Author's Notes: Truth is stranger than fiction! This story is based on the less-than-illustrious career of a friend of mine who, like me, has been a computer programmer his whole life. And like me, he's also an aspiring writer, though as far as I know he's never written any pr0n. For various reasons, he isn't at liberty to write about some of these events, but I have no such restrictions. I also wish to thank him for giving me examples of mainframe code and terminology. Up until the moment when Einreb meets Tamila, all the events depicted in this story are absolutely, positively, 100% true! The names of individual people have been changed to protect the guilty, but the locations and company names have been kept true.
Operators of erotic story web sites, whether free or fee-based, have my permission to post my stories for public reading, provided that credit is given to "Hungry Guy" (firstname.lastname@example.org) as the author, and as long as you don't make changes other than fixing typos. Even beware of fixing typos, for I occasionally use local slang and dialects that may be flagged by your spell checker. Thanks.
Einreb parked his little yellow Beetle in front of Troll Associates' Lethbridge building in Mahwah and made his way to his cubicle, as he had done nearly every workday for the past 10 years.
"Morning Yrral!" Einreb said as he passed Yrral Allemoc's cube at 10 to 9 on a Monday morning.
"Morning Einreb!" Yrral called back.
"Where's Gerg?" Einreb asked.
"I don't know; he's going to be late in a minute," the boss said.
Sure enough, the receptionist then announced over the PA system, "Attention please! The time is now nine o'clock!"
Einreb poked his head into Yrral's cube, "Didn't Gerg say he was going to a Grateful Dead concert over the weekend?"
"Yeah, I think so," Yrral answered.
"Ah! He must be out buying a new car again."
"Mmm," the boss muttered.
Einreb stopped over at Tnecillim's cube. "Hi Tneci! You got the wall textures for Monster Maze for me?"
"Yup! Here!" she answered and handed him a floppy diskette.
Einreb booted up his computer and began to merge the artist's graphics with his assembler code when Evets popped into Einreb's cube, handing Einreb a floppy disk. "Here's the background midi for the boss fight."
"Thanks, Evets!" Einreb said as Gerg wandered in.
"Morning everyone!" Gerg said.
"Morning Gerg," Yrral answered. "What happened?"
"Sorry I'm late. I, er, had an accident this weekend."
"Hey Gerg!" Einreb called out. "That's three-for-three now. Three Dead concerts and three wrecked cars in the past year. Maybe there's a pattern there you can do something about..."
"Shut up!" Gerg sneered back.
Einreb loved his job as a computer game programmer for Troll. Sometimes he longed to work for a company that people actually heard of, like Atari or Activision, who made games for the Atari 2600 that people actually wanted to buy. Still, he counted himself lucky to have been recruited by Troll before he even graduated from Orange County Community College 10 years ago. Though graduating with Honors and on the Dean's list didn't hurt either.
That the receptionist announced the start of work, breaks, lunch, and end of day, was a joke among the professional staff. Still, it was a great working environment. Most of the times, it was very laid-back. Though things heated up as year-end ship-dates approached. Still, writing computer games for a living sure beat cranking out business reports and statistical analysis that was the norm of most programmers. Headhunters often called him nearly every night trying to lure him into taking a higher-paying mainframe COBOL job at UPS, A&P, or BMW. He always politely refused. "COBOL? Ugh!"
He and Yrral often played Flight Simulator in linked mode during lunch hour together. And it was a running joke how Gerg Xeurt always wrecked his cars coming home from Grateful Dead concerts.
Being a young group, the guys often invited each other to their bachelor pads for parties.
Evets had invited the group to his house one Friday night after work for a little party. Einreb, Yrral, Gerg, Mit, Ycnan, and Tnecillim were all sitting around Evets' coffee table one Friday night after work as Evets came out of his bedroom and lit a joint.
When Einreb's turn came around he said, "No thanks."
"What? You don't party?" Gerg asked in shock.
"I don't. But it's okay; I'm a Libertarian! I've no problem with what other people do for fun. But I don't do drugs, myself."
"Oh, come on! One joint isn't going to hurt!" Evets insisted.
"You guys enjoy! Don't mind me!" Einreb replied.
As it was, the party ended early and Einreb headed home in his yellow bug.
Autumn was well under way when Yrral was promoted to marketing Analyst, and Gerg was promoted to manage the game development group.
The drop-dead ship date was 24 hours away and Einreb still hadn't fixed that bug that the testers had found that caused the boss monster to run around in circles when he was down to 1 hit point.
The receptionist announced five o'clock over the PA system on Wednesday evening, but Einreb stayed at his desk. Within five minutes, the building was completely empty.
Einreb continued to run compiles and tests. "Damn!"
5:00 PM quickly ran into 6:00 AM when Einreb finally got the game done.
Rather than drive home and then drive back to work again in a few hours, Einreb curled up on the floor under his desk and fell asleep.
When Gerg came to Einreb's cubicle at 4:45 on the following Friday, Einreb had a bad feeling. Whenever someone got fired from Troll, it was always at 4:45 on a Friday.
"Einrneb," Gerg started.
"I'm sorry to tell you, but we had a meeting with Yrral and got approval from Mr. and Mrs. Retcehcs, and have decided that we no longer need your services."
"What!" Einreb said. "After I just put in a 32 hour day to get that game done!"
"That has nothing to do with it."
"You're damn right about that, Gerg! It's because I won't smoke drugs with you!"
"Clean out your desk and come with me, Einreb!"
"I didn't do it!" Einreb pounded on the table in the interrogation room at the Piscataway police station.
"We have several witnesses who overheard you make a terrorist threat this morning," Detective Llemtrac sneered back.
"It wasn't like that! We all knew that AT&T was handing out the layoff notices this morning, and we were all making jokes about it; you know, gallows humor. No one was making any terrorist threats!"
"But you did mention a bomb."
"Well, yes. But they tricked me! I didn't realize they were steering the conversation to trick me into using the 'b' word until the police showed up at my house! I was so close to saving the princess in Super Mario World, too!"
"Why would they do that to you?"
"I explained that to you already!" Einreb said through clenched teeth. "It's all because of the hazing! I told you that after I complained about the Birthday Beatings to Dref..."
"Who?" the detective demanded.
"Dnanidref. He's the manager of another development group in the department. I never worked under him, but we were sort of friends. I had asked him to see if he could do something about the Birthday Beatings."
"Why didn't you ask your own manager?"
"Mij Htims? He was in on the hazing as must as the rest of the bunch! They all said they were going to get back at me for asking Dref for help..."
The detective leaned forward and stared into Einreb's eyes. "If you're making accusations at your manager to get out of this, you're gonna be in even bigger trouble!"
"Then give me a lie detector test, that'll prove I'm telling the truth!"
The detective ignored Einreb's plea and pressed on. "Were you ever in the military?"
"Do you own any guns?"
The detective grilled Einreb on and on and finally left him alone in the interrogation room for another half hour, then drove him back to the AT&T building and turned him over to corporate security.
Lien Tnaf and Adnil Regnettip, the executive management team of the division, were there and slowly read the report handed to him by the detective. "Do you know evacuating the building this morning cost AT&T over $100,000?"
"You're blaming me for your paranoia!" Einreb asked the suit. "You made the decision to evacuate the building, not me!"
"You're suspended until further notice," is all he said in reply.
"I gave five years of my life to AT&T, Lien! I deserve better treatment than this!"
The suit turned his back and left, and corporate security escorted Einreb out.
Einreb cried all through the night. Six bottles worth of Nytol pills sat, uneaten, in a big pile on his night table. He didn't even get a chance to say "goodbye" to Airam. Being a shy loner, she was the closest he had to a best friend, whom he went out to lunch with once a week or so. Had she not been married, he often wondered if their friendship could have turned into something more...
.... There is more of this story ...