**Hello, everyone. As you can probably guess based on my short number of stories (1), I am new here, but I am getting ready to undertake some ambitious projects, and this is the prequel to one of them. The story of a second Middleman. This is just the intro piece, so please REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW and let me know what you think, and any suggestions as well. Hope you enjoy!**
He unbuttoned the dark gray smoking jacket and tossed it onto one of the silver metal work benches. He tugged at the knot atop his long black tie, pulling until it loosened its death grip on his throat.
Even though HQ was usually always kept at a pleasant coolness, kind of like any school classroom or break room at work he had ever been in, he still felt the insatiable need for air.
He wasn't claustrophobic, and he had never once bought into that whole "picture wide-open spaces" crap, but it was times like these where he would welcome the comfort of any helpful exercise.
The last 24 hours had been pure hell on Earth….and he was sure it would still be considered bad by any other world's standards. Until just a few days ago he had been convinced that Earth was the only world around.
Now, everything was on its head. Hardly anything made sense anymore. Funny how the events of one day can change everything.
But then again this last day had been unlike anything he had ever experienced in his entire life. He was exhausted, in every sense of the word: physically, mentally, and unless he got some coffee in the next five minutes, he was certain emotional fatigue was up next.
He poured himself a cup from the coffeemaker he had managed to sneak in and place in Middleman HQ. There had been some protest from the Middleman, usual callous indifference from Ida, and excitement from Wendy the first day he had brought it in.
Now it was needed more than ever. Today had been murder, literally.
As he stirred in some of the Middleman's milk and sugar, be tried in vain to shut his eyes tight and massage one of his temples, trying to rub the tension out. That is, until he discovered the horrible stench and wetness currently adorning his hand, and then he remembered exactly why this day had been so bad.
Grimacing, he quickly let his hand fall to his side as he took as sip of his hot, God-given caffeine. The pink jelly currently splattered all over his body had already turned sticky and was starting to smell. He didn't even want to go near a mirror to check the damage.
The hot liquid was just beginning to settle him down when Ida waddled into the room, immediately fixing him with her trademark derisive stare. Her judgmental eyes then swiveled down to his coffee cup, then back up at him, and she scoffed, shaking her head and moving past him.
"You should really lay off the 'Feine there, Reggae."
At this point, he laughed. He didn't even care anymore. These last few days had been nothing but a pure blur, and he wasn't interested in whatever sarcastic quip the robot was going to throw at him.
"It calms me down. I need it after today."
"I'm sure it does, hop-head. It's no sizzle off my circuits. You're even worse than Little Miss Mouth with that stuff. I can't believe the Boss thinks you're the one to head up the overseas division."
Ida's arms were now filled with assorted parts and wires and the like. She was making her exit out of the room past him and the HEYDAR.
"Maybe next time you'll think twice before firing the Middle-Gun point-blank at the exact middle section of a crazed Gellatinar."
He would have thrown his arms up in frustration had it not been for the obvious fact that he was clutching a mug of dangerously hot coffee. Instead he just shouted after her as she left the room.
"He would have eaten Wendy and him if I hadn't shot it! How was I supposed to know my shot would be placed in the exact right spot at the exact right intensity and make it blow?"
She didn't respond. His shoulders slumped.
Maybe she was right. Maybe he wasn't ready. How could he even know if he was or not? He was still trying to make heads or tails of what it was he even did. The Middleman and Wendy, they did it so smoothly, like they were born to do this their entire lives. He felt like he was still fumbling around in a fog, just learning to get his legs under him.
He had had a perfectly normal job and a perfectly normal life before. Before everything came unraveled and he found himself seeing an entirely new world all around him. There were so many things he had no idea even went on, right in front of his eyes.
Everything had changed, and it would never be the same again. Now, for some reason, Danny Dixon was being trained for something that was not only unheard of to him but apparently to the entire Middle-Organization.
And, at the end of the day, the only thing he could think about was: "How the hell did I get here?"