[Featuring Euge and Ivy in an edited live chat. Enjoy!]
“Hey Dimwit,” Ivy stomped into the Flight Office and slammed her schedule down on the metal desk, “You printed all my times wrong. What kind of operation do you think you’re running?”
Not willing to spin his chair around and face Ivy quite yet, Euge sat resolutely facing the screen. “What’s the matter, princess? Does everyone else’s operations need to be shuffled around to accommodate your beauty rest?”
She squinted at the word ‘princess’, then inhaled sharply, “You think I’m a real sucker, don’t you? None of the students are even scheduled for 4:00 am.”
Upon hearing the odd timing, Euge stopped twiddling with a pencil and rolled his chair towards Ivy, coming to a rest as he snagged the questionable flight briefing. Scanning over it quickly, he nodded once. “You’re right. Clearly it’s better for you to have the 9 pm, 1 am and 7 am slots. I’ll get that changed right now.”
Sliding back to his keyboard, Euge had an updated schedule printing within a few keystrokes. “Hope you’re well stocked on coffee,” he chimed as he passed the fresh sheet to her.
“I should have you reported for fooling around with sensitive company information...” Ivy muttered as she studied the new schedule, “Really!? 1:00 am? That’s the only time Gate C is open?”
Nodding, Euge suppressed a grin. “Until the rotations change in spring, yes. That is, unless you want to use rope ladders instead of crew stairs.” Kicking his feet up on the desk he began to mindlessly scroll through his open tabs, not realizing the real schedule was lurking within until it was too late.
Widening her eyes at the actual timetables on Eugene’s screen Ivy felt a rush of white-hot anger flood over her. Suddenly grabbing hold of the back of his swivel-chair, Ivy turned the Pilot around. “You…” Her dominant hand had already crushed the false schedule and now was clenched in a hard fist, she stopped herself just in time and exhaled. “Print out the real times... Now.”
Taken by surprise from the quick rotation, Euge forced himself to quash the slight feeling of intimidation he felt from suddenly staring Ivy down. “There’s fresh coffee in the pot?” He quickly backpedaled while hunting blindly with his hand for the print button.
Her eyes glanced from Eugene’s eyes to the screen, seeing the print verified confirmation she took a step back. Ivy’s intensive training for the Commander position led to many cranky mornings and late nights, not at all helped by long hours at the airfield with someone she couldn’t stand. Since they met, the new flight instructor seemed to think finding creative ways to make her lose her temper was a good hobby.
“You better pray that coffee is strong,” Ivy grabbed the fresh sheet of paper as it left Eugene’s printer.
Quickly recovering and covering with a grin, Euge shot back. “And you might want to check the printer five floors up. Seems I accidentally sent it there instead of this one. What can I say? Weird things happen when I’m pressured.” Leaning back in his chair with his smile still in place, Euge slid himself back for a better view as the redhead stormed out of the flight office.
“This is a waste of paper!” She yelled back so he could hear her through the open door.
Rolling his eyes as he wheeled back to his desk, Euge replied evenly, “So put it back in the printer.”
His only response was a slender paper airplane, which performed a halfhearted loop before stalling and fluttering gently down to land on his keyboard.
(From an in character chat session on the old site. Heavily refined to reflect only Eugene's perspective.)
At 0700, the Academy cafeteria was only just beginning to see traffic for the day. Agents, trainees, and other early birds were beginning to trickle in, meaning Eugene was able to slide towards the coffee machine with a minimum of delay. He paid no mind to the sound of another person behind him, assuming it was someone simply waiting for their turn at the caffeine machine.
"Eugene, if I may have a word. What is this new OPSEC you are promoting to our agents?" Even if he didn't recognize the authority of Chiefs' baritone, only a select few addressed him by his full first name. Eugene turned from the hot water spout on the coffee machine to find Chief Weller looking at him with an unreadable expression. "I understand operational security," he continued, "but since when are we practicing this organization-wide?'
"Since someone gained unauthorized access to the C5 system to facilitate a crime." Eugene tried not to sass authority, he really did, but it still creeps in, despite his efforts to remain matter-of-fact.
"We're not going to sink to "someone's" level, are we?"
"No, I just feel it is appropriate for ACME agents to realize they handle privileged information."
"Why does this sound like Chase's idea?"
Eugene shrugged slightly. "USMC. Birds of a feather and all that."
"Hmm," Chief Weller muttered over a sip of coffee. "Birds of a feather."
Eugene, growing slightly irritated at his apparent lack of progress in selling the notion to The Chief, resorted to a different tack; "Or, we could just publish an indexed document detailing all of ACME's resources, pass codes, and operational structures. It doesn't affect me either way, but ACME could use the initiative."
"Obviously that's an extreme." Historical precedent aside, Chief Weller had called his bluff. "I should just let you young bloods get this out of your system." Ah, there it was; the refusal to recognize escalation.
"And stealing an entire building used for our command and control isn't an extreme?"
"VILE was certainally out of line, I can't disagree, and since I don't have any other suggestions, we'll have to stand by and watch your methods." This was degenerating into a battle over ideology; fight a classical war, or start playing to ACME's strengths in a modern engagement.
Eugene sighed. "This isn't my show."
"Whose show is it?" Whoops, Chief didn't seem to like that answer.
"You already answered that."
As if on cue, Chase Devineaux strode into the cafeteria, rumpled suit and empty coffee mug speaking of an all-nighter.
"Chase, yes. Just the man I wanted to see."
"Hope that's about good news Chief Weller."
"Good, I suppose. I assume you've considered your methods?"
"Yes, methods, considered. We're peachy. If you want a full report Chief, I'll get that done as soon as I have results." Chase, if anything, seemed a mite too dismissive of Chief Weller's concerns, prompting Eugene to speak up;
"We've taken considerable pains to ensure the relative safety of all involved."
"Exactly, what Euge said."
"I'm not concerned about VILE, I'm concerned about ACME. If you can promise me this doesn't surface badly for us, then you have my support." There was a hard tone to Chief Weller's voice Eugene had never heard before, and it explained so much; Chief had worked hard to bring ACME to its present level, and now a series of botch jobs and embarrassments were threatening to tear it down.
"Promises... haven't been doing well on those recently. But okay Chief, you'll have the promise you want."
"All right then." Chief Weller seemed resigned to the designs of the ‘young bloods,' "Tell an old man what you need from the department."
Separate names with a comma.