IGNACIO’S HANDS fidgeted above the keyboard, fingers typing phantom sentences that never made it to the screen.

It is with great sadness that I tender my resignation to the CXO, but circumstances…. He frowned, nose twitching, hands freezing a moment over the keys before once more taking up their dance.

When I joined the CXO, it was to make a difference. But a difference from behind the safety of a desk. I must therefore regretfully…. He bit his lower lip, imagined the look on Mama Tasha’s face at seeing him on her doorstep, suitcase in hand. That understanding, that love, but also that disappointment.

Why the fuck can’t you just put someone else on this damn case. I do not do fieldwork! His finger accidentally tapped the keys on the last character, and a lone exclamation point appeared on the screen, in the body of the e-mail addressed to Sofia Martinez, director of the CXO, the Central Xenomorph Organization.

“Hey, Nacho, you ready for lunch?” came Kev’s voice from behind him, and Ignacio jumped, shielded the monitor with his body, and moved desperately to delete the draft. Fingers fumbling, he clicked at the Discard button only to miss, saw the Send icon depress, and before he could do anything, the message was gone. Ignacio stared at the screen, mouth gaping open.

“Hey, Nacho, I asked if you were ready,” Kev said, and Ignacio made a sound low in his throat, a squeak mixed with a groan. He took a deep breath and swallowed. In his mind he could picture Director Martinez receiving the e-mail, of course with no subject line, with only a single character. He looked down at the phone on his desk like suddenly it would transform into a spitting viper. He stood jerkily, his chair skidding back against the wall of his cubicle. With a shaking hand, he grabbed his coat, then turned and hurried out of the office, Kev following in his wake.