Fiction Friday: Daren, Chapter 3

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Welcome to the ongoing saga of whatever story we are telling right now  It’s Friday.  Let’s do something else for a few minutes…

The noise in the equipment room was really, really loud.  Daren rocked back on his heels for a second before flipping on the light, knowing there was absolutely nothing he would see that could possibly be good news.

The light filled the room in sections as the florescent bulbs came to life one by one.  The room looked the same, not that Daren spent enough time in there to really know what it looked like.  The way the towers were set up, he had to step in and bend to see the back corners of the room, and he leaned as far forward as he could so his feet could remain as close to the exit as possible.  There was absolutely no chance of the server exploding or some such nonsense, but Daren had always been a fan of 1950’s SciFi and he had a healthy respect for mysterious rows of buttons, switches and lights.  

Buttons, switches and lights, Oh, my, Daren thought, completing his own ode OZ, feeling very much out of his element and wishing he had some tech-magical ruby oxfords to click.

Laughing at himself, Daren stood up straight and took a deliberate step towards the noise, which was loud enough to cause involuntary flinching as he approached the back wall.  His eyes scanned all the complex machinery, hoping to see something that was so obvious that even he could fix it, like a cord that came unplugged, or at least something he could identify to the Engineer—which machine, are the lights red or off, that sort of thing.

The machines looked fine.  Nothing was flashing red or smoking, at least, and since those were very bad things that weren’t happening, Daren considered it a win.  Perplexed and slightly braver now that he was all the way in the room and still alive, Daren began to look for a cause.

The equipment room was also home to a handful of items that didn’t have anywhere else to go.  It was a bad habit, but it wasn’t really an issue most of the time, and some of the storage was actually equipment for this room that they picked up recently and wanted to show to Phil during his next quarterly visit, so it wasn’t like they were using it as a catch-all.  In the back corner, two boxes stacked on top of a low cabinet made for a make-shift shelf, and the lid of the top box had caved under the weight, leaving the “shelf’s” contents to fall between the boxes and wall or into the box itself.

Someone had set a large fan on top of the second box, plugged in across the aisle with the power cord stretched as far as it could go.  Definitely not approved by the Fire Marshal.  Obviously the idea was to cool as much of the room as possible, heat rises, so get the fan off the floor and it will do more good.  But not like this, guys.

Luckily the loud noise was a broken fan, still trying to do it’s best to spin and hitting both the box, which sounded like a drum, and the nearby aluminum duct, which made up the majority of the repetitive hollow crash-sound.  All bark and no bite.  Daren was relieved for a million reasons, not the least of which was the fact that he had not called his boss.  Not only was the problem something obvious that Daren could identify, it wasn’t even the equipment.  He unplugged the fan, stopped the scary noise, and possibly even prevented a fire, had that fan-motor and cardboard had a disagreement.  Daren went from terrified in the hallway to heroic in the equipment room.

The silence was welcome, and it left a ringing in his ears.  Daren took a moment to appreciate it, then paused.  Something was wrong.

It was really hot in there.

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