Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Um. So. I don’t really have time to write an entry that fully describes my experiences today, but I did want to record this:

I now own a townhouse.

Well, I don’t exactly own it yet; we won’t close on it until mid-August. But I’ve signed the contract, and the seller’s signed the contract. Everything looks golden.

I don’t really have an emotional reaction to this yet. I’m overwhelmed. It all happened so fast; I saw this place for the first time on Saturday, and four days later I essentially own it. I’ve committed to a $200,000 mortgage. Eep!

But I know that this is the right thing for me to do now. I need to be putting my money into equity.

And now, more of the VR story:

Thomas grinned and walked over to where she sat with two others, a man and a woman who both looked him up and down. They had very young faces, and lacked the casual grace of most of the others here.

“Coaching more newbies, eh, Surge?” Thomas said, straddling a bench.

She beamed at him; the others looked slightly embarrassed. “They’re coming along,” she said. “Sharky here’s really good.” She cocked her head at Thomas, arching an eyebrow. “I haven’t seen you in a long while. Good to find you back in the game. Take out a few more Itharlik for us.” Thomas took a breath to correct her, but her face darkened and he let her continue. “We’ve been losing a lot of pilots lately, Deathshead.”

He waved it away; this was the nature of space combat flight sims. The game must’ve just gotten harder, he figured. Surge’s eyebrows drew together, and she leaned forward like a conspirator from a paperback thriller. “No. It’s not like that,” she said, her voice low and insistent. “It’s….”

She glanced at the newbies; the girl was looking alarmed, while the guy seemed politely bored. A frown flashed onto her face and was replaced with a bland, professional smile. “I think you two need more flight time,” she said. “Go sign up for a mission. Something routine. You can’t handle a pack of F.B.s just yet.” The guy looked disappointed, but they both agreed and left through a side door.

“Hey, wait a minute,” Thomas said, and pulled his hand away. He had been yanked around by far too many women lately. “I need to talk to you.”

To his surprise, she turned and nodded, desperation in her eyes. “C’mon,” she said. “Privately. In my quarters.”

He blinked. This was…unusual. Was she asking him back for sex? It was fairly common for pilots to simulate “close quarter combat” in these games, though the games never had full-contact hookups to allow for actual physical stimulation. But her eyes weren’t shining with lust. It was more like fear.

He briefly debated with himself about leaving now. He had a lot of other contacts to meet. But something about her expression melted him. Maybe, he reflected, he was becoming soft. Not good for a man in his position.

Confusion blossoming in his mind, he nodded and allowed her to lead him out of the mess hall.

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