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Travels in the Western Region - Bad Day at Biomat

Part I, In Which We Introduce the Main Characters and Serve Them With a Crushing Defeat.

Blaze Novacaine took a long draw on his cup of chai and stared off into the distance. He blew a cloud of hot steam into the cold morning air. "Can it do it?" he asked.

"Hell if I know" said Jeff Plank as he poked at the coals of last night's campfire trying to rekindle them, "but there is only one way to find out". Blaze glanced at Jeff out of the corner of his eye. The twinkle in his eye hiding the trepidation and fear and even ennui that lurked within his elongated skull cavity, "Let's ride!".

Blaze and Jeff swung a leg over their laptops and the machines roared to life after a long night's hibernation. Several hours later they arrived at the oddly named town of Biomat. "What kind of name is this?" Blaze scoffed, "Where I come from the towns are all named after wines or celebrities". Jeff shook his head, laughed and spit in the dust. "The name Biomat was carefully chosen to convey a dynamic and profitable image to potential shareholders and venture capitalists" he drawled. "The 'bio' part is latin for self, just like in biography, the 'mat' is derived from the olde English word 'laundromat'. The etymology is unclear, but I think it refers to hard plastic chairs or perhaps soap dispensers, so together it means something like 'self-soaping' or maybe 'I sit alone on a white plastic chair and I have no more coins'. It used to be a clean place to live, but now it needs delousing.". Blaze nodded twice, then three times. He kept nodding. Then he woke up. "That is why we are here" he said as they signed in at the front desk.

The tables were arranged in the shape of a giant horseshoe. Blaze and Jeff tethered their machines to the cables and hit Fn+F7. Nothing happened. "You're shooting blanks" whispered Jeff in Blaze's ear. Beads of perspiration began to show on Blaze's forehead, "This worked last night. Help me out!" he shouted in a whisper out of the corner of his mouth. Jeff began typing furiously to draw attention away from the screen. "Value Proposition!" he shouted. He began turning his screen towards the others still clicking his mouse with his other hand. "Every project successful!", "You can ride..."

"Enough! This is a Fortune 500 town!" barked Big Dig, cutting Plank's last attempt at distraction in half. "And you…" he paused for effect, letting a slow trickle of steam from his ears, "You... are too slow on the redraw". He walked out of the room. Jeff tried to console a now weeping Blaze "Oh yeah. Biomat, I looked it up. It means sitting alone, devastated under fluorescent lights', at least that is what Google says." They untethered their laptops in silence and rode out of town.

To be continued…

(disclaimer: The above is a work of fiction intended for humorous effect only. Any other interpretation is prohibited. Violators will be persecuted to the full extent of the law.)

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