Random Acts Of Violence

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Sobell: B+ | Grade It Now!
You're Not My Real Dad, Gil!

Nicky smiles and follows Liam into his little lair, and Liam leans in to say, "I thought we had a relationship. What are you doing taking Archie out into the field instead of me?" Nicky grins and replies, "It's the right tool for the right job, man. You have to understand the world you're investigating." Liam gives him an oh, yeah? look, and Nicky soothes his skepticism with a demonstration: "Hey Archie? What's that Star Trek episode where that guy's got that forehead thingy and the time portal?" Archie promptly asks for clarification: "In classic, TNG, DS9, Voyager or Enterprise?" Nicky turns back to Liam with a told you so look, and Liam says flatly, "Point taken." Archie pipes up again, "Or were you thinking about Farscape?" "I have no idea what you were talking about," Nicky admits. Archie shrugs it off, then tells Nicky he's got something to show him. Both men peer down at the iBook on Archie's desk, which shows a blow-'em-up not unlike Marathon -- or, as Archie says, an "FRPG, a fantasy role-playing game. See, players use avatars to represent themselves in a fantasy world." In Nicky's FRPG, it's Day of Justice, and he's got the smartest, handsomest, rightest avatar. There, I said it, we can all move on. Anyway, this particular game features troublesome employees one through three -- Kwan is hanging with Artie, the World's Strongest Man, and Serena, creating a little portal-like thing through which Sulky Black-Clad Guy emerges as the judge on Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law and decapitates Kwan. After Nicky takes all that in, he says to Archie, "You know a lot about this stuff." Archie nods. Nicky replies, "You gotta get a girlfriend." Archie shoots back, "You should see my FRPG, big guy." Oh, he does not. He tells Nicky to go first.

Cut to Mister What-is-the-Matrix claiming that his FRPG is merely "a game, an entertainment." Nicky unfortunately replies, "Nah, it's more like a place where you can play God, right?" No, that would be The Sims. Nicky speculates that the FRPG reflects the way Sulky Black-Clad Guy really wishes he could treat his coworkers. Vega ruins the moment by stating flatly, "But virtual murder's not nearly so satisfying as the real thing, is it?" Nicky notes that Sulky Black-Clad Guy looks a little uncomfortable, to which he replies that the office is always uncomfortable, due to the ventilation set-up. Sulky Black-Clad Guy tells Nicky, "I put Kwan in my game because I was upset...I was designing characters for a new multi-player sim...on company time. Kwan found out somehow. [The] man always seemed to be one step ahead of his underlings." Nicky asks how this is possible, because he wants to take this knowledge back to the lab for his own use. Sulky Black-Clad Guy replies, "If I'd have known that, he would have been working for me. In this instance, he informed the board. Unauthorized use of bandwidth. Nearly got me fired." Kwan is a jerk and a bad manager -- there's an issue with using company time to do personal work, but there's no need to tattle to the board. Sulky Black-Clad Guy finishes by saying that he didn't kill Snitch #6, but he's glad the guy is gone.

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