Bug Hunt

Jorah ran down the alley, barely keeping pace with the suspect sprinting away. His gun was pointed down, his coat flapping in the spray he was kicking up as he ran down the metal floor. The suspect’s heavier, rhythmic thudding run wasn’t slowing down as Jorah tried to add a burst of speed before they all reached the edge. An electric light flickered to his right and he skidded to a stop; the end of this floor was ahead of him much sooner than expected. The hover platform to inspect the rest of the storage facility was copious in its absence. Row and rows of old subway cars were stacked in metal girder frames ahead of him. Cables swung over the edge the drop off in front of him.

Something was wrong.

He'd had his quarry in sight the whole time. Barely, but in sight. The platform wasn't fast enough to have pulled out of sight before he ran up.

Pain ripped through his shoulder. Jorah staggered, then pitched forward and over the edge. Wind rushed past as gravity claimed him. Everything went dark.

Jorah took deep breaths as the technician removed his VR goggles and released the haptic bands controlling movement in game without allowing him to flail.  A second technician, this one with a clipboard and name tag reading “Oshira,” finished writing something and looked up.

“Well,” she chirped, “how was it?”

Jorah winced as the final band pulled hairs off the back of his neck. “Either y'all got a major bug or a serious writing error in the train warehouse.”

The tech’s pencil poised over the touchscreen.

“The suspect disappeared at the platform. Seems like the simulation didn't take my actual running speed into account. I kept him insight but he disappeared. There wasn’t enough time for him to duck off and hide, let me get past him. Not with the sound cues of him still running. Also, there was a problem with my gun — the weight never changed, even when I emptied the clip.”

“Any other sensory information?”

“Yeah, send someone down to an actual warehouse sometime. Y'all need more ozone.”


“The gun thing. Other than that, a lot of fun. Clues were just hard enough to get I had to work for ‘em.”

The tech finished her note, slide the pencil back in its slot, and held out a card to Jorah. “Thank you very much for you time, we'll be in touch next time there's an opening in the betas.”

“How about quality assurance, you got any job openings there?”

The tech looked him over again and took the card back. She scribbled something on the back with a ballpoint and gestured it towards him again. “Give this to Eriksoon at the desk at the end of the hall, other direction than the entrance.”  

“Thanks.” Jorah took the card with a salute, gave the first tech a wave goodbye, and headed out into the hallways and reality.