9:05 by Adam Cadre
Waking up to the sound of the phone ringing does not do wonders for your terrible headache. It’s 9:05. You look at phone and slowly pick it up.
"Hadley!" a shrill voice cries. "Hadley, haven't you even left yet?? You knew that our presentation was at nine o' clock sharp! First the thing with the printers, now this -- there won't even be enough left of you for Bowman to fire once he's done with you. Now get the hell down here!!" Click. Things are not going well today.
As you put the phone down you notice the wallet and a set of keys on the endtable beside it. You get up and look around. The bedroom is extremely spare, with dirty laundry scattered haphazardly all over the floor. You move to the south towards the bathroom. It is a far from luxurious but still quite functional bathroom, with a sink, toilet and shower. In the morning light you take a look at yourself - you're covered with mud and dried sweat. It was quite an exhausting night - no wonder you overslept! Even making it to the bed before conking out was a fairly heroic accomplishment. You take off your dirty clothes and your watch and drop them on the floor. The gold watch shines in contrast to the dirty pile of clothing. You step into the shower, turn on the water, and within a few moments you feel like a new man - but there is no time to dawdle - you hop back out again and dry off in record time. You go back into the bedroom and open the dresser, revealing some clean clothing. You put it on and take a look at yourself - not very stylish, but presentable. You look and feel much better after your shower. You are feeling a bit hungry and move towards the living room to the east. The furniture isn't as carefully arranged as one might like, and it's a bit lacking in the luxuries that might make this a more pleasant place to spend an evening - no stereo, no TV, no DVD, none of that - but this living room is still nicer than most of those in this neighbourhood. Moving into the kitchenette to the east, you remind yourself that you don't really have time to poke around and cook yourself a fabulous breakfast right. On the counter are a simple toaster and a raw pop-tart. You put the pop-tart in toaster and when it pops out, it is nicely browned and piping hot. You wait a moment for it to cool and remove it from the toaster. It's not Sunday brunch at Le Trop Cher, but it'll do.
You make your way back to the bedroom to grab the keys and wallet. Looking through the wallet produces an ID card and a driver's license. You take out the driver's license confirming it belongs to:
315 AVENIDA VICTORIA
EAST LAS MESAS
Driver's license photos are generally far from flattering, and this one is no exception, but this photo looks a lot better than you look now. You remove the ID card, which is the size and shape of a credit card and bears a magnetic strip on the back and some identification on the front:
215 COLLINS STREET.LAS MESAS,DO 88701
You go to front door, south of the living room. You open the door where your car parked in the driveway. Standing in the driveway, you remark on how this is quite a seedy neighbourhood, but there isn't really anywhere in the whole Las Mesas metro area that isn't at least a little rundown. Of course, the locals may complain about the ugliness and the crime, but the fact is that a starter home like this one would cost easily five times as much in someplace like Las Playas - and that's if you could find one. You close the door behind you and attempt to lock it, but the locking mechanism seems broken.
You move up to your car. It's a nicer car than one would expect in this neighbourhood - a real eye-catcher. You unlock the car door, climb inside and start up the engine. As you are driving, you can't help but think to yourself,
"Ah, scenic Las Mesas. Man, this place is an absolute toilet. Soon you'll be able to afford to get the hell out of here -- provided you can avoid making any more slip-ups on the job."
As you cruise down the road, you notice a freeway onramp approaching. You start to change lanes, but you notice that the ramp is out of service today -some sort of maintenance work. You continue to cruise down the road and see the familiar Loungent Technologies building approaching. You pull into the parking lot and hop out next to the employees' entrance to the Loungent Technologies building. There is a slot by the door, next to a sign reading "INSERT ID CARD HERE". You insert the ID card in the slot and a green LED lights up, the door clicks open and you step inside. This hallway near the back entrance to Loungent Technologies you are standing in leads north to the reception area, while a door marked "MATTHEW BOWMAN" lies to the west. There is a cubicle here; it is marked simply "HADLEY". Given the circumstances, wandering around Loungent making small talk with the programmers might not be the brightest idea you've had today, so you enter the cubicle and are greeted with a form, a pen and a note lying on the desk. Looking over the form, you notice it is numbered "209F". It is filled out, but not signed. You pick up the note and it reads,
"Hadley -- sign this 209F and return it to me IMMEDIATELY!! MB". You pick up the pen and sign the form. You notice that someone passes by the cubicle as you do so. You look up just in time to see Bowman's door click shut. With the form now bearing your signature, you exit the cubicle and move towards Bowman’s office. You walk into Bowman's office and, smiling, hand
him the signed form.
Bowman asks, "Who the hell are you?
The jig is up. You try to make a break for it, but Bowman calls for security and they wrestle you to the ground before you can make it back to the car.