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It's late at night when I find myself waking up in my office in the Weta building. I push up out of my chair, and with just one step I feel that sickeningly familiar crunch of pencil under my foot. Damn it. He's never popped out here, not in this building. I'm bothered and pissed off for a couple of reasons. I remember Viggo's abrupt departure, and yeah, I'm still biting back the urge to phone him up and get the last word in. Well, I would if I could think of a decent last word, anyway. And now I'm concerned about the Professor taking up his scribbling here. It's bad enough he's taken over my home office, but at least that's at home. Here? Anyone could have popped in the door at any time, I don't make a big show out of setting appointments or knocking. I'm going to have to have a casual talk with the receptionist and try to find out if he held court with anyone.

On location, or a set - that's where the arguments with the actors happen. My home office is where the Professor lets his obsessions out. But here. This is Weta. This is the playground. You know that cliche about going to your Happy Place when you're upset? This is my Happy Place.

Screw em. Screw Viggo and the damn horse Aragorn rode in on. Screw the Professor and his hidden agendas. I'm going to my Happy Place.

I plop back down in my chair and deliberately bring up a memory, a good one, from last year. I can't help grinning as I recall a friend of mine and a wonderfully silly day spent at Weta.

(The reader must now imagine those wiggly-lined fade-out effects that accompany a flashback sequence)

Jaime's been trying to nudge me towards the door for an hour, but I'm not tired. Of course, he refuses to believe that. I caught three hours sleep last night and two catnaps in my office today, but he's gotten everyone around the Workshop into a conspiracy now. I can't get at the editing equipment without bumping someone off and everyone's trying to look really busy. Well, there's a gift horse I can't bitch about much. If being that industrious is a ploy to make me feel useless enough to go home, well, I'll play along, a little.

So, I won't work. But I'll be damned if I'm going home, either. What's in between? Ah, right, that's called 'leisure time', I remember it, I think. I roll around some ideas in my head, most of them aren't hitting my mood - I mean hell, I want to be working! Then it occurs to me. Hey, he might be free, could be a kick to show him around the place, and Jaime won't be able to accuse me of working, right? Yeah, this could be fun. Kid's got a hell of a mind for this stuff. I remember what fun we had watching movies a while back, and how he practically fondled that old lawnmower. That gets me laughing, and it feels good. Right, then. I dial him up and get a machine, but I'm not gonna let that daunt me. "Jay? It's Pete. Jackson. Tell you what. If you get this message in the next fifteen minutes and you're free for a few hours, don't bother calling back, just drive over to Camperdown Road and follow it to the dead end. There's going to be a parking lot on your right. Park. And come on in and ask for me. Hope to see ya!"

Jay: I rush back into the house just in time to hear the answerin' machine beep off, cursin' lightly under my breath as I wipe my greasy hands down on an old rag. Figures the second I really get into the Shadow the phone would start ringin'. I poke the message button with my least oily fingertip, "better be fuckin' important, man," I mumble just as the machine starts to play. But all traces of annoyance evaporate soon as I hear who called, and I can barely hear the message my heart's poundin' so hard.

Yeah, we hung out once, I shouldn't be gettin' all fanboy on Pete. Holy fuck I can call Peter Jackson "Pete!" And I did go over to his house. His house with a fuckin' movie theater filled with an audience of Feebles! Been a while since he's called...he wants to hang out again? Today? I look down at my greasy clothes. No, sorry Peter Jackson. I can't hang out. I'm too busy changin' the oil in my bike... Fuck that.

In five minutes flat I've changed and left a note for Gareth on the fridge, barely rememberin' to lock the door behind me I'm so stoked. I roll Pete's cryptic directions over in my mind as I drive the truck down to Camperdown Road, wonderin' just what he's got in mind today as I pull into the parking lot he said would be there...

"Holy fuck!"

He wants me to visit him at work?! The butterflies in my stomach triple as I lock up the truck and traipse to the front door, my eyes locked on the huge, wooden WETA sign gracin' the entrance. Dude, I'm never gonna get in past the lobby. You know how many other fans have come through here askin' for Peter Jackson? They ain't never gonna believe he invited me...

"Um...I'm here to see Mr. Jackson?" I almost whisper to the clean-shaven guy behind the reception desk, "I think I have an appointment..."

Pete: The receptionist smiles and inquires as to who might be visiting. The name 'Jay Hill' prompts a nod and a quick intercom call. "Mr. Jackson, the visitor you mentioned is here."

Not two minutes later, I round the corner into the lobby, pleased as hell that my phone call caught you at a decent time. "Jay! Just the guy this place needs right now." I dart a knowing look towards Max at reception and add, "There's a conspiracy going on around here. Everyone's in on it, Jay, even this innocent looking git at the counter. They're insisting I take a break, they won't let me work!" There's a snorting laugh from the reception counter, which I patently ignore as I lead you back and down the hall towards my office and shove aside a pile of sketches and battered models of dinosaurs littering the couch. "Thought you might enjoy checking out my playground, maybe even give me some feedback on Kong. Assuming the degenerates here let me get at some rough cuts to show you."

There's a old Uruk-hai prothstetic propped on the back of the couch, but my junk-jostling's knocked it a bit loose, and suddenly it rolls forward, taking a perfect tumble to the floor to land staring up at you. "Boo."

Jay: I snicker as I gently pick up the floppy mask, my fingers barely gracin' 'cross the creased, rubbery surface as I study the intricate paint job. "He's just as ugly in person," I grin, meanin' it in the most respectful way, and carefully puttin' it back on it's perch.

Goddamn, if I'd thought your home theater was a treasure trove it's nothin' compared to your office. I feel like my eyes are gonna swivel loose outta their sockets for tryin' to look at so many cool things at once, and when my eyes land on your bearded, boyish grin I can't help the slight blush that creeps over my cheeks. Busted.

"Whatever you wanna show me, man," I say, tryin' to mask my nervousness with a smile, "never been in a place like this 'fore." I look you over again, squinting a little. You look...different. Can't put my finger on what exactly...though it don't look bad. Shit, I'm starin'. Should say somethin' now, shouldn't I? " wearin' contacts?"

Pete: Bit of a weird comment about the rubber mask, but I'm still learning your sense of humor. I fidget a little as you peer at my face, but you're a lot less obnoxious with your curiosity about my revamp than some of the press has been. And thank god you didn't ask where my gut went too. I remember one reporter earned a hell of a dirty look for a crack about that. "Yeah. Funny it took me so long. I'm rough on glasses - fall asleep in them, bash into props, you name it. After bending the frames on a few dozen pair, I finally got talked into trying contacts." As much as I like being rid of those things, I still haven't completely gotten used to the contacts. It feels like some buffer between me and the world's been stripped away, and I'm not sure I really like that. "Old nervous habits die hard though. I still reach to shove em up my nose sometimes and end up poking myself in the eye."

I can only stand to talk about my vanity for about thirty seconds, so it's time to change the topic and get on with the fun. "Well, there's lots to see here. Somehow I don't take you for a computer graphics kind of guy, tell me if I'm wrong there, but I'm thinking you might get a bigger kick out of the creature shop. No feebles there, but there's some very cool stuff. Or the weapons shop! You like chainmail? We've even got our own swordsmith in-house. I think there's still some axes from Master and Commander around there. Maybe we could take out the receptionist with them if we teamed up. Yeah, let's go arm ourselves." I'm laughing as I head out the door and down the hall, and I think I hear a snicker behind me as you follow along.

No office, computer station, nook or cranny was safe from our attack. Armed literally to the teeth, dressed in mismatched armor, rubber monster masks on our faces, Jay and I terrorized everyone we could find. Finally, out of sheer desperation, someone made lunch reservations for us. We were gently escorted from the building, after being relieved of our props. I can't remember what we had for lunch, but I do remember how much we laughed.
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Date: 2006-03-04 05:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Neither. :) You've stumbled across a character in an online roleplay game!

December 2006

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