I'm jolted awake from a dreamless slumber by the sudden, sharp noise. I open my eyes to locate the source of the sound in the dark, messy room. It's coming from the nightstand, about three feet away.
You have... one... new message.
I briefly close my eyes again and groan. This had better be worth my time. I am a man who is extremely fond of his sleep. Wearily, I prop myself up and sit on the side of the bed, hunched over and sighing as I glance at the clock. 6:58 AM. Way too early for a nocturnal creature like myself.
My rude awakening was caused by the wrist device I got years ago, when they first made me a Moderator. It's a slightly clunky looking thing, dyed in the same light-blue-and-gray color scheme that is a common sight throughout the city. We're not supposed to ever take it off, but I found it extremely uncomfortable in bed, and like I said, I am extremely fond of my sleep. The lock had needed only some minor tinkering to make it very simple to detach and reattach the device at my leisure.
This, by the way, is typical of my life as a Moderator: I tend to shirk my duties at will, often not intervening in disputes out of sheer apathy or laziness. I haven't even solved a third of the cases that George Marshal has, and I've been here much longer than he has. He's the most active member on the moderation team by a long shot. I would strongly suspect him to be one of Rich's robotic creations if I hadn't seen him use the bathroom every once in a while. Programmed to make the rest of us feel guilty for slacking off, or something. Who knows what goes on in that deranged computer wizard's head.
I fasten the device to my wrist, look at the screen and press the little “new!” icon that had always made me a little giddy in my younger years, but that I had now come to dread as a harbinger of unpleasant queries and tasks.
Sender: TL.net Bot
I sigh again. Sent by the bot. This means that the message came from the Admins themselves. The head honchos. They rarely bother me. What do they want? I lower my gaze to the subject line.
Subject: Your presence is required at TL HQ. ASAP
No further text. How intriguing. The only time I'd ever been summoned there by myself was when I thought it would be funny to decorate the MLP crew's hangout spot with pictures of dead and sickly ponies. I got a stern talking to, but it was worth it. The memory still makes me smile.
Had I done anything wrong in recent memory? Not that I could remember. Then again, my memories often are a little fuzzy, on account of all the grass I smoke.
My eyes dart over to the little ornamented ebony box I keep my weed in, and immediately I feel the temptation rise. Perhaps I should have a little smoke? Like they say, it gives you a whole new way of looking at the day... No, the Admins would probably notice, and I might already be in trouble. This would just be adding fuel to the fire. Save that shit for later.
As I shift my body to reach the pile of clothes on the far end of the bed, I notice a sore spot right under my tailbone. I get up and strain my neck to get a good look at my backside in the mirror. There's a boil right above my ass. Great. This day is off to a very promising start.
I grab a quick shower, shave and put on my clothes. I'll get some food on the way to TL HQ. I put on my trench coat, grab my bogart hat with the little horse logo on the front and I'm good to go. I step out of my apartment building and into the gloomy streets of TL.
– TO BE CONTINUED –