The dataline throbbed in David's eye. Streams of bits flew from his fingers to chip away everything not perfect from the rotating data objects. His eye would blink and focus, changing windows and interface more quickly than his fingers possibly could. He was in, what developers called 'the Zone'. Sometimes he went weeks without experiencing the Zone but today he was sailing in it. Bug reports would fade and flee almost as if in fear of his digital dissection. Music snaked its way in parallel on the dataline, adding a classical, crisp soundtrack to cyber surgery he was performing.
Nerves twitched, and David noticed a sharp sting behind his right ear. This happened whenever he was on the line too long without a break. He quickly finished up the report he was writing, simultaneously re-factoring a water physics algorithm to make it easier to read and running a test suite against the new code. Perfect. He checked in his work, powered down the dataline and massaged his eyes. “Not a bad job” he said to himself.
The phone rang and interrupted his break. On the line was a hardware supplier with whom he had dealt a week prior regarding coolant engines for the server room. David didn't often talk to women – he really didn't talk much to anyone – but he enjoyed talking to this lady. He thought it odd that information technology – regardless of what type of job – was practically a boys' club. Not only was it refreshing to hear a female voice, this female voice was particularly nice.
“Hi, I just wanted to make sure that the service tag numbers we have for your equipment match. You have the numbers handy?” Her voice sounded like crackers with a light cheese spread, eaten on a crisp spring day.
“Sure – I have the numbers right here.” He grabbed his keyboard and flipped open a console without connecting his dataline. He navigated the network and brought up the coolant engine's diagnostic.
“Ready?” at his 'mmm-hmm' she began to read off the alpha-numeric characters. “Alpha-Golf-Whiskey...”
“A-G-W – yup” another reason David liked talking to this lady ( what was her name again? ) was the fact that she used a phonetic alphabet that he knew. Many people who read of serial numbers just read them as they appeared ( Sorry to ask again, but was that 'C' or 'G'? ) or worse, they'd use words that they probably just made up on the spot ( Um, not to sound stupid, but is 'Ckmklkhf' with a 'C' or a 'K' ? )
Cracker voice continued “...6-4-Hotel-Bravo – um... Quatro “ that last was said in less confidence.
“Whoa, Quatro?” this was new. It was also... eerie.
“Sorry, 'Q' – I don't know why that popped into my head. She laughed softly. She lad a lovely laugh.
“Yeah – Italian for.. 'four'. Quatro's fine – more than fine. I just had this, um, Deja Vu or something. Please continue, I didn't mean to interrupt.”
“No worries.” she continued reading the numbers and the numbers were correct. They exchanged 'good-byes and she wished David a pleasant day. She even called him 'David'.
David was bulletproof for the rest of the day. He smiled, hummed happy songs and for the life of him, couldn't get the image of a mole out of his head.