Programmer, Writer, Whatever Else

Just A Boring Job

This was their third mission together. It was only a few months ago that they were introduced, and now they safely call each other friends. Though most of their time getting closer was through the many tedious drives and stakeouts they had to do. The rain pelted the car windshield as the two of them watched. Their faces were illuminated only by the red light that stood in front of them. The anubian jackal fidgeted in his seat, adjusting the seat belt that pressed against his neck. Garov returned his hands to the steering wheel, watching and waiting for his foot to press down.

Next to him was a human, who took some warming up to working with him. They started working only a year before Garov, but was still assigned to help show him the ropes. Arbor leaned to adjust the radio, letting the rain fade into the background. “This has got to be one of the worst tasks yet,” they muttered. They knew that the two of them were both relatively new, but after a year they couldn’t believe they were still getting the simple and bureaucratic jobs.

“It’s not that bad,” Garov told them, “We just go in. We confirm the body. Then we leave and maybe get food on the way back.” His face turned back to the road after it was lit green. The car silently went on, kicking the rain up behind it and letting the rain blow back on it. For a couple of slow blocks, they both sat in silence. Garov’s ears eased back as he thought, opening his mouth to speak only to decide against it. On a second try, he spoke to Arbor. “I’m sorry that I’m holding you back like this.” He paused to take a deep breath before resuming, “I hope that soon, we’ll get the chance to prove ourselves.”

“Yeah,” they replied. They turned to face Garov, watching him as he peered forward in his slumped posture. “And I’m sorry too,” they continued, “If it seems like I’m mad at you for it all, I’m just mad at the situation. Not at you in particular.” The jackal’s eyes shut to their comment. He knew what situation they meant, what the situation everyone around him meant.

He took a moment to compose himself before his response, “Right. The situation of us working alongside all of you.” The pit in his stomach grew, and so did the growls in his throat. “You know, the technology for us to be who we are has been around for 82 years now. It was only a matter of time before the government that we all lived in would actually employ us.” The irritation in his voice was clearer than his words. He was only left fuming in his breathing.

“Sorry,” was all Arbor said, it was all they could muster. They knew that they had no problems with them, with the people who genetically altered themselves to appear more akin to animals. Hell, even their best friend looked like an otter. So why were they having such a big issue with this? They could only sit in silence next to Garov as he continued through the puddles and the rain of the city streets.

The car locked next to the coroner’s building as they both stepped through the door. The lobby stood quiet, their shoes in the tile clacked and echoed through the room. At the back of the room was the reception desk, where the empty chair was lit.

“Hello,” Arbor called out, “We’re here from the Security Agency.” For a minute, the two waited for a reply and were only met with the clear silence. With each moment that passed, both of their hearts raced a little bit faster.

“Do you want to check out the back,” Garov suggested, “I can wait here to see if anybody comes back.” Arbor nodded to him with a sigh. They slowly opened each door, peering inside before they inched their way in.

Alone in the lobby, the jackal wandered. He strode between the pictures that lined the walls, taking his time to examine each one. At each one, he could see his reflection in the shine. As he stepped around, he almost felt bad at getting the floors dirty with the rainwater from outside. At the end of his tour, he ended up at the reception desk. The chair sat against the wall, which Garov approached. He found it peculiar that a tidy office that he was in would leave the chair not pushed in.

Shuffling behind the desk, he tried to turn on the computer only to find it sleeping. It opened to a calendar of the day, marked with the visit of two government agents for a body they had. Either the place had a horrible security policy, he thought, or whoever was at the desk left in a hurry. Garov turned to the chair, its dark and shiny cushions looked just as clean as the rest of the room. He placed his hand on the seat, feeling the warmth from the leathery material.

It was warm, still. It was recent. The two agents must’ve just missed them. Garov knocked the chair with a spin as he returned to the computer. Nothing else was scheduled for the day, no drills, no inspections. In another process however, was the file for their body -Mr. Lanshing. This had no place on the reception computer, of the little he knew of the business, he knew this.

On his knees, Garov crawled around the computer to find a small drive plugged in. With a yank he pulled it out and found that the files disappeared from the screen. Something was wrong. Too many things had too many questions with nobody to answer them.

He turned back to pull the chair and sit, only for the light to catch his eye. How could he have missed it, he asked himself. He scrambled from the desk and ran toward the door to the back. He shouted down the hall, “Arbor!” The jackal burst through the door, sprinting down each hallway he found himself in. Again and again he called their name. He had to warn them. He didn’t know what happened here, but he does know what blood when he sees it.