"Anyway, like you were saying. Are you serious?"
"I sh*t you not. His Dad's brother turned out to be his actual Dad. F*cked up, I know. When that got out in school, all the kids were calling him "The Man from Uncle".
But what it'll also mean is I may not have a net connection to update as often as I'd like (erm, not you'll probably notice any difference, given the irregularity I'm updating of late). So yeah, lots of shifting and jumping in the coming weeks, hopefully all for the better. Enthusiasm tempered with caution.
Anyhoo, as promised, another extract from Silly Games (as was the opening exchange, in case you were wondering). This one's language is a little more… colourful. So naturally beware of the salt that is profanity in this entry. All the same, it's not too explicit, especially compared to the rest of the novel, but I made the realisation that most of its 'cheerier' parts were quite obscene and I didn’t want to have a downbeat extract again for this week (although if I included the end of the chapter, the tone of this passage would be far different to what you have here).
"So, you really okay, Gee? I mean, really."
"But hey, live and learn, right? It's all we do these days. Live and learn. Then screw it all up over again."
Gee patted my shoulder. "Like I said before, it's fine." Pause. "So, how's things with you? All this time, I've barely even asked."
I think my expression kept on the rueful side. "Argh, you know. Work's sh*t, I'm stupid with my money, I make bad social faux pas'…" -Gee smirked- "Biz as usual."
"Some things here and there… bit too early to say though."
"Nah, not really. I tell you I started a blog?"
Gee guffawed. "You hate blogs!"
"I know… but… necessary evil."
"Don’t deny it."
We went into the main computer room where I showed her my slapdash efforts. She gave me a few tips on my design and how to draw in an audience, to which she directed me to a small side project site which involved several scantily clad, heavily bosomed female anime characters standing on a dance stage to an empty auditorium, looking decidedly bored. I turned to Gee. "Erm…"
"Shhh," she grinned. She went through a couple pages of unintelligible routines, then clicked on a 'contribute' button, entered a PayPal amount of £5 and then said, "watch this."
Her site returned and the characters on the screen suddenly started writhing slowly around each other to some generic Europop. Then as the tempo started to speed up, the music turned into some sort of J-pop variant and the characters started to dance manically, jiggling their numerous animated bits rhythmically, but as per anime conventions, never dropping out of their barely apparent clothing. Flashes of Gary's crotch dance from days before came worryingly back before my eyebrows rose several feet off my head. "Gee, what the hell is-"
She put a finger over my lips. "Shhh… wait."
I continued to watch the animated women bounce and jiggle and writhe, singing along to the crazed soundtrack. Then bizarrely, a male avatar walked on to the screen and sat down. A little speech bubble popped up: "Glad 2 see you back online, thought u were gone 4ever."
The song changed. Something contemporary poppy, not totally sure, but the dancers seamlessly switches rhythm and tempo to match. Then another man appeared and sat down. His speech bubble was just " :) ". Then another. And another. We watched for minutes as the previously empty seats filled with oglers.
"So, wait," I said, "these guys are paying for this?"
"At the moment it's a small contribution – they come in, pay whatever and then have about 10 minutes to play whatever song they want while my characters do their biz."
One man's speech bubble suddenly came up: "Take it off, baby!"
Yow. I silently turned to Gee who was rolling her eyes. "Expected, but no, before you ask, they never get naked – the tease is part of the attraction."
"And they just what, sing and dance? That's it?"
There was a slight skewing of Gee's eyes. "Well, that's part of it… I've kinda got a deal with a few sites… well, actually, no, let me rephrase. I've got a deal with some friends… hackers… who work within a few sites where there's thriving virtual communities. Places where people hang out online with their virtual lives. They've created this underground server which patches on to their virtual world and that's where we test out stuff deemed too risqué or outside the community's terms of service. Few people know about it, because obviously, if word gets out and we all get caught, we're in the poo, but there's enough of a keen side audience who's willing to play along. My contribution was this – a tame but very specifically geared interactive go-go bar.
I was incredulous. "I love your intentions, but, Christ, how do you get away with…" I pointed to the overt jiggy jiggy, "…this?"
I shook my head, laughing in disbelief. "Jesus…"
"No offence, but guys… guys are huge lump sacks of walking procreation hormones. Women control the undercurrent of everything you know. Your world is a big ol' sham because you worship these," she grabbed her breasts theatrically, "and pray with this," she waved an imaginary penis from her groin. "Accept that and everything else is sweet vanilla ice cream. As long as you remember that we're the ones providing the milk."
"You're so wasted at your company."