Dimmel barely keeps himself from swearing as the elevator stops and lets on a fat salarian. The other man grunts, presumably from the effort of hauling his enormous bulk around. The atmosphere is awkward, but Dimmel just ignores him as hard as he can and keeps his eyes fixed on the scrolling destinations above the doors, bouncing his foot. How long has it been, five minutes? With some undignified sprinting he can probably get to his building fast enough, and at least the elevators in there are—
Suddenly the elevator rumbles, then shudders. Dimmel puts a hand on the door to steady himself as metal grinds and shrieks, and the lights go off.
Red emergency lights flicker on, and he doesn’t stop himself from swearing now.
The holographic display is down, and he almost punches the old-fashioned EMERGENCY CALL button in the corner. Waiting for the operator to respond, he remembers there’s another person present.
“You alright?” he calls to the stranger.
As the elevator screeches into a stop, Srikit decides he’s just about done with this entire day. Lying down on the elevator’s floor and screaming might soon be the only thing he’s capable of. Never expect things to go as planned, never expect other people to do their job. Keep a snack bar or seven on your body at all times.
A questioning voice brings Srikit back to reality. The only response he can muster ends up being some kind of a growl. That’s it. He rests his forehead against the wall and closes his eyes for a few seconds. The frustration clouding his mind subsides enough for him to notice just how quiet it is. Is anything being done? He opens his eyes and pushes himself away from the wall, feeling a brief dizziness.
“How long does it usually take for them to get their shit together?” He asks after steadying himself and crosses the room to join the other man in front of the control panel.
As if in answer, the call box crackles to life. “Yes, can I help you?” asks a solicitous voice. Oh gods, they’re not even aware it’s happened?
Dimmel rattles off the ID number printed on the wall. “—on the Wards, it’s stopped and the lights are off.” There’s a long, long pause.
“Are you still there?” he snaps.
“Yes, sir, that’s very unfortunate, but, ahh—there are a number of Keepers doing maintenance in the shaft. They appear to have activated the emergency stop remotely.”
“Well, un-activate it!”
“Ah, that’s the problem, sir. There’s a lag hardwired into the emergency stop. It won’t reactivate for several hours.”
“Hours?! Why the hell would you schedule that kind of maintenance in the middle of the day?”
“We, ah, didn’t. The Keepers decided—”
“Is this station run by the Council or a bunch of bugs!?”
“I’m sorry, sir, but C-Sec is doing all it can the fix your elevator—”
“You mean nothing?”
“—if there is an emergency the red button may be used to contact a Citadel Security operator directly thank you.” The operator finishes in a rush and the box goes silent.
“Why, you useless—!” Dimmel slams his hand next to the box, then spins on his heel and kicks the wall. “I can’t believe I started paying taxes for this!”
This can’t be happening. This kind of shit only happens in predictable tv shows when the writers have obviously run out of ideas. Srikit rubs his neck, sore from all the pointless standing around he’s been through today. The fucker on the other side of the elevator just won’t stop making noise and it’s seriously getting on his nerves, as if they weren’t strained enough yet.
“Just shut the fuck up already.” Srikit forces the words through his teeth, digging his nails into his own palms. He’s not going to start screaming like this idiot with no self-control. He’s not going to punch the idiot either. He’ll stay calm and assess the severity of this situation. He inhales, and grabs the stranger’s shoulder in order to get his attention.
“You got any food?”