Sunday, May 13, 2029

Hey Rob - It's still me, Adit


Okay, I was messing with some of your old equipment you have back here, seeing if there was anything Kaitlin can use, and I find another Orexinal stash.

Not cool. First thing when you get up we’re going to go through everything you’ve got - together. I won’t tell Janice – If you help me flush all your stuff.

Look, it’s really important you do right by yourself and your whole team when you wake up.

With what has happened with Greystle we aren’t just a project team anymore we’re comrades in arms, and we need you fearless leader. Ned isn’t one of us, you are.

So stop this crap! If you don’t this is all going to fall apart.

Hey Rob, Adit here.

A blog? I haven’t seen one of these since the Grid came up. Did you know one of my doctors had a Rasa blog going on when I was a kid? When I was tracking your web usage on Alice’s backup I looked it up and read it; it was like meeting an old elementary school friend. Well you know, I assume it would be like that, if I had any elementary school friends. Or if I went to elementary school.

So about your blog Rob, I was able to hack into it via the Grid. It looks like no one else has yet but just in case when you wake up I’m going to give you an old tablet pc that has all wireless connectivity removed from it. I figure that way no one can stumble on to it. That way you can keep updating this knowing Greystle can’t read it.

How ya doin’ Rob? Actually right now you’re snoring, I am five feet away from you. Since you were sleeping I figured this was as good a time as any to set up a bogus Grid account so you can get full write access again. I’ve already done all the other team managers. Tomorrow I’ll do the full alpha crew.

You and Janice huh? Well since I know your secrets I’m going to tell you a secret. Kaitlin and I have been an item since my upgrade.

And Rob. I think it is only a secret to you. You have been seriously missing things guy.

Anyway, about Kaitlin and I, when you wake up I do have something very cool to tell you.

Take care Rob, we’ve all been really worried.

Saturday, May 12, 2029

Hitting the fan II - this time it's personal

I look like crap, I feel like crap.

And tonight I go to sleep. I really have no choice. I'm locked into my room, and I’m not allowed out until after I wake up. And sleep I will, they took away my Orexinal.

They have Kaitlin in the other room acting as my guard. I wonder if they’ll slide me food under the door.

How could it have come to this? Pathetic sad little boy afraid to go to asleep. I am crap.

Earlier today I went to get some Mountain Dew and Twizzlers. I came back from the snack machine to find Alice, Adit, Kaitlin, and Janice in my office. Janice’s eyes were red and she wouldn’t look at me.

Alice noted that the whole group knew not only of my Orexinal habit but what I myself had read about it on the old web. It seems I’m not as good as I thought with the old browsers and I had left a cache of all the sites I visited on Alice’s cube.

Adit and Kaitlin apologized for not recognizing I had a problem because they had thought I had stop using when we had finished the “Rasa” project.
I tried to explain that it hadn’t affected me, and that was met with a strong rebuke. Examples of my failures were too easily given from handling Greystle and the VKV to my inability in getting additional funding.

Janice’s rebuttal hit home the most. “Really Rob? No effect?”

In an effort to relieve my pain Adit decided to increase my embarrassment with a question I couldn’t really answer. When was the last time I took a shower? I’m sure it was just a few days ago.

I tried to explain it was hard to get into a routine without really having a “morning routine” anymore.

When I started to get angry and a little aggressive Adit grabbed my arm, which made me scream out in pain. I hadn’t realized I had begun cutting myself. Late at night I guess. Perhaps I was trying to keep my body awake.

I tried to explain it to them even though I didn’t understand it myself. Janice left the room without talking to me.
I guess that is what an intervention is.

They let me across campus to my room. You’d think a person basically being dragged would grab attention, but the lawns now seem to be just a staging area for near riots between Prescott supporters and activists. No one noticed us.

God I am tired. I’m frightened, what if I don’t wake up? Will this be how Janice remembers me? How will she explain this to Sally?

My head hurts.

Thursday, May 10, 2029

Hitting the Fan

At six this morning Ned ran into my office absolutely livid. He was a mess. It looked like he came into the lab right out of bed. And basically he had. He got an early morning visit from a Greystle lawyer.

Ned ranted about how the project was not only going to stop but that I and the whole team was going to go to jail.

What the hell?!?

“Rule Number 1 Rob, Rule Number 1 – Don’t screw the money!” Ned said that every ten minutes for most of the morning.

Someone in the biology team was so excited about the medical possibilities of the VKV that they sent some of the info to some medical students. They went outside the team.

Greystle found out about it instantly. What idiot on our team would put project data on the grid? It doesn’t matter if it was encrypted, that is a fantasy now anyway with every key owned by the government. And now I guess we could say Greystle owns them too.

When Ned ran to meet with Greystle’s lawyers I called all the managers to the main floor. Adit, Janice, Kaitlin, etc. Every group manager was there and I let them have it. I asked them if their CVs were up to date because they were going to need them soon. I was shaking. I think I might have been crying.

I told them that Alpha would most likely die and that Ned was trying to save our asses.

And then it got worse.

Janice just stared at me coldly and said “you would kill them all. All the animals, all that life. You’d kill them all for Greystle?”

I always thought the phrase “the silence was deafening” was crap, but I swear my eardrums were bleeding while all of us just stood there. No one shuffled. No one cleared their throat. A lot of death to think about, and inside I screamed as I thought of what Janice must now think of me.

When I finally spoke again I took a more conciliatory tone. I said that if Alpha was going to continue we’ve got to work better with Greystle. If the VKV is going to be used in medicines and save lives in the REAL world we’d need to work with Greystle or else what we learned here could never be used to help anyone.

I then ordered Pizza. That seemed to help a bit. But there was almost no small talk as we ate. Janice wouldn’t look at me.

During lunch Ned came in with somewhat good news. Alpha would live.

Ned convinced Greystle that the mistake would not be repeated and that Alpha was a proven money maker that could not exist nor be maintained without the present project team.

So now as it stands nothing has changed except that if any of us leaves the green zone we are instantly off the project and possibly even instantly put it jail.

We also lost our write access to the grid.

Okay, this is embarrassing to admit, but I didn’t know it was possible to that. I’m sure Adit will figure out a work around, otherwise half the team will lose their entire social life.

So we’re now prisoners of the campus and the green zone. Just as well I guess, none of us ever left… really. I mean at least now our campus pharmacy is fully stocked of Orexinal. Of course even if I didn’t take some tonight I doubt I’d be able to sleep.

I’m pretty sure we’ll have to push back our “beg for more money” presentation to Greystle yet again.

Sunday, May 6, 2029

Our Study of Life – Saving Lives

Down on Alpha an amphibian species (mega toads really) started getting wiped out by an auto-immune virus. Not a big deal in itself because we’ve had thousands of species develop millions of diseases by now.

What was interesting was that the mega toads (officially we’ve been naming everything with 16 alpha-numeric codes that note their evolutionary tree and closest real world sister species, but that is not really good for conversation - mega toad is what we call these guys) evolved a defense mechanism that basically out-evolved the disease.

The toad’s immune system adapted to host a virus. A case of endosymbiosis, this virus would not attack the toad nor would the toad’s immune system attack it. The virus “lived” by using the auto-immune virus as the building block to replicate itself. A virus of a virus. Now my understanding is that the definition of a virus is that it is dormant until it is inside a cell, so this mega toad hosted virus killing virus isn’t really a virus. It is something new.

Though Janice’s people pour over all the data coming out about Alpha’s life forms and their evolutionary turns, but there is just so much detail, luckily Adit’s got multiple agents in the code to scan for the evolution of bacterias and viruses and flag any evolutionary path that isn’t following the standard lifespan bell curve. That’s how this was caught.

The biology team had no problem convincing me that the simulation should be slowed down to near real time so that this could be studied in more detail. It really seems that this virus killing virus (and yes we do now call it VKV) could be engineered in the real world. We could cure scores of diseases.

Thursday, May 3, 2029

Oceans of Fish and Fields of Beasts

Alpha is going better than we had allowed ourselves to hope. Okay, that is a lame thing to say, obviously he hoped it would go this well, we all did. But such a success was kept off our project goals. Best to keep disappointment secret.

Alpha is no disappointment. Alpha is wonderful.

Janice’s team wants to slow down the simulation so we can study the biodiversity, animals in shapes and sizes we have never seen in our planet’s history. But the study of mating behaviors of animals that don’t exist isn’t what we’re about. We’re studying the life of a planet as well as the lives that live there. We’ve got billions of years to go.

Now the real world, my world, isn’t so wonderful. Janice has had to cancel dates “due to scheduling conflicts” every day this week. Something is wrong. Maybe she thinks I’ve been spending time with Alice… God I hope not. I don't want her to ever think I am in any way more interested in someone else. My world is her and that fake world rendered downstairs. I’m too nervous to talk to her about it directly. Its like I’m back to where I was months ago… afraid to have a real relationship.