Hello Stranger, boy do I have a story to tell you. It begins at work about a year ago:

“The sword is popping in game .02% of kills which is right on target.”

“Thanks Jeremiah, good job. It’s a real hit and bringing people into the dungeon in droves.”

“Of course, see ya later Bob.”

After the impromptu meeting about the new equipment coded into world of warcraft I head back to my office. My name is Jeremiah, I work for blizzard doing graphic design for the items that drop. Been doing it for 2 years and I love it.

“Jeremiah, we still on for surfing tomorrow after work?”  I hear from behind me.
“You know it.  Meet you at the beach at 6?”  I respond as I turn around to find a Seth one of my coworkers.
“Sounds good”
The remaining of my trip to my office is uneventful, sit down and check my emails.  To find one stands out more then the others.
Hello Jeremiah,
Myself and some friends have use of your services in creating and maintaining a private IRC server for upwards of 50 people.  I was looking over your webhosting site and was hoping that this would be a possibility.  If all goes well we would also be interested in possible setting up a larger, again private, servers to link up with other servers.  Let me know if the IRC server is a possibility.
That shouldn’t be a problem at all, the server would be $250 a month and can set it up tonight.  What is your address to send invoices and other information?

(Almost immediately the reply came)

I would like to handle this in cash, could I meet you in person in the next couple of days and will drop off 12 months worth of rent?  I am in the Irvine area as well.
Sure we could do that.  How about I get the server up tonight, shoot you the info and you and friends could put it through a few paces and we meet tomorrow night?  I will be at the pier around 6 pm.
I work till night fall but can meet you at the B.K. right off the pier 9 pm.
The rest of the day was uneventful, went home, waxed up the board, got the server set up, and watched their data usage a bit.  I don't know how they knew but almost immediately after getting it up and sending Marcus an email there were 50 people clogging the access.  The data usage was low but steady.  It also seemed odd that as soon as one user would log off, a new user would log on almost instantly.  Oh and the fact almost all of the I.P.'s were out of eastern block countries.  Oh well, business is business.  You see I run a small webserver out of my home along with the programming for blizzard to make a little scratch on the side.  I have between seven and eight clients at any given time and they afford me a few extra niceties such as my surfing hobby.
Thinking of surfing lets skip forward to the next day after a wonderful evening of riding the waves I head to the burger king to meet Marcus.  I'm a little early so grab a soda and sit down to wait.  The sun sets as I watch over the beach, beautiful reds and oranges illuminate the sky.  A few minutes later a man with a mask over his face sits down across from me.  He is also wearing a long Gray coat button all the way down, hands in his pocket.
"Hello Jeremiah"
"You must be Marcus, pleasure to meet you." I extend a hand.  Instead of offering me a hand in return an envelope gets slipped into my hand and its full of bills.  Not being impolite I slip it into my pocket and that’s the end of the payment portion of our interaction.
"It’s a pleasure to meet you as well, your server is set up perfectly.  Can we walk and talk of expanding the user base as well as another project my friends are interested in doing?"
"The side project is connecting and providing a local backbone for a private internet that has been set up.  Right now the main servers are located in Romania with a splinter in London, Morroco, and New York and we want to branch into the west coast."
Suddenly a pale, maimed, oozy hand extends from his pocket and pushes me into the alley and he is on me like a dog.  I fall to my back with his legs wrapped around my waist, arms wrapped around my chest pinning my arms to my sides, and face to my throat.  Then euphoria washes over me, I'm in love with the world and all is well.  There is a strong pounding in my ears every second or so boom boom boom and it starts to slow down and I start to feel tired.
The euphoria ends and Marcus climbs off of me.  "I need you and your services, drink deep my childe." and I feel his wrist to my lips and a warm sweet liquid fills my mouth and I drink to stop from drowning in it.  Then another, and another before he pulls his wrist away.  "That will do, it will get you through the transformation."
The pain was unbelievable I felt like my bones were breaking and setting through out my body all at once, my skin boiled, and twisted.  Transforming me into something deformed and hideous.
That was a year ago, Marcus and I moved away from Irving, I didn't see the point in living in a tropical paradise anymore if I couldn't enjoy the sun.  I live in Portland now, in a basement apartment with easy back way access to an alley that leads to the sewers.  Kine don't see me very often anymore.  I had to give up surfing because of my horrid appearance.  I still run a server farm out of the apartment it pays the bills and gives me extra each month.  The IRC server was a cover to begin with, they really needed me to set them up a back bone for SHREKnet, a nosferatu parallel internet, that they use to share information.  I spend a lot of time chatting with other nossies around the world and have become quiet close to a couple here in the area that way.  I also got a Labrador to keep me company in these lonely nights, a black one that enjoys exploring the dark alleys with me when Marcus is too busy.
Don't worry about me, things might not be going well but they are going.  I'm not even sure why I'm writing this letter, not that I can ever send it.  I will have to destroy it as soon as I'm done but I had to get my thoughts out.
to the shredder I'm headed,


Portland By Night thrilkillx