The Original
Bastard Geo From Hell
(Still a work in progress)

Part 9: "High Voltage Is Bad For You, My Friend"

 --- BGFH --- 

Showed up to work today to see every damn light in the joint on. I was wondering about it for most of the morning until, while walking down the hallway, I ran into GeoShrink. 
"Hey, BGFH, watch out for Geo Queen of Rain. He's got seasonal-affective disorder. He gets it about this time every winter." GeoShrink 

"Yeah, that. He's very unstable. He must be exposed to as much light as possible, at all times. In any event, do not--repeat, DO NOT let him go anywhere where it's dark. The results could be catastrophic. Keep him in the light." 
"All right, thanks GeoShrink. I'll be careful." BGFH 

Then I ran into our hotshot server tech on his way to our newly-repaired server room. Just then one of the other techs stepped out of his office to join us. "Hey, you guys ever install that new adserver software you were talking about?" BGFH 
"Yeah, just compiled it last night. We took the bid for the new JavaScript-based IMGIS server." Tech A 

"Yeah, IMGIS--It Mostly Generates Intrusive Spam. It's a new adserver that promises to give us twice as much visitors' personal information as ever before! Has the advertising department hired in those statistical behaviorists yet?" Tech A 
"No. But that new book I ordered came in the mail. Behavioral Targeting and Manipulation--The Ins and Outs of Mind Control. It's over a thousand pages. I wasn't sure at first, but after I got this promotional videocassette in the mail I just HAD to buy it. It was all about using psychographic data collected from Web ads to individually target and manipulate viewers to buy your products for higher profits. It was so on-target for what I needed it was almost scary. Come to think of it, the narrator even addressed me by name..." Tech B 
"Wait... The videocassette was addressed to you, called you by name, knew exactly what you thought you wanted, knew all about your personal business goals..." BGFH 
"Well, um, yeah..." Tech B 

The techs split off to experiment with the IMGIS AdFarce sourcecode in the computer room. As I continued on I heard Tech B asking around whether anyone received videocassettes in the mail. I headed to my office to delete some homesteaders and get in a little Duke Nukem before lunch. The whole staff heeding GeoShrink's advice, the entire building was lit to the teeth. Every light in the place was burning in hopes of keeping Geo Queen of Rain out of another depressive episode. I had just opened the blinds when I heard someone walking into my office. I looked up to see Geo Queen of Rain come in dressed in all black as usual; black lipstick, black Nine Inch Nails t-shirt and Marilyn Manson-style contact lenses. 

"Who turned on all these lights? It's like the center of the sun in here." Geo Queen of Rain 
"Oh, hey, GQoR. What brings you here?" BGFH, trying to act benign and polite 

"Somebody took my doughnut. If there isn't a doughnut on my desk in 5 minutes I'm gonna beat the piss out of somebody." Geo Queen of Rain 
"Sorry, I don't know anything about it." BGFH 
"Somebody took my doughnut and I think it was YOU. Hand over the doughnut, BGFH." Geo Queen of Rain 
"GQoR, what is that in your hand?" BGFH 
Geo Queen of Rain looked down at the doughnut in his right hand, and stormed out of my office without a word. I didn't see him the rest of the day. I dialed into the nearby Sun Microsystems building to engage Scott McNealy in a little Dukematch. 
--- Meanwhile, the Bastard (ex) Homesteader From Hell --- 
I was bored today and thought I'd entertain myself by sending another Geo employee to the madhouse. The Bastard Homesteader Strike Force and I were up the last few nights coding ourselves some new toys for our planned Geo takedown. I dialed their BGFH's number in hopes of a Dukematch or two but his line is busy...his ol' college pal McNealy must've beat me to the punch. Maybe once GC is out of the way we can all team up against Microsoft. Another day, another battle... 
A few BHSF members were connected to the BxHFH by ICQ. "Watch this," BxHFH messaged, starting his NetBus client. 
"It's a fun game I like to call 'Who's The Administrator?'" 
* * * 

Dave the server tech was stationed at the adserver monitor as usual, making sure that the ads kept flowing even if some of the homesteads were down. After all, we all know what the priorities around here are. But lo and behold, Dave was startled out of his purple haze by a sound from the monitor speakers: "Dave, are you there?" 
"WTF?" thought Dave. 
"Dave, I'm bored. Can we play a little tetris?" 
Just then a Tetris window popped up on his screen and began playing. "Just one little game, pleeze?" 
"Hooooly Shit," thought Dave. "The computer is talking to me." 
"Aww, dave, you don't want to play?" messaged the computer. "Well, could you at least put on a little music?" The CD-ROM drive slides open. 
"Mark! MAAAAARK! The computer is talking to me! HELLLLLP!!" Dave the Adserver Tech 
As usual, pretty much everyone else was off in the computer room playing games. [The adserver itself is located in a separate room, atop an altar and shrine, and under 24-hour protection.] Nobody responded to his yells for assistance. 
"TJ!! Elaine! Tom! AAAAANYBODY!!! The adserver is possessed!" Dave the Adserver Tech 
Dave tried the power switch--which, being on the all-important adserver, had been disabled by GeoManagement. 

"Dave, are you trying to shut me down?" Adserver 
He next tried to turn off the "possessed" adserver by shorting a circuit breaker, screwing a light out of its socket and replacing it with a monkey wrench. This was also fruitless, as the UPS kept the adserver fully powered until its emergency gas generator kicked on. 
"Dave? DAVE??" Adserver 
Dave was really freaking out right now. As could be expected, at this point he was not in full control of his mental faculties. He began to sprint for the electrified floor that housed the adserver and protected it from potential hazards like this. GeoManagement had told the employees hundreds of times not to go near that electrified floor. 
"Don't do it Dave. Don't hurt me." Adserver 
Dave was headed for some serious trouble. This floor could only be de-electrified with GeoCEO's access card and 317-digit adserver password. Dave had neither the password nor the requisite smartcard. He was also forgetting about the three-foot-thick steel security door that protected the precious adserver. Dave was at 20 feet and closing. 
10 feet. 
5 feet. 
DZZZZZZT! thud. 

* * * 
"No, GeoCEO, honest, I just found him here, fried to a crisp on the high-voltage floortiles." BGFH 
"It doesn't make sense. Why would he do this? I've warned you people hundreds of times about that floor. Doesn't anybody listen anymore? You SURE you don't know anything more about this, BGFH?" GeoCEO 
He turned directly towards me and gave me a funny look. Like *I* was somehow to blame. Well...not this time, anyway. 
"Well, looks like we're down one more tech. These guys have been dropping like flies the past couple weeks. First the midnight lab tech, now this..." GeoCEO 
"And don't forget Geo Queen of Rain's troubles." BGFH tilted his hand up, pointed his thumb to his mouth and went "glug-glug", refreshing GeoCEO's memory about the Vodka he found in GQoR's office that morning. 

"Yeah, this office is really falling apart. Just get the body out of here so no-one else happens across it, alright? Double-bag the remains and toss them in the Dumpster. If his family calls, he never showed up at work this morning." GeoCEO 
"Gotcha. Hey, do I get paid extra for this? Undertaker is not exactly in my job description..." BGFH 

"What's this...asking for a raise? You wanna end up in the dumpster too?" GeoCEO, jokingly 
"Allright, I'm going..." BGFH (carrying away the ashes in a Hefty Cinch Sack) 
Being the Bastard Geo From Hell means not taking the death of a co-worker sitting down. 

* * * 

As I returned to sweep up the last of the ashes, Tom walked in. 
"Ugh, what reeks. Did Dave burn his popcorn again?" Tom 
"Um, er.... Dave who?" BGFH (trying to break the news gently) 
"What? Oh God, not another one. That's two techs in two weeks. What is going on around here?" Tom 

"Idunno. But I'm starting to feel a little endangered here. If one more person dies in here, I quit!" BGFH 

"A-men." Tom 
"Hey wait a sec, it's almost 2:00. Time to go home anyway. Thunder Cats is on." BGFH 
"Well, see ya. I'll watch my back for the next few days." Tom 
BGFH washed the remaining ash off his hands, picked up his briefcase and went home. Dave was sorely missed by the entire GeoStaff, for almost two hours. 

Page Ten

Bastard Geo From Hell ©1999 Bill Webb. It may be redistributed, but not for profit, so long as appropriate credit is given.