Don Georgetown’s imposing frame loomed overhead holding a hard drive in his hand. “Can someone tell me why this drive was stored incorrectly last night?”
With a slight startle, Kya turned and looked at her boss. “I wasn’t here last night. That was Tom.”
Kya didn’t correct him, as she now knew for certain he was messing up her name on purpose. And this time at least it rhymed.
“Always trying to avoid blame. Typical.” He came and stood right beside her. Don loved to stand inside people’s comfort zones, and Kya wondered how often that tactic actually intimidated people.
“Well, I am sure if you bring it up with the person responsible, he’ll be able to explain what happened.” Kya said glancing back at her monitor and keeping a calm and even tone.
“You signed the logbook this morning, right?” Don paused seemingly for effect. “That makes you responsible for his mistake.” He took the logbook from the table, and pointed at the drive identification code. “Right here, you signed that this drive was used as a scratch drive for the finance department during last night’s test.”
Kya knew he was just trying to make her angry, and as his voice got louder, it took more and more energy not to lose her self-control. “What was it used for instead?” She asked, staring her boss in the eye.
Kya glanced around quickly to see that everyone close enough to hear had turned to peek in on the interaction between Kya and Don.
“Blank! Strange, I wonder how that happened?” Bringing attention to the hard drive in his hand, he clenched his fist. The metal frame of the drive made a horrible high pitched whine before it began to bend, much like a tin can. A noise, which sounded like that of glass breaking, let everyone know that the platters inside had shattered. With seemingly no effort on his part, Mr. Georgetown had destroyed the hard drive. He dropped the pieces of the twisted metal, plastic, and shattered ceramic on to the ground by Kya’s desk.
The show of strength impressed Kya, and she knew that she was seeing the third of Don Georgetown’s powers. Previously, he had shown the staff his ability to memorize anything he read since getting his powers, and another time, he had a friend drive a car into him in the parking lot, and he was uninjured. A chill shot down Kya’s spine as she recalled Sam’s words, Too much money and power given too freely.
Walking away from Kya’s desk, Don yelled to the whole office, “Clean that up, Kiva.”
Kya could feel heat coming from her face as she swallowed hard to repress her rage. Her ears buzzing, her fists clenched, she was used to a little bullying from her boss, but never had she felt so much of his wrath focused on her alone.
Lunch couldn’t come quickly enough. As soon as the clock on her monitor showed noon, Kya pulled her lunch out of the drawer, where she had stored it, and got up to leave.
“Oh, Kya, may I join you?” Elliot asked.
Kya put her packed lunch back in her drawer and she and Elliot went to the cafeteria for a quick bite. They had polite conversation, and Elliot being a gentleman, even purchased Kya a coffee from the cafe in the building, saying it was an attempt to bring some joy to her day. Kya found herself smiling and laughing more than she had anticipated.
The week flew by in a tiring frenzy, with each day draining her energy reserves and patience a little more. Kya was eager for her night shifts to return so that she no longer had to deal with Mr. Georgetown, who was continuing to direct his rage and frustration towards her. Thankfully, she found her continuing lunches with Elliot were the bright spot of each day.
Thursday was the end of Kya’s week of days. After returning from lunch, Kya sat back at her desk ready for more of the routine, followed by a verbal assault from her fearless leader, but as she focused on the screen an unexpected, yet recognizable, voice came from Mr. Georgetown’s office and turned her stomach.
“And so if you purchase both of them, I can give you a twenty percent discount. Fifty if you are interested in purchasing any for your wife or children.”
Kya slouched in her black task chair as the door opened, hoping she could blend into her surroundings. “Please don’t let it be him. Anyone but him.” she whispered.
Kya turned and saw Ken a few steps ahead of Don Georgetown. Both of them were leaving his office with smiles on their faces. Kya couldn’t remember the last time she saw her boss smile, but she didn’t feel comforted by it.
“Kia, is that you?” Ken said pointing right at her, a plastic grin stuck on his face. His black, pin striped suit held tight to his frame, accentuated his physique; his entire appearance and the way he held himself was a testament to the quality of salesman that he was.
She could feel her own face begin to burn red, Kya intentionally rolled her shoulders back and spoke clearly with her own plastic smile. “Yes, Keen, it’s me.”
“It’s Ken actually. Sorry I never called you.” He said in a mocking tone.
Kya heard what Ken had said and didn’t return the feelings as she would have been happy to have never seen or heard from Ken again.
Mr. Georgetown looked a bit confused before connecting the pieces together. “You two know each other? Is this the girl you were telling me about? That date, you said she was the cold fish.” Don started laughing as he looked down his nose at Kya.
“Yeah, that’s the one.” Ken said joining Kya’s boss in laughter.
Kya wanted to turn invisible. Her heart was beating in her ears and her eyes scanned the room for exits. Beside her Elliot seemed to be very interested in his screen where nothing was happening. Kya took a deep breath. “Wow!” She said, still smiling. “I didn’t know you could laugh, Keen”
“If you were actually as funny as you think you are, you would have heard me laugh last week.” Ken said creating extra tension. Then he turned his attention back to Mr. Georgetown. They both could see he was earning points with Kya’s boss with each insult. “Instead I just laughed when I got home imagining what kind of hell it would have been spending more time with her!”
Mr. Georgetown laughed heartily, including himself in their exchange. “Or any Normal, really.” He winked at Kya, “but especially a Normal girl who wastes her time in Computer Operations.” he spat out the last words like they tasted terrible in his mouth.
Ken sighed. “Ugh, Normals!”
“You know, Ken, I think I will take you up on that offer. Sign me up for two. And Molly will love one for her birthday.” He said, grinning.
“Right, Don. One for the Missus. We can conclude all the paperwork junk on the course tomorrow, and get you set-up right away. You’ll love our treatment centre.”
The two men shook hands and Kya groaned. She was happy for the reprieve and to go back to being unnoticed, but she knew that two more Supers would make Mr. Georgetown ten times more unbearable.