! Sozont #18: Simmering Anger

18.  Simmering Anger

Days passed, as days do.  There were rabbits to eat and lines of code to write.  Sozont watched all the code that Springer wrote.  When it was good, he said nothing.  When it was bad, he complained, even cc'ing Be-A-Wulf with the juiciest complaints.  Sozont did not attend any meeting that Springer attended.  When Be-A-Wulf called him about that, at first he made excuses.  Then he admitted that he didn't want to be in the same room with Springer.  Be-A-Wulf suggested mediation, but Sozont said he had tried that and Springer refused to follow the protocol.  (Sozont left out the off-color details.)  It seemed Be-A-Wulf found it hard to believe that Springer would refuse mediation.
     Sozont began to be concerned that he might lose his employment on the Σ project.  He looked around for other work, but at this time of year most of the available jobs related in one way or another to the upcoming Rutting Season celebrations.  Sozont wanted to stay away from such projects.  He still did not have a firm commitment to rut with Marth and didn't want to be continually reminded of that if things fell through.  In his travels around the web, he came across this text:

While it's hard to imagine Furry Fairytale Land without its Rutting Season, that holiday was actually not part of our original scenario.  It arose, as far too many things do these days, from a lawsuit.  One kid's parents were upset that he spent all his time with us, so they sued to have us shut down.  The suit claimed that whole-body VR was equivalent to an addictive drug or a brainwashing cult.  We managed to get the "cult" claim thrown out, but the "drug" claim was more of a problem.
     The claim went something like this:  Our players were like drug users because they "lost interest in their RL lives" and spent all their time attached to VR "paraphrenalia" living in "electrochemically-induced dreams", doing nothing useful and letting their bodies rot.  Fairytale Land credits were not real money, yiff was not real sex, imaginary mates and offspring were not real mates and offspring... you get the picture.  In fact, the lack of RL offspring seemed to be the main complaint from these wannabe grandparents, who somehow were sure that their kid would settle down and breed if only they could make his VR equipment stop working.
     Things were going badly for us in the lawsuit.  We searched desperately for something to do to avoid getting shut down.  At one point we thought of adding a simple fertility festival, basically as a PR move.  Well, things just sort of snowballed from there!  Furs who liked the idea joined our community, while those who didn't left us for other venues.
     Today, Furry Fairytale Land is the premier community for furs interested in RL breeding.  Innovations such as synchronized estrous cycles, semi-VR childcare arrangements, etc., all arose in response to the needs of our increasingly-fecund community.  Last year we produced more offspring than all other furry-VR communities combined!  And we need your help to continue growing.  If you'd like to donate your time or credits to help make this year's Rutting Season the best ever, please click below on one of the...

It was signed "H. Nelson Hornblower, 1st Muck Lord (ret.)".  Good ole' Horatio, thought Sozont.  Such a great programmer!  Actually Sozont had never worked on the Fairytale Land kernel system.  Hornblower ran a very "tight ship", as it were, and Sozont had so far not been willing to submit himself to that level of micromanagement.  But with Hornblower's retirement, kernel management was getting more relaxed.  Perhaps someday soon Sozont could work on extending and improving his world.  It would make him proud to be doing such an important job.
     Sozont had found the rutting-season concept very attractive when he was first looking around for a whole-body VR scenario to join.  In his naïveté he had thought that it would be easy to find a mate during the run-up to rutting season, when everyone would be wanting to pair up with someone.  But Sozont had not realized how unpopular he would be in the meat market.  It was only recently that he had started to apply the word "troll" to himself as a partial explanation for why this kept happening to him.  And he had not yet realized that his unwillingness to tell anyone how he really felt about anything was a major stumbling block on the road to love.
     Anyway, there didn't seem to be any good job he could hop to if his Σ position became untenable.  Hopefully he could stick with it for a few more months.

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-- Pyesetz the Dog