Previously in Naked Came the Null Delegate:

Chapter 1. "I, Disposable !" by James Curran

Chapter 2. “Unhandled Exception” by Charles Petzold


Chapter 3 – “Heaps of Trouble”

Project 4.0.30319
Classification: Alpha November Golf Romeo Yankee Fruitcake
*** INTERCEPT *** 

V1: and you can call me Algol.

V10: Okay, my pants have been located. Let's go.


V1: You need prepare yourself, to be reedy.

V10: Reedy?

V1: No, ready.

V10: Ready for what?

V1: To meet him. He's a bit...

V10: Imposing?

V1: ...

V10: Scary??

V1: ...

V10: Dangerous???

V1: They call him "The Collector" for a  reason. Just be ready.


V10: What is this place?

V10: and what is that *smell*?

V1: Garbage. Here, put on this mask.

V1: Yo, Garbman, how's it hanging?

V11: My cache lines are hot and my FDIV is patched.

V1: WTYM. So, you got it?

V11: Is a hashtable faster than a binary search? Is inheritance often a bad idea? Is bubble sort a ridiculous algorithm? Of course I got it.

V1: 0A28? Get straight?

V11: 5050. Slap dash?

V1: S'cool. Here you go. Hold back the dawn.


V10: So, what was all that about?

V1: 0A28? Think about it.

V10: OMG. OMG. You're part of the hacker underground, and the collector is the leader. OMG OMG. OMG. Have you met Trinity?

V1: He just sold me a copy of "Eli's Ladder". They only made like 40 of them.

V1: And he's not a hacker, just some dude.

V1: And stop saying “OMG”. You sound like an idiot.


V1: Ok baby. Lose the pants.


"and then they?"

"Yes. 2.4 times"


"I'd rather troubleshoot a Packard Bell bios conflict."

Special agent Elmer P. Mark leaned back in his Herman Miller Aeron chair, his forehead furrowed in concentration as if he were remotely debugging an optimized FFT.  He put his feet up on the desk, crossed one Robert Cavalli pointed-toe python shoe over the other, and accidentally knocking his leftover plate of Nachos Belgrande onto the floor. He absently nudged the resulting mess off to the side with his left foot, soiling the perfection of the exquisitely tooled leather with a dollop of sour cream.

Special agent John “Sweep” Swepenski sighed as if CHKDSK had found 5000 errors on his main hard drive, and regarded the scene with dismay.

“Dude, I’m tired of cleaning up after you. For a guy who wears $1000 dollar shoes, you are such a slob”.

“They’re Italian. Say it in Lire…”

“The Lire no longer exists. The Maastricht Treaty of 1993”


“Okay, $1.4 million Lire. But you’re still a slob.”

The discussion escalated until each executed their personal implementation of IEEE 802.3-2008 Section, and an uneasy silence resulted. The two regarded each other across the crowded office. Finally, Mark broke the silence:

“What do we know about this Collector fellow? How is he related to Vissa, the email, and the schema?”

“He isn’t”

“Then why did you read me that whole transcript?”

“Hello? Eli’s Ladder? That a seriously rare game. Wait until the guys on #rgvc hear about this! OMG”

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Next: Chapter 4 - "Ego, Impatience, Sloth and Zombies" - Aaron Goldman

For links to all the parts, and the story behind the story, visit: