Date: Monday 4 February 2041ce 1510z
Location: ECNN Corporate Office, Jersey City, New Jersey (-0500)
The fucking fuck, Roger…!
“He looks twelve,” she said in a humorous tone that bore no relation to what she was actually feeling.
“Eighteen next month,” Roger assured her. “Attending JCU. Journalism major.”
“He looks Mormon.”
“He looks…? The hell, Suze, what does a Mormon look like?”
“I mean back when they rode around on bikes preaching door to door.”
“Are you old enough to remember that?”
“I’ve seen pictures.”
“Do you have any pre-Invasion memories?” he asked.
“Something involving a yellow tricycle,” she answered near honestly.
“Well,” he said through his grin, “he is from Kentucky.”
“You mean he’s a Last Worlder?”
“You know I can’t ask that during an interview,” he said. “And if he is, he had the good sense not to mention it, which puts him well above every other Last Worlder I’ve ever interviewed. Folks can’t ever stop preaching. Probably got interview tips at JC.”
Still, Suzanne’s thoughts on the matter were that anyone that could get through an interview without bringing up their religion probably wasn’t that fanatical about it.
And I’ve met my fair share of loons… Out there.
That brought her back to the issue she originally came to his office about.
“Tig is replacing the rear axle on the new truck,” she said. “We’ll be on the road Friday.”
“What was wrong with the old axle?” Roger asked in disbelief.
“No idea,” she answered. “To be honest, I think he’s banging the mechanic.”
“Banging? The mechanic?”
“Well, she is hot. In that macho would-be-a-dyke-if-she-didn’t-love-dick-so-much kinda way.”
“I’m not sure I like how you’re scheduling this.”
“Just remember Tig’s condition,” she said, meaning his Outlier’s Syndrome. “He’s spent most of his time hanging out in Edison.”
“Working the restoration?”
“No, just being out in the open… Nothing but grass, bushes and young trees.”
“That, too… Danny’s probably the only real fun he’s had since we set camp here, but don’t count on her being so much fun that he lost his itch to leave. If he’s replacing the axle, then I’m sure it needed replacing. He may be replacing it ten thousand miles early, but we’d hit that mark in a few weeks… Let’s not have me break down in the field.”
Roger shook his head in irritation.
“Besides… You’ve just delivered a hundred-fifty-pound snot nosed baby boy for me to break in over the next few days.”
“I figured Vik would do that.”
“Vik’s natural talents are in the booth assembling the stories,” she said honestly. “He’s gonna be an excellent director or editor one day. Probably both. But not with Clark-sans-Superman there sitting behind him wanting something to do. Don’t worry… By Friday, Vik will be able to just tell Charlie…”
“Who-ever… Vik can just tell him to go do something and he’ll be able to do it instead of being held by the hand all day long.”
“Good, then. He’s yours. He’s already done the HR routine, so he’s ready to start.”
Did I just get conned?
“The moment I find him useless…” she began.
“Gone, like that,” Roger said with a snap of his fingers.
Still not sure…
She began heading for the door.
“Oh, and Suze…”
Stop calling me that!
“Thanks. He’ll work out. I promise. And be careful out there.”
She was certain he meant all of it.
Stepping through the door, Suzanne came to a stop in front of where Christopher was sitting.
Christopher looked up at her, brown eyes that relayed confusion, awe and fear at the same time.
She didn’t see much that indicated stupidity, though she was certain he was quite naïve.
Perhaps there’s hope, after all?
“So, what are you waiting for, kid?” she barked while departing the waiting area outside Roger’s office. “An invite? We’ve got work to do.”
She smiled to herself as she heard him suddenly scramble to gather his coat and backpack before trotting to catch up.