Fun Fictional Distractions
Government buildings are usually the slowest to change, and this one was no exception. Sure, they were cleaned by robots now, but the smells of musty masonry and strong cleaning agents still hung close in the halls. Sherman had grown fond of those smells, but he would never tell anyone that. He was afraid they might think he was weird. Things were hard enough for foxes in mixed offices like this without doing things to stand out.
"Let's see now," he muttered to himself, looking over his monitor, watching another simulation continue to run. These things took so long, even on quantum machines, and he was bored.
He got up and slowly walked out of his office into the hall, sneakily sniffing the air.
"What are you smiling about there Mr. Nightwing."
Sherman started a little and looked over at a bench on his left.
"Uh, hey Richy," he said to the man sitting there. "What's up?"
"Aw, you know," Richy said, waving a hand in the air and passively staring in Sherman's direction.
Sherman could hear Richy smacking his chewing gum, as usual. It echoed in an interesting way in these halls, and only his sensitive cannid ears seemed to pick it up.
Sherman walked over and sat down beside Richy. His tail, mostly under control, still twitched and swung a little. It had taken him years of conscious practice to keep it from swinging wildly around other people who weren't used to that sort of thing.
"You hear about agent Sanders?" Richy said with a smile of contempt.
"No?" Sherman said, ears perking some.
Why was he always the last one to hear about these things?
"He and his boys scared off a lead bad," Richy said with a laugh. "Went in there acting all double o-7 and now he skipped town."
Sherman gave a shallow laugh, because he knew that's what he was supposed to do. He wondered often if Richy saw through his courtesy laughs. Right now Richy was busy with laughter of his own. That was comforting.
"Was that for the Exodus project?" Sherman finally asked when the time felt right.
"Nah, that was for that breach a few weeks ago in the data center in Chicago," Richy said, smacking his gum. "But they might be tied together. Ya never know."
"How's that going?" He said, "the investigation, I mean."
"On Exodus?" Richy said. "Man, we don't know nothing."
He shook his head.
"All we got is noise from cave man media sites. They planning something big, but we don't know if it's a protest, terrorism or what."
Sherman looked away. He had always thought it odd that this off-grid movement had such an extensive media presence. It seemed like most of the cases they worked on these days were around one "OG" group or another. Some people in the office had taken to calling them cave man clubs as an inside joke.
"That Oracle guy keeps showing up, so he's involved somehow," Richy said. "He's probably heading it up. I don't know. People way up in the food chain are onto it, though, and if they're nervous, I guess we should be, too."
"What about that incident in Peru?" He asked. "The one with the plane?"
"Oh that," Richy said, "Yeah, the boss thinks it might be related. Looks like a lone actor."
Richy shrugged. Sherman thought the face he made as he did was amusing.
"We'll see, Nightwing. We don't ever have all the pieces."
Richy smacked his gum a few more times. Sherman looked down the hall towards his office.
"Well, I better get back to the scenarios I'm running." He said.
"Good luck with that, man," Richy said.
"Thanks," Sherman said, giving Richy a smile he hoped was convincing.
Sherman got up and walked back towards his office.
He knew the simulation he was running was of a mass disappearance event. Was that related to this Exodus case? He would have plenty of time to think about that while he ran a few more instances this afternoon.