Gen, rated G, OC
Commentfic, unbeta'd, the SGC isn't mine, yadda.
Bill made it through the last security check and and punched the elevator button, grumbling under his breath, "How many checks do they need, anyway? Seems like every day they want somethin' new."
The dark-haired civilian guy just arriving, doctor something or other, Bill thought, said, "Tell me about it. I keep expecting to be asked to pee in a cup or something."
Bill laughed. This was one of the guys from the labs with books and old shit, he thought. Roth-something. They almost never blew anything up. That automatically made Bill more friendly to him. "Yeah, it's some weird crap they got here," he said. "Pay's decent, though."
"Yeah, that's what got me, too," the other guy said, smiling. "Now if they can manage not to fill my lab with poison gas for a few days-"
"Was that why the evacuation yesterday?" Bill said. "Geez. If it's not one thing, it's another."
Roth-or-whatever shrugged and said rather cynically, "Well, that's what they said it was."
Bill nodded knowingly. You couldn't work in this place without knowing that there was some seriously strange stuff going on. If you wanted to stay, you signed everything they gave you and kept your trap shut, no matter how weird it got. And Bill did want to stay- for cleaning up weird messes and taking special training for chemicals and biohazards and god-knows-what, you got a salary that was pretty much unheard of for what was basically janitorial work. All you had to do was ignore the occasionally oddly dressed people you saw and never ask questions.
The elevator stopped at three and Bill got off to visit the janitor's closet. Well, 'sanitation office' was stenciled on the door, but when supervisor's scarred desk is surrounded by boxes of supplies, he figured he could call a duck a duck.
He put his lunchbox in his locker, hung up his jacket on one of the worn steel hooks inside, and looked at the several lines above as he signed in to the log- sure enough, they'd sent all the staff home and the second shift crew hadn't been in at all. He swore feelingly. That meant that they'd spend all day trying to catch up and still be behind tomorrow. His supervisor Vince was a great believer in schedules. As he reached for a bucket and mop, the door swung open, and Vince himself came in.
"Hey Bill, glad you could make it," the man said in a rather sour tone.
"I'd a'come if I could," Bill pointed out.
"Yeah, I know you would," Vince gave him a half smile, looking harrassed.
He wasn't usually a sourpuss, but then this wasn't exactly like a regular supervisory job. Bill figured him for a pretty stand-up kind of guy, mostly.
"You won't need that, though," Vince continued. "First I need you to mix a big batch of cement patch."
Bill leaned the mop up against the wall. "Oh, great," he said in disgust. "Don't tell me. Level 28?"
"Level 28," Vince said. "Another explosion."
Bill winced. "Are we talkin' about a few pockmarks under the control room window, like usual, or a complete resurface like after that time we were shut down a few weeks last year?" That had been seriously weird. Bill went to work in the morning. Halfway through the day they were sent home- and the Air Force had said it was really two weeks. He hadn't believed it until he got home and his wife had hugged and kissed him like she hadn't seen him in days.
"Craters in the floor, shrapnel pocks everywhere," Vince said glumly. "Danny and Ted are bringing a couple of ladders down now. It's not as bad as last year though."
"Well, at least there's that," Bill rummaged through his keys and found the one for the closet where the patching materials was kept. "They could blow up one of the labs for a change, though."
"Funny you should mention that," Vince said, with a dry chuckle. He flipped open his notepad. "Once you get through on Level 28? Here's a list of the other places that need patches. And if you find any shrapnel, it's to be saved separately."
Bill took the list and nodded sagely. They probably wanted to analyze it, like on those cop shows he watched. "You got it boss, I'm on it." He headed for the storage area, looking at Vince's scribbled notes
The list was pretty long, he saw- and there was one storage room near the medical wing that was off-limits. That usually meant a major clean up later, but at least it wasn't something to worry about now. You had to admit- a lot of weird stuff, and sometimes he really wanted to know what this place was. But the guys that couldn't keep quiet didn't last long here. And it was kind of interesting-like, never quite knowing what would happen next.
Bill found a bucket and measured patch into it. Teddy, now- he swore this place was something to do with UFOs. But Bill never put much stock in it. That would be just silly. Bill added water to the cement mix and started whistling absently as he stirred.