It was a nice day out today, with the sun shining over the bay, birds flying around and children playing in the park. I decided to take a walk outside to try to get some perspective. I felt the walls closing in around me so I had to get out.
My office complex is in downtown SF near the Pacific Coast. They had cleared out a few blocks of tenements to put in these 10-story shiny behemoths. Each of the four buildings had been designed to precise specifications. As I looked up at them on my walk, they seemed hulking and foreboding.
During my walk I decided to call up my girlfriend Ellie. She sort of came along about the same time as my new job, and somehow she convince me to let her move in. Well I tried to talk to her about what was going, but she didn't seem responsive:
"Hey Ellie, listen to me," I said, looking over my shoulder for eavesdroppers. "I've really hit on something big. You're not going to believe this. This company is not as good as they say they are."
"Really? C'mon, A, that's hard to believe. I'm sure that you're just misunderstanding it."
"Seriously," I replied, frustrated by her apparent lack of concern. "Something bad is going on here. People could get hurt." The filtered sound of a soap opera on the other end of the phone didn't calm me much.
I don't really know how we got together. She's not my usual type. I met Ellie at a bar and she just was all over me. I've really never been with anyone like her. She's beautiful, with flowing dark hair, dark eyes and luscious lips. And her body...I think she spends 2 hours a day just exercising her butt. It's incredible. I never thought someone like me could be with someone like that. I mean I work out, do some running or biking on the weekends, but I'd expect someone like her to be with some steroid-pumped muscle machine.
"Are you going to pick up my dry cleaning," she asked, interrupting my reverie.
"I gotta call you back," I said, disconnecting it without getting her response. I let out a big sigh. Sometimes she seemed so self-absorbed that I just want to throttle her. If it wasn't for the great sex and her obsessive cleaning habits, I don't know what I would do. When we're together she just blabs and blabs about everything and nothing and then I find myself looking for something else to do.
Well enough about Ellie. She's the least of my problems right now. I've got to figure something out. This is just killing me. This is like finding out your wife is pregnant and it's not yours. At first of course you're angry, furious at the betrayal. Then you want to know. You want to know who's behind it, who the father is. Who was the mastermind of this evil purpose?
I guess in a way I started getting curious. I found myself back at my workstation. I turned the monitor sideways so it faced the wall and no one could look over my shoulder. My heart began pounding as I looked at the display filled with project listings. I still had access to the secret files. One by one I clicked on them and then saved the screen shots to my hard drive. I dared not save the text, because I knew all the machines were indexed, and a simple search could find the document on my machine.
I downloaded all the shots to my USB key and then deleted the images files. Hopefully they would stay deleted. Now I needed to figure out what to do with the images.
Well, that's the problem. If I turn these things in, my company goes down the toilet, and I'd probably be laid off eventually. Even if they never connect me with the leak, which I'm sure they would, my job wouldn't be safe.
I thought about one of the images I copied. Project XEOIC. Exterminate Enemies of Infinitae.com. A list of names, along with the description of how they died, and how much they paid the killer.
I began laughing. A light dawned on me. These were just the documents for some secret role-playing game! God, I feel so stupid! None of this is real, it's all just some sick game they've come up with.
I looked at one of the names on the list, "Herbert Jefferson." CEO of Imagine Products Inc. A likely takeover candidate. He probably was in the game.
I went over to trusty Google, fearing to use our own search engine. I typed in his name, and waited for the results.
Herbert Jefferson, b. Dec 14, 1948, d. August 19, 2007 CEO of Imagine Products Inc.
I fucking jumped out of my chair. This has got to be a coincidence. Someone's just playing a cruel joke. I found a news story on his death, and the description matched.
I checked a few more names. All dead.
Then at the bottom of the list I found a few names not dead. Aileen McGovern, President of Alliance Tech. Scheduled to speak tonight at the SFMUC. Shit!
Okay I got that all typed in, so you're up to date. I gotta go! I can still make it in time. I'll let you know what happens!