He was at work, asking another idiot customer if the keyboard was connected to a power source, when his messenger tinkled. Dex liked auditory notification, so under the sounds of the customer’s curses he heard the sound of windchimes as the message was received. He brought up the message, which was text only. Dex scanned the message and whispered aloud, “What the fuck.” The customer he was helping stopped his rambling and asked, “Did you say something?”
“No, sorry,” Dex recovered, “Just some background noise here. You were saying…” The customer kept on with his tale of mismatched cabling while Dex re-read the message.
“Andersson Dexter,” the message began.
“You have been looking for us. After analyzing your profile, we have determined that you do not seem to be interested in our services as a client. Therefore we must conclude that you are interested in our operations for other reasons.
“We invite you to meet a representative at the linked location at 1500 UTC tomorrow. We will meet you there.”
The message was unsigned and the return address was a popular anonymizer service. But Dex knew it was the men he had seen handing out some kind of street justice. And they wanted to meet him.
• • •
The link in the message was for a location online that Dex was unfamiliar with, but it was in one of the normal zones. He was confident that he could link into the location and he’d be able to maneuver his avatar without having to deal with altered laws of physics or anything out of the ordinary. But he was still unsure. Dex spent the next day debating with himself about what he should do. First thing in the morning, he’d decided to ignore the message. He didn’t need the hassle. By the time he was on the train on the way to work, though, Dex wasn’t so sure. He couldn’t stop wondering what would happen if he kept the date. Once he’d arrived at his work station he knew that there wasn’t really any question any more. If he let it go, he knew that he’d spend the rest of his life wondering what might have happened and he had enough regrets already.