After a few hours of listening to music, Kya took roughly twenty minutes to swap out and shelve the hard drives again. As the time passed she felt more relaxed, and began to belt out lyrics from the songs as they played through her headphones. Singing was something Kya enjoyed, and it helped to pass the time when shifts started to feel long. She had lost track of time when a light tap on her shoulder alerted her to the fact that her relief had arrived and that her shift was over.
“What the…!” She exclaimed and nearly jumped out of her chair. “Oh, Leonard.” She said with a deep sigh. “Don’t you know by now not to sneak up on me like that?”
“Don’t you know by now you shouldn’t be listening to music at work? I’m not sneaking around here.” Leonard walked past her and put his briefcase on the desk closer to the window.
Kya glanced outside, and saw that the sun wasn’t even poking up over the horizon yet, but it definitely wasn’t night any longer as the sky was marbled with brilliant reds and oranges.
She turned to look at her co-worker, and noted that he was dressed in full business attire, with pressed black dress pants, an ironed button up shirt, and a meticulously tied dark green checkered tie.
“Nice threads.” She said. “New tie?”
“Yeah. I got it yesterday.” He squinted a bit as he took in Kya’s appearance. “What does your shirt say?”
Kya looked down and grinned at her black t-shirt, it had a green circle on the front just above her stomach and on the circle was a sad face with the word VOID stamped in red on the forehead. Above the circle in purple it had words written. “It says ‘When I was your age, Pluto was a planet.'”
“Charming.” Leonard said, though he didn’t sound the least bit charmed.
“Don’t you think it’s a bit silly to dress up for a job swapping hard drives?” Kya blurted without stopping first to think.
“I know what you’re going to say” Kya sighed and changed her voice to sound more masculine. “‘Not only do we have a dress code, but you should dress for the job you want.”
He straightened his tie. “And judging by your sweat pants, some people might assume you want-”
Kya cleared her throat and continued, “anyways… Nothing of interest happened last night. I swapped two sets, placed them in the library, and the third set is being chewed through right now. Gotta go catch my bus.”
As she collected her stuff, Leonard inspected the logs slowly and carefully before signing off on the change over.
“I don’t know why you do that, no one ever checks the log book.” she said.
Leonard sat in the task chair and looked up at Kya, his face contorted slightly with contempt. “I do it because it’s procedure.”
“Well, you have fun with that.” Kya said with a grin and a wave as she turned and pushed her way out the double doors that lead to the center of the large office building and out of the area set aside for I.T. staff and equipment. As she walked through the door the smile melted from her face and her shoulders slumped as the weight of another night without sleep seemed to slam into her.
A few of the information technology staff were coming in as Kya left, their eyes still red, coffee in hand, frowns etched on their faces, but they were all dressed up in professional clothing, something that Kya dreaded having to wear on her upcoming week of day shifts.
Kya made eye contact with someone she recognized from the I.T. department and he smiled.
“Hey, Kya.” He said.
“Heyah.” Kya said with a partial smile.
“I hope you are going to be ready for your day shifts. I’ll be working in the desk next to yours, and I’ll need you to be on your toes swapping drives for me as I run some tests.” The older man paused, seeming to wait for Kya’s answer, and just as the silence lingered on for a little too long, he continued, “I heard they only give you data management folks one day to switch from nights to days.”
“Yeah, it’s rough.” She admitted, rubbing her eyes. “I feel like I’m sleep walking my way out of here most days.”
“Oh!” He chuckled slightly. “Don’t we all! But this week of days after what, three of nights? It must be extra tiring.”
“Yeah. I don’t know why Don won’t let anyone have just full days or full nights.” Kya said as she pulled her hair back from her face with both hands.
“Oh! Is the purple new? I could have sworn you had orange in your hair.”
“Yeah. I did it a couple days ago.”
“Don’t let Don see!” The man grinned and winked.
Stifling a yawn, she responded. “Nah. I’ll keep it down and professional for dear old Don.”
“Good plan. Good plan.” He said, patting her on the shoulder as he started to walk past her. “I’ll see you the day after tomorrow! Bright and early!”
“Bright and early.” She repeated, as she walked towards the big glass doors to the outside world.
A weight was lifted from her shoulders as a light breeze hit her face. She closed her eyes for a moment and sighed, then headed to the bus stop. Kya knew that she would have to wait alone for ten minutes before her bus would take her from the wasteland of factories and offices, that was the industrial section of the city, to her apartment near the downtown core.
About an hour later, Kya walked into the apartment and set her keys down on the table by the front door. She could see Sam, her roommate, sitting at the kitchen table, breakfast bagel in one hand, and tablet computer next to his plate.
“Hey, Sam, whatcha doing?” She asked.
“Oh, just reading news on Myles Redwood.”
“You still reading that celebrity gossip crap?” Kya walked around to read the headline over Sam’s shoulder.
“Yep. Because no matter how messed up I feel like my life is, these guys make me feel normal.”
Kya started reading:
A SUPER Happy Birthday for Myles Redwood
If you don’t know who Myles Redwood is, where have you been for the last three years? The Internet phenomenon turned multi billionaire teen heartthrob/singer/dancer/actor turned eighteen today, officially making him Age of Procedure. To celebrate finally achieving this milestone, it seems he has done what all teenagers dream of doing.
This evening, Redwood was seen leaving the head offices of Enhance, presumably after undergoing his first Super procedure.
Speculations are being made over what ability he would have chosen as his first, but in the next few days I’m sure the world will know. I can’t see Mr. Redwood keeping it a secret for long…
Sam shook his head. “I’m not sure I want to live in a world where that kid has even one Super.”
“Haha, no kidding!” Kya replied.
Then Sam swiped to different pages a few times, and each time it flashed a similar headline on the screen.
With a sullen look, Kya sighed, “But imagine what you could do with a couple Supers…”
“In the wrong hands though…” Sam said still staring down at the screen, before he brought up a picture of Myles Redwood from just a few weeks earlier being escorted out of a club, a mischevious grin plastered over Myles’ face.