AN UNEXPECTED TURN OF EVENTS.   Posted by Game Master Sean.Group: 0
Game Master Sean
 GM, 1 post
Wed 25 Mar 2020
at 01:55
Burt Montgomery took another sip of pure Columbian coffee as the elevator descended another floor. Closing
his eyes, he savored the rich, smooth, slightly bitter, and expensive flavor. One of the benefits of being the head
manager of a high-priority project at NeoNET was having the access (as well as the funds) to indulge in some of the
finer things in life, such as real coffee.

As the elevator doors parted, Montgomery strode out with a smile on his face. With coffee in one hand and
commlink-tablet in another, he reviewed his project’s current progress. So far, not only was everything proceeding on
schedule, but there was a note from one of the lead programmers that they were on the verge of correcting and
eliminating a bit of errant code in their operating software. Once that was complete, they’d be at least three weeks
ahead of schedule.

Montgomery smiled as he passed by a large window showing a group of techs working diligently in one of
the project’s many clean-rooms. For once, everything was going his way. No longer was he kissing the hoops or
bowing like an inferior. He may only have the most basic concept of what his project was doing, but he was the best
organizer the company had, and now, finally his efforts were paying off and he would soon reap the rewards of his

The doors to his office opened with a slight ‘swoosh’. The air conditioning kept it nice and crisp, just as he
liked it. The steam from his coffee was a bit more pronounced as he playfully blew it away and sat down behind his
desk. The ultra-memory foam of the chair perfectly supported the contours of his body; Montgomery sighed slightly as
the lumbar massager instantly kicked in. Heavenly.

AROs came to life in his field of vision, most of them reminders of his scheduled appointments with a few
scattered updates and memos. Nothing that he really need worry himself with at the moment, except for the ARO that
politely reminded him of the presentation he was to give later that afternoon to the divisional heads, updating them on
his project’s status.

No problem, he could do presentations in his sleep. But, better to get it out of the way now while nothing was
going on. With a wave of his hands, an ARO came to life displaying his PowerSlide 10.5 program. Cracking his
knuckles, he began to type on a virtual keyboard as the first pages of the presentation began to take shape.
Then, with all the basic boilerplate stuff out of the way, all that was really necessary was to put in a few data
displays, the rest he could simply wing. But when he went to access the project’s master data file, it was blank.
Confused, he checked the system search parameters; maybe he just accidently accessed the wrong file.

Still blank.

The first twinges of panic started to take shape. Hanzo-san had better not have moved the files again.
Montgomery had promised to rain damnation down on the man if he did, but still nothing. He contacted the project’s
networking head, hoping that maybe it was some kind of maintenance issue. But no, according to networking, the files
were still there and that the teams were still using it.

That couldn’t be possible. Montgomery ran a diagnostic on his cyberterminal. No, it was working, the data
simply was not there, the teams were working on what was essentially ‘ghost code’, data that did not exist. And they
had no idea it was gone.

Despite the coolness of his office, Montgomery started to sweat as every nightmare, worst-case scenario ran
through his mind. He was in charge of this project, the buck stopped with him. And somehow, someone had stolen his

With trembling fingers, he pulled up another file, one he’d hoped he’d never even looked at or had to use. It
had been assembled by an associate and was a sort of “in case of emergency, break glass” kind of file that contained
information of a very dubious nature.

Someone had stolen the data, Montgomery had to hire individuals with very specialized skills to get it back.