Oh, no they didn’t, Fox thinks, and rejects the form with pointed language. Every single word of one standard field has been swapped with a different word that looks similar enough to fool the casual observer. If he had skimmed the form, he would have missed seeing it entirely. He seethes his way through the next twenty minutes of kriffing datawork.
Leaving every single word the same length, with same first and last letter, was actually quite skillful, he decides, once he’s had time to come down from the audacity of the insult. Perhaps Fox has now found a worthy opponent for his intellect.
It deserves a response in kind, naturally. While he plots, he continues his endless slog of datawork, and appreciates the opportunity to flex his own skills.
That damn Torrent liaison, (no Fox does not recognize him by anything other than title, not name nor number) is a cheeky brat, newly promoted to sergeant, and new to this posting.
He writes a condescending limerick into the requisitions approval and sends it down.
Next time, he gets a shift log in which each entry has the same cadence. He counts syllables behind his locked office door, bucket on, laughing. Yep, they are all five, seven, and five syllables; the brat wrote haikus.
He changes the first letter of each word in Torrent’s promotion bullet points to spell out profanities.
Doing something this fun makes him feel guilty, but it isn’t like it takes extra time, he justifies to himself. He composes the wordplay while he does the mindless parts of his job and it doesn’t take any longer than usual or cause him to make mistakes. It is also raising his morale, which can only be a positive thing for everyone who has to deal with him.
He’s snickering through a dryly sarcastic depiction of Torrent’s engineering data, when his door opens without warning. Thorn starts to speak, registers what his boss is doing, and stops abruptly, mouth agape.
“Yes?” Fox says, trying to school his face back to his usual ire. Thorn snatches the datapad and reads it at top speed, fending off Fox’s attempts to reclaim it (and only succeeding because he wedges Fox’s chair hard into the desk-well).
Fox can tell when he figures out who wrote it, because Thorn’s weight on the chair goes slack. Fox grabs the datapad and levels a finger at his second. “Not one word outside my office,” he threatens.
Thorn’s eyes have a gleam that Fox mistrusts. “Fox, squared,” he breathes maliciously.