Virtual Meeting

Dear reader, what you are about to experience in the world of coworking adventures is (as will soon be made evident) a work of fiction. Any resemblance to pre-existing people or technologies, real or imagined, can be chalked up to a failure of imagination on the author’s part. Sorry about that.

Dave O’Malley’s desk was much cleaner than Harold Reiner’s. This alone was an example of one of the benefits of working in a coworking space which allowed you your own dedicated office – Dave could use Harold as a resource in the workplace but he didn’t have to be bothered by Harold’s mess of a desk. Dave’s workspace was unadorned, aside from a small platform for memory drives and a pair of screens. One screen, much like Reiner’s, was rather large and intended for viewing. The other laid flat on the table’s surface, and had functionality as a touchscreen, which Dave generally made use of as a keyboard and mouse replacement. The larger screen was currently displaying a man from the neck up. He was in his early twenties, and the left half of his head was shaved down to his skin. He wasn’t being very cooperative.

“Look, man, I’m not helping plug people in to the crazy computer dream, okay?” The young man, one Richard Meyers, fiddled with his remaining hair as he talked. Dave thought he looked ridiculous, but one can’t exactly say that to a potential employee. Dave had been trying for several minutes to convince the young Mr. Meyers that the project was not, in fact, the lead-in to a plot to take over the world.

“It’s not like it’s going to be much different from virtual reality or being asleep. Why would we even want to trick people into thinking they were awake when they weren’t? What could we possibly stand to gain from that?” Dave was, at this point, effectively repeating himself. Richard Meyers, skilled programmer, was the first one on Harold’s list. Dave wished that Harold had listed their neuroses as well. “Look, why don’t you come by our The Lodge later? It’s the CoWorking space we work out of. We can talk this out in person and show you our research.”

“Whatever.” Rick’s face disappeared from the screen as he hung up. He didn’t give as much of an answer to Dave’s question as Dave might have liked. A part of Dave actually hoped that he wouldn’t be able to get Rick on his side, if he was that crazy. Of course, straying too far from the list could make Harold quit, and the project couldn’t afford that. Less than a day after the project “officially” started, and Dave was already dealing with more trouble than he expected or cared for.

Dave stared into his viewing screen’s desktop, a live feed from a camera in an aquarium in Beijing. Perhaps that would make for a good first simulation; people could swim deep into the Marianas Trench from the safety of their houses. Or, perhaps, one could spend an hour or two as another race, or another gender. That, Dave thought, might net him some form of Nobel Prize. End a war or two. Of course, potentially “changing the world” was a lesser concern compared to the money this would all make, but the idea of some vast conspiracy using this technology to make some sort of gilded cage for humanity seemed idiotic to say the least. Why couldn’t Rick see that? Dave muttered at the computer, “Bring up the word processor.” A voice—intended to sound like Marilyn Monroe—answered back in affirmative as the screen turned white. “Of course, Mr. O’Malley. You have a swell time.”

Dave O’Malley began drafting up a script for himself incase Richard ever actually showed up. He intended to stress the potential benefits of the technology (as, after all, there wasn’t exactly a way to prove it wouldn’t be used for nefarious purposes). It would be simpler, he hoped, than trying to improvise. Rick himself was rather suddenly busy with other matters.

To be Continued…


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