Ghost Cache

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'Five' 0.9



Executive Office, Top Floor, Perkks Tower, Chrome City, Conglomerated Northeastern States, Retrotopia

The room was lavishly appointed.  Walls of the finest woods bore the most prestigious works of art.  The carpet was the most luxurant anyone could have dreamed of, in the perfect colour to convey a sense of wealth and power.  A powerful man sat in the most perfect of chairs, behind an appropriately powerful desk.  Before him were windows: apparently frameless, utterly clear, utterly unbreakable, and always tinted just right for the current lighting conditions.  Through these windows was the most superb view of a cityscape imaginable.  Luxury yachts cruised up and down the clear waters of a winding river, passing under gilded bridges where it intersected the neat grid of streets.  The efficient and wide roads were home to fleets of powerful vehicles, transporting powerful people and their belongings in the most extravagent possible displays of wealth.  Not a single one of the beautifully lit skyscrapers obscured the view, as each one was a respectable amount shorter than Perkks tower.

The man in the chair was the instantly recognisable Justin Perkks, Chief Executive Officer of Perkks Incorporated.  While it could be said that Perkks Inc. was the largest corporation of the Conglomerated Northeastern States of Retrotopia, it was more correct to say that Perkks owned the Conglomerated Northeastern States.  He did not control all of it, as some parts were fundamentally uncontrollable.  This was made evident by the notable blemishes in the view, where Euclidean geometry had broken down.  While Retrotopia was a realm of high tensions, the conflict was not fought only at a corporate level.

The incredible view went unappreciated by Perkks.  His attention was fully on a massive virtual display, which showed him data from the most expensive computing system money could create.  Or rather, half of it.  Calling the display 'virtual' was somewhat misleading.  Rather, it was slightly more virtual than everything else inside the room.  And everything outside the room.  Everything he sensed came from that same powerful computer, but the data on the screen was far more specific.

"Nothing here is notable.  Metal transshipments are all on quota, labour costs are as projected, construction is on schedule, and the weird zones are acting no weirder than expected.  Micropayment growth is acceptable across all sectors, core utilisation isn't a problem, and my hirelings are behaving well.  Our media mention ratios are excellent and four plots against me have been dealt with quietly.  It's been a good week."

"Yes, Chief Perkks.  That is precisely what the summary statement said."

"There's no need for that attitude, ALI.  You know I like to read the details for myself.  It's not that I don't trust you."

You are welcome to review whatever details you wish, Chief Perkks.

"And don't you forget it," he said, slapping his right palm on his desk to produce the loud thump he found so satisfying.

The regular quality control checks of the Ares cluster's memory units ensures—

Perkks dismissed the words with a wave of his finely manicured fingers.  "Yes, yes, I'm well aware of those, why they cost so much, and why they're necessary.  Any word on the Festia Hightree situation?"

Data regarding VIVID players cannot be dlvulged, according to statute—

"Pardon me, I meant Jannit Oji."

The situation has been fully dealt with as you anticipated.

Perkks smiled a thin, satisfied smile.  "Good to hear.  Is there any evidence?"

The evidence is substantive.

Perkks' eyes lit up.  He folded his hands together and loudly cracked his knuckles.  "Ensure it is backed up with utmost security."

Of course, sir.

"Excellent."  Perkks glanced out of his tower to take a quick glance at his city.  Nothing seemed out of place, so he looked back to his reports.

Your character Lord Justice Pergus in Riches of Renfros has one new message from Lord Singen Gallymade

"Already?  Hmm, he must have used a messenger falcon.  Well, I'd better read and respond as soon as possible.  I owe him my thanks for removing a large obstacle."  All interest in reading reports was gone.  "ALI, log me out of Retrotopia and into Renfros."

Logging you out, Chief Perkks.

"Now, now, ALI, there's no need to be so formal when I'm switching characters.  I am in fact completely out of character now," he said as the world dissolved around him, including the executive's perfect body.

Of course, Mister Goodminton.

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