Sewage Pipe

I sighed as the pipes whined; they were gurgling like there was a solid mass making its way down. There was the usual horrid smell of human waste and effluent, but also a sharper, acrid smell. I breathed deep; you get used to the usual smells, working in a sewage plant, and the differences can get you a few minutes of warning, if you're paying attention.

Sort of a burnt ozone acrid, with a hint of burnt coffee on the back end, maybe.

“Hey Frank,” I shouted across the enormous floor, over the treatment tanks and the churning noise of their stirrers. “Wasn't there a conference up at the center the other day?”

Frank paused on the catwalk outside his office and looked ceiling-ward. After a minute he shouted back. “Two! Education policy on the third floor and military government contracts on the first.”

“Aw shit,” I muttered, turning back to the in-pipe. Those assholes rename shit every year practically.

The mass dropped out of the pipe into the open, first-stage tank with a ‘glorp.’

Acronyms.

A concentrated mass of acronyms, legs of Rs and As tangled in rats nests of loops and circles from Os and Ds to detangle, sanitize, and break down into alpha-numerics for reuse.

Bloody non-science specialists. The DOD bastards are the worst.