Hey verily and nay, here doth appear the secondly spun webbing of ‘Oleg Og – Cyber Spider’, a tale of tragedy and fudge.
‘Fudge?’ you cry, ‘I have heard no previous mention of fudge!’
Yes, FUDGE; although the sugary subplot is unlikely to make an appearance until the final moments. Damn it, I’m making this hard to write. Now I need to devise a believable plot including delicious condiments… I accept my own stupid challenge!
For those of you who missed Part 1, you can read it here.
Oleg Og – Cyber Spider
Part 2 – Carl Bronson, Security Ninja
From the shadows of the corridor, Carl Bronson watched Oleg Og sitting at his desk, frantically hammering at his keyboard. He was uglier than Bronson’s sister, and she’d been kicked in the face by a horse. Twice**. But it wasn’t the way Og looked that made Bronson feel uncomfortable. There was something unsavoury about the twinkle of his eye which made Bronson’s ninja instincts bristle with nun-chuck lust. Og was dangerous.
**When one has been kicked in the face by a horse, one tends to be nervous around horses. People who are nervous around horses tend to make horses nervous. Nervous horses are quite likely to kick you in the face. It’s an unfortunate pattern to be a part of, especially if you work at an equestrian centre.
Entering the office, Bronson walked up behind Og. Reams of code scrolled across his screen. Og was editing it at a speed Bronson found hard to comprehend. Truth be told, Og’s extreme intelligence scared Bronson more than a herd of randy bison with a security-guard fixation.
“I’m locking up, Og.”
Bronson was pleased to see Og jump.
“Deadline,” Og grunted. “Working late.”
Social skills of a leper, thought Bronson.
“I can’t let you do that, Og. Company policy. Doors need to be locked by seven. No exceptions.”
Without looking around, Og flicked a note in Bronson’s direction. It was a signed authorisation, embossed with the company stamp. The MD had already mentioned that Og would be working late, but Bronson’s ninja instinct had been grumbling regarding their star programmer for weeks now. He wanted to give Og a false sense of security, let him feel like he’d won some small battle. It might make him complacent, more likely to make mistakes; errors that revealed doorways to the truth.
“Most irregular,” said Bronson, making an effort to sound irritated. “You’ll have to lock the door on your way out.”
Leaving a spare set of keys, Bronson headed straight for the administrator’s office. He’d overheard a conversation recently, in which the MD had referred to an incident in Og’s past that might explain his quirkiness. In Bronson’s experience, childhood incidents usually explained a whole lot more than just quirks.
Bronson didn’t have a key to the filing cabinet which housed the HR files, but this mattered as much as a squirt of Febreze in a shit-storm. He picked the lock in seconds and flicked through the files until he found one sporting the initials ‘OO’. Uh oh indeed, thought Bronson. Leafing through the papers, he soon found a doctor’s report, detailing the mental stability of Oleg Og.
The report was long and dull, but one section outlined a freak incident involving Og on his eighth birthday. He’d been taken to his father’s work place in Switzerland and told to play nicely in a corner. Easily bored and naturally inquisitive, Og had found an abundance of unlocked doors and ended up playing in the room which housed the mainframe computer. He’d wrapped himself in coils of wiring, imaging he was hero in a snake pit, battling a plethora of vipers. While engrossed in this fantasy, the building had been struck by lightning. A freak surge of electricity had discharged through the supercomputer, coursing through the wires in which Og played, flowing into him.
Doctors had predicted his chances of survival at less than five percent. Oleg Og had defied the ‘Wielder of the Scythe’ and lived. But the incident had changed him. Physically, his skin took on that moist, pink sheen, his muscles losing some of their tonicity. Mentally, his hunger for knowledge and his ability to absorb and retain information had escalated – in contrast, his manner had become introverted and stern, laughter a rarity where giggles used to constantly consume him.
IQ boosted, social skills cremated, thought Bronson. Explains a lot.
But it felt like something might be missing from the report, some aspect that had been avoided purposely rather than as an oversight. The mental changes were understandable after a trauma of this nature, but the physical? Surely Og would have been burned by the electrocution. Instead he’d transformed. Bronson flicked through some old photos. As a boy, Og had been no picture of beauty, but he’d looked normal. Bronson could see little resemblance between Og-the-child and Og-the-man. It troubled him.
Bronson glanced at his watch. An hour had trickled by. After closing the filing cabinet and relocking it, Bronson made his way back towards the main office. He found Og slumped at his desk, his finger lodged into the end of a USB drive. Blood had pooled beneath it on the carpet.
Og’s computer screen had exploded into tiny fragments of glass and smoke was rising from his computer. On hands and knees, Bronson followed the Ethernet cable from the back of his computer to the wall. The cable was charred, the plastic coating brittle and split. Around the socket, the wall was black.
Bronson went back to Og’s desk. He pressed his fingers to Og’s neck and felt for a pulse. Faint, but discernible. Freeing Og’s finger from the USB drive, Bronson thrust his own digit onto the rusty barb. A terrible sucking sensation gripped him, as though his soul were being torn from his body and gorged on by demons. Bile rose in his throat, spraying from his lips. Seeking ninja calm, Bronson relaxed his mind and, instead of fighting the pull, embraced it.
Everything changed in an instant. Bronson found himself in an unimaginable hell. This lifeless place was filled with corruption. The atmosphere tasted of burning and acidity.
Bronson moved at speed, sensing the stability of his surroundings teetering on the edge of an abyss. Ahead, something was destroying, tittering with glee, enrapt in the joy of annihilation. As Bronson saw the thing ahead of him, wreathed in the light of dying data, he was forced to face a long forgotten adversary.
As he approached the destructive abomination, he sought focus, preparing himself for a fight to end all fights. That clash between Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris at the end of ‘Way of the Dragon’ – that would be a girly pillow fight in comparison to what Bronson was about to endure.
To be continued, on the last Friday in a month sometime soon…