Harvey reached out quick as a viper, grabbing the mug before it drifted off the table. The lukewarm liquid inside sloshed heavily and splashed onto his hand.
“Argh, damnit.” He muttered to himself while he sat back down in his office chair with his tea-mug in hand. The office was running out of mugs already, no need to remove another permanently from the stock. Harvey grimaced slightly as he saw the pile of tea-leaves at the bottom of his mug then downed the contents. He almost shuddered at the thought of having to drink it even colder than that but Lord knows he had done worse for the Gorville Mobile Acquisitions company.
Harvey looked over his desk. Besides his trusty mug it was covered in documents, pens, ink-pots and the remnants of his breakfast. His briefcase rested against the side of the table, one clasp unable to close, and his jacket and hat hanging off the old coat-stand.
“Hey Rommy, when’s shift-change?” Harvey shouted across the way to the office opposite while pulling back on the sleeve of his shirt to reveal his battered wristwatch. The strap was giving way, too.
“Urhg, at 12 I think!” His colleague shouted back. Harvey checked the wrist-watch. 11:47.
“That’s in 10 minutes Rommy, we better get ready,” He could hear Rommy grumbling in response. Harvey clicked his briefcase open and shoved the papers on his desk into it before snapping it shut again, “Don’t want to keep the chief waiting.”. The mug went into a drawer with his name on it. Finally he pulled on the tweed jacket, put his old hat on and grabbed his umbrella from the holder. Rommy emerged from his cubicle in a similar getup.
Harvey checked his wrist-watch again. 11:57. Not enough time for anything. “Right Rommy, let’s go.” His colleague followed him to the door leading out of the office. A faded picture by the door depicted a kitten hanging from a pole and the supposedly-motivational text HANG IN THERE. Harvey had never felt it worked for him.
He screwed his hat on tighter and opened the door. Immediately the smell of salty seawater struck his nostrils. Shouts rang across the office-deck as other employees worked in the rafters to raise the sails.
A voice called down from the crow’s nest above the deck. “Scraper sighted off the port side!”
The call was met with more shouts from the deck and helm. Harvey’s trained sea-legs could feel the boat shifting ever so slightly to port side, to catch the ‘Scraper before it could escape. Their flag hung flew atop the crow’s nest, a skull with a worker’s cap on and 2 ink-pens behind it. The deck was teeming with workers securing sails or preparing for the ‘Scraper. So much so that Harvey didn’t notice his two colleagues before they clapped him on the shoulder.
“Hello Harvey, punctual as always.” Said old Burts. The older man’s head shone in the midday sun. He must have lost his hat. The other man, a fellow called Lars, simply did a small wave as greeting.
“You’re welcome Burts.” Harvey replied, trying to keep the sarcasm out of his voice. It was his job, after all.
“Make sure you see the chief before taking your posts.” Burts said before clapping him on the shoulder again and walking past, opening the door behind Harvey with a creak.
“Chief’s at the helm.” Rommy said as he strode off, weaving past other deckhands. The deck swayed to and fro now that they were beginning to move at speed but no-one seemed affected by it, their sea-legs well up to the task. Another spray of sea-air hit Harvey’s nostrils as he set off for the helm. Now that he knew, he could see their captain at the wheel, the buttons on his suit gleaming in the sun.
While he hurried along the deck more shouting erupted from the crow’s nest. The ‘Scraper had spotted their approach. Little wonder, thought Harvey, we’re hardly difficult to spot. They were too close for the ‘Scraper to escape but it would make the chase a little longer.
Harvey arrived just at the tail-end of Rommy’s greeting. “-Harvey Bernstead, reporting, sir!”
Captain Gorville received the greeting with a grumble and turned the wheel. The office building Gorville Mobile Acquisitions used as their base turned with it, tilting slightly in its cruise along the plains. In the distance the crew of the ‘Scraper were scrambling about the deck like ants, trying to put some distance between them and their new pursuer.
“Ready the men, we’re boarding as soon as possible. And ready the cannons as well,” Captain Gorville said, “It’s been too long since we had an Acquisition.”
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.