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Plugged In [IC]

The realms with a strong focus on technology. These are the realms of Science Fiction/Fantasy, Cyberpunk, Steampunk, and their ilk. Examples: Star Trek, Borderlands, Neuromancer.

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Plugged In [IC]

Post by BrookeDi » Tue Jan 29, 2019 3:43 am

Most mornings start the same for Annabelle.

First, it's the alarm. Annabelle's eyes opening to stare at the undecorated beige walls.

There's a quick shower that lasts precisely fifteen minutes.

Then, the sound of Protein-D Flakes (a cereal brand--developed and sold by StarPoint--that promises to give you half your daily dose of Vitamin D and the recommended breakfast serving of protein) hitting the plastic bowl; followed by the crunching of each synthetic bite.

Then, the sound of her toothbrush swishing across her teeth. A second alarm goes off to let her know it's almost time to plug in for work.

Some days, she doesn't even bother dressing for work. What's the point when StarPoint doesn't see the difference between her changing into a pair of sweats and a t-shirt from her plain beige pajama set?

Finally, she's sitting at her large L-shaped StarPoint desk, sliding her index finger across the finger scanner that unlocks her StarPoint manufactured computer. Once she's logged in with a cup of water within easy reach, Annabelle places the small, circular cortical node to her temple, pressing her index finger to the small DNA reader there on the outside. Her eyes filled with the virtual world. It was funny how they made it seem much like the outside world used to. Annabelle was greeted with clear blue skies, her average looking avatar standing on the virtual sidewalk. She always loaded on the street, not bothering to pay the bitcoin required so that she could load directly into locations. She enjoyed taking the short walk to the StarPoint's virtual building, passing the other avatars on her way to work. There was always the same elderly man sitting on a bench with his newspaper unfolded as he skimmed through the news. He waved to Annabelle every morning which was an excellent way to start the day when she was headed to a day of being yelled at by people with petty problems.

As she passed Mr. Shih this morning, the newspaper rippled, and the top story on the front of the paper changed. He gave her the customary wave, but Annabelle stopped to glance at the newspaper. The headline had caught her eye:

StarPoint, Inc. Reports Security Breach


"You're going to be late," he told her.

"Right," she murmured, continuing her walk. "Have a good day, Mr. Shih."

"You, too," he called back.

Back in the real world, Annabelle's fingers moved across her holographic keyboard. A menu extended in front of her avatar and used that to purchase a copy of the virtual newspaper. While skimming through the frustratingly short article, Annabelle reached StarPoint. Her employee ID, embedded in her avatar's code lets her through the doors of the building where she is stopped by bumping into a very tall, armored avatar. It does neither of them any harm, but she still apologizes before glancing around at the surprisingly crowded lobby. It looks like no employees were being allowed to their desks.

At the very front of the crowd, the entrance to the rest of the building is blocked off and behind it, white space. Someone had paused the code, either temporarily or permanently, preventing anyone from accessing the rest of the StarPoint building.

Despite starting like most mornings, today was a very different morning.
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by Ghostwriter » Wed Feb 06, 2019 12:39 pm

BOOM!
An explosion erupts amidst an orchestra of gunfire. As the fire is replaced by a cloud of dark smoke a lone figure in black leaps out, firing an assault rifle behind him. He landed in a roll, and in the same motion plants a grenade in the dirt before quickly ducking around a corner.

"Four, three, two, one~" Angel mutters under his breath while reloading, another explosion, and then... a buzzer. Another second later he blind fired around the corner just as bullets fly blowing chunks off the wall in front of him. Another buzzer.

Glancing at his HUD he see's two names left, everyone else on his team was greyed out, a timer counting down from 2 minutes, and silence. He either had to take out the two remaining members of the opposing team, or he had to plant and defend the bomb. They had probably left the other two defending the point which meant they were camping and waiting for the clock, leaving him only with the option of walking into a trap. He looked up, took out his grappling hook, and started to scale the building. Angel knew the map well so it wouldn't be hard to figure out which campsites opposing members were using, the difficult part would be what came after.

After entering through a window he moved quietly through a hallway. The walls had hooks sticking through them, the two inside had barricaded them making it bulletproof. Ahead were stairs, after the first step he looked up. Placed on the wall above him was a motion sensor mine. Easy enough to miss unless you knew to be careful, and kill or not there was no way to get past it without setting it off which made it a good alarm system. The other way in probably had a mine above it as well, meaning they would know whichever path he was taking. He looked back at the clock, just over a minute left. "Do or die time~" he muttered.

Using an empty magazine he threw it, bouncing it off one of the upper steps. Immediately an explosion rocks the stairs, and before the dust even settled he jumped up, grabbing the floor above with one hand and blind firing his pistol in their assumed direction. A second later a hail of machine gun fire is heard with the sounds of heavy boots running toward him. "Frag out!" one of the two defenders could be heard shouting, the grenade bouncing off the wall behind him before rolling towards Angel down the stairs. He quickly let go, falling back down to the bottom of the stairs and turned to sprint back in the direction he came. This long hallway however left him nowhere to run. He could hear the grenade falling, hitting each step behind him before rolling a short way down the hallway.

He superman dived midair, BOOM! He could feel the rush of debris around him. It was a good trap he had to admit, Angel was a sitting duck. The footsteps of the defender above could be heard turning around the corner to run down the stairs. "Oh shi-" BOOM! A buzzer goes off as the sound of the defenders body ragdolled down the stairs. Angel had replanted a motion mine where the first had gone off after the other player threw his grenade, he just hadn't noticed it till it was too late.

The camera switches to the viewpoint of the last defender, steadying his gun at the top of the stairs still covered in the explosion cloud with ten seconds left on the clock. As soon as he see's a sign of movement he opens fire with his machine gun, five. Bullets fly, tearing up the wall behind Angel, four. Out of the cloud steps the figure of his ally, instinctually he stops firing... three. Friendly fire was a serious thing, and the penalty of team killing could lead to a temporary ban depending if the other guy was an asshole or not. But he realized his mistake almost as soon as he made it. From behind him, holding the corpse of his ally in front of him as a human shield, Angel aimed his pistol. The sound of a single gunshot followed by a buzzer was the last sounds of that match. Two seconds left on the clock, terrorists win!

Undoubtedly many were upset, many cheered.
"No one ever plants the bomb."
"ANGEL OF DEATH!"
"GG"
"omglol"
"wow that choke"
"I didn't see, wtf happened?"
"Angel 2 op plz nerf"
"haxorz"
"No doubt boyz"
"He set them up the bomb"
"LOL, You have no chance to survive make your time!"
"What you say?"
"No really guys, wtf happened?"
"Check the replay noob"
"Angel fucking wrecked them"
"I LOVE YOU ANGEL!"

He sat up, reaching over to his side to grab a drink. "Ok guys that was fun, I hope everyone enjoyed the semi finals. I need to take a quick break but I'll be right back to hang out with you Chat. 7th Heaven subscribers can send any questions and I'll answer them at the end of the stream. And remember; every time you smash that like button, an angel gets it's wings."
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by Forge » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:03 am

Aleksey pulled the tab on his plastic coffee cup and listened to the cheap heating filaments sizzle. The mechanism didn't work very well, but the coffee tasted reasonable and would have a definite chemical effect. He was at the tail end of a sixteen-hour shift, with the faint trembling in his fingers and scratchiness behind his eyes that warned of his body's growing demand for sleep. The light in the apartment had been turned almost all the way down, one of the few benefits of working irregular hours; he could circumvent the mandatory day/night cycle that StarPoint enforced in its employee housing and keep the one-room apartment comfortably dim. This had the dual benefit of giving his tired eyes a break, along with assisting him in ignoring the scattering of dirty clothes and discarded Calorie Mate™ packaging he'd allowed to accumulate over the course of the last shift rotation. Cleaning up was a job for Future Aleksey, and one the current operator was happy to leave for him.

Draining the lukewarm coffee, Aleksey tossed the empty cup into the compacter out of a vague sense of guilt, then sloped over to his bunk for a change of shirt. His body ached to lie down - just for a minute, the little voice in his head lied - but StarPoint expected him to attend a weekly division meeting, and there was no clause in his contract that exempted him on the grounds of exhaustion. Instead Aleksey shed his t-shirt, sniffed it, regretted the impulse immediately and tossed it into a corner. The panel next to the bunk picked up on the movement, decided that he was awake, and chimed merrily to indicate that he had another missed call from his sister. A fresh wave of guilt welled up at that, and he thumbed the display to life while he retrieved and wriggled into something fresh.

"Aleksey Vladimirovich, if you think you get rid of me by ignoring me, you're in for a very unpleasant surprise!" He winced, tugging the shirt down so that he could see Ekaterina's avatar, projected in lines of blue light against the wall. Its features were sharper than her own; similar enough to be recognised, but given an air of severity that no doubt helped in her job. Aleksey thought it made her look aggressive. "Five time's I've called, and not once have you called back. They don't keep you working all the time. Do I have to come down there and bodily drag you back with me? Because I will!" He fidgeted under the recording's gaze, nearly as discomfited as he would have been had she been telling him off for real. The avatar glared into the room a moment longer, then sighed, some of the tension leaving her voice. "Lyosha, you cannot hide away all the time. There's more to life than your job and that tiny room you insist on living in. Come to see us. Dima will be five soon. He misses you. I miss you. And if you make me ask again, I'll throw you into an algae vat and close the lid." She paused, fixed the camera with a frown that was less irate than the one she'd opened with, and nodded as though the matter were settled. "We love you, Lyosha. Call me soon."

The display blinked out, and Aleksey was left in the gloom feeling more than a little sheepish. How long had it been since he'd seen his sister or nephew, even in virtual? The boy was almost five - a year, then? Closer to two? He'd been putting it off on the pretence that he didn't want to be an inconvenience, but that was a flimsy excuse. She and Maria were high-level corporate, they had living space to spare. The truth was, it was getting harder and harder to engage with anything outside of the four walls that were his living and working space rolled into one. Aleksey punched in the reply command while his guilt was still fresh, switching to voice only so she wouldn't see his three-day beard and bruised eyes.
"Katyusha, I'm sorry. They don't keep us working all the time, but I've pulled a lot of double shifts, and I'm tired. Lots of sleeping. You know." It was a weak justification, and he knew it. Still. "I'll come to Novosibirsk soon. For Dima's birthday. I have vacation credits saved up, I'll take a shuttle." He hesitated, ran a hand across his stubbled scalp and swallowed the anxiety he felt at the thought. "I don't mean to worry you, Katyusha. I'm okay, I promise. I'll talk to you soon." A pause, then swiftly; "Don't tell Mama about the missed calls."

Aleksey punched send, tried to feel optimistic about the call, settled instead for less guilt-ridden and made his way back to the console. His system was high end; form-moulded chair, wraparound console, embedded electrodes that buzzed minute signals to the implants under his skin. It had cost a chunk of his paycheck way back when, but his living costs weren't exactly high, and StarPoint subsidised the upgrades for emergency crews. Anything to make them more efficient. Sinking into the chair, Aleksey pressed the node to his temple and settled back, thumbing the system to life. The room faded out, replaced by a connection HUD wherein he selected his work avatar - essentially him, albeit a version that looked less like death warmed up, dressed in StarPoint's default avatar uniform - and dialed directly into the corporation's virtual office.

[Error], the system cheerfully informed him. [Server inaccessible] Aleksey frowned, and tried again. [Error], the machine repeated, sounding no less put out about the repeat attempt. [Server inaccessible. Connecting to nearest available virtual hub.] The connection was in process before he could object, shunting him from one place to the other in less time than it took to blink, and depositing him in the mass of bodies crowded into the virtual lobby of StarPoint's main office. Computerised or otherwise, the press of bodies was sudden and suffocating, and Aleksey recoiled before backing toward the edge of the room. Beyond the far doors, the rest of the StarPoint server was whited out, virtual offices swept away to nothing. It was nuts. StarPoint were involved in everything - the idea that their servers could close entirely didn't make a lick of sense. And yet, here they were.
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by MakingMoreStories21 » Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:58 am

As Jason's virtual avatar loaded in, he kept repeating the motion required to bring up the Loadout Screen. Always impatient, he didn't care when it didn't work the first time. After about fourteen tries, all the textures finally loaded and he was free to switch his loadout. He instantly switched from the HK45 to a USP-S, and an AAC Honeybadger for his primary. "Thank God.". As the game starts, and the arena becomes an arena and not simply a lobby, his carbine drops into his hands and his sidearm appears in his holster. His custom gadget on Defense was always a tripmine that fired blanks. He loved to scare the hell out of people, and it always helped to make him look much better on the World Leaderboards. As the rest of his team ran around firing their shotguns into walls to make "murder-holes", he simply found a nice section of the building and placed all of his three tripmines. As the Attackers approached, he lied down, and started checking cameras. As soon as he did, however, the wall next to him was breached. He dropped his device and quickly grabbed his carbine, throwing himself to a kneeling position and firing off a few shots. Before they could return fire, he grabbed his device and ran to cover. He only now noticed that his team was gone, except for the AFK guy (funny how people can manage to be afk even when you're literally neurally linked to the computer.), and all five enemies were still there. "Sweet," he says to himself, "A clutch ace.". While he checked his magazines, he heard one of his traps go off, on stairs, which happens to be right next to him. While the attacker is still scared shitless, Jason pops around the corner, firing his carbine and hitting him in the legs, torso, head. The attacker's body crumples to the ground. Another appears from a doorway behind him and before Jason can register his presence, the attacker fires, hitting Jason in the leg. Jason sprints to cover, pushing through the movement dubuff that getting hit gives you, an remembers the C4 he had planted just under the wooden planks there, and fumbled for the detonator. A boom. Jason peeked around the corner, and sure enough, his body was there, dead as a doorknob. He relocated up the stairs and closer to the objective, just as he got notification that the hostage had been taken. He rushed through the door, catching an attacker trying to vault through the window. He emptied the rest of his mag into him and released it. He took out another, slid it into his carbine, and pulled the charging handle. The last two came at once. They were running out of time, and they had no choice but to rush him. He pivoted around a corner, out of the closet he had hid in to reload, and fired four rounds into one. He dropped. The next triggered the first mine Jason had placed, scaring him and giving the win to the Defenders.

"You good Joker"
"GG"
"I know I am lmao"
"Wow you don't gotta be like that smh my head"
"What a prick lmao"
"DUDE I FUCKIN HIT HIS HEAD LIKE FOUR TIMES THE NETCODE IS TRASH"
"stfu noob"

As Jason checks the time, he realizes he might be late for work. "Fuuuuuuck."
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by Fireynay » Sun Feb 24, 2019 7:34 pm

"I'm telling you, if they put more money in to actual reality instead of this "virtual world", we'd be able to fix this planet! We'd be able to go outside properly again!"

Taylor rolled her eyes, it was the same every morning. Her Grandpa spent the whole of breakfast ranting about how he had the perfect plan to save the planet and bring back everything good.

"Grandpa, you haven't been outside properly your entire life. What do you mean again?"

He frowned, "Now you listen here, Young Lady, when I was a boy, there were still people that remembered the way the world was meant to be. Your Great, Great Grandma used to tell me and my cousins how beautiful the world used to be. She's the one that told me that people just needed to concentrate on the real world and I believe her. She was a very clever woman your Great, Great Grandma."

"Sure Grandpa," Taylor refrained from rolling her eyes again, now that his attention was directly on her instead of everyone else at the table, "I'm sure that if there was something that could be done, it would have been done by now."

Her Grandpa opened his mouth again to speak, but she quickly cut him off, "Anyway, I have to get to work, we can talk about this properly later." She knew full well that he would be on a different topic by the time she finished work and she wouldn't have to argue with him about the futility of hoping that this planet would ever be fixed.

With a quick wave to her parents and Grandma, she left the room and headed to her bedroom-come-office. Although the room did contain her bed, the majority of space was taken over by her workstation. A state-of-the-art, multi-screen workstation with a state-of-the-art chair to match. She enjoyed being Plugged-in and a small smile played across her lips as she went through the familiar motions to access the virtual world. This was the closest she was ever going to get the the world her Grandpa loved to talk about. She always entered through the lobby, it was the default loading place and she had never bothered to change it. It was the easiest place to load whether she was going to work or just going to wander the Virtual World, she simply had to pick a direction once she arrived.

As soon as she loaded though, she knew something was wrong. Although the lobby was the most common place to load it, it was usually pretty empty. With nothing much of interest going on in there, people tended to load and then head straight their destination. Today though, she was surprised there had even been a space big enough for her avatar to load in to, and she instantly began to feel a little claustrophobic as the bodies pressed against her.

Taylor stood up on her toes, trying to look over the crowds to see what was going on, but all she could see was a wall of white. Frowning she began to press through the crowd towards the office entrance, starting to worry that she would be late to work. She needn't have worried though, the entrance was completely blocked off. With another frown, she turned to the person closest to here, "Hey, do you know what's going on? Why are the offices closed?"
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by BrookeDi » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:42 am

The man nearest to Taylor leaned in, unnecessarily close. "Newspaper says they've been hacked." He shrugged. It wasn't uncommon for companies to be attacked by hackers, but those were usually smaller companies. Large corporations like StarPoint weren't typically hacked, at least nothing on a large scale like this. Often, it was caught and shut down before the hacker could get any further and it never really affected work.

More and more bodies were loading into the room, and as they continued to do so, Annabelle could see a few of the virtual bodies glitching as the lobby struggled to catch up with the amount of data present. It was a little unnerving to watch. As she contemplated this, an e-mail notification popped up in her peripheral. Back in her apartment, seemingly staring at nothing, Annabelle's hand reached up, swiping the e-mail into her range of view.


To: everyone@starpoint.com
cc: management@starpoint.com
From: Valentinelagrande@starpoint.com
Subject: Server Problems
Body:
Hello, StarPoint Employees,

As many of you may have noticed, we are experiencing some server issues. There are some newspaper rumors of hacking, but rest assured that is not the case; it is merely an error in the code as we attempted an update that has caused the current loading issues. We are anticipating StarPoint servers to be back up in the next ten to twenty minutes. We appreciate your patience thus far and ask that you, please extend that patience just a little longer.

I know we are all eager to get back to work and we are hard at work to fix the issue. You'll all be happy to know, particularly those of you who work in Customer Care, that this does not seem to have affected anything outside of our internal server.
As always, this information is confidential. If a reporter approaches any of you, your answer should be the standard "No comment." Once we've remedied the issue, we will release a public statement with all of the information that will be needed; you can refer anyone with questions to that statement once it is available.
Again, thank you for your patience.

Thank you,
Valentine M. LaGrande
CEO of StarPoint I.L.L.C.


Annabelle blinked as she finished reading the mass message. Something about the whole e-mail was off. Valentine often sent company e-mails: messages about stock options, giving holidays off, company reminders, etc. This particular e-mail lacked her usual eloquence. Then again, maybe Annabelle was overthinking things; she did that often, her mother was fond of telling her.

There were quite a few murmurs within the lobby as several people read through the e-mail. There was quite a bit of grumbling, too, but it wouldn't be anything specific (not when StarPoint can hear everything being said).

It ended up taking fifteen minutes between when the e-mail went out and when the StarPoint servers were back up. The whole building went white, and in the blink of an eye, the 'building' was back up. They could see the walls; the lobby was extended back to its usual length, and the occasional flicker of avatars had gone away. Those who had opted to wait out the reboot in the lobby began disappearing as they loaded to their appropriate department. Soon enough, Annabelle was seated in her virtual cubicle. It was organized much like her desk at home, intentionally so, so when her supervisor made the rounds, he'd know if Annabelle was working, away from her desk, or wasting time.

She couldn't resist pulling up the e-mail from Valentine again, but before she could read through it again, Annabelle's phone rang, and the rest of the morning was spent resolving issues with a defective StarPoint node ("Have you charged it recently?" "... well, no, but" "I do see that your Cortical Node is a few models old. Why don't we set you up with a new one, and you can try charging your current one to get you through in the meantime."), a 'stolen' StarPoint microwave ("I'm sorry that your microwave has gone missing, ma'am, but our drone footage shows you receiving the item, so I cannot have a new one sent to you, but let me put you through to my supervisor and see if they can't better assist you."), and an eighty-year-old's broken personal massager (resolved by sending her a new one, same day, at a discounted price after the woman shared how it broke).

By lunchtime, Annabelle had utterly forgotten about the events of that morning. Throughout the day, for those who pay attention to the news, there were more articles on the 'StarPoint Security Breach.' Some of them took a positive view, other articles took a look at how this might affect competitor companies, and additional reporters focused on what an event of this magnitude could mean.

Annabelle had just returned from her break and was returning an e-mail from her supervisor when everything around her went white. It was incredibly terrifying because, for a brief moment, she was utterly alone. A voice filled the area.

"Hello, StarPoint Employees. This is Valentine LaGrande; we are currently experiencing further issues with the server. We do not anticipate this fix to take long. However, StarPoint is now experiencing problems outside our company server, and it is affecting the consumers. Until further notice, please enjoy some complimentary credits. Your avatar will now load to the nearest StarPoint Corporate Entertainment Hub. Please stay Plugged In, and we will notify you when you can load back at work. Please do not attempt to load until you've been instructed you are clear to do so. Please do not access your e-mail or any work files during this time. Thank you."

A mechanical voice followed this up with: "This message has been sent to you via the StarPoint employee emergency messaging system. If you are receiving this message in error, please contact our office, and we will get you removed from the list."

The room loaded suddenly, and Annabelle found herself in a plain looking room. It was designed to be a rec room, with generic art on the virtual walls. There were virtual books, some multi-player games (classics like chess, checkers, monopoly, etc. and then some more obscure games), options to play card games, and other links to activities meant to keep employees occupied and entertained. Annabelle couldn't help but wonder why this part of StarPoint wasn't affected. There was a handful of other people in the room (five, not including Annabelle), and a few of them looked as confused as Annabelle felt. Only one of them, a rather short and plump looking man looked less confused and more... well, scared.

At Angel's game tournament, a similar thing happens. The room goes white, and a soothing, generic voice can be heard: "StarPoint apologizes for any inconvenience and we regret to inform you of the closure of all gaming services until further notice due to required maintenance. We have compensated your account with complimentary entertainment credits, and you will now be transferred to the nearest StarPoint corporate entertainment hub. Have a nice day." Angel's avatar loads into the same rec room as Annabelle.

"Anyone up for a game of Connect 10?" Annabelle says, to fill the awkward silence that follows the loading.
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by Ghostwriter » Fri Mar 08, 2019 7:31 am

"Anyone up for a game of Connect 10?" Annabelle asked.
"Thanks, but no, sorry." Angel answered in a socially awkward way. Instead he played a floating meditation emote and started to organize his game inventories to keep himself occupied via wrist screen. Quickly realising his anti-social behavior however he coughed, thinking of something to contribute to the group. "Uhm, maybe... you could all tell me what was happening just before you came here? For me, I don't really know. Some people in chat mentioned some odd things like lag in the world hubs. But I was just playing a game and saw some weird glitches. Things that I haven't even heard about in, forever, like characters rubber banding. Its uh... like where something flickers or snaps back and forth, probably a bug from the information packets not being completely verified after being sent and received. You'd think because how everyones internet speeds are in gigabits now that shit like that had long since been eradicated, like Asthma was."

After a moment he shrugged. "I think I noticed some odd visual artifacts as well, like, it wasn't just affecting the player connections it was effecting the code? But all that is supposed to be shielded and constantly re-verified, which means the core code must have been tampered with. I started recording and taking screenshots of what was going on, but then StarPoint must have forcefully shutdown the servers to reset everything which normally only happens once a month for maintenance and updates." He kept organizing his inventory while talking, but finally moved his vidscreen down to look at the others. "So... Im guessing either someone severely fucked up somewhere, or someone else is fucking with the corporations. One isn't really news and they'll just end up firing some people. The other IS news but they'll probably cover it up and act like it was something mundane like a server overheating or something, playing their cards close while investigating. Seeing how they moved everyone to these observational rooms and told people not to log off, I'd guess they're already in investigation mode~"
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Re: Plugged In [IC]

Post by Fireynay » Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:47 am

Taylor frowned as she read the mass email, she must have missed the rumours of hacking but it still felt a little suspect. Errors in the code of something so well established seemed to be a little off, especially since there were no updates scheduled that she knew of. Then again, she wasn't privy to every bit of news, so there could well have been a small, background update that had screwed everything up.

She breathed a sigh of relief when the servers came back to life and more space was created as other avatars loaded out of the lobby and in to their respective offices. Glad that she had already pushed her way to the front, Taylor made for the door and loaded in to her own office, glad for the silence that greeted her. No one else had made it through yet it seemed.

She settled quickly in to her work, barely glancing up as her colleagues filtered in. As usual, she was more interested in the views across her screen as she flew her drone from house to house. Barren landscapes giving way to ramshackle buildings which further gave way to bigger, more well-tended houses and eventually leading to tower blocks. She found it all fascinating. It felt like barely any time had passed before the whole room went white and all she could feel was a sense of panic. Without her piloting the drone, it would crash, and the last time that had happened it had come out of her paycheck.

That panic receded upon hearing the message, it couldn't possibly be her fault, the servers had gone down again. Something was definitely going on though. Taylor loaded in to the same room as Angel, Annabelle and some others just in time to hear, "Anyone up for a game of Connect 10?" Not in the mood for games, she looked around and headed for the books instead, picked one at random them fell in to a chair in the corner to start reading.
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Thank you Forge for the amazing set!
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