Dilbert sighed as he sat down in his cubicle. It was going to be a long day: the project kickoff meeting. No doubt his boss would want him to lead the project, which would always be stressful. He remembered the Gruntmaster 6000 project, which took half a year to complete. He had had to deal with a sadistic testing engineer named Bob Bastard, a company-wide cold epidemic that mutated the hosts, and a revolution in the poverty-stricken nation of Elbonia. He sighed again. Long day indeed.
Ten minutes later, he, along with Wally, Alice, Asok, Ted, and some other engineers and one or two guys from marketing sat down in the conference room.
"Thank you all for attending this meeting" their boss began. "The next meeting will be on thursday, two days from now." Dilbert leaned back in his chair, barley surprised. After thirty years working under this man, he was barley surprised that the kickoff meeting had absolutely nothing to do with the project. Most of the other engineers weren't either, but one man, James, refused to be satisfied.
"That wasn't a meeting!" He shouted. Everyone in the room froze. Their boss absolutely hated being contradicted. Time seemed to slow down as he turned to face James. "It wasn't a meeting?" Everyone in the room gave a sigh of relief. Their boss was to confused to be angry. "Well you can discuss it with Wally, your'e being moved to his cubicle." Everyone turned to face James. He had been given the worst punishment possible: an indefinite period of time with Wally!
"Why do I get the feeling that was supposed to be insulting?" Wally muttered under his breath to Dilbert. Dilbert sighed again. Wally had long been slightly clueless to the fact that time spent with him was a punishment.
"He thinks James could benefit from your mentorship?" Dilbert suggested to his friend, not wishing to hurt his feelings.
"He really is dumb then." Wally replied, before moving off to annihilate the contents of the snack bar. Dilbert sighed for the fourth time that day.
James stepped tentatively into Wally's cubicle, one foot barely inside. He sniffed the air. It smelled like a mixture of...chlorine and wet dog? How the hell was that even possible. He spotted Wally bent over a small computer.
"I thought you didn't work."
Wally jumped a little. "Oh, hey." he said, just noticing James. "I have to bang out a really great project every two years, just to keep up the status quo. I give our Pointy-Haired boss one really, really great product, Dilbert takes all the credit so none know of my genius, and I spend the rest of my time relaxing. This baby" he gestured towards the machine "is a touchscreen atom merger. It'll make this company billions."
James was dumbfounded. "But..but that would take a team of engineers months to complete! You just spend all your time avoiding work."
Wally frowned. "I usually think up things like that three or four times a day." James stepped backwards, shocked. Three or four times a day? The man's a genius, he thought to himself.
"Er.. I should probably put my stuff down..somewhere?" Literally every inch of desk space was covered in papers, coffee stains, coffee spills, and messy binders. "Is it alright with you if I sweep some of the stuff aside to make space for my stuff?" Wally grunted. James swept aside some binders and what looked like a dead rat and dropped his stuff down. "I'll uh..go get my chair." Wally nodded before turning to his computer, which was open to a porn site. James sighed. It was going to be a looong life.
"Why can't we ever get anything done on the first meeting?" Dilbert was asking, to an equally annoyed Alice and Asok. "We walked in there, spent ten minutes getting organized, and then he thanks us for attending and tells us when the next meeting is?"
"In my hometown" Asok said "Project kickoff meetings, as a law, had to last at least twenty minutes."
"That should be the law here." Alice grumbled as the turned the corner. There, they saw, much to there shock, Wally, waving his arms about angrily, and completely without coffee. In living memory, Wally had never waved his arms about or been without coffee. All three of them stood there shocked, staring at this new Wally. Finally, he spoke.
"He-it-desk-it!" He shouted, making less sense then usual. Dilbert arched an eyebrow, and Wally calmed down.
"That new guy-James!-has rearranged my desk!" Wally shouted. This angered his co-workers, as Wally's desk contained internal memos detailing things involving them that they didn't want coming to light. "He came in and shoved a bunch of stuff aside to make room for his stuff. Then, I go to get coffee, and he's rearranged the whole thing into neat, alphabetized rows!"
"But those documents detail dozens of things that could be used against us if they ever come to light!" Alice shouted, her verbal panic mirroring that of Asok and Dilbert's silent panic.
"That's not the half of it." Wally continued. "I keep documents for the Elbonian Government in there. It would't take much digging to find those." Dilbert arched his eyebrow again, but decided against asking why Wally kept Elbonian Government documents on his desk.
"The solution is simple." Alice said. "We need to form a posse to show James not to mess with Wally's desk."
"We're forming a posse to help Wally?" Asok asked.
"Hey, there are at least three memos in there that you wouldn't want to come to light." Wally reminded him, and Asok nodded. "Meet me near the copy room with the most dangerous weapon you can find." Wally said, and his co-workers nodded.
END OF CHAPTER ONE