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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Battle for Jeff (part III)

This is the third part of a never ending post about the battle for the shipping guy, Jeff. If you haven't read part 1 and part 2  this might not make much sense. Although, there is not a lot of hope for sense even if you have read both earlier posts. But, they are readily available, and it probably wouldn't hurt, too much, to go have a quick read.

"You know, the waiting is the hardest part." Dr. Dawg said, to everyone in the room and to no one in particular. It was just something to say. He took a sip of coffee, and continued, "at least we have coffee." He took a small bite of a cheese danish, and went on "and cheese danish." He took a bite of a glazed donut, and added, "and donuts." He took small nibble of an everything bagel and I cut him off.

"We get the idea."

I had been watching the action reports scrolling across the screen. Our tiny platoons of minuscule robots were holding their own, "Alpha squad has crested the elbow, sending Charley to reinforce." That was promising. But, they bogged down trying to get past he Capitulum. When they started losing ground we got a little panicked and ate a whole coffee cake, and then decided to send in the little bitty attack helicopters.

We were preparing the IV when the screen flashed the ominous message. "Have Surrendered."

"What?!!?" I almost shrieked. And the little killer robots must have heard me. Because the reply flashed almost immediately on the monitor.

"Surrender might be a poor choice of words. We actually went over and joined the other side."

"What!?!?" I asked with a lot more dignity. the last "what" had really come out wrong, and it was a little embarrassing. These were co-workers. But, it was still loud enough for them to hear.

"They offered us a great deal. Regular hours, yearly performance evaluations. Very little travel, it was a sweetheart offer. And you guys were kind of jerks sometimes. Always adding stuff, removing stuff, sending us into minefields to prove we could withstand explosives, really uncool, dude."

"Isn't that treason?" Dr, Dawg asked between bites of a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit with Tabasco

A dark, ominous, terrifying voice from the shadows in the back of the room said "treason is a seditious act of rebellion against a sovereign country. What you have here is a coup.*"

It was Bob, the custodian. Nobody knew where he came from, one day he just showed up, and next thing you know he was on the payroll. His past was steeped in mystery. As mysterious as the scar that ran under the patch covering his left eye. He was a dark presence where ever he appeared, and thank God he chose to stay hidden most days.

His voice was like the echo made by an atomic reaction. It was soft, and slow, and powerful, and terrifying. We had talked about firing him (he never did anything) but nobody wanted to tell him. We had left a note, once, asking him to clean the executive restroom, and he nailed the ashes to the refrigerator door. We learned to live with him.

"That little robot you sent in there the other day has set himself up a little kingdom inside Jeff's head. He runs it with little regard for law, and no care at all for Jeff. Any other machine you send in is going to end up on the "other side" if you see what I am saying. What you need is an expert in insurgency warfare, a man who can operate under cover behind enemy lines. A man who has no objections to fighting dirty. You need a real bastard."

"Are you free?" I asked, before taking another bite of a world class breakfast burrito.

*Thank you +S. Bradley Stoner.

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