Rik sat at his desk next to Igor, his fat partner in programming who was leaning away from him, as if Rik didn’t know Igor was playing a game on his cellphone instead of working.. the lazy bastard.
“Hey Igor!” Said Rik, purposefully trying to disturb him.
“What?” Said Igor still bending low.
“You have to see this.”
“No, I’m busy. In ten minutes.” Said Igor angrily.
“No you have to come see this.” Said Rik smiling like a child.
Tolstep walked in with his usual grave countenance, “She wants you in the meeting.” He said slowly.
“Let me guess.” Said Rik sarcastically, “She doesn’t understand something.”
“How did you guess.” Tolstep mirrored Rik’s sarcasm.
“I don’t understand.” Said Yerlow, the witch in charge of his department.
‘Surprising…’ Rik thought to himself.
She paused for a second as if she could read his thoughts, eyeing him suspiciously, then continued. “You thought that a Martian day was 24 hours and 37 minutes, that’s why we were having all these time sync problems?”
Rik thought if he should actually try to explain to her what had happened or just admit his error, get reprimanded and go back to his desk.
“I want a clear explanation this time, no lying.” She Said.
“I never lie.” Said Rik. “The problem was I had looked up the Martian time in Wikipedia, and it said 37 minutes.”
“Oh so Wikipedia is to blame? That’s hard to believe.” She tossed her head in disgust.
“I didn’t say that, only they had two values there, I took the Sidereal Day which is a timekeeping system that astronomers use to locate things in space. That’s how they easily point a telescope to the right direction so they can see the star. It’s based on Earth’s rate of rotation relative to the fixed stars rather than the Sun.”
Yerlow’s face developed a shade of red from his long scientific explanation. “I don’t need you quoting Wikipedia, I can read it myself. Just tell me what YOU did wrong.” She said.
Now Rik’s face developed a shade of red. “I took the Sidereal Day instead of the Martian day, which is 24 hours, 39 minutes and 35 point something seconds long.”
“Point something?” She quoted fuming from the nose like a dragon. “I hope you don’t guess the seconds like you guessed the minutes and make another mistake.”
“It’s not seconds it’s nano seconds.” He said under his breath.
“What?” She boomed.
“Never mind.” He shook his head.
“Ok Tolstep, I want everything stopped and rolled back. Then I want Igor to fix Rik’s mistake, because he clearly has no idea what he’s doing. Then we’ll have another meeting.”