TITLE: Perfection Bytes
GENRE: Commercial fiction
The day I first met the genie began as the worst day at work ever, not counting the time I’d waltzed into office wearing a transparent shirt without a slip underneath it. That had been an accident, of course.
On the Monday morning in question, I swiped in at the reception early (ten am, the break of dawn by my standards), and ran headlong into a hulking colleague. A flash of sky-blue was all I caught before my head thunked his formidable chest and my tanned leather tote slipped down onto the marble floor of the lobby.
‘Ow!’ I said, massaging my forehead, as I stooped to retrieve my bag.
‘Oh, Nilisha. Did I trip you? I’m so sorry!’
I knew that voice. It grated on my nerves. ‘Get lost, Vik!’
‘So, have you started preparing closure documents for Project Armada?’
He lit up a cigarette right there in the lobby, five feet away from the ‘No Smoking’ sign.
‘No, why would I? It hasn’t even gone for UAT yet. Priya and her team are hard at system testing still.’
‘Oh!’ he said, creasing his lips into a fake smile. ‘Sorry, I thought you knew.’
‘Nothing,’ he said. ‘See ya!’
He ambled out, winking back at Shirin the receptionist as he passed. What was he talking about? How could Armada close? The users hadn’t even set eyes on it.
Shirin said, ‘Nilisha, Ajay was looking for you.’
‘Oh god, what is it now?’