Friday, April 15, 2016

Wormhole OS 6.9

Copyright Mark R Morris Jr
All rights reserved, 2016

Dave hit play and the video popped up to cover half his screen. It was dark and grainy, and the thin, awkward man spoke quietly, forcing Dave to turn up the volume.
“…to Wormhole dot OS, the world’s first quantum digital device operating system. My name is Maximillian Dubois and I am its inventor. Since this is your first time, I’d like to explain a bit about this software. First, the current iteration is compatible with any smartphone and can be downloaded remotely over a wireless connection, just enter your ten digit number to begin the download.”
The man shifted uncomfortably on the tall stool he was seated on and repositioned his wire framed glasses. “Before you begin your download, I have a few disclaimers. First, while this software has been tested, I make no claim as to its safety for your device. It will operate,  but once it’s booted up, the results can be unpredictable. Second, every test we have run on this system has produced a different result. If you are looking for a typical cell phone operating experience, this is not for you. Last but not least, the operating system will recommend app downloads for each individual user. Proceed at your own risk. My sincere advice is that you follow whatever instructions are offered, to the T… kee…ter…pass….” The video disintegrated into static.
“Whoa, you are right that’s kind of freaky. Are you thinking about downloading it?” Mike asked.
Dave took another sip of his beer, “Yeah, man, don’t you think we should?”
“Not on my phone, I just got this and I waited ten months with that last busted pile of crap to get my free upgrade, “ Mike laughed.
It was the first time since Dave had gotten engaged three months before that he and Mike had gotten to just hang out. They’d been best friends since their freshman year of college, when they’d reluctantly ended up as roommates and total strangers. It had been two years since graduation and Dave was putting his MBA to work, working his way up in a large energy company and Mike, with his sociology degree was just about to graduate from real estate school.
“Wuss,” Dave quipped. He reached into a desk drawer and pulled out a burner smart phone he’d purchased at the dollar store a few blocks from his house on the way home from work just for this purpose. “I got this, man, I figured if it tanks, no big deal.” He sliced the packaging open with a brass letter opener from the pencil cup on his desktop. They were at Dave’s apartment overlooking downtown.
 “Alright, read me that phone number from the little white card, no, the one in the plastic, yeah,” Dave said, typing in his name and email on the website. Mike read the number off and Dave tapped it in. The phone was already charged and after a minute of booting up, it vibrated for several seconds and, “Now downloading Wormhole OS,” scrolled across the screen with a status bar that showed the download being 2% complete.
Dave tossed the phone on the kitchen counter and pulled a pizza from the freezer, tapping in the sequence to preheat the oven. “Here, you want another beer?” He said, tossing cold bottle across the kitchen to Mike. Dave twisted the cap off and picked up the phone, the status bar said 78%.
“Downloading pretty fast. Then what?” Mike asked.
Dave shrugged, “I don’t know, wait and see, I guess.”
Fifteen minutes later, sliced pizza in hand, Mike and Dave sat on the sofa in front of the TV. Mike had connected a mini HDMI cord and the screen of the phone was now broadcast in 42 inches of flat screen High definition. The status par was cycling at 98%.
“So, what exactly, are you hoping this thing will do for you?” Mike asked, around a bite of pizza. He took a swig of beer.
Dave chuckled, “I don’t know, just looked weird, like the stuff we used to do in college. Figured it might be good for a laugh.
The screen lit up with a large floral arrangement, the caption said, Like these?
Dave picked up the phone and typed in a reply, gorgeous, babe, really, they are perfect.
The phone dinged again and the screen changed to an image of a large, black, swirling vortex, blue letter swirled in the center, “Worm Hole OS version 6.9”.
“Hey, there it is,” Dave said, setting down his pizza and rubbing his hands down his jeans to remove the grease. He picked up the phone, a list of options popped up, the top one was labeled, “” Dave selected it.
“Wait,  what were the other choices, man? You did that so fast I couldn’t read them,” Mike said, mockingly angry.
“Whatever, we didn’t know any of them, might as well start at the top, what do you think it is, snuff porn or something?” Mike laughed.
White lettering on a dark blue background took over the screen.
Welcome to Pin Obsession, more than a photo sharing site. Before beginning, please take a selfie in a safe place you can return to. Make sure this photo is  saved in an easy to find place, in case of emergency.
Mike and Dave looked at each other and laughed. Dave leaned toward Mike and they snapped a photo of the two of them on Mike’s sofa, Dave with half a slice of pizza hanging from his mouth. Mike tapped in the sequence to reset the image as his screen saver and Dave obligingly gave him a thumb’s up.
Now choose or create an image to pin.
Dave flicked  back to the image of the wedding bouquet his fiancée had sent him and selected it. The flowers popped up on the screen, with a legend beneath.
Ready for Wormhole? Please empty pockets of all sharp objects, secure any firearms or other weaponry on your person and be sure all members of your party are in close proximity and touching your digital device, before hitting ‘send’.
“Dude, this thing is hilarious. All right, I’ll play along, I have a ball point in my pocket, I’ll just leave this on the coffee table,” Mike joked, “Now, I just need to adjust my 44 Mag in the shoulder holster.” He scooted over next to Dave and placed his arm around him.
“Ready?” Dave asked.
Mike took another swig of beer, “As I’ll ever be. Hit it.”
Dave did.
Please keep all arms hands and other appendages tucked in neatly, and remember stay in the frame.
At first they thought nothing had happened, they were still looking at the same bouquet, in the same vase. But something was different. The colors were too vibrant, and where was the TV? Dave was the first to speak.
“Holy crap! I’ve heard of virtual reality before, but this is unreal. Did you slip something in my beer, man?”
Mike scoffed, “If I did, you must have traded me at some point, because I see it too.” He turned to where the sofa should have been, but the entire area was bright white, as if they were inside a bubble that held the photograph and its background.
Dave stepped over to the flowers and reached out a hand, expecting them to pass straight through, instead they felt like actual flower petals. He bent and sniffed them. “What the hell? These smell like real flowers, seriously, man, touch this!”
Mike did. “No way! Okay, this is starting to freak me out, where are we?” He walked to his right a couple of steps, but the ground gave way beneath his feet, slowly, as if he were walking on a cloud made of marshmallow. “Help!”
Dave reached out and pulled him back to solid ground. “I guess that’s what it meant by “Stay in the frame, huh?”
Dave looked at the phone, his screen saver had popped up, and a bright green button labeled, “Return Home” was blinking at him. He pressed it. Instantly they were back where they started.
Dave turned to Mike to find the floral arrangement in his lap, “What the heck? Dude, you stole the flowers.”
“Ha! Yeah, I guess I did,” Mike said. “I had to see if it was possible.”
They looked up, the stand that had the flowers on the television was now empty, except for a single petal. “Man, I am not sure how drunk we are, but this is pretty damn cool, wanna go again?”
For the next thirty minutes, they hopped in and out of the floral arrangement photo, first returning the flowers, then placing other objects on the stand, each time saving a screen capture to see if they still showed up tomorrow.
“Man, I have a theory, I think there must have been ‘shrooms on the pizza,” Mike said and they both laughed.
Ping! –Very funny   -Valerie
On the screen was Mike, inside the floral scene, pretending to eat the flowers. It was one of their many screen captures. “How the hell did Val get that? Did you text it to her?”
“Must have,” Dave said and they both laughed again.
“Okay, do you think this will work with other images?” Mike asked.
“Sure, but no porn man, I’m apparently drunk texting and all I need is to send my fiancée an image with me and an imaginary porn star.” Dave said, still laughing.
Mike  got quiet, “No, man, I mean, can we go anywhere we can get a picture of?”
“Wow, hadn’t thought of that,” Dave said.
At nine AM the next morning, the phone rang, Mike sat up on the sofa, where he’d fallen asleep three hours before. Dave staggered in from his bedroom, still in the same clothes he’d worn the day before.
“Hello? Oh, shit! Was that this morning? I can be there in ten! Okay, love you, no just Mike, we stayed up a little late and…okay, on my way!” Dave hung up, “That was Valerie, we’re supposed to be tasting cake today, and I’m late!” 
Dave ran into the bedroom and came back out a minute later, with a fresh shirt on, and dragging his sneakers by the laces. He raced into the kitchen, and came back out with keys in hand, and a bagel clenched firmly between his teeth. “Otay, git mu, phone, und keys,” he pulled the bagel out, “Hey, you can shower here, lock the door when you leave. If you take my boxers, do not bring them back and don’t use my toothbrush!” He ran to the door.
“Hey! You forgot something!” Mike said, the floral arrangement still sat, right where they had left it in the middle of the table. The two men exchanged glances, there was no time to discuss it now, but they had a lot  to talk about.
Dave grabbed the flowers and ran out the door. Mike sank back into the sofa cushions. He was late for work, almost late enough to call in sick if he waited another ten minutes.
“Wonder what Dave forgot this time,” Mike said, digging his phone from his pocket.
Hello Mike, thanks for  downloading Wormhole OS 6.9…


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