The team at zDepth was worn but exhilarated. Their ship date was
June 15th, and in January, it looked like they'd make it.
Tark traveled often now, and Rebecca briefed him efficiently by phone. The office ran smoothly and everyone was engaged, determined to launch a hit. Marketing people joined the team, along with a consultant packaging firm. Designs for box art were debated, and the winning cover displayed, over-sized, in the company lobby. Posters, stickers and t-shirts went into production, samples of which were quickly absconded by staff members eager for mementos of their herculean efforts.
Rebecca's first clue that something was awry was when Tark directed that his shirts be sent to a Silicon Valley address. Then a group of slick-haired executives from a major gaming company were granted access to zDepth, Rebecca told to give them the full tour. They eyed the place as if they owned it already, flipping open file folders and peering brazenly at programmers' screens. Within days the news was presented to them at a company-wide meeting, confirming the breakroom
gossip. zDepth had been sold. The company had gone public and was immediately purchased, the sought-after nugget being, of course, core technology to the game that would now never be published. "This might be the time," counseled the grey-haired company lawyer, whose face was vaguely familiar to most of the staff, "to exercise your stock options."
Testers and programmers alike were tearful. More mature employees tallied up the combined worth of their options and severance pay. Certainly enough in all cases to cushion the fall, assuage wounds and pay bills until placement with another hot high tech firm. Rebecca was told to ensure the building was empty by the first of the month. Another occupant would be moving in, a real esate company that specialized in upscale properties and streamlined mortgages.