As I parked my car in the parking lot I had this disturbing feeling in the pit of my stomach, I knew I looked out of place. Was it my clothes? I glanced down and scratched at the ketchup stain in the tie. I had taken this reconnaissance trip lightly.
I walked down the path to the visitor's entry, I felt that all eyes were on me, my chances of blending in I realized was very slim. I should have got Q to get me one of those dog tags, a T-shirt (one size too small or one size too large), formal trousers, big sneakers and a thick pair of spectacles. Without these I felt vulnerable here in geek land. I told the girl in the counter where I wanted to go, she looked up at me and I winked. After she made sure that I really had an appointment she gave me an entry pass, the twinkle in her eye held promises or was she cross eyed? You can never be too sure.
I walked along the path and passed a few like me, oddly dressed with their formal shirts and ties, none of whom I can recollect having met before. The path went past a swimming pool, I could see half a dozen geeks look at me from their cordoned off pool, like otters in a zoo. I whipped out my to-do list and wrote ‘bring bread crumbs the next time’.
I reached a clearing and found myself staring at two open gates side by side, a big one and a small one. There was a five foot two inch bulldog resembling security guard towered over the area. Being Bond, I walked over to the larger gate and promptly found my path blocked by the bulldog. It was only for vehicles, he said. I pointed out patiently that there were no vehicles around, but this pint sized pain didn't budge. Not wanting to draw more attention to myself I walked over to the smaller gate. If only it had been another day and I was Sean Connery, that guard would have been toast (deep Scottish accent).
I had to blend in. I thought I would have to corner a geek and steal his clothes but the only geek in my size was a large menacing lady. Cold fear ran through my spine and I decided to wing it without the geek costume. I walked into the main building and was promptly searched by the guards, I was clean, I had used a strong soap that morning. As I walked into the lobby, my eyes widened as I saw the sea of activity. There were rows and rows of stores; they had a full fledged mall inside.
This was worse than I had thought, I would have to report to HQ that the geeks have created a living habitat right here in this place. Then it struck me, this was a space ship. They could live here on this ship forever, they had all they wanted, junk food, ATMs, a bookstore with every software book imaginable and loads of internet connections. What could their plans be? Who were their bosses? What do they intend to do with Earth? Why do pretty women like geeks? Will Microsoft bring out another boring version of Windows? Would Saurav Ganguly get his captaincy back? Such thoughts ran in quick succession inside my head. I had to find the answers and quick, a lot depended on it.
These geeks had to be stopped at all costs. I toyed with the idea of finding the ship's power source and disabling it. I immediately discounted such an idea, since I had not carried any gadget to do this. I whipped out my to-do list for the second time and wrote down 'to carry gadget', I would be ready the next time. As I did this, a few beautiful women walk past, completely oblivious of my presence, so I corrected that entry to read ‘to carry a very cool gadget’.
I swiftly moved to the first level and found the office I needed to visit. I was asked to sit in a waiting room. As I walked in I saw a bulky guard shredding paper in a paper shredder. The door slammed shut behind me. I walked over to a chair and sat, keeping my eye on the guard. I was uneasy. I knew then that I shouldn't have bunked my jujitsu classes.
The secretary called me over and I walked into the meeting.
After a while, I walked out a bored man. Meetings bore me. I bore people in meetings, so I had the perfect cover of a boring banker. The exact opposite of my real personality I can assure you.
As I made my way out, I took stock of all the exits and made a specific note of where the toilets were (you don’t know the pain of having search for one of these in a hurry) and was presently checked by the guard again. I walked over to the two gates and saw that the bulldog was distracted. I seized the opportunity and hurried out of the big gate. I could hear the growl of the bulldog. I was gone, long gone.
Relief washed over me as walked over to my car in the parking lot. I looked back at this big monstrous creation I had just left and instantly knew that I would have to go back there sooner than I thought I would.
I had left my car keys inside the meeting room.