Monday, December 10, 2007

If the shoe fits?

On the run. Hunted, relentlessly. Framed by a One Legged Man that stole his Memes. Will he avoid capture? Will he find the thief that framed him? Or is a life in the dungeon facing daily torture and *ahem* haute quisine all that the Fates have to offer him. Follow along as Foxxfyrre: The Fugitive of Blogginham finds odd blogjobs to stay alive and his efforts to clear his name to eventually return to his happy but humble life as Foxxfyrre the Serf.

Episode Three: If the Shoe Fits?

They say that the feeling of time passing differs with what you are doing. For a fifteen year old waiting for his sixteenth birthday to finally get his learners license, time will tick by agonizingly slow. For that same kid on his first date that he is *allowed* to use the car, time simply disappears, well, till he gets her...and himself home. Sitting in Profiles 'R Us, reading Bachelor bio after Bachelor bio, when I know that eventually the powers of Bloggingham may catch up to me before I can catch up with my elusive Hop Along Meme Thief, time moves rather oddly. There's never enough time, but it seems to tick by ever so slowly. It's like sitting in a dentists chair with a full bladder, while the doting dentist peers over x-ray after x-ray, humming and hawing to himself while he sharpens his drill bits--smiling that evil smile that all dentists wear. Masochists these dentists, they just have to be, but that's a different story. It's just part of being a fugitive, I guess.

Working for Profiles 'R Us, isn' t all that bad. I've made a few friends, and Ms. Lenox is a firm but very fair employer. The Bachelors though, that's something else altogether. After just a few weeks plodding through the dating pool, I'm more apt to rename it to the Primordial Dating Ooze, for that's what these Bachelors are barely evolving out of. You don't need a hook to catch these fish, you need some amino acids, water, a few bolts of lightening, and a good sense of timing. With a little luck, you might end up with a Bachelor with all ten fingers and toes, literate, sense of humor, and maybe, if you get really lucky and he's lost his gills or tail--hopefully both. I can really understand now why Ms. Lenox started Profile 'R Us, for I would not want to be a single woman throwing a net into SerfsUp.regina hoping to find a good catch. Not without the help Profiles 'R Us can provide.

I was just about to call it a night and head over to the Honk'n'Holl'r when a QUIP (QUeen Mimi's Immediate Postit notes, it's like IM, but with Royal Stationary) popped up on my terminal. It said simply "Foxx: She's onto you, Be careful. M.P.S." and included this picture.
I damn near swallowed my own heart. How did this Pencil Skirt reporter find me here? What were her motives? Was she really trying to help me, or is she leading me down a path to get caught so she can get her scoop into the Bloggingham Herald? And what's with the picture? Running shoes on stilts? Puts a new perspective on Air Jordans. And who does this picture refer too? I had to find out, but there was something familiar about them, but I wasn't sure what. Donning my Cloak and Hacker, I started hunting and digging for the identity behind the shoes. And it wasn't easy. There was layer after layer of false domains that this picture originated from. After eliminating six different layers, a real hit came up. The picture was sent into the Department of Memes at Bloggingham Royal Library in its archives. That was as far as I could dig from here. The Royal Library is on a protected server and you cannot hack into it from any outside domain. I had to know the identity behind the shoes. While going to Bloggingham University, Blog U, I did do some volunteer work in the University's library, so I decided that the next morning I would head over to the Bloggingham Royal Library and poke around. But I'd better brush up on my Dewy Decimal first.

With the money I've made between working at Coffee2Go, and now at Profiles 'R Us, I have been able to secure room and board at the Hotel Bloggimmore. Granted it's not the greatest place on earth and is in dire need of repairs. Even the outside neon sign needs real attention for it flashes HOT L BLO IMMORE. It's so seedy a hotel that Boston Tourism has banned it from its approved accommodation lists, but it's cheap. And if you slip the desk clerk an occasional 20 Mim spot, they will agree to never knowing or having heard of you.

I arose early the next morning. I knew I'd have to make a clean break from Profiles 'R Us, and get myself ready to head over to the Library to start digging. Again, a new identity was in order, and I'd really have to carry it off. So Miss Velvet Head was born. A thirty-something post grad working on her doctorate in psychology. Getting a back story for a new identity is the easy part. Getting myself to look the part of a mid thirty buxom, yet intelligent blond is going to take some work. For a few more Mims passed to the desk clerk, they can be surprisingly efficient in finding anything for their guests with no questions asked. It is one of the better services they provide once you learn how to put the services to work. I 'commissioned' some help for my disguise from the clerk, and a while later a local girl, named Daisy, came to my room. I told Daisy what I wanted for my disguise. She didn't bat an eye but said, "It's not like there is no demand for it out there." I wasn't sure what she meant, but she left and returned with a case filled with wigs, makeup etc. .

Daisy was quite proficient in makeovers. I was quite pleased with the results, I was sure I could pass as Miss Velvet Head now. I thanked Daisy for her help and asked her what she needed for payment. She said, "75 Mims for the supplies, and 150 Mims for my services--whether you're going to use them or not." I wasn't sure what she meant, or why she kept calling me John, but I paid her 250 Mims saying the rest is a tip for her good service. She thanked me and smiled though she did look a little puzzled when she left my room.

I arrived at Bloggingham Royal Library at 9:20 a.m., and was greeted by a Miss Mimi L. who was the head librarian and designer and curator of the Blogginham Meme Archives. She told me that the Meme Archives is a new addition to the Library. "Memes have become an important form of information exchange, entertainment, and a new form of documenting history as seen by the participants, not written by official record keepers of the time," Mimi said excitedly and added, "It's the for the latter that I saw the importance of starting a Meme archive. It could become an important part of history that may have gone overlooked."

I agreed and said, "That's why I am here. I am hoping to continue research for my doctoral thesis, but I'm running out of funding to continue. I was hoping to secure a position at the library in order to continue with my research."

"Trying to kill two birds with one stone, are you?"

"Well sort of, but I promise to work hard and not let my research interfere with my duties that you set out for me."

Miss Mimi paused and thought for a few moments, and finally said "OK, but if I catch you shirking your duties because of your research, I will terminate your employment. I could use some extra help around here too. What's your thesis about?"

I explained that my research is for my Doctorate in Psychology, and it is about why some people are attracted to writing memes, and why there seems to be a huge gender difference in writers of memes. I told her I call my thesis "To Meme Is Me, Why Doesn't He?".

She laughed at the title of my thesis and said that I may have a bigger nut to crack than I might be ready for. I let her know that I was quite prepared, and that I couldn't be in a better place to continue with my research. She then led me to the Meme Archives and said that memes are very difficult to track and keep ahead of their growing numbers due to their viral nature. She led me to the main desk of the archive and pointed to the sections of the archives. "This is Meme Central", Mimi said. "Meme Central has five major wings, each for a different category of memes. To your left is Book Meme Central, and right of that is Movie Meme Central. There's wing for Personal Memes of all types. There's a wing for specialized memes that won't fit in any category."

"That's only four wings, you said there were five major wings?" I asked.

"I was getting to that, the last wing is for the ever popular Halloween Meme. But I warn you, be careful down there. This is a very old building that is supposed to be haunted, if you believe in such nonsense, so I thought it would be an appropriate place for the Halloween Meme Central."


"Yes, this building is very old and used to be the main house of a plantation. The last owner of the plantation was a young woman named Scarlet, Scarlet O'Harry, or something like that. She supposedly died of a broken heart after being spurned by her butler. I think his name was Red, yes Red the Butler. I never take much stock into these stories of hauntings, but there has been many weird things happen down that corridor. If you are really interested, there is a book written on the entire happenings. It was written by Margaret, hmm, I can't remember her last name, but the book is entitled "Blowing in the Wind," I'm pretty sure of it. If you log on to MimiVista and query 'blow, wind', you might pass it. Mitchell, that's her last name, I knew I knew it."

On that note, Miss Mimi handed me a clipboard and gave me instruction for the days duties. I was to work at the main terminal of Meme Central and track any new memes and find additions to running memes. I was to make hard copies of all new memes, and meme entries to be filed in their appropriate wings. I felt as if I had struck gold, for I couldn't have been luckier getting this position. I had access to the Royal Library's mainframe, so I could hunt down the identity of the person that the reporter warned me about. And with any luck, I might be able to find out more about my Meme theif. I couldn't wait to start hacking, but I still had to make sure I got some work done efficiently. I wasn't going to risk losing this opportunity. I started to work on Miss Mimi's list. It was extensive. I was beginning to see why she said she needed help with this. The first meme had an origin date of only two weeks ago, but it had already propagated into 3000 different instances of the meme, all to be cataloged and archived. "Idle hands are the Devil's work," I thought to myself and got started on all of my tasks.

Seeing that I had most of the legwork done at Profiles 'R Us, I decided to start with the picture that led me here in the first place. It was simply a matter of peeling away the layers of false domain names until the original is found. It took a while, but I reached what I thought was the origin of the picture, and possibly the identity of its owner. I hacked into that domain and followed the lead with an avatar search to hopefully find the person who fit the shoes. I found a match and immediately followed that as well. The identity behind the avatar was that of a person whose handle was simply Polli. Using a password hacking algorithm, I logged on to that host domain as Polli to see what more information I could dig up. I was able to finally log on, but the mainframe at the Library was equipped with sophisticated virus protections that could strip away false avatar overlays in order to protect the validity of the memes that are collected here. This program attacked the high heeled runner avatar and stripped away false user information. A new and correct avatar appeared, and so did the real user information.

These shoes I recognized, and a cold chill went through my spine. I had seen these many times before while I was wailing in pain at every crack of her whip. They did belong to a Polli alright, Polli the Flogger of Bloggingham Dungeon. Why would she be after me? She has a whole dungeon full of memecontents to flog. Did my reward go up? I hadn't heard that it did. It couldn't be that she missed my cooking, hmmm, maybe. I've heard the guards at the dungeon complain that the Queen's Courses are as close to a racking as you can get without actually lying on the thing. What to do now? I had to think. I finally decided that my new identity as a Meme Cataloger might come in handy. I decided to log into QUIP with my new identity and load an avatar virus program to chat with this Polli the Flogger. I was lucky she was online and not busy flogging at the moment and this was our conversation:

The popup killer, as it's called, immidiately came up with Polli's real avatar and identity.

Our QUIP session terminated unexpectedly. Why, I wasn't sure. And I was so close to getting even more information. I tried to find out why our session terminated using every method I knew, but everything showed as if our conversation never happened. All histories and logs were blank as if erased by a real professional hacker. I couldn't find any reason for the fatal error. What to do now? I know I'm getting close.


Anonymous said...

Curses! You are a wise and resourceful grasshoppa. You won't find out any more ... I shall stiffen security. We will catch you yet Foxxy one. The NO LEGGED MAN and the THREE LEGGED MAN have given away some of your secrets. Where is that one-legged man?!

Mimi Lenox said...

I swear you have too much time on your hands, Frank.

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