I had to call Fantasy into my office this evening.
He sauntered in, looking for all the world like he had just emerged from yet another wild adventure: clothing roughed up, face dirty, carrying some indistinct something inside his leather travel bag.
"Let me get right to the point" I started. "We've had a complaint."
He snorted a bit as he sat down and lounged a bit in the chair. "A complaint. I always had you pegged as a pansy, and I'm right. Someone has a single bad word, and you collapse like a popped balloon. Could you possibly be more gutless?"
I took a deep breath, like I had been practicing, and started again. "Not just a complaint. A FB complaint."
If he was reactive, he didn't show it. "You know I don't FB. How could you tie me to something that I never do."
I waited until his eyes met mine. "It wasn't against you. Originally. The original complaint was against Humor. I already talked to him. He says you put him up to it."
"Not consciously" I immediately put in as I saw him going red in the face. "Here. Look at this." I passed the file across the intervening space over to him. "Look through it."
He grabbed the file and flipped back the top page, obviously angry at the charge. I could see his face as he caught sight of the file photo, and begin to soften as he read the charge."
"I'm not saying you told him to do it" I said more conversationally (I hoped) as he continued to read. "It's just that you inadvertently gave him a direction, and he took it. You know the old adage: What sound funny in your mind is not always funny when you speak or write."
He sighed hard, then passed the file back. "So how's the complaint against me? Looks like Humor's the one that actually did it."
I gave the half grimace with lifting of hands to indicate my frustration. "He did, but he states that it was because of he thought he was being asked to do to support you. You know: get a false idea based on what you think you heard, act on it, suddenly you're involved."
He slumped a bit in the chair, letting the bag drop slowly to the ground. "So what's going to happen? Another of the ever popular 'Re-education' sessions?"
I sat for a minute, the words balanced on the tip of my tongue, saddened that they had to be there at all. "I'm sorry. We're going to have to reassign you."
His head shot up at that, eyes staring me straight on. "What?" he almost roared incredulously.
I sighed. "I'm really sorry. I've been trying to put this off as long as I could as well. You know, the classes, the counseling, the on-line stuff. But it hasn't made a difference - we keep coming to these complaint issues. We've got to do something before we both get fired."
He snorted. "What is it then - off to Logic? Realism? Maturity - is his hand in this?"
I shook my head. "No, no-one else is involved. Just you and me at this point. Trying to keep things as low key as possible. And no, I'm not exiling you to a living death."
I pulled out the revised org chart. "Look - after a lot of thought, I've decided to put you under Creativity. You guys both know each other - you've worked together a long time. It'll almost be like nothing has changed - you go off and do your thing, you will just have to check in with him before you do. If you look on the other side here, I've also got Physical Health reporting up to him as well. You three can do a lot together - you just need some guidance, and frankly I think that Creativity will be able to provide it in a framework that I can't."
He looked at the Org chart, sighed, and handed it back. "There are worse things, I suppose. We've had some good times together, haven't we? I mean, me reporting directly to you."
I smiled and nodded. "Of course we have. And it's not like you or I are going away - we're just transitioning to a different way of doing things."
He set his face with a curt smile, nodded, then picked up the bag and got ready to go. "Hey" he said as he started to turn to go. "I'm planning on going to 25th Century earth next week. You interested? I've got a line on an undiscovered facility. Should be entertaining."
I smiled and nodded. "You know, I've got some extra time now. Absolutely. I'll pencil it in for next Thursday."
He smiled again, started humming some kind of vaguely martial sounding air and strode off to the band playing in his mind.
I turned back and put the new org chart on the wall. That had gone better than I expected.
Then sighed. 25th Century. Undoubtedly I was going end up dirty and shot at again. I started digging for the blaster I always kept in my desk.