Klaff Kulban was enraged. He was always enraged, at something, or nothing, or maybe neither. Being Director of Unreasonable Questioning had its perks, but Klaff was the kind of guy who didn't let power go to his head because power was already in his head. He stamped into the boardroom1 and was surprised to find the board members already in session.
"How dare you meet without one of the Directors!" shouted Klaff, his anger intensifying like a sun in a magnification lens.
The Director of Unreasonable Questioning was very good at his job. His last statement qualified as being an unreasonable question by the "How" that fronted it. Of course, the board was ready for Unreasonable Questioning and had drawn numbers as to who would confront Klaff. The intern, Gim, who happened to be handing out sodas at the time, as luck would have it, got the low number.
"Umm... Mr. Kulban... sir... the other guys said that they would have invited you..."
Klaff focused his anger beam at the poor intern, "Would have invited me?"
Gim began to sweat under the Unreasonable Questioning, "Sir, they needed to... you know... get things finished. Dr. Scrimly said that your Unreasonable nature would slow matters down and... The Director of Indirectness said you were a bad metaphor waiting to happen or some such thing... after all, he is very Indirect..."
Klaff turned to the Director of Indirectness, "A bad metaphor waiting to happen? Why you ugly little indirect piece of..."
Gal Pomposity, the Pointed Director2 interrupted, "Sit down Mr. Kulban. What would Bob think if he found his board members arguing like this? We should get down to business. Today we are meeting because we must discuss NEOTINTWURP..."
"What is NEOTINTWURP?" Klaff's question was becoming even more unreasonable.
Gal replied in a firm manner, "Mr. Kulban, NEOTINTWURP does not concern your department, so if you would please refrain from speaking as much as possible. Thank you."
The Chief Bagel Officer coughed.
"Yes, Mr. Dooler, you wish to say something," Gal said, understanding the meek man who was the Chief Bagel Officer.
Duff Dooler looked the board over, he found his favorite mark, a picture of a Racshun, and calmed him self down by staring at the board, "Yes... er... why do we care about NEOTINTWURP? Can't we just let Yamma-Hamma-Mamma handle it?"
Dr. Scrimly, the Director of Mixed Drinks, frowned, "Well, Bob wants us to look into using PENGUIN for our servers instead of Yamma-Hamma-Mamma's MAMBO..."
Klaff Kulban ducked under a table. He clicked on his Personal Communication Thing (PCT) and began speaking. His face appearing on a wall in another, different boardroom.
"You were right, Azeroth is thinking of deserting you."
The President of Yamma-Hamma-Mamma's board stared at the face of Klaff, "And you are sure that they do not suspect you of being a spy for us?"
"Yes, I made it seem like I knew nothing of... current events."
The Chief Ebullient Officer glared at the face on the wall, "Then why were you not invited to the meeting?"
"What does it matter?"
The CEO flinched under the Unreasonable Questioning, "Never... nevermind."
The face of Klaff disappeared from the wall as he turned off his PCT. The President addressed the board, "This is worse than we expected. Everyone is deserting to PENGUIN for their NOS3."
Someone in the back shouted, "What's a Penguin?"
The President frowned, "Just a stupid animal from... sector [+5]... similar to the common Azerothian Pooflin."
Someone to the side shouted, "What can we do? We are going to lose our jobs and our homes and our lives and we will live in an Asteroid belt with only a few measly GalactiCreds in our names and we'll need to live in a hut with a flimsy Oxygen filter and we would suffocate..."
The President walked over to the person and placed his hand on the person's shoulder, "Calm down. It'll be fine. Now, does any of you know an answer to the Chief Reactionary Officer's question?"
The President paced the room, "Nobody? Fine, the answer is fairly simple... WE MUST ACQUIRE NEOTINTWURP!"
The someone from the back again spoke, "But Yamma-Hamma-Mamma-NEOTINTWURP isn't exactly easy to sayÃ¢â¬Â¦"
The President sighed, "Will someone please shut the Chief Feasibility Officer up!"
The Head Mechanic for Platchud Ships laughed, "The Committee for Social Science at the Galactic Standards Organization has sent us this... laughable notice asking us to refrain from using the name 'Hyperspacial Cutter' and change it to the more... har-har... scientifically and politically accurate 'Gravimetric Field Shuttle for Carrying Light Cargo and Passengers'."
The old and graying Shipyard Master sighed, "I remember in the days of the old frontier when men were men and ships were ships... Aye, we never had notices from morons who think that they are scientists because they can rig a plasma generator in their basement or garage or klidulik4."
The Head Mechanic shrugged and continued, "I have a report from Hyperspace Station Dalpha, they seem to be having a few problems with their server. According to them a new level of security appeared overnight on their Yamma-Hamma-Mamma server and that they can't tweak the OS anymore. Any suggestions?"
A hand raised, "Sir, I have been hearing some good marks about... about... NEOTINTWURP, sir."
The Head Mechanic smiled, "Good. Good. That's what the Dalpha guys figured and have already installed it."
The man who raised his hand frowned and ducked under the table, speaking to his PCT, "Sir, Platchud has deserted."
Volus Jasis enjoyed watching the server work. It was like watching a large junkyard moving in a million directions at once. However, somehow, it gets into your brain to that part that knows what its doing and how the Multiverse worked (and why). It makes your brain say something like, that is a microcosm that is, a replica of the dance of the universe and its components, be happy that you had even one chance to view it in your life.
The Techs, alone in their own world buzzed around him like a hive in the middle of a field of flowers in mid-April. Jasis subconsciously watched the Techs dance about. He didn't expect it, but one tech broke the pattern, followed by another, and slowly, one by one the dance stopped. The server itself changed its pace. The pieces of the Galactinet Integrator slowly shut down one by one. Jasis turned towards the techs.
"Stak! We've got a Class 'A' intruder in the Galactinet server. Switching to Hyperspacial Frequency... now!" one Tech, the Queen Bee as Jasis' mind interpreted it, shouted.
Jasis watched with his peripheral vision as the server's plasma generator kicked in, a low-pitched background crackling. After a few seconds the server disappeared from the Well and reappeared "in between" the Well where the human mind and senses can't see. Jasis knew from the Manual5 what was happening. They were placing the server in a form of stasis. It would cut off all GPS calls and Volus Galactinet usage, but would allow, theoretically, the Volis "in the field" to keep in contact.
Another tech cursed, "Stak. The intruder has compromised our security system... looks like a backdoor entrance built into the system... Let us try Code Triple Delta. Now!"
An intercom system began blaring, "Prepare for NOS switch. Prepare for NOS switch."
The lights on the system flickered off before reappearing. A plasma burst appeared in the well and dissolved into the server.
The second tech, "It worked. PENGUIN has undermined the intruder."
"*Bring* Volus Jasis, please report to Hyperspace Gate 9. *bring*," the intercom voiced.
Jasis turned and walked out. The Hyperspace Gates were fairly close and Jasis was there just as the ship at Gate 9 was unloading. A figure appeared in the doorway, her red hair standing out compared to the dull gray interior of the vessel.
"Deet? I didn't expect to see you again."
She frowned, "I'm here on business alone. Azeroth wants me here to see what you guys are up to. Since this is corporate business, we couldn't afford to try a hyperspacial call."
Jasis smiled, "So what's up?"
Deet smiled, she couldn't help it, Jasis exuded innocence, she spoke, and "Do you know The Rules?"
"The Corporate Rules, defined on Twilek 4 after the Battle of Klargus X during the Azerothian Crusades?"
Deet tried not to show how impressed she was, "Yeah, those Rules. Do you have an office where we can talk?"
To Be Continued...
1 Literally a boardroom, a long board followed the right wall. The "Azeroth Timber" is well known as the only remaining fragment of the original building of The Twilight Bar, made of real Azerothian Oke Wood. Back
4 A term derived from the Ancient Egglar language meaning literally, "Non-existent room," it is a room occupying hyperspace. Normally when a person does rig a plasma generator their basement or garage accidentally is blown into hyperspace and instantly becomes a klidulik... or at least, that's what happens to the lucky ones. Back