Who’s that girl?

Photo of a campus setting in Amsterdam's eastern docklands area.

Photo Credit: Nash, Campus, Amsterdam (NL) Eastern Docklands

11.  Who’s that girl?

By Andrew Nash

Read earlier episodes: Episode 1: Vienna Woods


It was just an old ex asking – in that, we’re all friends, right? – tone about her replacement. But Andrea’s question reminded Franz how much he didn’t know about Pam.

Even his cursory explanation was more than Andrea wanted, so she declared, stifling a yawn, “It’s getting late, and it’s been a very long day.” They made vague plans to talk soon.

That was a sour ending. He hadn’t even had time to explain exactly why he’d called the hotline. Walking back to his cubicle, he resolved to call her from home – or Mario’s – tonight, the next morning in Vienna.

Franz returned to his admin, it was endless, and spent the next few hours clearing-up questions about something he’d bought without filling-out the right forms. As they said in the Valley, Bill and Dave would still be in the garage if they’d had an accounting department.

Jogging to the volleyball court his mind returned to Pam, security, and his friends in Vienna. Pete was waiting and started running when he saw Franz turn the corner.

“Let’s do the Bay Trail, OK?” Franz suggested as they ran east through campus.


“Hey, remember that project from Vienna I was telling you about at Seven Stills the other night?”

“Yeah, sure. It sounded like fun. Too bad we never get to work on interesting apps like that.”

“Well, early this morning some guys tried to steal it. According to my friends, these guys think the app might be bad for the Metaverse.”

“Huh? How?”

“Simple really, time competition. Time people spend in the physical world can’t be spent in the virtual world.”

“Of course! Hey, you know what’d really worry the Metaverse crowd? If your friends create something that encourages people to spend time in the physical world, they could leverage whatever it is into some new type of, I don’t know, platform, part physical and part digital. You could use this ‘whatever’ to create one of those new super-apps people are always talking about.”

“I’m pretty sure they haven’t thought that far ahead. They weren’t thinking at all about the Metaverse and so were really surprised when the bad guys showed up. But they probably shouldn’t have been, I mean the big companies are buying-up or stealing all the good ideas these days just to keep market share and user attention – so maybe that’s what’s going on.”

Reaching the shoreline they turned north, Pete asked, “Do they have any idea how the bad guys found out about their idea?”

It was probably an innocent question, but it stopped Franz dead in his tracks.

More to come …


Andy Nash

January 31, 2022


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