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Trex World, Part 28

kelson.philo's picture

Part 28
Link to part 1

Paul was putting in multiple “Requests for Break-time” e-forms as fast as he could hit the submit button. No responses from his super, but no indicator on the messenger profile that he was away, either. And no easy way out of his cube, not now. When he had met with Noel, the chair responded to his trex file and indexed it with the time he was supposed to be at work. This would only happen again when it was time to quit his shift. Until then, getting out of your seat was a matter for your supervisor to consider.

With Geoff bypassing the galvanics, he was stuck with three options. One, push the panic button on his desktop and force the issue. That would mean drawing a lot of attention to himself, to Geoff and to the floor. He have to answer a barrage of questions and all that attention would eat up time that he might not have. Two, wait and see what Geoff was up to. This was obviously some sort of a power play on his part. Get me to freak out and give him an excuse to fire my arse. The third option wasn’t too hot, either. Force himself out of the chair without pushing the panic button and risk giving himself a seizure.

So. Press the panic button shight almighty I almost guarantee myself not being able to post. in time. Farkity-farkity-smark-fark. Does Geoff know I’m on the Triple M circuit? That bastid would have nothing better to do than to snoop around his underlings private lives. Alright so wait and—

“Wondering what’s going on?” came Geoff’s tin-plated voice from somewhere behind him.

Paul swiveled his head back and forth but could find no body to connect it too. “Well, Geoff, I was just about to hit the panic button.”

“Oh, I’m sure you were, Paul-me-boy, but you wouldn’t want that, would you. Be ever so hard to get you precious little raisins out of the shight can, then, wouldn’t it.”

“That’s privileged information, Geoff, how the fark—”

“Does it matter, my man? I’m within my right to keep you as long as work needs done, and by the looks of your queue it still needs done.”

“I’ll hit the panic button, Geoff and then what--”

“Then what indeed, dear Paul. In the time it takes to clear up the formal investigation, you’ll have missed your shot at keeping your raisins alive. And then what, Paulie-boy? Then what. You’ll be so much driftwood in the Game of Life, that’s what.”

A beat passed.

“So,” Paul said, “What do you want me to do, then?”

“Oh, isn’t it obvious?”

“Quit with the games, Geoff. What do you want.”

“Tell me what you want, Paul.”

Paul sighed. “I want you to switch off the galvanics, Geoff.”

Geoff’s voice chuckled. “Nonono, you’ll need to do better than that, Paul my boy. Gimme some feeling.”

“You’re a sick little fark, you know that, Geoff?”

The voice was low and cold. “Not. Little. Paul. Make your choice, my man.”

Paul sighed again and stared forward into the space ahead of him, not focused on anything. He summoned up what was left of his dignity. “Please Geoff. May I go to the bathroom now?”

Geoff’s voice was bright, cheery and mocking. “Of course, my man, of course. You got three minutes.”

A silent buzzing a vibration through his loins and Paul was safely freed from his chair. There was a rushing sensation, his bladder was more than full. The drive to move was undeniable. The cube chair started to unfold.

“Don’t forget your trex, my man,” Geoff’s voice came from behind him. Paul hopped out of the seat and spun to face the voice, and found no body to attach to it. Damn ultrasonics.

To post or not to post, to that, there is no question, Paul recalled a smarmy feed from his pre-hive days. You go into the hive to network socially, in as many possible ways as you can think of. You get it in your head that being a social networker is just as vital as breathing. Deliberately refusing to network was grounds for early retirement.

I am being maneuvered. I am being set up. Fark this!

How does one act when one is dammed to a fate no matter what decision he makes? Tearing that bastid’s head off of his shoulders would be extremely satisfying in the near short term, but ultimately, it would mean early retirement. Three minutes was enough time to get to the restroom, leak what he had to and get back to his station. Three minutes was not enough to get out of the PanPro building to send off his post safely and get back to his cube before Geoff pulled a “Too Many Occurrences” pink screen and shight-can him on the spot. With his tardies piled skylight high, he’d have no appeal. Then again, if he crashed his raisin’s he’d have no chance of ever getting out from under Geoff’s thumb again. The calmness of inevitability descended on Paul’s shoulders and rubbed a kink out of his neck. He grabbed his trex and sprinted for the restroom.

***
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