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Preston Dirges and the Lunchtime Blues

We left Preston Dirges and Valerie in the Security Room, with Preston going through his propositions for how to succeed in life. Now that Valerie has received her ID pass, they head for lunch.

Int. Corridor – Day

VALERIE: You shouldn’t keep using the f-word.

PRESTON: Well, you know what they say: the more you swear, the more you care.

VALERIE: Who says that?

PRESTON: I do. Also other people, when quoting me.

They turn in separate directions at the end of the corridor.

PRESTON: Let’s have lunch. I’m hungry.

VALERIE: What about work?

PRESTON: Lunch is the most important meal of the day, after breakfast. And I never have time for breakfast.

VALERIE: I skipped breakfast too.

Valerie turns and goes with Preston.

Int. Office Canteen – Day

Through the window, we see the rain is pouring. Preston pays for his food and waits on Valerie. Before she can pay, Rubnick steps up with his own tray.

RUBNICK: Val! Let me pay for that. I’ve been wanting to catch up and get the low-down on your settling in and how everything’s been working out.

Preston waits, thinking Rubnick will join both of them.

RUBNICK: Preston, I really need to hog Val. You don’t mind, do you?

PRESTON: No, that’s fine.

Preston walks away to find a table on his own. Rubnick pays for the meals and leads Valerie to a table where Doug, Kirsty and Nitya sit. Preston watches from afar.

VALERIE: I thought you wanted a quiet chat?

RUBNICK: Yes, I do, I want a quiet chat away from Preston, and to plug you into some people that you should know. (to Doug, Kirsty and Nitya) Hello everyone, you should all meet Val, who’s joined us as a graduate developee, but irrespective of that, she has a really impressive CV. I think she’s going to be a future star for us. Val, let me introduce you to Doug, our C-O-O, the Chief Operating Officer, the main man in ops, the…

DOUG: Doug will suffice.

VALERIE: Pleased to meet you, sir.

DOUG: Doug will suffice.

RUBNICK: This is Nitya, who runs the project office, and Kirsty, who sets the pace for our bright young sparks.

VALERIE: Hello, I’m Valerie.

DOUG: Whose team have you joined, Valerie?

RUBNICK: Val’s got an interim placement with Preston Dirges, whilst we wait for something else to open up for her.

DOUG: If you’re half as bright as Dave is suggesting, we’ll have to find something better for you to do. Preston’s work is err… vital, but we don’t need two people doing it.

RUBNICK: One Preston is plenty.

DOUG: (admonishing) Dave.

The fire alarm blares out. Everyone turns to face Preston. He looks at the rain, then reluctantly stands up, and walks smartly to the fire exit. Nobody else moves. Just as Preston steps outside, the alarm is canceled. He sighs his relief.

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