Part seven of ‘The man who dated his RL boss (without her knowing it).’

They went back to her place.  She took off her jeans and lay back on the sofa with her head on his lap.  He stroked her hair whilst they talked about stupid things in SL that made them laugh.  Do you remember Red Triple Cock syndrome? she asked.  I’m afraid to ask, he replied.  Oh you must have heard of this, she insisted.  It was in the days of those three position penises that you used to be able to buy: flaccid, semi and erect.  Whichever state it was displaying the other two were made transparent, plus you could wear the thing in hidden mode with all three states invisible.  He said, Oh yes, I had one of those once.  But what’s with the triple red cock thing?  She replied, Red Triple Cock syndrome.  Some guys just got to wearing the thing in hidden mode the whole time in SL: you could pick them out by putting your viewer in transparent mode, where all alpha textures turn red.  Say you were at a poetry event or something: you just put your viewer into transparent mode and bam – there they were, Red Triple Cocks on half the guys present.  

He laughed.  He laughed hard.  He still couldn’t quite believe who it was he was having this conversation with.  I’m up late chatting with Vicky Kent, he told himself.  She’s wearing only a sweater and her head is in my lap.

I have to get to bed, she told him.  This was a lovely evening.  Thank you for not just trying to fuck me again.  He asked her, Would I have been successful if I’d tried that?  She replied, Almost certainly.  Be here at 7pm tomorrow evening and I’ll reward your patience.

*

The next day, however, IPSIS went down.  The error messages started scrolling up screens at about eleven-thirty in the morning.  Terminals froze. ATMs crashed. Tills refused card payments. By midday, it was the headline news story.  First it was reported as a cyber attack, then it was described as a software error, then it was blamed on creaking telecommunications infrastructure and Fat Cat corporate bosses were targeted.

“It’s a denial of service attack,” Vicky told her team.

“From where?” several people asked at once.

“I’ve no idea,” she replied.  “That’s not the sort of thing we need to know right now.  Our job is to check that the database is stable before we go live again.  We need to go over the last two hours of transactions prior to failure manually to check that they were registered properly.”

“You’ve got to be kidding.”

“That’ll take forever!”

“What about the servers?”

“ITS will get the servers back on their feet,” she told them.  “You’ll be logging in via Jupiter.”

“Jupiter?” Nick repeated.  “I didn’t even realise that thing still existed.”

“Apparently,” she said, “it does.”

“So on top of everything else we have to remember how to use that?”

“We’re going to need a fucking manual.”

“It’s the exact same system, more or less,” said Nick.  “It’s just a different interface.”

“Isn’t that the thing with all the function keys?”

“ITS have promised a PDF manual within the hour,” she reassured.  “If needs be, we can print off as many function key strips as you like.”

“How long is this going to take?  It’s my son’s parents evening tonight.”

“Why should we be expected to clear this mess up?”

Vicky consulted an email.  “We need a solution projection by 4pm so that a statement can be prepared in time for the evening news,” she told them.  “Reactivation by 9pm if it’s at all humanly possible.” She looked at her watch. “I’ll almost certainly be asking for volunteers to stay behind, so I might as well do that now.”

“I really can’t tonight, Vicky,” said Lisa.

“I’m supposed to be taking my boy to his five-a-side this evening,” said Scott.

“I have to… take my mother out,” said Ryan.

“I’ll stay,” said Nick.

“Ok,” said Vicky.  “Then it’s you and me, Nick.  Sorry.”

“Don’t apologise,” he replied. He guessed that was it for Cando’s evening with Curiosity, then. Nick and Vicky would spend it together instead, only one of them knowing they were with the exact same person they wished they were with in SL.

 

Click here to read part eight

 


Want to read another story by me set in SL? I’ve also serialised ‘The man who had an affair with his wife’ – the first part is here (scroll down past the text on NaNoWriMo to get to it).

 

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