"You Tris?"

Luke had just blown his opportunity to make a good first impression, as was his custom. Luke was a huge, imposing, surly man who'd been in IT for far too long. Tris tried to feign a smile.

"Yeah, I'm Tris, I'm here to fix the issue wi-"

"Follow me," Luke interrupted. Tris's smile sank as they walked wordlessly to Government Department's server room.

Reaching the elevators, Luke stared forward while Tris gauged whether to make small talk. He was about to say something, but... was Luke... growling under his breath? Tris kept his mouth shut.

After a painfully awkward and silent elevator ride, they walked together through labyrinthine corridors, passing through to PIN-activated doors, finally reaching the server room entrance. "This way," he said.

This was the final secure door they'd have to pass, again with PIN access. A security guard sat at a desk inside and offered a sign in form. "Sign in," he ordered.

Two words, Tris thought, they talk. Damnit, now it was happening to him.

The security guard let Tris in, adding "knock or ring me to get out." It was the friendliest, warmest thing anyone had said to him at Government Department, as well as the longest conversation he'd had so far that day. Something about this thought made Tris very, very sad. The only other way out of the room was a panic button that releases the door before anyone inside suffocated from the halon fire control system. He paused to think about whether he'd rather escape with Luke and the security guard, or just stick around and let the halon work its magic on his lungs.

Tris was hired because Government Department was unable to perform SQL Server backups. Tris thought he'd have an easy time. This database held important data for a public-facing web site, and the impact of losing this data was incalculable. Government Department had been fortunate to not have any issues with SQL Server, but the fear that something could happen was what lead to them hiring Tris.

Shivering and deafened by the whirring air-conditioning units, Tris couldn't help but draw parallels between Luke and the server room. Cold, mechanical, and huge. Tris pulled out a rack-mounted keyboard/trackball and monitor. He logged in, opened Enterprise Manager, and loaded a list of Database Maintenance Plans. Of course, there weren't any.

Seeing a gleam of hope, Tris right clicked to create a new maintenance plan. He was immediately greeted with error message after error message complaining of missing system stored procedures. This didn't sit well with him. He opened each database and expanded the stored procedures sections; there were no stored procedures. Anywhere.

After gearing up with a brief personal pep-talk, he called Luke. He tried to reason whether to use two word sentences ("Procedures missing!" "Database broken!") or to try to explain the problem fully. Bluntly, Tris said "Hi Luke. There aren't any stored procedures."

Clearly annoyed, Luke made the trek back to the server room. Tris waited, shivering and miserable, for what seemed like hours. Finally, he saw Luke approaching.

"Hi, like I was saying on the pho-"

"Our security consultant uninstalled all the stored procedures. They were too insecure." A new winner for the longest sentence Tris had gotten out of anyone that day.

Tris was surprised, but wanted to prove his worth. "Uh, I can reinstall the procedures, I have the SQL Server CD with me."

Throughout the course of the sentence, Luke's face moved from indifference to dislike, then to dislike, then to contempt, then to pure hatred. "Get OUT."

Tris paused. If a fight broke out between the two of them, it couldn't even be called a "fight." Tris would've fainted before the first punch was thrown. Luke seemed even huger than before.

Luke raised his tree trunk of an arm slowly, causing Tris to flinch. Luke extended a finger and repeated "GET. OUT."

Tris took his second warning and didn't anticipate getting a third, so he scrambled to get his things together and leave. The security guard escorted him out of the building.

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