A 2-post collection

Challenge #01432-C337: Very Wrong Number

Phone numbers and... unxpected... results. Your choice, the FBI story, the Red Phone story, both in one, or one of both. -- RecklessPrudence

Not many people called her on the comms. Even Rael was satisfied by sending her Pings. Text messages somewhere between chats and emails, as she understood it. Some methods of communication had homogenised since the eighties.

Phones were the biggest. She didn't have a phone as she knew it. The closest she had to a phone was a set, an earwig that hooked over the back of her ear and transmitted sound directly to her cochlea, and a ring that acted as a microphone.

She was having a day off, which meant that it was noon, and she had yet to get out of her pyjamas or stop watching cartoons. And therefore it was a surprise that the ring she wore on her pinkie buzzed. Seconds after that vibration, her left ear started ringing.

Bugger all the jolly little tunes. Her phone sounded like those mechanical bells they had in regular desk phones in her day. She pressed her thumb to the switch by her tragus and simply said, "Aye?"

"Congratulations, honoured cogniscent, you've been randomly chosen to potentially win an all-expenses-paid slow cruise to Amalgam Station, meeting point for the galaxy!"

Shayde laughed. "O I have, have I? Where does it start from?"

"Our databases show you're home planet is Terra, in the Sol system. Is that your current planet of residence."

"Nope. No' fer five hundred years."

Silence on the other end of the line. Shayde could just picture the poor schlub in the call centre trying to work that one out. "Uh. What is your planet of residence?"

"Don't have one. I'm livin' on a station."

Percussive noises. The minion of mercantile profits was adding details. "Which station, please?"

"Awright, but ye got tae promise me yer no' hangin' up when I tell ye," she said, enjoying the entertainment value of it all.

"I'm not allowed to promise you anything, honoured cogniscent."

She sighed. "Yer goin' tae kick yerself. Or sommat else. 'Cause I'm livin' on Amalgam Station."

Soft, sibilant curses. "O Powers. That is a wrong number."

"Or a bluidy short cruise, aye. I got worse news for ye, too."

"Go on. Make my day worse."

"Ye up an' called an Ambassador on non-ambassadorial business. I'm no' pressin' charges, ye ken, but yer boss is goin' tae get a call from Sherlock fer sure."

Louder curses. "My sincere apologies for intruding on your valuable time, Ambassador."

"Ah, it's me day off. Tell ye woh... you take note o' me number an' send me a message when ye knock off. I'll send ye sommat nice, eh? And an Ambassadorial pardon with it."

"O Powers bless you," said the shakily grateful voice. "Many thanks. Many, many thanks. Powers be with you."

"And synchronicity wi' you." Shayde answered as she hung up. Sure, she'd hear about it from Sherlock, and get an outraged Ping from Rael, and a visit from Lyr... but she was bound and determined to send that poor sod a gift basket and an Hour or two as a sign of her gratitude.

Her first telemarketer in five hundred years, and it was a wrong number. The more things changed...

(Muse food remaining: 9. Submit a Prompt! Ask a question! Buy my stories! Or comment below!)

I want to be evil...

I just made my own day, today. By being absolutely nasty to some viral vector in a call centre.

Okay. So you know those ass-hats who ring around trying to get you to install malware so they can “clean up” the viruses in your computer?

Well, I managed to tie one up for a good twenty minutes.

My method? I pretend to be dear old Dotty Matrice, who only has one computer. An Atari. Though she pronounces it “a tar eye”.


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