Human Resources Evaluation

“Here she comes, Mr. Snyder. She’s turning into the alley… Now.”

Her name was Chavez and she careened into the alley mouth at top speed, bounced off the brick wall and slumped over. Gasping for air, drawing great shuddering breaths like a sprinter at the finish line.

“She’s exhausted,” Snyder observed.

“The sim has kept her running for the last half hour,” said Decker. “She’s fleeing from half-glimpsed shadowy pursuers, panting, howling, and claw sounds from in the darkness.”

Chavez ducked down the alleyway, dancing from cover to cover behind dumpsters and trashcans, her terrified eyes snapping back to check the alley’s entrance for pursuers every few seconds.

“Here we go, she’s spotted the fire escape,” said Decker.

They watched as Chavez scrambled quickly up the fire escape, and paused before the only lit window.

“Clock started. Mr. Snyder, this is the critical moment of the sim. Candidates will choose to shun the light and warmth, and embrace the darkness out of suspicion and distrust. Alternatively, accept the offered sanctuary, trusting hope and intuition. The third option is simply hesitating too long, paralyzed by indecision.”

Chavez slowly opened the window and climbed through.

“So she passed,” Synder grinned. “That’s excellent, right?”

Decker pressed the blue button on the console and sat back in his chair. “Mr. Snyder, this sim is an evaluation for executive potential. Do you imagine wishful thinking is an admirable trait in executives?”

The door slid to one side and a security officer collected Snyder.

“Mr. Snyder has tested far too highly for empathy, Captain. Return him downstairs for worker drone evaluation. Perhaps he’ll be useful in the cubicle farm.”

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273 words. Inspired by this week’s Picture It & Write prompt: