Chapter 41: Crash! Boom! Bang!

Author: Alex Keaton
Date: 22nd April 1998

"Goddam fucking shit of a thing!" Erica cursed. Things were not going well on the technology front. When they'd switched on the PC, conveniently located in a completely unlocked house on a remote farm, a courteous message had informed them that Windows had not been shut down properly and that Scandisk would check for errors. Scandisk checked, and found no errors. Then the machine crashed.

They switched it on again, and this time Windows 95 loaded, but refused to recognise the CD-ROM drive. Erica, no mean player on the geek scene thanks to her association with Patrick, used the Control Panel to uninstall the CD-ROM drive, then used the Add Hardware wizard to reinstall it. Renny looked on admiringly, one hand resting casually somewhere near the top of Erica's thigh.

Unfortunately, the Add New Hardware wizard failed to recognise the presence of the CD-ROM drive. Erica tried a manual install, but then the Control Panel Systems box reported that the CD-ROM driver was not working properly owing to a driver conflict. Erica made a mental note to kick Microsoft VP Steve Ballmer in the nuts if she ever encountered him in person.

Not wishing to lose the admiration of the Finnish cinema legend who had boned her so thoroughly just moments beforehand, however, she decided to take a different tack. If they got onto the Net, they could download the latest drivers. There was a Net connection set up, but she would have to make a guess as to the password.

Welcome to FinEmail.
Select service: P
Establishing PPP connection
Username: finfarmer
Wrong password, try again
Wrong password, try again
Connection established

"Moron," noted Erica parenthically as she moved across to and downloaded the CD-ROM driver with bonus Quake patch. At last the drive whirred into action.

"Renny, this could be it!" Erica shrieked excitedly. Renny quickly removed his hand from her general knicker area and focused his attention on the screen.

The screen faded to deep dark black, and an eerie hum came from the cheap tinny speakers attached to the machine's SoundBlaster clone. Then, suddenly, all was silence.

An image of a huge diamond, white and sparkling and as large as Erica's hand, filled the screen. Then, with some impressive morphing technology, the diamond changed itself into a large and fierce image of a tigress, roaring with unrestrained savagery.