Another random story plot courtesy of Seventh Sanctum.
The theme of this story: humorous thriller. The main characters: unstable trader and newlywed archivist. The start of the story: lecture. The end of the story: advice.
"...As such, the technologies used for modern information archives fall roughly five categories. The first category is of course good old-fashioned optical media. This media is still around after so many years because..."
The lecturer's voice droned on and on, reverberating in Tom's head and lulling him rapidly to sleep. The caffeine buzz from his coffee had long ago worn off and it didn't look like this guy was going to be wrapping it up any time soon. He was enjoying the boring, tedious details of preserving information for future generations way too much. Tom wanted desperately to simply stand up and leave. He stayed because he wanted the comission for this sale way too much to offend the man with the power to say yes or no to the deal.
For what seemed to be the thousandth time, he picked up the styrofoam cup and tipped it back, hoping against hope that some small drop of coffee would emerge. For the thousandth time, he was disappointed. At least it gave him something to do.
"Guy's a pompous, pretentious fool isn't he?" The man in the purple jacket grinned his toothless grin as he perched birdlike on the seat next to Tom. Except for a slight twitching of his facial muscles, Tom ignored the man. Along with the fading effects of the coffee, his morning dose of anti-psychotics must be wearing off and the imaginary people were starting to reappear.
"I know you can hear me Tom. Whether you want to or not. Let's blow this pop stand and find someplace without a cover charge where we can get totally smashed and..."
Tom stood up suddenly, the squeaky springs of the lecture hall seat complaining loudly as the seat hinged back up towards the back. The coffee cup fell to the floor and began rolling towards the front of the hall as Tom shuffled sideways down the row of seats headed for the door. Sale or not, he could not afford to have Harvey get into his head today. He needed to take a pill, and he needed some water to take it with or else he would be in much worse trouble than a lost sale.
When he finally reached the aisle and started walking quickly towards the exit, he noticed more than one audience member glaring angrily at him.
"These archivists are sure a fanatical bunch aren't they?" Harvey's cackling laugh followed him up the stairs. "Is crying fire in a lecture hall as bad as crying it in a theatre?" the voice continued in Tom's head and his heartbeat increased with the desire to turn and scream at Harvey. "How about instead of crying fire, we actually start one? Wouldn't it be a gas to watch all of these archo-nerds stampede all over each other to get out?" Tom's stomach lurched with the desire that image summoned. He fumbled in his pocket for the pills that he carried wherever he went. Just as he reached the door, he noticed a very pretty woman sitting in the last row. Instead of glaring at his rude and disruptive retreat, she continued staring entranced at the speaker, her eyes glistening with unabashed adoration.
Then Tom hit the crash bar on the door and was out in the foyer. Harvey was there before him. And Mr. Mouse was with him.
Leonard loved information. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than sealing the fasteners on a data container and knowing that short of a super-nova that future generations would be able to enjoy the information as much as he did. Of course, it was doubtful that anyone enjoyed information nearly that much.
The only thing in life that even came near was his new wife Martha. He still caught his breath when he remembered her walking down the aisle towards him in her beautiful dress, smiling that smile that nearly broke his heart with its beauty. Even more, she loved information preservation nearly as much as Leanard. In his life he had never met another human being, let alone a beautiful woman who would happily listen to him prattle on for hours about storage media and backup schemes like she would. She had even happily agreed to combine their honeymoon with a lecture tour that Leonard was taking. Never before had he been so happy.
He realized that he was lost in his thoughts, and had to scrabble at his notes for a second to find his place.
"So with the advances in quantum storage devices, we can see that never again will anyone have to worry about losing their data. And never again will you have to listen to that lame old excuse: 'We don't have the storage space!'" The audience laughed at that, and Leondard felt the rush of pleasure he always did with a good audience. He was not sure he would get them back after the loud and very disruptive exit a few minutes ago, but it only took a few minutes for the audience to forget all about it.
For Leonard, life was pretty good right now.
© 2009 Tyler Willson. All rights reserved