Lucas stood by the machine, eyes down to avoid the painful light of the florescent filaments above him. It was safe to say he wasn’t having a pleasant evening. Not only was he the one employee that was pinned for three night shifts in a row, but he was also the one who was falling behind on his work before the shifts even began. He breathed a sigh as the coffee machine fell silent and collected his cup of energy. The one saving grave was this was the final late night shift and with luck he would have time to finish all the basic work as well as catch up on his own.
Lucas puttered into the cubicle area. He enjoyed the symmetry of everything. There were plants, doors and other assorted furniture here and there, but everything was positioned perfectly to mirror the opposite side of the room. He continued his walk back to the cubicle he worked in, sitting down on his comfy, wheelie-chair and tapped the keyboard to turn the monitor back on. As he did he soon discovered an open text document on his desktop. The document was certainly not his, but the names on it were very familiar. It only took a moment for him to realize it was the names of the other employees on the floor and alongside the names were strange strings of characters and words.
Once more, Lucas only needed a moment to realize they were passwords the other employee’s computers. Curiosity played funny tricks on Lucas. One trick being he never considered neither where the document came from nor how somebody collected every password. Instead, he decided to test one out, singling out the name of the annoying co-worker that worked in the cubicle to his left.
Soon after Lucas jotted down the password he was entering it into the co-workers computer. The desktop flashed on the screen with in image he found typical when thinking of the sexually-frustrated co-worker he hit on every female co-worker in the office. Lucas soon found the man’s e-mail inbox and began snooping. There were an assortment of e-mails, Lucas took note of the ones he didn’t open, mainly work related. The ones he did open were uninteresting promotional e-mails from shady websites. Lucas found the experience boring and predictable, so he decided to leave the computer and instead snoop in the ever-employee-of-the-month’s computer.
The idea turned out to be his best. He sipped his coffee with a smile as he saw the list of e-mails. There definitely a lot more work related e-mails than what was normal; several from the direct manager who had clear infatuation with the young man. Lucas would have never pinned her as a cougar, but the e-mails were proof enough. For a moment Lucas felt sympathy for the hard-worker, who sat at this computer. That is until he found an e-mail that showed that the ‘hard-worker’ was simply a slacker whose work was being done by the manager herself in exchange for over-friendly relations. With a bitter curl of his lip, Lucas tagged the e-mail and sent it to everyone.
However, the frustrating e-mails gave Lucas another wonderful idea. Returning to his computer, Lucas scanned the document and soon found the name of his employer. A quick sticky-note later and he was downing his coffee on the way to her office. It was locked, of course, but it was a cheap lock. With a sharper tug Lucas had the door open and he immediately felt nervous. Looking around the room he could not find any cameras, the company wasn’t that successful. Still, Lucas felt it was in his best interest to wipe every surface he came into contact. After cleaning the door handle he made his way over to the boss’s chair and sat down.
The boss’s password was a lot more intricate, but didn’t matter to Lucas. Once the computer was opened he found the desktop was a picture of the employee-of-the-month. Lucas took a moment to chuckle at the look of fear in the young colleague’s eyes before opening the boss’s inbox. There was an assortment of e-mails, but compared to everybody else’s inbox the boss’s one was clean. She had very little e-mails that were promotions, mainly for technology and other software services. The business e-mails appeared normal, but Lucas knew well-enough that she has received her fair share of corruption.
Lucas was feeling suitably disappointed when he checked her trash to see she didn’t have any deleted e-mails either. It was as if she didn’t receive anything that was unusual. Lucas frowned and stared at his coffee cup. Despite finished every last drop, he still held it in his off-hand. His eyes widened for a moment as he read the phrase on the mug, “A-wake, A-work, A-nother A-day”.
Lucas accessed the computers history, as an idea pinged in his head. He sat back in the chair after entering a few commands into the computer. He waited as the computer retrieved older documents when the computer was rest to an older date. Sure enough, as he did documents that were deleted were soon retrieved. Suddenly the boss’s inbox was brimming with unusual e-mails. Lucas began clicking through them, sometimes confused by the messages and other times shocked.
Nobody in their right mind would look at the boss and think she was crystal clean, but none of them had any idea how murky her life really was. Lucas, feeling suddenly claustrophobic, as if hands were closing around his throat, selected almost every e-mail and sent them everywhere. He didn’t hesitate, but he did regret. Lucas wiped the keyboard, wiped the boot-up logs and turned off the computer. He jogged back into the office area, eyes wide and heart pounding.
Lucas felt strange, as if he was staring down the barrel of a gun. He collected his things at his cubicle and deleted the document that appeared on his desktop. Having enough to do with this night he jogged to the stairs and descended to the bottom floor. Once there he felt a little more relieved when he saw the security guard still napping at his desk. Even sleeping security felt like security with this heavy feeling in his heart.
Lucas only took three steps outside of the company before he hit the ground, blood pouring from his mouth.