“… And if you step this way, you’ll see the Genetics Department at work on a new research project. Just look at all the stuff! Can’t have enough stuff, now can you? Well, they’re busy right now, but we’ll be able to visit them later. Now, if you’ll just follow me to here….”
Fujitsu watched as the tour guide lead the middle-school group away from the lab windows. It wasn’t that often that a school could plan a field trip to Towan’s Stoenn Labs. It was a very expensive thing to pay for in the first place, then there were all the safety risks, and how the president of the laboratory hated anybody other than authorized personnel entering the building. Must be in a good mood, I guess, he thought to himself.
There were all sorts of things going on around him: a bunch of researchers either tossing notes all over the place or typing with Godspeed on top-of-the-line computers (which were made by the company his wife worked for, Wreller Inc.), technicians building a very, very expensive machine that they already had to replace once thanks to a new recruit being careless. In the very back was a huge master computer than looked like something out of Dragon Ball that was doing a whole bunch of things that Fujitsu couldn’t even comprehend. Nor did he want to in the first place. Scattered all over were groups of people who were doing Lord knows what. He always forgot what everybody did every day.
Then there was him, walking around, inspecting all the workers, making sure that they were doing their jobs right, writing on his optional clipboard about their progress, giving good marks or bad marks where they were needed, in the form of a smiley face or frowning face, the works. The sad part, however, was that this was the fun part.
“Alright, I’m off to do some paper work,” Fujitsu called to his workers. “Keep up the good work! Report to me if anything goes wrong, you hear?”
With the personnel giving positive feedback, he retreated to his office, way in the back of the huge area, taking out a pen before even reaching his door. He told it to open, and he walked in as it swung out without breaking stride. He was even signing his first of many papers before he had seated himself. The lights turned on by themselves, but that was as far as the automatic services went. Everything from then on out was done old-style; like the office itself. It was like a late 90’s office had refused to grow up throughout the years, like Fujitsu, in a way.
It was all he could do to make his work as enjoyable as he could make it. When he had been offered a promotion twenty years back when the former head of the Genetics Department resigned, Fujitsu, in all actuality, didn’t want to leave his job: he loved being out on the floor, making new discoveries, actually doing something he thought was exciting.
Even back when he was a kid he loved the subject. So much, in fact, that he did incredibly extensive research when he was a teenager and made a breakthrough in the field. Stoenn saw this and was kind enough to give him job training and money to go to university until he was old enough to actually take a position in Stoenn Labs. He had done a lot for him, even after that, and Fujitsu didn’t want to disappoint him, so he took the job. However….
The agile man, already done with half his paperwork in about a quarter of a normal man’s time, looked a photo frame by the corner of his desk, picking it up. It was a group photo in sepia with him, his two best friends, Krystal and Roy (who were newlyweds at the time), and Krystal’s older brother, Stoenn. He looked so young then, but like everybody, age caught up with him. Despite the overall health field improving drastically, Stoenn died about six years ago, peacefully in his sleep. The whole company was devastated, especially Fujitsu, and no one knew what to do. The reason for this was because there was no true successor to Stoenn: Krystal and Roy both disappeared about a year or two before the time of his death, presumed dead themselves.
Their poor daughter didn’t know what to do herself. She never spoke about it, never even noticing when somebody brought them up in a conversation. It was heartbreaking to Fujitsu, being her god father. The last time he saw her was at Stoenn’s funeral, but he couldn’t bring himself to speak to her, not because he was so sorrowful, but because, knowing him, he would attempt to make the situation unacceptably light. He never heard from her since then.
Fujitsu groaned like an upset little kid and looked at his pile of forms and paperwork and blech. It was nearly done, even considering he was doing it with only one hand while holding the frame. He made sure to practice when he first started.
Finishing up, he spun around in his chair staring up at the light. He was technically supposed to go straight out to the floor when he was finished, but he was done about thirty minutes early, he could prolong his boring venture a bit if he wanted to. Besides, even if he absolutely had to go out straight after he was done, he knew his days were numbered. Everybody knew that he was going to get fired any day now.
After Stoenn died, there was a powerful man who bought the Labs from the Spectrums. This man was as close as you could get to a fusion of Scrooge and Donald Trump as you could get. He changed almost everything about Stoenn Labs with changing anything at all. He never even spoke to anybody, literally. He never opened his mouth; he was born with some sort of disorder that kept him from moving his jaws apart. And yet he never needed to talk. Everybody knew. Knew what? They just knew, and everybody knew that he hated Fujitsu.
He wanted to fire him so badly, but even with the number of goof-ups that Fujitsu made, he could never find a justifiable way to sack him. Though Fujitsu was borderline with staying and going. Then came the day his wife made him so incredibly late for work. That day he had possibly one of the most important meetings of his career, and any tardy would be unacceptable. He missed the meeting in its entirety. The boss had his chance.
“The only question is ‘when?’” Fujitsu asked himself, balancing his pen on his nose. Dropping it, he stood up and put his hands on his hips, blowing out some air of frustration.
Whenever it was, he hoped that it wouldn’t be, and he didn’t know why, until the project was finished.