|Summary:||A typical day in the life of two Postal agents.|
|Published:||September 26, 2010.|
|Rating:||PG/K+ - “Bright purple object of explicit nature.”|
|Betas:||Miah and Neshomeh.|
It was a slow day in the Postal Department. Otik hadn’t complained, even once, about the continual flow of flames that were his constant bane. This left Durotar, the Wrath-cadet, time to catch up on some mini-paperwork. The mini sat at his tiny desk, which sat on top of a larger desk, and filled in forms that were written on 3"x5" note-cards. He quite liked his job, but the paperwork was murder. At least half of his time was spent with a golf pencil in his little clawed hand.
A sudden noise drew Durotar’s attention to the other occupant of the room. The Orc-formerly-known-as-Rathkurr, renamed Kur’nak by the mini, sat in a larger chair, which was behind the larger desk. He was a full-grown, heavily muscled, Warcraft Orc. He wore all black with the smoking parcel flash patch of their department. He also wore an odd harness and what looked to be a child’s safety-seat on his shoulders. The noise that had distracted Durotar was Kur’nak biting through a crayon.
The Orc had been a bit character in a Suefic, and the lack of Suvian influence had left his mind empty of all but the basest instincts. He was learning quickly, however. He already had a grasp of the English language, stunted though it was, and was learning at the same rate that a small child would, if not faster. Durotar had been in that Suefic as well, and had claimed the Orc as his own. The mini had made life a nightmare for FicPsych when they had tried to give the Orc an intelligence boost and a cultural implant. Eventually they had given up and passed the pair off to Personnel and, eventually, to Postal.
“Kur’nak,” said the mini in a deep, rich voice that sounded odd coming from a child-sized body, “we don’t eat our crayons. We color with them.” He took a moment to see what the Orc had drawn. It looked to be a picture of an axe with the words “blud adn thnder!” above it.
“Sorry,” said the Orc, though he continued to chew half of his last Burnt Sienna crayon.
“You probably just need to get out of here for a while,” said the obvious brains of this outfit. “Let’s go see if we can take one of the trolleys out.”
Kur’nak was very excited about this. He loved to push the mail trolleys through the halls of HQ. He eagerly turned around and let the mini climb into the seat on his shoulders. Once Durotar was seated they set off for the processing room. They passed a few other agents from the Department as they walked. Kur’nak waved energetically at the ones he recognized, while Durotar offered a nod.
A five-minute walk brought them to Otik’s office, which also served as the processing and post pick-up area. When they walked in they saw Otik behind his flame-retardant desk, sorting mail with his fibrous tendrils.
“Afternoon, boss,” said Durotar from his perch on his partner’s shoulders. “Would you mind if we took one of the trolleys out? Kur’nak is getting antsy and the exercise would be good for him.”
What? said Otik, his Czechoslovakian accent thick in the mini’s head. Oh, yes, of course. Take number three; it’s full, but you won’t need oven mitts, thank Glod. And please inform the Sunflower that he needs to renew his subscription to Gardening Monthly if he wants to get next month’s tropical plant issue. Otik sounded a little disgusted by the reminder.
“Zug-zug!” said Kur’nak, as he rushed to cart number three. He was getting good at recognizing the numbers now, and was learning to count rather quickly. The cart was a flat, sideless thing packed with boxes of various sizes. It also had a box full of letters, another box marked “emergencies only,” and a clipboard hanging from the push bar.
“Say ‘thank you,’ Kur’nak,” reminded the mini.
“Thank you, Otik!” yelled the Orc.
You are welcome, Kur’nak, said Otik as one of his tendrils pulled a piece of candy from his desk. He gave it to Kur’nak before patting him on the head. You keep Durotar out of trouble.
As Kur’nak pushed the cart out into the halls of HQ, Durotar smiled at Otik. The Flower spoiled Kur’nak, but it was hard not to. The Orc’s unfettered lust for life was infectious.
“Please give me the clipboard, Kur’nak.” The Orc handed the clipboard to the mini, who held it on his lap and was almost lost behind it. “Looks like DoSAT is first. You know the way.”
In reality, the Orc had no idea where DoSAT was. He didn’t even know what it was. These facts, however, may be the reason that the mini left the directions in the hands of his partner. Kur’nak had a habit of finding his way through HQ with a minimum of trouble (if his partner was too busy to notice where they were going).
After ten minutes, Durotar decided to look up from his clipboard and found that they were just coming up to the doors into DoSAT. He, of course, had not noticed that they had been passing this same door for the last three minutes.
“Here we are,” said Durotar. “Now please knock.”
The mini remembered too late to give his partner the instruction to knock gently. Kur’nak put all the power of a full-grown, battle-bred Orc into knocking on the door. The resulting explosion and swearing from inside the Department of Sufficiently Advanced Technology led the mini to believe that some delicate operations had been handled in less-than-delicate ways.
A few moments later, a soot-covered, slightly smoking man came to the door. “Do you have any idea how long I’d been working on that new CAD? It would have revolutionized the process of missions.”
“’M srry,” mumbled Kur’nak as he looked at the floor. Trying to think of how to get out of trouble, he quickly came up with a way to make up for ruining the man’s thing. He picked up the large box on top of the pile and held it out to the man. “Got a box!”
The man reached behind the door and came out with his own clipboard. “Must be the McGuffins for sector 21. No idea what they need them for, but they’ve been looking for some forever. I don’t suppose that shipment of Unobtainium came in yet, did it?”
“Sorry,” said Durotar over his clipboard. “Not yet. I’ll keep an eye out for it, though.”
“Ah well,” sighed the man as he returned his clipboard to the wall behind the door. He then took the box of McGuffins and set it inside the door. “Thanks for the delivery, but I have to get back to work.”
“Have a nice day.” Durotar went back to his clipboard as the man closed the door. “FicPsych is next. Specifically, Nurse Jenni Robinson.”
The trip to FicPsych took the pair through an Escher Room, which Kur’nak enjoyed tremendously. It was all Durotar could do to keep the Orc from trying to climb the walls. After fifteen minutes in the Escher Room they finally found the exit, which led them straight into the lobby of FicPsych.
Durotar looked around for someone who looked like they were in charge. He failed to attract the attention of several nurses who were running by with restraints and a comfortable-looking chair. He decided that they had better knock on one of the doors. He instructed Kur’nak to knock, gently this time, on the nearest.
As the Orc knocked, they were greeted with a scream from inside. The scream was followed by sobbing and someone repeating the words “so many tentacles” over and over.
“I will thank you not to bother Captain Sparrow,” said a voice from across the hall. The voice was attached to a tall man in a cream-colored robe. In place of hair, the man had a thick layer of bone covering the back and sides of his head. “He has had a rather rough experience with the Kraken and needs his rest. Perhaps I can be of some help; you appear to be lost.”
“We are looking for Nurse Robinson,” said Durotar as he tried to get the image of what he had just heard out of his head. “We have a package to deliver to her.”
“She is out at the moment,” said the man. Durotar could just make out the name “Mirrad” on the breast of the man’s robe. “You may leave the parcel with me and I will make sure that she receives it upon her return. Please bring it to my office.” With that he walked back into the room he had come out of.
Durotar directed his companion to pick up the plain box with the Pernese return-address on it. They carried it over to Mirrad’s office and set it on his desk next to a small stand bearing a slightly worn sandal. Durotar thought it best not to ask where the sandal came from, or why it was worth displaying in a room that was devoid of any other decoration.
As the pair came out of the office, Durotar looked back at his clipboard. “Well, looks like it is time to head . . . ” He did not get to finish that thought as another thought interrupted it. It was not his thought.
Pardon me, thought a distinctly feminine voice with a southern drawl. The voice was accompanied by a vine dropping from an overhead vent. The vine was clutching a letter. I wonder if I might trouble you to take this to the Marquis for me. I would deliver it myself, but I can never seem to find the time.
“Zug-zug, sir!” said Kur’nak as he took the letter, which was subtly perfumed.
Just you be sure that you tell him that it is from the Kudzu, or he might shred it before he opens it. He sometimes does that if he thinks it is a vacation request. There was some psychic laughter as the Kudzu’s vine retracted into the vent.
Durotar felt that, since the vine was gone, he should correct Kur’nak on something. “Kur’nak, do you remember what I taught you? We say ‘ma’am’ when we are talking to a girl. We say ‘sir’ when we are talking to a boy.”
“He sound like boy to me,” the Orc said cheerfully. “Sound like you.”
Durotar was completely confused by this, but let it be for the moment. He had work to do and there would be time for this later. He went back to his clipboard. “Now, as I was saying before the Kudzu arrived, our next stop is . . . an undisclosed location? That doesn’t seem right.” He looked around as they exited FicPsych. The Escher Room had been replaced by a hallway. He spotted a broom closet directly across the hall. “Well, that’s about as undisclosed as they come, I suppose. Kur’nak, knock on that door, and remember, use your ‘gentle hand’.”
A few seconds after the Orc had knocked, the door opened and a head covered with ample amounts of Primary Red hair poked out. “Have you come to repent?” asked the small woman under the hair.
“Um . . . no . . . ?” said the mini. “We’ve come to deliver a package.”
Kur’nak held up a package wrapped in brown paper. The words “Top Secret” were written on all sides in crayon.
“Squeeee!” replied the now thoroughly excited Sunflower’s Witness. “My box of 397 colors of crayon has finally arrived! Think of all the pamphlets I can make!” She took the box, gave Kur’nak a hug, and slammed the door. A moment later the door opened again and she poked her head out. “I almost forgot. Repent and bask in the glory of the true Sunflower!” Then she slammed the door again.
Durotar was, once again, confused. He was also traumatized and sure that he had somehow lived through an event that should have been fatal. These feelings were only enhanced when the closet door slowly creaked open revealing, not a small woman with Primary Red hair, but a broom closet that was empty except for a broom and mop. There was no sign that the woman had ever been there.
“Kur’nak, we should go. This is an evil place.” With that, the pair headed for the next stop on their list: Personnel.
As they stepped off the elevator that led to Personnel and the offices of various Flowers, the postmen found themselves in a much narrower hallway than they had been in previously. They continued down the hallway until they came to a large door with a frosted window with black words on it. The words read “Marquis de Sod – Director of Personnel.”
After Kur’nak had knocked on the door, the Marquis answered with, If you are here to ask for time off, then I am not here and you had best be on your way.
“No sir,” said the mini, loud enough to be heard through the door. “We’re here to deliver the mail. We have a letter from the Kudzu.”
The door slowly opened. The Marquis sat behind his desk, rustling his leaves in annoyance at being disturbed. Deliver your mail and leave promptly. I am very busy. He moved some papers on his desk to show that he was very busy, indeed.
The Postal agents retrieved the letter from the Kudzu, as well as a small, cubic box, about a foot to a side. They placed both on the Daisy’s desk and started back to the cart when the Flower spoke again.
I would prefer it if you opened the box before you left. He seemed to be shying away from the aforementioned package. Away from my desk, if you please. One can never be too careful.
Kur’nak picked up the box again and moved a little away from the desk. The Marquis seemed to have sunk down so he was now peering just over the top of the desk. Durotar had a bad feeling about this. The mini was just about to stop his partner when the Orc ripped into the package like a kid at Christmas.
Much to everyone’s relief, there was no earth-shattering kaboom. Instead, the Orc was left standing in a pile of cardboard and paper. He had a bowler hat in his hands.
Ah, good, said the Marquis, who was back to his normal position behind the desk. I’ve been waiting for my new hat for ages. You should have told me that’s what it was. Before the Postal agents had time to respond, the Daisy made a sweeping motion with his leaves and said, Now off with you, and don’t let it happen again.
Durotar and Kur’nak headed out to the trolley and saw the Marquis reading the letter from the Kudzu as they closed the door. It was a strange sight. Durotar could have sworn the Flower was smiling, which is ridiculous, of course. Flowers can’t smile.
Shaking his head, Durotar pulled himself out of his thoughts. He got the clipboard from his partner and directed the Orc back to the elevator. “We’re headed for the Department of Implausible Crossovers. You remember, the black hallway. Response Center 999.”
When the duo came up to the elevator, they came face-to-face with the Sunflower Official. He had just come to this floor and was moving directly toward them.
“Excuse me, sir,” Durotar said as he flagged down the Flower. “We are from Postal and Otik gave us a message for you. He said that you need to resubscribe to Gardening Monthly if you want to get next month’s tropical plants issue.”
The SO stopped and looked at the pair. How dare you! I have never been so insulted in my life. To think that I would subscribe to a magazine of such dubious journalistic value is completely absurd. I want you to go back to Otik and tell him that the check is already in the mail. Now go away and never again bring up this disgusting topic in my hearing. He continued to move down the hallway without a second look at the agents.
It took Durotar a moment to figure out what had just been said. When he was sure about the content, he then had to puzzle out what it was supposed to mean.
The elevator ride seemed much shorter this time. It was no surprise to anyone when the elevator let them out in a different hallway than they had found the elevator in before. This hallway was painted blue with clouds on it. Kur’nak was overjoyed. Once the mini got his partner moving, the Orc continued to stare at the walls as he walked.
Durotar went back to studying the clipboard, only looking up when some noise caught his attention. It was a good thing that he did look up, because if he hadn’t, the Orc would have gone swimming in the Fountain of Bleepka. Durotar managed to keep his partner dry and Bleepka-free, somehow.
Another three minutes brought the pair to a hallway that was painted black. Looking for RC #999, they saw some girls go by, dressed in their summer clothes. Durotar made Kur’nak turn his head and stop staring. When, eventually, they came to the correct RC, Durotar noticed that the door was a little odd. The door didn’t seem to have a handle or knob. Kur’nak knocked on the door and they waited for a response. When no response was forthcoming, Kur’nak knocked again, but louder.
This time, the knock was met with muffled cursing followed by a shout of “For Christ’s sake, what? It’s the middle of the night! This had better be important.” The door slid open and a slightly bedraggled man with dark hair was standing in the doorway in his pin-striped pajamas. The man was attempting to make his hair lie flat on his head. He had been glaring fit to beat the band when the door opened, but he had been preparing to face someone shorter than himself. The Orc in front of him stood a good six inches taller. The man’s eyes began a slow journey up to the grinning face of Kur’nak.
“Agent Supernumerary?” asked Durotar.
The man squinted at the mini a moment and answered, “What of it?”
“We’ve got a shipment for you from the Hogwarts Fanfiction Academy.” The mini indicated a large box that was one of the last things on the cart.
“Oh, well then,” said Supernumerary, looking slightly less antagonistic. “Set it over there.” He pointed to a space in the RC to the left of the door.
His Andalite partner was just coming out of the small bathroom. <Hello,> he said, mildly startled at the presence of the Postal agents. <Nume? What is this?>
Durotar looked at his clipboard again. “Agent Ilraen-Aroline-Fothergill? We have a package from DoSAT for you.” He directed his partner to get a small box labeled “CAD Whatsits.” They gave it to the Andalite agent.
The Andalite looked dumbly at the box for a moment, then focused his main eyes on the pair. <But I have not ordered these yet. I was going to do it in the morning.>
“Not our fault. Just remember to place that order so you don’t break the already fragile time-space continuum in this place.” The Postal agents went back into the hallway. “Goodnight, gentlemen.” A few paces down the hall, the pair heard a loud beep and some swearing from the RC they had just left. They quickened their pace.
Once they were out of the black hallway and around the corner they slowed down. The mini breathed a sigh of relief before going back to the clipboard. “One more stop in the Department of Intelligence and we can go home. Off you go, Kur’nak.”
As Kur’nak walked, Durotar was engrossed in the clipboard, as usual. It wasn’t until the mini sensed what could best be described as a disturbance in the Force that he looked around. He was immediately aware of the small blonde woman standing right next to the Orc. She wasn’t looking at Kur’nak, however. She was grinning up at Durotar in a way that would make anyone who had more than a few days experience in HQ run for dear life. “Hey, cutey,” she said in a breathy whisper. “How about we ditch the Hulk and have some fun?”
“Kur’nak!” yelled the mini. “Emergency!”
Kur’nak knew what to do here; he had been drilled for this type of emergency. He quickly opened the emergency box on the cart. He pulled a bright purple item of explicit nature out of a clip. He turned to the blonde woman and waved the object in front of her, as one might wave a stick for a dog. When he threw it down the hallway the woman raced after it. The Orc did not stop to see where she went, because he was already pushing the cart in the other direction as fast as he could.
When Kur’nak finally stopped running, he was out of breath and his partner was holding on to the safety seat in white-knuckled fear. “Fun!” yelled the Orc, when he had finally gotten his breath back.
“Perhaps,” said the mini, sounding dubious after his near-Lux experience. “But we will not be doing that again for a very long time . . . hopefully.” That last bit was added hastily, because you never know who might be listening. “Now, where are we?” He almost looked around before remembering that it didn’t make much difference if he knew where he was.
Once Kur’nak was ready, Durotar instructed him to keep walking. A brief two-and-a-quarter-minute walk brought the Postal pair to the Department of Intelligence, which seemed to be rather quiet. This was to be expected: no agent who submits intelligence reports wants to be anywhere they can be easily found by the agents who receive said reports. Most of the Intel agents spent all of their time elsewhere.
The postmen found their way to the correct door. Its label informed them that this was the office of Voltarmi and that this agent worked in Warcraft Division. The pair were excited, as they always were when meeting someone from their home continuum. Kur’nak knocked with all the enthusiasm that he could muster and they waited for a reply.
A moment later, they were hit by a blast of hot, dry air as the door opened and a short, pink-haired being looked up at them. “Ah, excellent. You’ve brought my package. Leave it on the desk and don’t worry about the fangs.”
Kur’nak grabbed the cylindrical package that was the last one on the cart and proceeded into the office. Durotar was interested to find that the floor was covered in sand, which seemed to be deeper than the floor level in the hallway. He directed his friend to the desk, which seemed several times too large for the Gnome who resided here. In fact, the whole room seemed to be much larger than was necessary for such a small person, especially one with a desk job. He also saw no fangs anywhere in the vicinity.
As Kur’nak placed the package on the desk the Gnome scurried around to the opposite side and proceeded to be a large, bronze dragon without crossing the intervening mass. At this, Kur’nak almost fell backwards while trying to follow the body all the way up to the head. Durotar finally understood the mention of fangs earlier.
“I’m so excited,” said the dragon, in a very feminine bass. She started to deftly open the cylinder with her claws. “This is just what my office needed.”
Durotar was beginning to remember himself. “Well, we should get going. It was nice to have met you, giant dragon with the sharp, pointy bits.” He started to get Kur’nak to move toward the door, albeit backwards since he wouldn’t stop staring at Voltarmi.
“I’ll see you again,” said the dragon in an all-too-knowing way. She proceeded to unroll a life-sized poster of Dr. Manhattan in all of his muscly, blue, naked glory. She tacked it to the wall, then lay down to admire it. She didn’t even bother to notice when the agents left without closing the door.
The trip back to the Postal Department was uneventful. The pair were tired from running all over HQ and were looking forward to getting some rest. They parked the trolley in line with the others and traded greetings with Otik before heading back to their office.
Once Durotar had been deposited next to his desk, Kur’nak took off the child-seat and curled up on a cot in the corner to take a nap. Durotar looked at the paperwork that had piled up in their absence and sighed. He sat down and picked up the golf pencil.
No rest for the weary, he thought. Well, at least I don’t have to put up with a console. That brought a smile to his lips as he began to work.
What can I say? I set out to show a day in the life of an under-represented department in HQ. Mission accomplished . . . ? If you don’t recognize the agent pair, they were rescued by Barid and Brightbeard in their first mission. At the time I thought it would be hilarious for the mini to be the brains of the outfit. I think I was right . . . but at what cost? Meh, we’ll find out.
Thanks to my betas, Miah and Neshomeh, without whom this would be less coherent.