Jim's eyes shifted restlessly between the drafting table and the clock.

"Never gonna get this thing in on time if you keep looking at the damn clock, man," Steve murmured from the next cubicle.

"Yeah, well I'm not bloody likely to get it in on time regardless, mate," Jim bit out, moving his hand nervously over the artwork.

With just thirty minutes left until the inking was supposed to go off to FedEx, Jim still had six pages left to do. Steve had offered to help, but the man was a writer, not an inker. Better to be late than to ruin the pencils on the issue.

Steve sighed, stood up, and walked over to look over Jim's shoulder.

"What's the problem, man? Just ink the thing."

"The problem, Steve, is that the page is bollocked up. Do you not see the pencils here? I've no idea what part of this building to ink."


"Okay, well it's a brick wall, the rest of the shadows are slanting down and to the left, why can't you just make the shadows consistent on the wall, then?"

Jim sighed and spun around in his chair.

"Look, go and fetch me a cuppa tea, will you? I can't do this with you breathing down my bloody neck."


Steve held his hands up in a placating gesture. "Fine, fine, earl grey or green?"

Jim waved him off with a grunt and bent back over the drafting table, studying the composition of the panel.


That was when the wall imploded.

Imploded wasn't the right word, really; it briefly blew inward before the brick and mortar was reduced to its constituent atoms. Papers, desks and glass flew through the room, a large pane of glass clipping Steve on the shoulder and neatly bisecting him, his arm and ear flying off in one direction while the rest of him hit a cubicle wall and smeared off.


Jim barely had time to register a glimpse of something mechanical moving - swirling? - through the flying radioactive dust before another section of the wall was blown inwards.

He lurched backward in his chair, catching on a phone cord and spilling back onto the floor as more debris flew through the office.


Not gonna get the pages out to the printer now, he thought.