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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

We take the offensive in the Battle for Jeff.

This is part 5 of the story to save the shipping guy, Jeff. Save him from us, unfortunately.  If you haven't read part 1part 2part 3part 4 and Part 5  this might seem kind of dumb. And if you have it will probably seem completely hopeless.  But, they are readily available, and free, and it probably wouldn't hurt, too much, to go have a quick read.


Bob lay on his back. Looking at the ceiling, his gaze wandering from light fixture to air vent to corner. A restless visual pacing. When he had made several laps around the entire area he turned toward Jeff.

It was a small room, and a taxing procedure. An operation of a scope that required a great deal of equipment. All of this equipment required tables, and these tables were crammed into the room chaotically. It had started simply and grown quickly, and there was no order to gear scattered throughout.

So, when Bob turned to look at Jeff all he could see where the soles of his feet, and a few inches of leg sticking out of the bottom of a sheet that was thrown over the inert shipping guy. Jeff's skin was grey with white splotches the size of silver dollars that seemed to move slowly, and change shape, but it happened so slowly it was really hard to be certain.

"I really liked Jeff." Bob said softly, slowly. His tone contemplative, almost serene.

"How well did you know Jeff?" I asked, thinking it was odd that Bob liked anyone. Surprised at the small display of kindness from this rebar reinforced, poured concrete custodial person. Shocked at the hint of sadness.

"Not well, we had coffee together a few times in the cafeteria. But, he was aces. If you know what I mean. Everybody who walked in smiled at him. Patted him on the back, shook his hand. And here is the odd part. They smiled at me. For a few minutes I was just one of the guys. Jeff had the power to change reality.

"Why did you choose him?  Why not Anthony, the guy from maintenance? He is a world class jerk. You know, one time I filed down the axle on the right, front wheel of his cart. He was going to answer a job ticket, and halfway there the wheel broke off, shot through the customer service department and broke Jim's "Worlds Best Dad" coffee mug, which was a blatant lie, anyway. Anthony's tools spilled all over the aisle. It was hilarious. I posted it on YouTube." Bob laughed, and coughed.

"Hey, you didn't do that to my chair, did you?" asked John, standing by his table, next to a chair that leaned uncomfortably to the right.

"No, no, of course not." Bob said, then fell silent.

"I don't know why we chose him. We just thought he would complain the most politely, I guess.

His eyes closed, and the dial on the monitor flashed "100 %".  The personality traits transfer was completed.

"Bob, you should be able to see, or feel what our little robot is experiencing. Think about the distant sensations. It might be a lonely, small feeling of isolation, or dread." Dr. Dawg said. "This is alien to you, and it might seem terrible. But, with a little effort you will find the center. Think about the movement."

A slight twitch registered on the display, then a full rotation. Then a small jump. Then what looked like our tiny, subatomic robot was doing the "robot" dance.

"Sorry." Bob said. "I couldn't help myself." Chuckling a little.

"Let's float this boat, and go save Jeff." Bob said.

"Commencing injection." said a robotic sounding voice, though it was really just Thomas. He had given up the southern drawl for a more futuristic timbre (which may have sounded even  more idiotic, I swear I am going to fire that guy). He counted backward from 10, lost track at 4, and just pushed the button.

Bob was on his way. Jeff groaned, and we all thought it sounded hopeful.