takhys: (a peach)
takhys ([personal profile] takhys) wrote 2013-03-09 09:02 pm (UTC)

"John here."

Usually, it was Justin checking in, or Jenny telling him to bring milk, or rarer still, Mark providing understated commentary on their daily horoscopes. (‘Do you really think Mercury is in retrograde all that often or do they put that in to sound pseudo-scientific?’) Sometimes, and never accordance to any schedule he could fathom, there would only be the quiet shuffling of cards, the steady sound of someone breathing, and once, memorably, the sound of an airline stewardess kindly asking someone to turn off all cellular devices.

The silence was somehow soothing. They didn't say anything aloud because there was no need to. The absence of sound wasn't a vacuum or an emptiness or anything lacking. There was a conversation between them; it was merely inaudible.

“Boss, your phone’s left on again.”

The box of aerogel was shocking, almost surreal, in its weightlessness.

He’d caught a snippet of a news story about how the substance was being used by NASA in their Stardust space probe. To demonstrate the surreal properties of the material, the newscaster showed how a thin block could support a brick or protect something delicate from heat. The image of a single, perfect blood red flower suspended, unwilted and unburning over a blue flame stuck with him for days.

When the box came to the office, he remembered laughing at the way his gift had been secured and surrounded by packing foam.

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