“There does seem to be some disruption,” she told him eventually, “but don’t worry, it is easily rectified and we’ll soon get you another life crystal aligned. You were right, this does need looking at. But Lee, I am not going to be at all happy if your problems end up affecting me. It might be worth looking for another reader if you ever get out of this. You just don’t seem to understand that you are a client, nothing more.” Shoving a crystalline mask over his head to stop him replying, she placed hot stones in both of his hands before hitting a tuning fork against her desk and holding it to his brow. After a moment she sighed and began dotting a variety of crystals around him efficiently, professionally, his new life crystal was set carefully into the centre of his mask. Finally she straightened.
“Stay there and stay still. I have to go for a moment.” She turned towards the door but he stopped her, mumbling dully through the mask.
“Lily, I’m sorry if I’ve upset you and I know you said you were busy but I didn’t know where to turn. I am frightened!”
“So you should be” she retorted but then she gave him a long, level look before softening slightly. “Look, I know this is hard for you so I’ll give you one more chance. You are normally a healthy man though Lee. You need to stop worrying and you definitely need to stop bothering me.”
3 hours later the glossy red door closed firmly behind him. Clutching briefly at the railing for support he looked around before heading down the street. Like a bad spy he pressed against the wall by the entrance to the yard, peering around the corner in a manner so surreptitious that he would have been better with a neon sign. There didn’t seem to be anyone around. He smiled and relaxed slightly. He hesitated just a moment longer before scuttling through the gates and into the shadows by the loading bay. He pressed himself hard against the wall and stood, panting for a few seconds before making a break for the edge of the tiny fire escape door. He peered around the frame and then threw himself back into the security of the shadows. After a moment 2 shadows darkened the door briefly before moving on. Lee released the breath he had been holding and risked another peek into the depths of the bay. He looked again, took a deep breath and tiptoed towards the computer desks.
Query Personnel Dept: Please identify loading bay manager; this location
Response: Invalid Query.
“Oh, great” he muttered, glancing around and hunkering down further. The “Report Problem” icon flashed invitingly in the top right of the screen but that would only deal with the spinach. It wouldn’t help him. He tried nine different queries before running out of ideas; each one received the same response. Eventually he logged off and rubbed his eyes, swearing softly.
“Another flaming robot boss.” He muttered and stalked away from the desk, anger overriding fear, however briefly.