Ever since the passage of the Alien Rights Act of 2064 the office has become a more interesting place to work. Look I’m no Xenophobe but things were simpler when my co worker in the next cube was Portuguese speaking immigrant from South America, not the harry 150 kilo thing from Becrux.
Now I’m sure Crexthi’zor is a great guy among his circle of Becruxian friends but as a cube mate he leaves a bit to be desired. Don’t get me wrong, he really knows his way around asteroid mineral rights and he’s friendly enough, but sometimes I’d rather have a human sitting next to me.
Now I know I’m going to be called a bigot because it’s not politically correct for me to not love working next to someone who sheds three or four kilograms of fur a day, no that wouldn’t have anything to do with it. No I must be some damn xenophobe who can’t get past his human centric bigotry.
“Jeff, do you have the nickel content report on Psyche yet?” Crexthi’zor asked over the cube wall.
“Uhh, no Zor I should have it done sometime after lunch.”
He made a horrible grunting noise that sounded like a cat trying to get rid of a hairball. “Why is it taking so long? I need it if I’m going to get this dispute resolved between Asteroid Processing Inc, and High Orbit Minerals LLC.”
I took a deep breath, “Look Zor, this is one of the largest asteroids in the whole belt, it’s not like I can analyze the whole thing in ten minutes, it’s over 200 klicks in diameter! Plus if the Bureau would spring for a 128 core CPU and the four terabytes of RAM that I need the calculations wouldn’t take so long.”
“You know the Bureau of Exo Planetary Management isn’t going to spend any more money on equipment this fiscal year so why don’t you quit whining and get back to crunching those numbers.”
I really wanted to say something rude to the overgrown space gorilla, but I felt like keeping my limbs attached today. So I swallowed what was left of my pride as I locked my holo-display and stood up. “It’s processing right now, I need some air.”
He grunted shifting in his chair causing a few stray hairs to float over the top of his cube and drift their way down my side. I’d have to ask the maintenance guy from Aldebaran if I could borrow his vacuum after work today. Zor’s hairs were getting thick on my desk, threatening to clog my computers heat sink causing a most delightful odor when they began to smolder.
I passed by my bosses office on the way to the exit when her high pitched voice called my name. Maybe I could have kept walking and pretend I hadn’t heard her. No, not hearing Xa’tik’s voice was almost impossible. The sound waves she made could penetrate a concrete bunker. I turned around and poked my head in her office.
“Yes Xa?” I asked.
She turned around, her bluish iridescent feathers were ruffled, not a good sign. “Are you going out to smoke again?” Her beak clicked like she always did when she wasn’t happy.
I hesitated, I had started smoking not long after the non humans, err displaced interstellar beings had all but taken over my office. “Umm yeah, the Psyche ‘roid nickel analysis is running and it’s using my whole terabyte of RAM, so I can’t do any more analysis…”
“Well why don’t you sort hard copy mineral claim documents then?”
I groaned, were all Arietisians as demanding as she was? I was just glad she wasn’t molting she’d really be in a bad mood then. “Xa, that’s intern work, I didn’t get my degree in Exo Metallurgy to shuffle papers.”
“So you think you should be paid to suck on cancer sticks?” She craned her long neck and preened the feathers on her shoulder.
“It’s not like… never mind.”
I returned to my desk and stared at the massive stack of papers poking out of various file folders. Why the bureau demanded we make hard copies of anything these days was anyone’s guess. There was no need to mess with dead tree pages when everything could be stored on bulk solid state drives.
After failing at willing the papers to go away I pulled the top one off the stack. Asteroid Itokawa 25143, Site 3, Claim by HOM, LLC. How’s that for some light reading? I put the bloated file on a clean-ish portion of my desk and went for the next one.
Some thirty folders later I had them loaded in a cart and would be taking them to archiving when I decided to check the Nickel analysis for Zor. It was finally completed. I skimmed through the numbers and saved it to the network share.
“Zor, the Psyche analysis is done. It’s saved in the usual folder.” I said over the top of the cube. No response. Was the furry beast asleep? I peeked over the top of the cube to find it empty. I was furious. He just HAD to have the report right this minute and he snuck out while I was sorting paperwork?
Typical impatient alien, they just didn’t seem to understand human office culture. You didn’t demand something yesterday if you’re going to skip out. As I was about to plop back down in my desk I noticed his workstation was unlocked. I snuck around the cubicle and peered at his Holo display, I was slightly jealous; he had a much larger 75 centimeter display.
Floating above it he had a picture of a forest on his homeworld, at first glance you’d think it was somewhere on earth, but the bulbous Dew trees gave it away as Becrux. I was about to lock his system for him when I noticed a minimized browser window entitled, “Hot Xeno Girls!”
I poked it with a finger and it filled the display with a rather explicit picture of four females, an Arietisian bird girl, Aldebaran tentacle thing, furry Becruxian beast, and a human redhead all lying together doing strange things to each other. I minimized the window and locked his display.
I snuck back to my desk. Great Zor was busy ogling naughty pictures of aliens while I was busting my butt on these stupid asteroid reports. Maybe I could get him fired? Who was I kidding, my bosses boss, Jim was as human as they come. If he fired an alien, as soon as news of it hit the feeds the Bureau would be investigated for anti xeno bigotry. He wouldn’t risk it. The worst punishment he would do is have him transferred to another department. I thought it over, but decided against it, I might end up sitting next to a Rigelian, they oozed.
I sighed as I pulled up the next ‘roid, Eugenia 45 and began another metallurgical analysis.