The nickname given to the lower deck of the B-52 Stratofortress aircraft where the bombadier and flight navigator sit. The hellhole has no windows, and is accessed by a metal ladder leading from the cockpit.

“Fuck, are you fucking serious?”
The progress bar on the monitor of the shitty desktop computer I’m sitting in front of is edging forward at an almost glacial pace, the heaving sound of the ancient machine only just coming to life a full 5 minutes after pressing the on button.
“Fucking hell.” I mutter under my breath.
I flick my eyes towards the clock hanging on the wall. It’s marginally skew, so I have to to tilt my head ever so slightly to the left to get the exact minute which has given me this annoying tweak in my tendon. It’s the little things that’ll get you in this place. No eternal flames and countless whippings, but shoes that are too tight, a perpetual wedgie and a fucking off-centre clock that forces you to look like an inquisitive puppy.
Why, you ask, would I be using an antiquated Windows ’95 operating system in this day and age, this horrifically technological age where IT developments are overtaking medical ones with leaps and bounds, and this era where I, a 23-year-old female of average stature be forced to unwillingly consume this pixelated fuck-up of a device on a daily basis?
Well I wasn’t fucking kidding; this is-
Bing. Bing. Bing. Bing.
Oh, thank God. Although I know for a fact she doesn’t have anything to do with this tiny miracle.
The teal background of the desktop is such a depressing colour. Not that I’m depressed enough as it is, this shit just makes it that much worse.
What was I saying?
BANG.
“Don’t even bother knocking, Luca.” I say without even turning around. My eyes continue to be seared by the teal background while I double-click on the left-most icon on the desktop.
INTAKES.
“Good morning to you too, sunshine. What have we got today?”
I roll my eyes and swing around slowly, not in a way that implies coolness, in fact I get stuck halfway performing my 180 degree turn and have to stretch my toes to the floor and push hard to get myself all the way around until I’m facing Luca.
Like I said, it’s the little things that’ll get you in this place.Although I've never been cool and I'm just trying to cover it up, but you get the idea.
The Luca standing in front of me today is his preferred self; a 20-something kid with short dirty blonde hair, a green jumper zipped up halfway revealing the top of a My Chemical Romance t-shirt, black skinny jeans and black converse.
“2006 called, they want their emo attire back.” I smirk, crossing my arms and surveying his brooding ensemble.
“Thank you for your kind words Claire. I just feel like it was a better time, y’know, kids were singing their hearts out about killing themselves, some actually did, and the aura of morbidity amongst the teenage middle-class was at an all time high.”
He shoved his hands into his pockets and looked at the floor, scuffing the toe of his shoe over a small dent in the hardwood floor.
“Yeah, well, doesn’t mean you have to dress like that to continually relive your wonder years.” I say, trying to spin back to face the computer but for some reason the office chair locks halfway and won’t make it any further. I sigh and push myself off the seat; the funny thing is I am basically dressed the same as him; black high top converse shoes, black jeans and a pullover white jumper with Basquiat’s crown on the front. What can I say; I like to play devil’s advocate.
“Please…the Black Plague, those were my wonder years, not the Black Parade.” Sneered Luca, tilting his head slightly to read the clock on the wall.
“Is that the time already…” he said softly, wrinkling his brow. He looked straight at me. “What have we got today?”
“Well I would tell you but this piece of shit computer took so long to start up I’m only logging into INTAKES now.” I said, manually moving the chair around so it faced the computer screen again and plonking myself onto the seat.
“You’ll have to stay back to make up the time you know.” Said Luca. He strode over to where I was sitting, putting one hand on the back of the chair and the other on the mouse, squinting at the screen.
Then he tapped the space bar on the keyboard. Immediately the program opened and began loading all of the new profiles.
I side-eyed Luca and blew a rogue piece of black hair from my eyes.
“Don’t know why you can't just let it be like that all the time…” I mumbled.
Luca chuckled and then peered at the flashing green box in the right hand corner of the INTAKES homepage.
“160k, not too bad.” He said to himself.
“Alright, now you know what you’ve got to deal with, go do your thing and I’ll get them transferred.” I say, flicking his hand off the mouse with my fingers and then double clicking the ‘START TRANSFER’ button beneath the glaring green number: 162,701.

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