Knox Pashaa: Chapter 2

Dorbax Nill did not lie. The hallways and corridors to the lift Atrium were humid from the malfunctioning climate controls. Still, while almost everyone else on the station seemed to be wearing slim pastel colored clothes with cut offs and thin material, one albino Mirrani strolled to the lifts wearing a full suit of burgundy with thin purple pinstripes, an orange patterned vest, and a high white collared shirt with a blue and yellow neckpiece tucked under his white face, pink nose, and calm red eyes.

Of course, his feet were still bare, sporting a kind of spats that only covered the tops of his appendages. An evolutionary trait, the Mirrani feet were tough and meant for the harsh black sands of Mirraa, the smooth sealed floors of the station were always like magic on them.

Knox, flipping off a bead of sweat, leaned casually to one side of the lift compartment as it sped upward through the station. In the glass tower and clear exterior doors, the levels of the station were just flashes of white light. Knox let out a clear breath from his nostrils and looked about the small, traveling room. A small group of Fubari were chattering to each other in a high-speed dialect on one end while nearer the door a slim Ventoshi was engrossed in her data-tablet. As Knox looked over she glanced up as well. Their eyes met for a brief second and in that time Knox winked. The Ventoshi furrowed, looking over Knox in his flamboyant suit and high collar before she shook her head and went back to whatever work.

Knox smiled to himself, produced a data-tablet of his own and glanced down at the screen. He glanced over his report once more. There might have been one or two things the Fubari would have rather kept to themselves, but such was the nature of Knox’s job. If they wanted to snub the piece before it went out, that was between the Fubari Trade Union and his Editor. He noticed a typo and fixed it.

A light tone sounded and the elevator began to slow. The calm female voice from Knox’s apartment returned: “Level 126; Office of the Editor for section G; Upper level Suites; Executive Atrium number 8.”

The waiting room was just as warm as the hallways. Although at this point the omnithruster rooms were quite far away, the immense heat had languidly dissipated through many levels. It seemed that the editor’s room was not immune to physics. The other beings that waited in the room fanned themselves or guzzled water as they shifted on ill-fitting ergonomic chairs placed along the dark-wood and glass walls. The only person who seemed at all comfortable was a bony Pyra with horn rimmed glasses. The lizards did come from a planet of fire after all. What was a few degrees above normal to them?

Tablet in hand, Knox strode past the others, a pair of Fubari, a human, and a Stetti who all took a moment to cock their head or raise an eyebrow at him.

“May I help you?” The secretary said as Knox approached the reception desk.

“Yes, I’m Knox, here to see the-”

“Ohh yess. I seem to remember the editor was in quite a cursing fit about you earlier.” She angled her eyes over the rims of her glasses at Knox.

Knox smiled. “All good I hope!”

“I’m not sure you understand the nature of curses.”

Knox just shrugged.

“You can go right in. I’m sure he’s expecting you.”

The office smelled like wet chalk and was just as warm, but now there was a current of air caused by several strategically placed rotary fans. The fans were placed atop piles of papers at various heights all about the room. The physical papers lined every inch of the room’s walls and spilled across the more-or-less open area in the center. Several papers tumbled through the office,caught in the lackluster breeze around the circular space, rising and falling with each tide from the fans. Amid it all was a large desk of stately mahogany. The only thing atop it was a single lamp and the shoed feet of an enormous Dhom. The Dhom had created the illusion that he was the centerpiece of some shrine at the center of the fluttering paper-stacks. He clutched a comms reciever to his ear and didn't look up or stop talking as Knox edged into the room.

“Look I don’t care what the general thinks. The Bolmorrean Warchief said what he said in the interview and we ran it...No I will not make a blood sacrifice of Kutz for atonement!”

There was a long pause during which the Dhom did not look up except to brush a wafting piece of paper from his desk.

“If the Bolmorrean army loses strategic advantage because of the interview, that's tough Malnars, we are running a news corporation, you should have checked the data before you released consent.”

Pause.

“Well then you should have paid the fee.”

For the first time the Dhom looked over the room. His flabby chin shook as he noticed Knox standing in the center of the office.

“Alright, look, there is no way to stop it once it’s out, but for now, you can pay the retractor fee and we’ll snub it as best as we can.”

Pause.

“Yeah well you too friend-o!”

With that, the editor threw the comms reciever across the room, swiveled his massive weight around in the chair and took aim at Knox. He folded his hands on the desk.

“Where in all the Laws of Grival is my report!?”

By Jason Pratley

Jason Pratley joined the team sometime in 2013 when he created the concepts for the gods of ODR. He has since become the Writing Director and de facto loremaster for DDG. Check out some other stories and content at jvfpp.wordpress.com and goodevilcomic.com