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“We thank you again for your attention and patronage.”

Hashimoto Date exhaled.

It didn’t matter how often he practiced his presentation, he always felt nervous delivering the last line.

“How often are you going to run that presentation?” his colleague asked.

“Until I have it just right.”, Hashimoto sat down, “I still don’t feel very comfortable with being the spokesperson for the team, it’s your project and work…”

“…and I am bad at presenting things to the higher-ups, besides we all know how conservative the community is.”

“But this can.. no,  will put Japan on the map…”

“…as long as we get permission to publish and AMED approves, yes” she sighed.

Suzuki Haruka leaned back in her chair and looked at the bank of monitors showing various scientific data.

She sighed.

Their patrons had given them ample funds and even an area within their facility to conduct their research, it had taken them about 10 years to reach this point and the presentation tomorrow was just a formality, yet they’d been informed that they would be presenting directly to their patrons, not to the research committee to whom they normally presented their status reports.

Maybe they’d been recognized for their work in an area that, though still controversial in Japan, was ground-breaking and maybe a solution to a problem that had been a concern for the country for the better part of the last 25 years.

“You know…”

“Mmm?” Hashimoto looked up from his laptop.

“… think it’s personal?”

“Hmm.. maybe but not completely. They had never given us all this if it were only personal and you know their reputation? Funding cutting-edge medical research is what they do. So what if they did it for personal reasons, we were never stopped from talking about it or publish articles.”

He typed a few keys on the laptop and closed the lid.

“Not running through it again?”, Suzuki asked.

“No. It will be ok. We got this!”

“You mean you have it.”

“No, we. Everyone poured their best work into this project. We will be ok.”

“That was sudden.” Suzuki Haruka was taken slightly aback. This was a sudden turn.

“You know… I realized from our talk that if it is personal, the results will speak for themselves and if it’s not, the same. One presentation will not destroy our accomplishments. We will be ok.”

“If you say so…”

Hashimoto stood up and started to change from his lab-coat into his street clothes.

“And now I need a drink. Care to join me?”

 “Not today. I’ll look over the report once more before I leave it to be copied for the presentation meeting, then I’ll head home. Don’t want to look like a wreck tomorrow.”

“I’ll leave you to it. Otsukaresama desu!”

“Otsukaresama”

Hashimoto left the room and walked through the corridors towards the main exit.

 


 

Suzuki Haruka looked over the title on the folder once again after finishing her read-through. It was short and to the point, but it really lacked in impact.

She hesitated, tempted to look up a few words to add to it, but in the end decided against it. She wouldn’t risk turning the work they had done into a joke by embellishing needlessly. The results and data would speak for itself.

She packed up, picked up her coat and started to walk through the corridors of the building towards the main reception area.

The night-staff, already on duty, smiled and bowed slightly as she approached.

“Can I trouble you to give this to duplication for five copies to be present in conference room 4 in the south wing by 9 am?”

“Of course, we’ll send it right away.” The nurse replied, pressing a button on the speed dial.

“Thank you very much. Otsukaresama desu.”

“Otsukaresama deshita.”

Haruka waved the staff good bye as she left the reception behind and stepped into the cold Tokyo night, leaving Nishikino General behind her.

 


 

Next morning the copied folders, complete with hanko of the person that had done the copy were distributed to the conference room with a small title card.

The title read: “Mono-sexual reproduction in humans”.