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First Contact Part One Chapter 4

First Contact Part One Chapter 4

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Published by The Dr.

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Published by: The Dr. on Jan 07, 2008
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06/16/2009

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CHAPTER FOURNOTICE OF RESIGNATION
*** Jason wandered down one of the many identically bland and white corridors thatmade up Veoh. It suddenly occurred to him that he had absolutely no idea where he wassupposed to be going and for what purpose. He’d been so busy lately it was hard to keeptrack of his schedule. Being the head Technician for a site like Veoh demanded hisutmost attention constantly. He checked his electronic notebook for his jobs list.Amazingly it was blank, he actually had nothing to do.He looked around and found that he was on the ground level, quite close to theexit. If only. In reality, he was nowhere near to leaving Veoh, not by a long shot. Hesimply couldn’t afford it and if he was honest, it was the only job he could stretch to. Allof the major sites had their own technicians and most of them were happy. Those that weren’t simply grinned and bared it, just like everybody else was doing. Still at the pricesthat Jason charged for his expertise, he was lucky to have found a placement at all. He was, afterall, the very best.He twirled the screwdriver in his tool belt and slowed his pace. For once it seemedhe wasn’t needed anywhere.‘WHAT?’ came a shriek of adjitation from one of the terminals behind him, followed bythe noise of somebody giving the computer bank a stern kick. Jason sighed and turned on his heels towards the user in the brown jacket whoseemed quite annoyed. They were always annoyed. ‘OW!’ the user scowled, nursing hisfoot.‘ 
Good 
,’ thought Jason. ‘ 
That’ll teach you 
.’ ‘GOD-DAMMIT!’ The brown-coated man declared, staring at the terminal with malice.‘Is there a problem sir?Jason asked as he approached. He didn’t know why hemaintained such a level of courtesy to the people who were smashing up the equipmenthe strived to maintain.‘Yes, there’s a problem,’ the man frowned. ‘I just waited seven hours for a download andit didn’t load the film. The stupid thing just started the download all over again.’ ‘Hmmm,’ Jason said, pretending to sound interested as he straightened the glasses he wore purely to make himself look more technician-esque. He inhaled through his teethand gave the user an emotionless look. What did this guy expect? Stuff like thishappened, it was a fault with the Video he was trying to reach. There was no need to takeit out on the equipment. Some people just liked having something tangible to put theblame on. ‘I’m sorry Sir,’ Jason said, remaining calm. Though this was beginning to bean all-too common occurrence. ‘This has been happening a lot recently,’ he admittedafter a short pause. ‘Videos keep going dead, torrents are failing all over, on every site. There’s somebody going around deleting them all and causing problems.’  Jason knelt down in front of the terminal and removed the front panel. He had tobe seen to be actually checking for a fault. That normally gave the reply he knew he wasgoing to have to give more weight rather than being through to be operating on pureguess-work alone. The user was saying something, but Jason wasn’t really listening.He shone his torch into the mechanisms and looked to make sure everythingconnected up to where it should connect up. All of the systems were operating. There was no fault he could do anything about.He groaned and looked up at the user blankly. ‘Allow me to apologize for thisincident on behalf of Veoh Services,’ he said with a groan. ‘The only thing I can suggest isthat you try another terminal.’ ‘What, and wait another seven hours?’ the user replied incredulously, folding his arms. ‘Idon’t think so …’ ‘ 
… Download-Two-Percent-Complete …
’ the computer buzzed.
 
‘Oh you can shut up too,’ the user frowned at the terminal as he roughly grabbed hisshoulder bag and stalked off down the corridor muttering to himself angrily.‘Oh well,’ Jason sighed as he headed back towards the lifts. Hopefully that would be thelast of problems for the time being. He might even be able to sit down in his office for fiveminutes if he was lucky. He hadn’t seen that office in absolutely ages. Now that hethought about it, the last time he’d actually managed to get as far as his office withoutbeing accosted for advice or help, he was certain that he’d left a sandwich on his desk,intending to eat it after his shift. That had been weeks ago.‘Cripes,’ Jason said to himself and hurried off towards the lifts.***‘ 
WHAT IS THE STATUS OF THE CROSSING 
?’ Fink asked as he materialized with abright golden glow inside the sanctum. The crystal walls shimmered as his aura returnedto normal.‘ 
SAME AS YESTERDAY 
,’ Krizzo replied bitterly. ‘ 
SAME AS THE DAY BEFORE THAT,WE’RE JUST NOT GETTING ANY CLOSER TO MAKING THE BRIDGE STABLE 
.’ ‘ 
WE SHALL HAVE TO RELY ON AUDIO COMMUNICATION FOR A WHILE LONGER I’M  AFRAID 
,’ Vatex sighed, clapping his hands together. ‘ 
THERE IS A BRIDGE SEBASTIAN,BUT NOT ONE THAT ANY OF US COULD CROSS. IT IS SIMPLY NOT TANGIBLE ENOUGH 
.’ ‘ 
I DON’T SEE WHY YOU GUYS ARE IN SUCH A HURRY NOW 
,’ Krizzo puffed. ‘ 
WE’RE NOT IN DANGER OF BEING PROSECUTED ANY MORE, THEY’RE ALL DEAD. ALLUC IS GETTING STRONGER BY THE SECOND, OUR LINK HUNTERS ARE SEEING TO THAT. PRETTY SOON WE’LL HAVE ENOUGH LINKS TO OPEN THE SITE UP TO THE INTERNET 
.’ ‘ 
IT IS NOT JUST THAT 
,’ Fink sighed. ‘ 
I FEEL A GREAT GUILT ASKING WHAT I HAVE OF THESE PEOPLE ON NOTHING MORE THAN GOOD FAITH AND MY WORD. THEY  ARE HELPING ME AND I HAVE YET TO SHOW MY FACE TO THEM 
.’ ‘ 
 AND WHAT IF A PROBLEM SHOULD ARISE, KRIZZO 
?’ Vatex chimed in. ‘ 
WE WERE  ABLE TO CREATE THE MERCURY ROOMS THROUGH THE SMALL LINK WE HAVE BUT SURVEYING AND RECTIFYING PROBLEMS WILL REQUIRE US TO BE THERE IN THE FLESH 
.’ ‘ 
WELL THEN, WE’LL JUST HAVE TO HOPE THAT NOTHING GOES WRONG ‘TIL WE GET THROUGH THEN 
,’ Krizzo shrugged.‘ 
WE CAN DO MORE THAN THAT 
,’ Fink said, striding over to the bank of crystal controls.‘ 
 A THOUGHT HAS JUST OCCURRED TO ME THAT I REALLY SHOULD HAVE ENTERTAINED AT AN EARLIER POINT. WE CAN ENSURE THAT AID WILL BE THERE IF IT IS REQUIRED. WE SHALL HAVE TO ENLIST THE SUPPORT OF SOMEBODY KNOWLEDGEABLE IN THE GREATER WORKINGS OF THE INTERNET 
.’ ‘ 
YEAH, BUT WE WASTED ENOUGH POWER SELECTING THE LINK HUNTERS 
,’ Krizzofrowned. ‘ 
VIEWING AND COMMUNICATING WITH PLACES OTHER THAN THMERCURY ROOMS PUTS A HUGE DRAIN ON OUR SYSTEMS AND WOULD TAKPOWER FROM THE BRIDE, MEANING THAT IT’S GOING TO TAKE EVEN LONGER FOR US TO GET THROUGH 
.’ ‘ 
I’M WELL AWARE OF THAT POINT MARCEL 
,’ Fink clucked as he began to activateseveral of the controls simultaneously.‘ 
WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 
’ Krizzo asked pointedly as he recognized which of the controlstations Fink was using.‘ 
 AH 
,’ Vatex nodded. ‘ 
WE SHOULD HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS SOONER 
.’ ‘ 
THOUGHT OF WHAT SOONE
?Krizzo exclaimed. ‘ 
FINK, WHO ARE YOCOMMUNICATING WITH? VATEX SAID THAT THE BRIDGE ISN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR US. THERE’S NOBODY IN OUR WORLD WHO CAN FIT THROUGH 
.’ ‘ 
I CAN THINK OF ONE 
,’ Vatex smirked. ‘ 
 AFTERALL … WE REALLY DO NEED AN OFFICIAL LIASON. HAVING A MESSENGER WITHIN THE UNIVERSE OF TH
 
MERCURY ROOMS THAT CAN TRAVEL ELSEWHERE WHILST RETAINING WHAT WE KNOW OF OUR INTENT WILL BE MOST BENEFICIAL 
.’ ‘ 
 AND I CAN THINK OF NOBODY BETTER 
,’ Fink smiled as he sent the summoningmessage. ‘ 
THIS SHOULD MAKE THINGS INTERESTING .
’ *‘We have sixteen new complaints of technical failures!’ Arnold declared. ‘Videos aredisappearing everywhere with no known cause! We’ve had a fire because one of the userstried to fix a faulty terminal herself. Its out now thanks to the sprinklers but the terminalneeds replacing … and oh yes … it appears the toilet is backed up again.’ ‘Faults, Video meddling, replacing a terminal, technical problems, yes,’ Jason nodded ashe retrieved the larger of his tool boxes from his utility room. ‘You’ll have to findsomebody else to deal with that toilet issue.’ ‘Not while James and Jeremy are on vacation,’ Arnold replied gruffly, thrusting a plungerinto Jason’s hands. ‘It’s not like we don’t pay you enough to deal with problems.’ ‘Right …’ Jason said through gritted teeth, accepting the plunger and making a mentalnote to put something toxic in Arnold’s tea.He made his way up to the top floor to survey the fire damage. What were thesepeople thinking? There was nothing wrong with the equipment. He didn’t know how tomake such a simple thing clearer to them. Whatever the problem, it was with the Videos.Something was going on and it sent a chill down Jason’s spine when he thought about it.Someone, or something was travelling around the internet deleting Videos and whatever it was, it was clearly intelligent. This was no random virus; it was getting rid of Videos made by the Networks and Studios. People’s home movies were fine, compilationsand tribute videos were safe. It was just items that came from the Video Makers. TV-shows, movies, cartoons, these were the targets. Jason had long suspected that theVideo Makers themselves might have something to do with it, that was a distinctpossibility, but he would never dare to voice his opinions. He had no proof and his wordagainst the Video Makers wasn’t a position he would like to put himself in.Still it was unsettling to think about it. The problem had only been escalating fordays now. It seemed the highlight of his week had been battling the malevolent monsterthat had evolved from a sandwich he had left on his desk. The elevator doors opened out onto the top level and Jason sighed as he began tomake his way down to the fire-damaged section. The entire level, it seemed, wasdeserted. Understandably so, not many people tended to stick around when there was afire raging around them. His footsteps echoed on the polished white floor, something herarely ever heard because normally, every section of Veoh was teeming with people. Thesilence was nice; it seemed a shame that he was interrupting it with his heavy bootedfootsteps. He rounded a corner where smoke still hung low in the air and found himself dropping his toolbox with a loud crash at the sight he saw. There, amidst the charredremains of a terminal, above the pools of water left by the sprinklers, over the overturnedchairs made in the stampede to evacuate, in amongst the smoke that clung to the air, was an angel. There it floated, in defiance of everything scientific Jason believed in, resplendentin its shimmering light as it spread its wings wide at him and inclined its head in hisdirection.‘Blimey,’ Jason remarked to himself when nothing better came to mind.‘ 
BE NOT AFRAID MORTAL! 
’ The angel declared, shaking its bald, green head. ‘ 
FOR I MEAN THEE NO HARM! BEHOLD MY SPLENDOUR! BEHOLD MY MAGNIFICENCEBEHOLD MY SHORTS! 
’ He pointed to the brown shorts he was wearing, actually that was all he was wearing.‘Who are you?’ Jason asked fearfully, backing up against a wall as the angel flapped its wings and unsteadily drifted across the room towards him.‘ 
I AM HERE FOR THOU JASON 
,’ the angel replied.

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