Chapter 1: On the Outside

"Master Roger, you have a call."

Roger Smith looked up from his newspaper and took the phone from Norman, checking the grandfather clock. It was only 12:15 p.m.

"This is Roger Smith."

The voice on the other end was distinctly female. "Mr. Smith, my name is Amelia Julaine. I think it would be wise if we spoke in person. Can you meet me somewhere?"

After a hesitant moment of deliberation, he replied. "Of course, Miss Julaine. Name the place."

"My home should be sufficient; the address is 9750 Third Street…outside the dome."

"I'll be there in an hour."

"Thank you, Mr. Smith."

She hung up without the social courtesy of saying good bye. Roger handed the phone back to Norman and gazed at the newspaper, thinking instead of reading the caption under the photograph of one of the domes, so constantly emblazoned across the front of the daily paper.

"What is it Roger?"

He looked up, noticing Dorothy had moved to his side.

"Have you heard of Amelia Julaine, Dorothy?"

"No I haven't, Roger."

"Her father is Lawrence Julaine, one of the shareholders of the Paradigm Corporation. She's known mostly for her work with those in need and for the fact that she chooses to live outside the domes that her father populates."

"Has she hired you for a negotiation?"

"She only said she wanted to speak with me in person."

Roger rose and pushed his chain in, heading back to his bedroom. Dorothy waited a moment, and then followed him.

"Are you sure this is a wise idea?"

"I'm curious why this particular young woman wants to talk to me, and can't do it over the phone."

Dorothy stared at him emotionlessly until he gestured for her to leave. "If nothing else, I want to satisfy my personal curiosity about the rich woman who chooses to devote her time to other people. It's a unique quality."

"You do not think she is simply attempting to gain public appeal for some other reason?"

"There are easier ways to gain public appeal. I think she genuinely cares for others, thought it's strange for someone who grew up in the domes to feel that way."

"This curiosity tends to get you into trouble."

Roger smiled, "Most of the time."

At this the android turned and walked away, leaving Roger to his shower and the dark suit Norman had set out for him during breakfast.