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Trex World, Part 27

kelson.philo's picture

Link to part 1

It was the third week after Paul’s mom died by her own hand that the incident occurred. A real busy-body of an AA had stormed into his corner office-space demanding the heads of two of his MLAs for some screw-up that wouldn’t have occurred if the AA had stuck to procedure instead of letting himself get bullied by the customer, a rather self-important editor of Expanse politick feeds. Miscommunication occurred and a whole slew of wrong styles got sent out, resulting in a number of said editor’s feed archives being significantly different than what went out live; an embarrassing, though ultimately harmless mistake, as only the style of the feed was affected and not the content itself.

Normally, Paul wouldn’t have paid this fellah’s shight-drama any heed: he would nod politely, assure the AA that the mistakes would be corrected and he’d see to it personally that this particular editor would learn what exactly went wrong and what steps were being taken to rectify the situation. Paul had handled dramatic types before and calm, methodical, rational dialogue usually always took the situation from critical to non-existent.

The AA would not have it, not today; for of course that would ultimately have given away his own incompetence. In retrospect, it was odd how precise he was in his ranting, like it was rehearsed. After a tirade in Paul’s space for a good fifteen minutes about why HE was the one that was handling things and why Paul need to FIRE those MLAs that were responsible, he then closed his sentiments on the matter by telling Paul to go and fark his mother.

Bam. That should have been it. Paul should have blown the whistle and brought in some hierarchy. But he didn’t. No, instead he jumped over his desk console and broke the fellow’s jaw using a style that became famous on three floors as “trex knuckle sammich”.

There was an inquiry.

Good ol’ Geoff had just happened to be passing by and claimed to see the whole thing. Paul’s boss, Marshiro, didn’t seem impressed by the wee-one’s testimony, but the Alliance Administrator’s jaw was impossible to ignore. Paul was suspended at quarter pay which all got dumped into psych leave. Carefully worded answers to the company therapy board and good behavior got him back in PanPro’s doors. Adding a third mortgage kept him out of the Holes. What would keep him from bugging out now?

***

Paul snuck one last look at the tiny doll Mattie had given him before stashing it in his pocket. The angles of his cube ironically wouldn’t permit anything to sit still in a stable fashion. It was designed that way on purpose, no claiming personal territory in PanPro!

1400, 1400, shoot for 1400* became Paul’s mantra for the next 4 hours. Jobs streamed into his queue with a force all their own, the result of being behind two hours for his own quotas. PanPro was fine, of course, innumerables like Noel would always line up to fill in gaps, but personal quotas were a particularly nasty strategy of separating the wheat from the chaff.

Relatively easy stuff, considering his handicap. Some formatting jobs changing title captions to cap and lowercase. A vid stabilization script addition. Nothing too over the top and then what’s this? Some markup from Taste!. Weren’t they the busy little bodies. Some refinements to their waveguide parameters on that ‘smaser’. Pretty specific and articulate requests. Damn, he’d love to parse over this latter at home. Get on a physics feed and see what might be cooking, but he had no way of taking the complicated set of tags with him. Noel might have the memory for it, but he himself did not. His trex was locked out of taking any data off of the PanPro campus—copy/pasting out of context fired all sorts of red flags. Alright. Shelve it for now. you’ve got Amanda-adnamA’s number, talk to her later about it. Have daemon joe run a fiscal balance for the next two weeks, shoot, you might even be able to take the pretty thing out for a cocktail or two. It’s 1300, what in the hell of hells are you going to post, anyway...?

Paul crunched his mind into a spasm, queuing up the easier jobs in his box so he could put focus on the Triple M issue. The galvanics in his cube were a handy feature, he wasn’t worried about needing as snack or taking a leak, at least not until 1400, a designated break time. The body didn’t like artificial restraints for too long. Most people adjusted to four hour stints just fine. Occasionally there were laughable episodes with noobs whohadn’t really put much thought into what artificially not having to go to the bathroom truly meant, wherein once Break Time came by, there would be some hurried jumps and whelps and sprints to the toilet, accompanied with amusing sets of cursing, and restraints at the cursing, trying to preserve the low tones of the floor ambience. Paul jangled his memory a bit and remembered that there where two noobs, John and Martha who were still getting the hang of things. Yes, 1400 would work out just fine. Now, what to put on the feed? Ultimately it came down to lack of material in the first place. There was one sector on his trex’s memory that had anything even remotely resembling a story, and that was this morning’s chase and he hadn’t even reviewed the stream yet. He wouldn’t have time to, either.

1400 comes and goes…what gives? The galvanic indicator was still lit. He was still in workplace lockdown…A minute goes by and then another. And another. Crapioca, Geoff has farked with the defaults, that bastid

*trex world time is now officially in 24 hour format.
***
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