“So, there’s some water downstairs,” said Les. “Should I just mop it up or is there some kind of procedure?”
“Like, seepage?” asked Minerva.
Les looked ponderous. “More like, leakage. I think it’s coming from the ceiling.”
“I’ll be right down.” Minerva sighed and drank as much of her caffeinated energy water as possible in a few gulps and headed to the basement exhibit space.
At the bottom of the steps, water was everywhere; it pooled under objects and rust-tinted water dripped from dozens of points in the ceiling. Minerva did the mental geography to make sure the bathroom wasn’t above this part of the building. It wasn’t, just a drainage pipe. It was going to be a very long day.
Soon Minerva was on hands and knees sopping up dirty water with rags and towels. Les mopped at the larger pools but it was hard to tell if he was making any sort of positive changes or just spreading the water around. Minerva worked her way backwards toward the outside wall trying desperately to get water away from objects and displays.
“I’m going to go empty the bucket,” said Les. “It is getting kind of dirty.”
Minerva nodded, even though she was internally rolling her eyes. It wasn’t like the water they were mopping up was going to get any cleaner. Neither was she. Her khaki pants were already smeared with grime from the floor and she could tell her hair had already frizzed out in an impressive halo from her ponytail.
It had been raining a lot recently and apparently a drainage pipe from the roof had backed up and run water back into the building. At least that was the theory and the plumbers were going to blow out the drainage pipes. Minerva had her doubts. There seemed to be a lot of water.
A drop of rusty water hit her on the nose, then another. She moved as the drips became a steady stream and then the floor above gave way in a torrent of water from the broken pipe.