
"Do not play games with me! I came here upon your request, and all you have to tell me is what I already know! However, what you have failed to inform me of are the physics of the thing. I haven't been shown any proof yet that this can even work!" His voice had now risen to a near-shout.
The inventor looked around to see if anyone had noticed his partner's outburst, but as usual, no one was walking by. Even if they were, no one would recognize these men in their long overcoats, black hats, and dark shades. "Keep your voice down," he whispered. "I'll show you the proof once you've agreed to help me."
"And the money?"
The inventor held up the black briefcase he was holding, and opened it to reveal bundles of hundred dollar bills. "Now will you help me? I know this can work, but I still need one more person to help clean things up. We have the technology already set, but we need you to fix the bugs in the program."
The man hesitated before answering, his eyes glued to the money. "When are you planning on unveiling this 'project'?"
"We plan to unveil it in three days."
The man's eyes widened in shock. "Are you insane? A project like this would take at least a year to clean up!"
The inventor's expression didn't change. "I know. That's why I'm asking you. I know that you're the best of the best. We both know you can do it, especially for this amount of money."
After a long pause, the man took the briefcase with a worried look on his face. He said one word: "Okay."