2019 07 16: New York

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The elevator opened to a perfectly-sized private landing with another elevator directly facing us. There was a giant mahogany door to our right, with a small cute wooden bench in the open area next to it. Josh, Jessica, and I stepped off of the elevator, which promptly closed and moved to pick up more people.

Josh typed in an eight digit code into a keypad on the door, which beeped twice, and made an obnoxiously loud unlocking sound. Josh opened the door, and walked through, we followed, and the door closed and locked behind us.

Josh turned us left and walked into the giant open dining and living space. The area looked about 30 by 50 feet. Josh's girlfriend, Mona, was lying on one of the two window seats on the opposite side of the giant room, looking out at the city. "All of your clothes and stuff should be in your rooms; and Anthony, your computer is set up in the server closet." Josh quickly said. Mona looked up at us. "Oh, hey!" she said as she walked up to us - we had already met at the Wedding a week ago.

Josh walked back in with a generous pitcher of watermelon juice. "Hey," he got out attention, "I got this made up just before we got here." He set it on a glass table near the corner which had four glasses on it; we all walked over. Josh poured an equal amount in each of the four glasses. We all grabbed one and drank a bit. "That is... good" I said. I love watermelon juice, but this, this was the best I had ever had. "I'm gonna go to my room and unwind a bit." I said. "Yeah, me too." Jessica added.

I kept my glass with me and walked to essentially the opposite side of the room, down a hallway, and in the first door on the right after the kitchen, Jessica was the first door on the left.

The window in my room was facing south, so I could see all of downtown. On the east side of the room was a bookshelf and a dresser which also served as the foot-board of my bed which was right up against the window, effectively making a wide window-seat. On the northern side was a desk with a chair facing the window, three monitors, and my mouse and keyboard that I use in LA.

I sat down at the white leather office chair at the equally wooden desk facing the window and set my glass down without a coaster. The wood was sealed so it didn't matter. I wiggled the mouse for the middle monitor to wake up and show a single, very minimal text input in the center that simply said "[email protected]" as well as a bunch of hexadecimal in the bottom right corner. This monitor was not connected to my computer, instead it was connected to an ethernet cable which was connected into the network.

The Insurance Company produces all-in-one as well as mini desktop computers that are no more than clients for a special type of remote desktop so that one could change where they were working from but still use the same computer. They contained nothing else in them and were impossible to tamper with, and believe me, I have tried.

My computer was moved here and was put into the server room near where we entered just a bit ago, all without loosing power.

I typed "[email protected]" and hit enter. The input box faded a bit and moved up to make way for two new things: the fingerprint of the host, so that I could verify that the computer that I was connected to was the right one, and an "OK" button. The fingerprint was valid, so I pressed enter, and then typed my password into yet another input that appeared. There were no running desktop environments so it automatically started a new one.

Instantly the other two monitors came to life and my familiar desktop appeared on all three.

I was a bit bored, so I decided to check up on the networks. I pressed Ctrl+Alt+T on my keyboard to open the terminal, and then typed in "ssh [email protected]" ".thicc" is based on the palindrome for "The Insurance Company". I don't really know why it's that way, it wasn't my decision. My computer already had the necessary key programmed into it so I didn't need to type in a password or anything. I was brought to the command line of my network computer. There isn't a physical machine for any of the work computers, they are just virtual machines that can be run on any one of hundreds of server locations around the world. When I accessed my work computer, the Insurance Company's vast network of fiber and servers instantly moved the virtual machine to New York, started it up, and connected it to me all in less than a second.

I typed "network-check" into the command line and hit enter. On my display was a simple progress bar made out of hashtags for the completed portion, and periods for the uncompleted portion as well as a percentage on the right. What I wasn't seeing, however, was the many, many millions of individual processes the virtual machine was overlooking in the background. Every single ethernet cable, fiber-optic cable, and computer. were being checked for speed, cross-talk, echo, and other various connection issues.

I sipped my watermelon juice, the almost-sunset sky out the window was beautiful. I admired it for a second.

The scan completed, there were no issues I could do anything about - everything is usually fixed by other people anyway, and the only other issue was a broken cable that was first seen and marked as being worked on a few minutes ago.

I locked my computer, walked over to my bed, and laid down, and just, stared out at the millions of people that was New York City.