He had, quite literally, gotten up on the wrong side of the bed that morning.
He usually got up on the left side of the bed. That is where there was not a wall. This morning, however, he got up on the right side of the bed. There was a wall there. He hit it, hard. He lay in bed for several moments, grumbling to himself, then arose on the left side of bed, half-stepping on one of his shoes (the right shoe, ironically). He attempted to catch his balance by grabbing the nearest object, which unfortunately was his bookshelf, which came crashing to the floor with him.
He lay there a couple of moments, shaken out of his stupor by the guy downstairs yelling about the noise.
With a grumble, he grabbed his cloths and dressed. Then he went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth and spit, just missing the seat. The collection of saliva and toothpaste fell on the front of his pants.
With a sigh, he changed his pants, poured a bowl of cereal, poured some milk into the bowl and walked into the living room, slightly bumping a chair and spilling milk and cereal over the front of his pants.
With another sigh, he changed pants, ate the rest of his breakfast, pulled on his coat and exited his apartment. The din from the guy downstairs, still unhappy with the racket above, rang through the hallway.
Save almost walking in front of a couple of cars, Doug's trip to work was uneventful, save the quick glance he got of a man who appeared to be dressed in a penguin outfit flying on a glider.
It was the most beautiful building in town.
It was a majestic seaside building, overlooking the water, as well as a couple of marinas. The best of the best worked there, the richest of the rich, the most successful of the most successful. As Doug walked towards it, he felt a surge of pride in his heart.
That surge fell as he walked past it. While his company owned the building, he knew the changes of he working there were somewhere between slim and none.
It was a several block walk before he arrived at his work place. It was a simple place, inhabited by a simple company with simple workers.
Instead of taking the elevator, Doug walked up the seven flights of stairs before arriving at his floor. The office was at a low bustle for the time being, workers filing in for their daily grind. Doug arrived at his cubicle, on the far side of the office. The doorway of the corporate prison gave a seductive sliver of a glimpse of the outside world with a nearby window that he spent many an hour looking at has he dreamed the days away.
Doug turned on his computer, then went into his favorite file. He explored it for a couple of moments, making some very minor changes here and there. Even though the file was a bonus baby loved by corporate and entry was forbidden by those at his level, Doug had been given special permission by one of the suits to work on the daily upkeep of the file. It was never did anything major – usually and update to a sub-sub-sub-sub folder. Technically, it was stuff corporate was supposed to work on – but the tasks were so menial that corporate could not be bothered with such a thing. Since no one in the office knew he worked on the program, he did so quietly.
He looked out the window for a moment, then turned back to his desk with a sigh, knocking over a cup with pencils from his desk. In his failed attempt to stop the avalanche, he smacked his head on the bottom of the desk, upsetting a couple of books, which crashed to the ground. “Cut the racket” said a displaced voice from another cubicle.
As he picked everything off the floor, a movement caught the corner of his eye. It was outside. Doug glanced for a moment. It looked like a kite was floating right outside his window. He went back to work, when he did a double take.
It was not a kite. It was a glider, a man flying it.
A man clearly wearing a penguin suit.
Doug, still on his hands and knees, crawled slowly out of his cubicle, nearing the window, stared in disbelief for several moments, when he caught the scent in the air.
She was nearby.
Quickly, Doug crawled back to the safety of the cubicle before the scent got nearer. However, inside the safety of his cubicle, a couple of massive calves blocked his view.
“And, where do we think we are going?” asked Mary, his supervisor.
Doug cleared his throat, stood up and straightened his tie. “I...uh...” He motioned to the window. “There was a kit out there, with a...penguin...”
Mary rolled her eyes. “Doug, your imagination is going to get you in trouble some day.” She smiled sweetly. “Oh, yes, by the way – I deleted the little game you were playing.”
“The little game you were just playing. On company time. I found it on your screen. I just deleted it,” Mary said proudly.
In a fit of panic, Doug quickly took his seat, tapping furiously at his keyboard. “No, no, no, no, no,” he said over and over.
“You know, playing games on company time...”
“Lady, this was not a game. It was the E3-47& file!”
“Oh,” she said with little interest. She was quite for a moment. “Oh!” she said. “That was the...” She gasped. “Oh...my,” she said quietly.
“Doug...that is a corporate file...what are you...”
“Long story...” he pushed the keyboard away in frustration. “Yeah. Gone. You deleted it from the freaking mainframe! Why would you delete a file from the mainframe!”
“Why would you have a game on the mainframe?”
“It wasn't a game! It was the E3-47& file!”
“And you aren't supposed to be in there...why would you be in there?”
“Corporate gave me the OK.” He began furiously typing again. “OK...OK...we have a backup.” His heart dropped into his stomach. “...and it's corrupt. Of course.”
Mary gulped. “So...what do we do?”
Doug turned his chair to face her. “Well, I guess one of us is going to have to tell corporate that we deleted Earth.”