This is the assignment for your coming birthday. (Gosh, who would have thought of such a unique birthday present?)
Write, in about 1200 words, a fiction using ALL of the following words:
Alsou, asunder, apron, amnesia, allegiance, ample, amid, announce, anniversary, adventurous, appealing
You are advised to spend no more than four hours on this assignment.
Calm down. I heard your complaint. You have plans for your birthday.
As always, I have already prepared a model answer. So, do what you do best – SHAMELESSLY COPY IT!
Here is the required fiction with a word count of 1283.
A statement published on the official website of Beacon Software Corporation (“BSC”) today reads,“The Board of Directors has accepted the resignation of our Chief Executive Officer, Beacon, who will be stepping down on the 25th of September, 2011. We were briefed by Beacon earlier this week that he has been diagnosed with progressive amnesia and thus he on his own accord took this departure decision. We will now be concentrating all our efforts on identifying the most appropriate candidate for this key position. There will be no further comments on this matter until that appointment is made.”
Ironically, the aforementioned D-Day happens to be the 37th birthday of Beacon. (Note that here “D-Day” refers to “Departure Day”, not the historical “Normandy Landings”.)
Holding a master’s degree in Mathematics and Information Technology, Beacon, with the characteristic charm of Libra, began paving his adventurous career path as a humble junior programmer working in a medium-sized software house close to his home town. Like most of the entry-level employees, he worked very hard but was rewarded very little. The vast proportion of profits went straight into the pockets of the owner of the software house, not the counterparts of the front-line programmers who did the heavy chores.
As the proverb says, “Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion”, Beacon, a systems analyst then, quit his unsatisfactory, low-paid job after gaining twelve years of hands-on experience in the field. He then borrowed a SME loan from a local commercial bank and founded his own software company, Beacon Software Corporation. (Note that “SME” refers to “Small to Medium Enterprise”.)
The (rather harsh) terms of the loan stipulate that while Beacon would have executive control over the corporation, 95% of the company’s shares, taken as security for the loan, directly belong to the bank. As such, the bank would appoint a small team of professionals as the Board of Directors of the newborn enterprise.
Beacon cherished this golden opportunity with heart. He pushed his mental capacity to the limits and came up with two brilliant ideas. The first was about a brand-new way to perform lossless compression/decompression in the most efficient manner. (This award-winning algorithm makes use of a handful of breakthroughs in the underlying mathematics that offer satisfactory performance even for truly random input.) The second was about a fast yet secure encryption/decryption function. (This ground-breaking algorithm, based on two independent Rubik’s Cube transformations, one for byte-changing and the other for byte-mixing, has been vigorously proven to be theoretically unbreakable.) By combining these two ideas, Beacon gave birth to the prototype of a file management program for confidential data.
Knowing that software alone hardly constituted a unique selling point, Beacon needed a marketing gimmick. That was why he jointly developed, with researchers from the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering of a local university, a revolutionized hands-free device, similar to a hybrid of a pair of truly-transparent video glasses and a Bluetooth headset, to control the prototypic program “telepathically”, so to speak.
Beacon thought of a catchy name for the final product: Confidential Data Warehouse Telepathic System, or “Care System” in short. What an appealing abbreviation!
The product was an instant hit. Sales went global half a year after the initial release on Beacon’s motherland.
BSC went public shortly after its first anniversary.
As earnings kept growing exponentially during the second year, BSC’s share price soared in an unbelievable fashion.
Such a jaw-dropping operating performance, to most financial analysts, was like magic.
Unlike most businessmen, Beacon, getting rich, was not a money-sucker. Instead, he would like to give back to the community. He proposed to offer a free version of the product for academic and non-commercial uses. However, the Board of Directors, dictated by the profit-oriented bank, did not share the same thought. The Board believed that such a move would lower future earnings and put pressure on share price. Expectedly, Beacon’s proposal was rejected.
A stark difference in management philosophy between Beacon and the Board began to surface. Even worse, doubt over Beacon’s allegiance to BSC were emerging in the Board. But the worst was yet to come.
Not surprisingly, idea thieves in the high tech market rushed to mimic Beacon’s success model. It did not take long before similar products could be found everywhere around the globe.
BSC’s flying start could not last; a drop-off in operating performance midway through the third year caused a rapid evaporation of investors’ confidence, which in turn led to an irreversible plunge in share price during the second half of the year. At the year-end, BSC’s share price dropped to only one-fifth of its highest value.
Under such unfavorable circumstances, the Board had no choice but to compel Beacon to resign. Nevertheless, the Board, consisting of numerous cunning former-politicians, would like to give Beacon the respect he deserved, as he, after all, is the founder of BSC. That is why the amnesia excuse popped up – out of thin air – in the statement published today on the official website.
Beacon, of course, is unwilling to step down; he is helplessly forced to accept what has been announced. With a steel will, he decides to fight back. He, indeed, would like to exact revenge on the Board.
Therefore, he holds, on his own, a press conference and discloses all the missing yet intriguing details surrounding his mysterious resignation.
Fueled by the media that have a never-ending thirst for gossip, this explosive leak sets up several “he-said, she-said” confrontations between Beacon and the Board, which, to most audience, are even better than a nail-biting TV drama series. (Note that here “better” refers to “more entertaining”.)
On one episode, the Chairman of the Board, while fiercely denying Beacon’s counter-accusations, accidentally breaks an antique vase asunder in his office. Such bad publicity instantly brings cataclysmic damage to the goodwill of BSC, which is a consequence that Beacon would like to see – a lot.
Out of the blue, Beacon receives an email message, with subject “Reprisal Breeds Reprisal”, from his long-time online pen-pal, asking him to let go of his anger and hatred. Looking into the LCD screen which briefly transforms into a shiny mirror, he sees a malicious face with a pair of rage-filled eyes. Suddenly, he realizes that he has been almost completely consumed by vengeance. Lucky for him, he has still got a trustworthy friend, residing thousands of miles apart, who attentively cares for his well-being. Once again, this comrade gave him a wake-up call when most needed.
Beacon halts his confrontations with the Board and settles everything with BSC in a peaceful manner. He then sells all his shares which constitute 5% of BSC’s controlling rights.
Possessing ample cash that renders him needless to work any more for the rest of his life, Beacon buys a robust, regular-sized yacht. Promptly, he and his gorgeously-beautiful Uzbek wife, Maya, move to their lovely vessel and kick off a life-long journey searching for their dreamland together.
On a remote island amid the Central Pacific, Beacon enjoys every moment spent with his best half, who happens to closely resemble Alsou, a popular Tatar singer from Russia.
The story ends with Beacon, in an apron, preparing dinner in the kitchen and watching, through the crystal-clear window, Maya breastfeed their newborn baby girl in the warm of a soul-calming sunset.
May I dedicate this fiction to my dearest online pen-pal?