Megalomania™ – the board game for BOFHs

Monopolistic behaviour


Episode 25 BOFH 2003: Episode 25

It's a very VERY quiet day so I finally talk the PFY into continuing our board game while the game's fresh.

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap< >tap< >flick<</p>

"Invoicing 'error' in your favour, collect 1000 quid."

>rattle< >tap< >tap<</p>

"BUGGER!" I snap.

"Ooooh, go to the Tape Safe!"

"I've got a Get-out-of-tape-safe key," I respond, throwing it down on the board as the Boss wanders in.

. . .

"Just wondered if you'd got around to looking at my PC... I-Is that a game?!" the Boss asks, slightly put out.

"It's not just a game," I respond "It's Megalomania™, the Bastard Operator training tool."

"It's a game!" he blurts happily. "I love board games... HEY! It's exactly like our building!" he gasps, looking at the multilevel playing board.

"Of course it is. Each game is as true to life as possible. Look, see, there's even a stain on your office floor from when the PFY electrocuted you that time."

"Can I play?" the Boss asks.

"It'll cost you 20 quid," the PFY replies.

"What for?"

"Training fees. Stamp Duty. Arbor tax."

"OK, so what's the object of the game?" the Boss asks, handing over the cash.

"To take over or compromise all the offices in the building."

"And how do you do that?"

"To take over an office, you have to land on it and pay the occupant to leave the room. You then install a fibre feed, media converter, a patch-by-exception frame, etc. When the room is full you have a datacentre."

"Why?"

"When someone lands in your datacentre they pay service fees. The more services, the higher the fees."

"Why go into the offices instead of staying in the corridors?"

"Because the cleaning robot comes through at the end of each round and pushes you forward into the nearest office."

"Ah, I see. And what does 'compromised' mean?"

"It means you've installed a hybrid PC in the room with the ability to snoop network traffic, act as an anonymous Internet proxy, record voice and images. It's done outside this room, but you'll not get to that level in this session."

"This session? How long does the game take to play?"

"Well, we've been playing this baby for about six months. Oh, and lastly, compromised offices have a little black computer piece in them."

"OK, so where do I start?"

"Ground floor, at personnel. Forward-invoice the company and collect 1000 quid."

>rattle<</p>

"Five!"

>tap< >tap< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Mail room. Can I buy it?"

"Compromised. Pay the bastard fund five quid!"

"Anyone break a 1000?" the Boss chuckles.

"No, real money," the PFY replies, pointing at a large envelope overstuffed with fivers. "That's why you avoid compromised offices."

"Where's this money going?" the Boss asks, extracting five quid from his wallet as painfully as a molar. "And how much is in there?"

"The winner gets the remainder at the end of the game, but you get ten per cent of the fund for compromising an office," the PFY responds "and there's about... oh... 735 quid in there so far."

"SEVEN HUNDRED AND THIRTY-FIVE QUID!?!" the Boss gasps, greedily.

"Yes," the PFY responds .

>rattle< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Fourth floor reception. I'll pay them out. What's it worth?"

I look up the card for the office concerned. "Four women, all lunchtime drinkers, so it'll cost you 25 quid in drinks, times four to get them legless at lunchtime: 100 quid!"

"Cheap at half the price. Now, I'd like to buy a fibre feed, media converter, patch-by-exception frame, switch and a server rack."

"100 quid, 20 quid, 200 quid, 100 quid and 600 quid."

"SIX HUNDRED QUID FOR A BLOODY SERVER RACK!" the PFY snaps "It was 300 last time!"

"Yes, but you're on the fourth floor now and Fat Barry doesn't like carrying them up the stairs - since you compromised the service lift."

"Oh yeah. OK, so that's 820 quid?"

"1020 quid, yes."

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Oh bugger..."

"What?" the Boss asks.

"He's stopped in the corridor, right next to my datacentre!" the PFY laughs triumphantly. "See, all the fruit, plus dual server racks, blade servers, cellular service and WAP capability. Which, when the cleaning bot comes through, NOW, runs to a tidy... 2030 quid - but I'll call it two grand!"

I hand over the Megalocash™, and pass the dice to the Boss.

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"GO TO THE TAPE SAFE!"

"Oh, and how long do I stay there?"

"Until the air runs out."

"Then what happens?"

"You pay another 20 quid and start again."

"What!?!" the Boss cries unhappily, then finally extracts the required funds.

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Consultancy Card!" the Boss blurts.

>flick<</p>

"HAH! Inform your Boss that the Telco only licenses phones for use on ground floor, and upper floors are extra. Pocket 1500 quid 'license fees'."

"Well done!" the PFY and I comment, as I hand over the Megalocash™.

"Didn't we pay for some floor licensing for phones a couple of weeks back?" the Boss asks suspiciously.

"Yes. Like I said, it's as close as possible to real life."

"Oh... right..." he adds, confused.

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Opportunity Theft Card," the PFY says "Disable the Boss' switch port and steal half his memory when he brings it in for repair."

"YOU TOLD ME IT WAS A HARDWARE PROBLEM!" the Boss shouts angrily.

"Well, you've got to take the game seriously," I counter.

"Oh this is ridiculous!" the Boss snaps angrily. "I'm not playing this. And I want my bloody network connection turned back on again. Where's my machine?"

"On my desk." I respond. "When should install it for you?"

"And lose half my memory - I don't bloody think so!"

. . .

"What a poor loser!" the PFY comments later as he put's the Boss' playing piece back in his office.

"As opposed to my good self," I reply. "A cheerful winner, taking... uh... 74 quid from the Bastard Fund."

"Why?"

I left my fingers do the talking as I place a black computer alongside the Boss' playing piece.

"BASTARD! You were playing outside the game!"

"Just seizing the moment," I respond.

>rattle< >tap< >tap< >tap<</p>

"Ooooh, Gratuitous Violence card! One sore loser coming up!"

>BZZZZZERT!<<P>

BOFH is copyright © 1995-2003, Simon Travaglia. Don't mess with his rights.


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