Chapter 1 Part 1 of The EmVee
Lawrence was hesitant to walk into the office. He could see the occupants of the room through the glass walls and the expressions on each of their faces were rather intense; anger, confusion, and general displeasure were rampant. There were a dozen individuals sitting around the table, all wearing their very serious business skins for their avatars. Like every meeting, this one took place in the Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Reality realm of the EmVee. It was a lot less expensive and easier to schedule to meet inside the EmVee than it was to try and fly everyone out to the same location; and no one even had to put their pants on for the meeting. Lawrence himself was sitting in his living room in Oregon, while his Avatar was standing in a replication of the EmVee headquarters in Southern California.
Despite the fact that he, and the occupants of the office, weren’t really there, Lawrence was still uncomfortable about the idea of having to walk into the room. Inside the office were all the biggest investors of the EmVee, the head of Public Relations, and even the big-man himself, the CEO, Brad Lee. The thought of entering that room and trying to speak in front of that group made his chest tight with anxiety.
Brad Lee was something of an enigma amongst the community; he was a genius programmer, but he was also very handsome, and very fit. If the office building allowed for custom avatars, Lawrence would have never believed that Brad Lee looked anything like that in real life. As it stood, however, all employees were required to use their default avatars, the ones based on their real-life appearance, while inside the headquarters. The only thing anyone could customize was their hair and clothing.
Brad Lee sat at the head of the table, his finely tailored suit struggling to restrain his biceps, silently listening to the words of the much thinner man at the other end of the table. The thin man, whom Lawrence recognized as Terrance, the head of the cyber-security department, was very animated in his speech. Though Lawrence couldn’t hear a word being spoken through the glass, Terrance’s actions and expressions made it clear that he was angry and very passionate about what he was saying. He clearly had his immersion rig set to display his real emotions. The other faces in the room were harder to read as they either had their emotions turned off, or they had very good poker faces.
“Whenever you’re ready, Mr. Appledehli,” the receptionist called from behind Lawrence.
Lawrence looked back over his shoulder at the young, red-headed man. He nodded his head several times, trying to psyche himself up then took a deep breath and reached out to wrap his fingers around the polished handle of the glass door.