The sleepy hour of sadness after lunch. An hour that stretches like chewing gum. Mac rests his fingers on his keyboard to make them look busy. He listens in on Carlos and Nova’s conversation.
Nova: I can’t believe they’re getting rid of you. I’m gonna get them back.
Carlos: It’s fine. The thrill of this place is long gone.
Nova: Well yeah of course. But I mean you’re leaving me here with this new weird guy. And Mac. No offense, Mac.
Mac: Is it true, Carlos? What they’re saying?
Nova: What are they saying? I want to know.
Mac: You know. That he tried to…escape.
Nova: What?! Without us? Are you outta your mind? There’s no way.
Carlos: It just seemed like you guys really liked it here. It could be worse out there for all we know.
Nova: So you did try to leave. I had no idea you were such a rebel.
Carlos: I wouldn’t say I’m a rebel. I was just tired of being here. I found a staircase, but it kept taking me in circles.
Mac: There’s no way out of this place. It’s a well known fact.
Carlos: There’s more to this place than you could imagine. Eventually I found an unlocked door. I would’ve walked right by it if it weren’t for the fog creeping out from under it that caught my attention.
Nova: They can’t afford to pay us, but they can afford fog. So typical.
Two beards disguised as lumberjacks appear at Carlos’ desk. They aim their chainsaws at him and suggest, with the revving of the motors, that he go with them.
Nova: You can’t just come in here with your chainsaws and start bossing people around!
Carlos: It’s okay. I knew the risk when I did what I did.
Nova: There shouldn’t be a risk for leaving work! That’s the problem!
Mac: Nova, calm down. You’re gonna cause a scene.
Nova: I’m gonna cause a scene? Are you kidding me right now?
Mac: So embarrassing.
Carlos stands up. The lumberjacks steer him with their chainsaws. As Carlos comes around his cubicle Nova and Mac do a double take. They don’t ask questions. Their brains can’t make sense out of what their eyes see. Pushing out the top of Carlos’ shoes are branches belonging to a pine tree. His dress pants are torn exposing the bark that grows in patches along his legs.
Nova: I’m gonna save you, Carlos! I’m gonna make those bastards pay!
Mac: What do you think they’re going to do to him?
Nova: We need to find that door. Figure out what happened to him in there.
A woman from the I.T. department wearing a bomb suit slides under Carlos’ desk. She deactivates his hologram and breathes a sigh of relief.
A moment later Geronimo sits in Carlos’ seat. The chain still rattles around his neck. He places a photo of his dead cat on the desk.
Geronimo: Hey, guys! Looks like you got a new neighbor! It’s me! We’re gonna have so much fun.
Geronimo fidgets about.
Geronimo: I feel like there’s something sticky on me.
He stands up and inspects his seat.
Geronimo: That’s so weird. There’s tree sap all over my chair. Is this — are you guys hazing me? I love it. I always wanted to be in a gang.
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