“Absolutely not,” Samir Assad said when Henry showed him his designs and asked him to join the project team as physicist. “What’s more, should you decide to proceed with this I would be obliged to report you.”
“But why?” Henry asked.
“Why?” Samir was surprised that the answer wasn’t obvious to Henry. “I’m an Arab American of Saudi descent, and I’m a student of nuclear physics. Do you realize what kind of scrutiny I’m under?”
Of course, Henry knew that Samir was right. Samir’s knowledge and his access to MIT ’s nuclear research reactor made him the perfect choice to oversee the physical aspects of building and operating the machine, but fairly or not, his heritage made him the worst choice. Still, Henry made one last ditch effort to get him to come on board.
“Don’t the possibilities intrigue you?”
“Staying out of prison intrigues me more,” Samir answered. “I’m sorry, Henry, but I can’t help you.”
So that was it. Henry would have to find another phyicist for the project.