Having a job is great, having a job that's willing to kill you is even better because at least you know they’ll pay well. Beau has a unique job compared to most people in this technology-driven world. She is an inventor at one of the most top-secret government facilities, code name, Blight. She loves her job because the agency is practically 2 generations ahead of the regular citizens' technological advancements. So she happily skips her chubby frame into the building just like any other workday, ready to tackle her plans head-on. Quickly stuffing her air purifying mask into her bag once she goes through the vacuum-sealed doors. A quick long breath of the clean air inside felt much better than walking around with that clunky mask outside. Her wavy reddish-brown hair bounced as she walked perkily past the rest of her exhausted coworkers.
“How the hell does she arrive so early yet so happy?” One coworker scoffed, rubbing the crust from his droopy eyelids. The woman next to him chuckles while taking a sip from her thermos.
“She’s eager now but eventually that spark will fade, give her time.” She pats the annoyed man's back before walking away. Beau is about to make her way into her workspace when someone quickly grabs ahold of her wrist, dragging her in the opposite direction.
“Beau! There you are! The meeting is about to start, we gotta go!” A coworker practically yanked her inside causing Beau to have to readjust her glasses before they fell off her wide nose.
“What?! Already?” Her soft voice exclaimed as the thumps of nervousness began to ring throughout Beau’s chest as she sat at the table with the rest of her crew. Update meetings made her nervous because she never knows if she's done enough for her crew or for the project. According to her coworkers, their boss Mr. Hale is ruthless and hated their department for some unknown reason. Rumor has it that he used to be a spy but got a lot of people killed during a mission, people say he showed no remorse, just cold blank expressions. But the higher-ups allowed him to continue working but as a supervisor for the Blight branch, they only agreed to it because they needed Blight to have a no-nonsense supervisor. People seem to think Mr. Hale killed their last supervisor himself despite him telling everyone he was relieved from duty. However, Beau came after this happened, barely speaking two words to the man yet she feels like she knows his whole life story from her coworkers. This is only the second meeting she had ever been to, the first one went horribly, her peers were shaking in their boots and were barely able to present to Mr. Hale. She hopes they can manage to not crumble over the pressure this time.
“Brenda, what’s going on? I thought we still had a week left to show our progress!” Beau whispered to the coworker next to her as the room began to fill with the rest of the lab workers.
“I thought so too, but I guess we’re both idiots for thinking they’d stick to the schedule” Brenda spat out in an angered hush as she impatiently tapped her finger on the table. Beau sinks in her chair filled with anxiety, wondering if the product would be canceled, or if she’d be replaced for not working fast enough. Beau fiddled with her tan fingers in her lap, trying to distract herself from the heart palpitations. The door finally opens, the room grows tensely quiet as Damien Hale walks in, everyone straightening their posture at the sight of him. His eyebrows furrowed together as his brown eyes glared at everyone in the room, almost as if he was inspecting them all for flaws. The way he carried himself was almost like a general, his large pecks pushed outwards like a frigatebird, thick eyebrows that seemed to always look angry, and small thin eyes that pierced through everything he glanced at. He walks to the very front of this long table, every one watching his every move. His large hand pulls out his chair and sits down, after shuffling some papers his eyes glance up at everyone.
“Well? What do you have for me?” His gruff voice suddenly speaking seemed to startle everyone to their core, it feels like everyone in the room was holding their breath, fearful of his reaction to the progress report that is until Brenda stands up confidently.
“Sir, you haven’t left us a lot of time to make drastic improvements to it but we… Um… We have made smaller steps forward to the completion of POV Machine… Uhm..” She started off strong but the longer Damiens cold eyes stared back at her the more she began to sweat and lose her train of thought, stuttering and repeating herself. “The um- The wiring is being troublesome… Uh...” She gulps before looking over at Beau for help. Beau sits up seeing this as an opportunity to explain everything thoroughly, something they’ve always lacked especially when talking to Damien, face to face.
“Mr. Hale, what Brenda’s trying to say is, that we’re going to need more time to make it functioning properly.” She didn’t stutter and spoke so naturally, her coworkers couldn’t believe that she’d take over so smoothly, they almost felt irritated that she cut Brenda off so quickly. Beau grabs Brenda’s folder with the reports in it and begins to walk up to Damien. Leaning over his chair she opens the folder and points to various charts. “As you can see we are making progress just very slowly, if you want a machine that’ll let you see through someone else's eyes without making you both blind or have severe brain damage, we’re going to need more time to clean up the bugs before we can present the finished product to you.” She looks over at Damien to see his reaction to the news but he was quietly focused on reading the charts she provided.
“It says here the apes you tested on have been suffering horrible side effects, what exactly have you encountered?” He picks up a report to read it closely, Beau spots where he was getting that from and leans closer to point at the date. Damien’s eyes widen slightly at her invading his personal space but attempts to keep composure. He was feared amongst everyone in the office, he wasn’t quite sure why but most people wouldn’t dare to even stand next to him. Yet here Beau was doing something that hasn’t been done in ages, giving a clear explanation without stumbling, and even going as far as to stand over him to make sure he knew what each chart meant. Though he isn’t used to being this close to another human being, it makes his heart pound against his chest. Damien’s almost fearful that Beau will be able to hear it if she gets any closer, what would she think of him then? Would she think he’s some kind of creep, or would she tell everyone what a mess he is on the inside, that he’s some kind of fool who can’t even make a friend? Worry thought after worry thought, his mind begins to glaze over, finding himself barely able to pay attention to what she’s saying.
“... So to sum it up, it’s not as extreme as our first tests went, they were dying or developing some kind of illness from it such as blindness or head trauma resulting in slipping into a coma, but now there's little to no fatality rate, but we haven’t figured out why they seem to have a higher chance of going into a coma than blindness.” Damien could hardly concentrate but he firmly nodded his head and waved her to go sit down. After a little more discussion about what he expects and wants from this team, they get ready to close out the meeting.
“Since you are showing a little more progress than before, you have until next month to complete the prototype, Well done Ms. Baez.” He heads for the door, locking eyes with Beau, giving her an approving nod before walking out. Beau’s heart slowly filled with joy, as her coworkers grew bitter at the whole encounter. One sucked his teeth in annoyance as they all started to walk out the room, whispering, and grumbling to each other. The day went on as normal, Beau excitedly working on the POV Machine and Damien locking himself in his office to fill out paperwork. He sighs rubbing a hand over his face, every forum and page blending together and straining his eyes.
A low grunt escaped his lips as he pulled up his pant leg revealing a robotic replacement, he scratched in between where metal began and flesh ended with his pen. A sigh of relief as he rests his head on his desk. Checking his watch was a bad habit of his and it made the time go by so much slower, he’s almost tempted to just throw it away at the number of times it distracts him enough to let his thoughts drift from work. The smell of Beau’s perfume trickled back into his mind, his imagination got the best of him whether he wanted to admit it or not. The effects of being socially inept and only watching reality shows on your day off were beginning to become apparent to him. He wonders what it would be like to talk to her outside of work, what it would be like to have her as a friend. Would it be like in his shows, drama, and petty arguments or would she be different from everything he’s seen on TV? He sighs realizing he’s doing it again, overthinking won’t make this pile of paperwork disappear, so he gets back to it.
A/N Tapas limited my word count and I wrote a lot so read part 2 to finish chapter 1 <3