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At the end of my 12 hour shift, Fred showed up for his shift. Fred and I would be doing back-to-back 12 hour shifts for a week while Judy was on vacation. I told Fred about the website down time and also what Brian had told me.
Fred looked at me like I had three eyes. "Man, you need to get some sleep."
That was true, but I wanted to check on Brian's story. I went to the second floor and found the hole. Brian was right, I could look right up to the sky. There were chunks of tile and insulation on the floor but no sign of any plant tissue.
I went looking for Brian if the ocean of cubicles used by the website developers. He was still there. I asked, "Did you file a work request with building maintenance about those holes?"
Brian finished typing a long line of code into his computer. Looking up he stared at me blankly for ten seconds. "Oh. Hi. Yes, I called George at home. He came in an hour ago to look at the damage. Luckily, not a single wire or pipe was damaged. He called the insurance company and then a repair crew. They'll patch the roof at first light."
Brian's eyes went glassy and he started pounding more code into his computer. He was on a roll and I hated to interrupt his flow, but I asked, "What did you do with the eggplant?"
After about twenty seconds of furious typing, Brian paused and looked around. Seeing me, he seemed startled. "Hey. What's up?"
I repeated my question, "What did you do with the eggplant?"
Brian turned ghostly white and started to sweat. I could see hundreds of tiny sweat drops glistening on his face in the glow of his computer monitor. After a ten second pause he asked, "What are you talking about?"
By this point, I was worried about Brian. He looked like he might either explode or drop dead. Still, I had to know. "You told me that an eggplant landed on you."
Brian laughed mechanically. "Ha. Ha. Ha. That's funny."
This was not at all like Brian. "Look, were you there on the second floor when something fell through that hole or did you just notice the hole after it had already been formed?"
Brian closed his eyes and clenched his fists at the sides of his head. Speaking through gritted teeth he said, "What do you mean about something falling through the hole? Its some kind of exit wound, man."
"Earlier tonight you told me an eggplant fell on you. I assumed it fell through that hole."
"You need some sleep, man. And a meal. What is this eggplant shit?" Brian opened his eyes and he glared at me with hated. The sweat was dripping off his nose and chin and running into his eyes from his forehead. I split.
I went back to the hole on the third floor and confirmed that the floor tiles had been bent upwards. It looked like something had blasted out of the building, up through the holes. I was worried about Brian. What could account for his strange behavior?
I went back to my room and told Fred that I was going to inspect the server room for damage. In the back corner behind a rack of RAID units, there was a hole in the wall, about the size of my fist. There was a small pile of pulverized wall board on the floor under the hole. Could something that small have entered the room and pulled the cable, disconnecting our server network from the internet? Was I willing to risk my job over some fantasy about network sabotage by an invading eggplant?
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