My Job Description Includes What?
Author's Note: So, this is an exploration in a 'what if' for me. How would an absolutely ordinary woman, with ordinary skills cope with the giant alien robot environment? The same way one copes with eccentric humans I would figure.
In addition, this is intended to be a one shot timelined sometime after Egypt. If readers demand, other chapters may be made available at a later date as there are ideas for them. I just don't know if there's enough interest in them. :)
Nancy Anderson slapped the alarm clock off. It was five a.m. and time for yet another day. She took a deep breath, ignoring the tiny voice the back of her head that marveled out how she was still alive. She snorted and got up without any further preamble.
She went through her usual morning routine: shower, wash face, brush teeth, do hair, get dressed, do makeup. She took her time picking out her earrings, her one nod to any eccentricity. She did so adore large, dangly earrings.
Now ready for work, she slips into her sensible, broken in pumps, grabs her attache case and steps out of her apartment door. A brisk walk down the hall and out the outer door led her to the early pre-dawn morning on the Diego Garcia base used as NEST Headquarters. A short walk later and she let herself into a large hangar that was half converted into a series of catwalks with open offices on them.
Nancy deposited her case on her desk, grabbed the new stack of memos and trotted down to the section used as the human lounge. She started the coffee pot and check the stock of cereal and bagels. Pulling out a voice recorder she made a note to order more blueberry bagels. She continued sorting through the memos as she walked back up the stairs. With the memos finally sorted into priority order, she sat down at her desk and sorted her email as well.
By the time she'd answered the email, composed responses to the top priority memos and written a few memos of her own, including the grocery order, the hangar was showing signs of life as various clerks and soldiers filed in to take care of their daily duties. Major William Lennox soon wandered in and grunted a greeting of some variety to Nancy. Nancy smiled brightly and passed over a folder of paperwork. "Today's memos, reports and notes for the meeting later today, sir."
Lennox sighed at the folder, waved in farewell and tromped off to his own desk. Musing, again, that Nancy had to be the only morning person on the entire island. Nancy focused back on her computer. She fired off quick answers to the new emails that had trickled in. She then went back to sorting and summarizing the various reports that had come in.
"Good morning, Miss Anderson," rumbled a polite voice. Nancy looked up and over the catwalk railing to smile at Prowl. "Good morning. Punctual as always. Here's the latest numbers regarding finances. Also the latest batch of speeding tickets shipped in from the States. There's also a few item orders that I wish to defer to your judgement. I don't know what Sideswipe needs a 6 month supply of espresso beans for, and frankly, I don't want to." Prowl sighed and accepted the stack of reports from Nancy. "That is probably a wise choice, Miss Anderson. I suspect I will no longer wish to know once I find out." Nancy gave a commiserating smile to Prowl ask he turned to greet Optimus Prime and go about their business for the day.
Filing more reports, answering more emails, directing a few phone calls and one coffee break later, Nancy found herself in a staring match with a set of blue optics doing their best at the 'Kicked Puppy' look. She sighed and arched an eyebrow, "Bluestreak, why do you want my stapler?" Bluestreak's look wavered for a moment but reinstated itself quickly, his doorwings drooping just those few inches more. "I can't tell you, it's a surprise. I promise you'll get it back and it'll still work just the way it was designed to. Please please please? I won't let anybody else have it. Not even Optimus! But I really can't tell you because surprises are supposed to be secret. And if I told you, then it wouldn't be a secret anymore! And and…" Nancy cut him off with a quick wave of her hand. "Fine, you can borrow it. But I need it back before lunch, okay?" Bluestreak's instantaneous smile was worth it as he reached over and snagged the small object and disappeared with it.
Nancy didn't get much further with the next set of emails before she heard Sergeant Robert Epps cursing from the direction of the copy machine. She sighed, locked her computer and then went to rescue the poor man. She deftly pulled the paper he wanted copied from his fingers, placed it in the feed tray, pulled out the misfed paper, reset the machine and hit the copy button. She smiled at the mystified Epps before turning and intercepting another soldier from mauling the printer fax machine. She plugged it in and pointed him to the directions on the wall before leaving.
Sideswipe popped up next to the catwalk as she headed back towards her desk. "Hey, did you send out my order?" he asked. Nancy smiled secretively, "Oh you mean the espresso beans? I passed the paperwork on to Prowl. Ask him." She ignored the sudden outburst of Cybertronian clicks and whirls as Sideswipe darted away in alarm.
She sat back at her desk and noted the time. Was it lunch break already? She reached down and fished out a small tupperware container out of her attache case. Sitting back up, she noticed the sudden reappearance of her stapler. At least… she thought it was her stapler. It was now lacquered cobalt blue with silver metallic flecks glinting from under a shiny buffed acrylic coating. Her name was scrawled on the top in a fancy cursive, made from what appeared to be shined chrome. She belatedly looked around and saw no sign of Bluestreak, or any of the other autobots for that matter. She placed her lunch on the desk and picked up the stapler to examine it. She clicked it once and dumped the now compressed staple into her palm. She shrugged, placed it in its spot on the desk and grabbed her lunch. It still worked, it was just shiny now.
She skipped down to the lounge, waved at a few soldiers who were eating lunch before stopping in front of the coffee maker. She put the poor machine back to rights and wondered internally about how numerous, very intelligent, highly trained soldiers (who worked with the mechanically complicated autobots, no less) could screw up a coffee machine day in and day out. She sat down with a freshly brewed cup of coffee and her lunch and traded general gossip with a clerk from financing and one of the maintenance crew before returning to her desk for the afternoon.
Returning to her desk, Nancy sat down and smiled wanly at the newest stack of memo's that had accumulated during the meantime. She sorted and dealth with those while also doing the same with the most recent emails. She looked up from the paperwork in time to see Wheeljack approach. His headfins lit up merrily and he waved a small stack of papers in his hand, "Nancy, could you set these up for approval. They're acquisition requests for materials for my next project." Nancy nodded wordlessly and accepted the papers with one hand while reaching into a drawer with the other, meanwhile Wheeljack launched into one of his usual excited rants, "It's absolutely exciting! We're going to be working on this quantum field theory that…" He was interrupted by Nancy shoving an oversized Rubik's cube into his hand.
He blinked and then quickly set about solving the puzzle while Nancy went through and filled out the necessary forms and stapled them to Wheeljack's papers. "Here you go, Wheeljack. Everything looks to be in order. Once you have Prowl's signature I'll put the order out." Wheeljack having just finished solving the Rubik's cube looked up and blinked in surprise, "Wow that was fast. Thanks, Nancy!" He put the solved cube on her desk and took the papers off to find Prowl. Nancy shook her head, mixed up the cube and placed it back in the drawer.
Lennox stopped and dropped some memos on Nancy's desk and then asked her, "What's with the Rubik's cube anyway? You even do that to the human scientists when they come by." Nancy smirked, "I have no head for science and they always want me to stop and talk about it with them. The Rubik's cube is every scientists' perfect distraction. I get my paperwork done and they are thoroughly occupied while I do it. The last time I tried to politely bow out of a scientific discussion I got pouted at by Perceptor of all bots." Lennox laughed and nodded before heading towards the stairs. "Don't forget the meeting's in fifteen!" he called over his shoulder.
Nancy checked the time on her computer and then sighed. She grabbed a folder from the filing cabinet and darted over to the copy machine. She made enough copies of the papers, sorted, stapled and foldered the lot of them and then took them downstairs to the lounge where she grabbed a wheeled cart and placed them on top. She also filled a carafe with fresh coffee and grabbed enough mugs for everyone at the meeting. Throwing on the necessary items she wheeled the cart to a conference room that was set up for humans and cybertronians alike. She deftly dispersed the meeting notes and the coffee before sitting in a chair with a notepad and a pen in the corner.
Two hours and twenty five pages of notes later, Nancy cleaned off the conference table and returned the various implements to the kitchenette in the lounge. Once back at her desk, she began transcribing the meeting notes onto her computer. This was interrupted by the alarm klaxons going off. She sighed and locked down her computer before joining the small rush of civilians going to the underground bunker. She listened for the numerical codes being shouted that announced that a Decepticon had somehow breached the perimeter of the base. She sat on one of the benches and hugged herself while listening to the sound of gunfire and explosions up top.
The tiny voice from this morning pointed out with it's usual glee that she really shouldn't ignore the fact that her 'job' was anything but normal. Honestly, what secretary had to distract scientists with plastic puzzles and be concerned with why a corvette wanted espresso beans? She frowned and told the internal voice to shut up. Twenty minutes later, a soldier appeared in the door to the bunker and barked out the safe code to allow the civilians out.
Nancy returned to her desk, pleased to see that it and it's hangar had not seen battle. She shook her head at the back up of her work and resigned herself to a few extra hours. The rest of the day blurred by in paperwork, emails, large robots and coffee. Around ten o'clock, she stood from her desk and shut everything down. She went to the lounge and cleaned the coffee pot. On her way out, she shook Lennox awake from the spot he'd fallen asleep at on one of the tables. Lennox blinked up at her blearily, "It's twenty two hundred hours, sir. Go get some rest."
She waved and walked towards the hangar door. Three steps beyond the door, Lennox caught up with her and laid a hand on her shoulder, "Hey Nancy, I just wanted to say something. I don't know how you do all this without the same military training that the boys and I fall back on. Thanks for keeping us from drowning in minutiae." He squeezed her shoulder and then veered off for the military barracks situated on the other side of base. Nancy smiled softly then turned back towards what was now her home. She didn't know how she did it either. And really… who cared? A secretary's job was usually only noticed when it wasn't done right. And besides, somebody needed to protect those soldiers from the vicious copy machine.