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posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 06:44 PM
The wind had been blowing nonstop since the sun rose. Grit was everywhere. When Tai Rosso closed her mouth she winced at the feeling of grit between her teeth. She raised the cup of coffee to her lips and swished the lukeworm liquid around in her mouth. She turned downwind and spat.

"So that is it then? You have no response to what I have just told you?" Pedro's voice was normally high pitched but his near panic raised it above even Tai's female voice.

"I'm thinking. Give me a second." The words weren't actually true. She wasn't thinking about anything. He mind was a blank. She was simply unable to comprehend the situation.

Oil fields don't just dry up. Sure, individual rigs would suck their areas dry but there was more. There was always more.

Only this time, there wasn't. It was like a crack opened up beneath the earth and drained it all away.

She ran her hand over her face liking for a moment the rough touch of the leather. The acrid odor of the crude oil smelled like home to her. For the better part of eight years Rosso had been jumping around the world to different operations.

Environmental engineer on an oil team was a man's job but she had fought like hell to get it - and even harder to keep it. Now it seemed like it didn't really matter. Her eyes glistened with tears but she bit them back. A single trail flowed down her cheek and whipping sand plastered to it almost immediately.

Pedro looked away, his own eyes redrimmed and tearing.

"Damn. I... I guess I have to tell them," she turned and walked back into the field office.

"Tai, I was just coming to get you. Corporate's on the line for you," Daniel, her assistant, held the satellite phone at arms length toward her.

"What? How could they know already?"

Her assistant just shrugged and held the phone out for her to take.

She took off the gloves and tossed them haphazardly onto a small table near the door. She composed herself. She took the phone and said in her most confident voice "This is Dr. Rosso."

"Dr. Rosso, please hold for the board." She waited but could hear frenzied activity on the other side. She glanced at her watch and after a quick calculation realized it must be almost 3:00 AM back in the States. The board was already gathered. This was bad.

"Rosso are you there?" She recognized Peter Cunningham's east Texas drawl immediately.

"Yes Mr. Chairman, I am." There was a slight delay as her words traveled to the other side of the planet.

"Tell me you have something, Rosso. Tell me you have something that 1200 other sites don't. Tell me you have oil."

1200 sites? Just like hers? That wasn't possible. Not all over the planet. Not at once. Dr. Tai Rosso sat down cross legged on the ground and let the thought sink in. The silence dragged on for longer than she realized.

"Rosso, damn it, say something!"

"Dry sir. We're dry too."

[edited to change Rossi to Rosso - hope that's not against the rules]

[edit on 14-7-2005 by Marid Audran]


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