We survived the hurricane, but a big storm yesterday cut the power in the classroom building so we got out of class early. The power was cutting in and out for half an hour or more – none too good for the computer equipment, I’m sure, though it was all on UPS backup.
We’re speculating about what our role will be after all this training; I think the best option would be to roll out as the most heavily-armed Windows troubleshooting team in the history of Earth. I can see it now…
Our three humvees skid to a halt, dust clearing to reveal the subdued Windows logo on the doors. Bullets are snapping through the air nearby as we jump out of the trucks, and the battalion TOC is a madhouse – some colonel jumps out of the tent, screaming, “get that server up!” I roll out, snapping down the bipod on my SAW before plunking it down on the hood of the humvee, while Herndost and Lepdog dash into the TOC, a 1U rackmount server and Cisco router strapped to each of their backs.
The enemy has zeroed in on this new threat and starts to fire my way, so I wipe the safety and return fire, brass and links spraying off the hood into the sand. Between bursts I hear Herndost screaming for the spool of cat 5 cable; one hand still on the SAW, I reach into the passenger’s footwell and grab the spool, throwing it to the ground. The other end is already connected to our vehicle’s router and the attached Super-CHU wireless interweb antenna. I squeeze off another burst to keep the enemy’s heads down, then give the spool a firm kick, sending it rolling toward the CP tent.
Bullets raking the dirt around him, Herndost grabs the spool and dives back into the TOC, leaving me alone outside to fend off the increasingly pissed-off enemy. I hear Lepdog yelling status updates: “Formatting hard drive using NTFS…installing video drivers…upgrading Windows Media Player…downloading Comet Cursor and Weatherbug…YES! We’re up!” A mix of relief and excitement washes over me, but it’s not over yet. “Can the colonel check his email yet?,” I scream, ducking behind the humvee’s tire to reload my weapon.
Smack – kchak – click – the SAW is reloaded, and just before I start firing again, I hear those sweet words echo across the suddenly silent TOC:
“You’ve Got Mail!”