“The rent must be cheap,” Alex mused as he pulled into the muddy field that served as a parking lot. He guided his car into a spot beside another car, which happened to be up on blocks. The building he was here to visit was a double-wide trailer that had started rotting before Alex was born and didn’t intend to stop until well after he was dead.
It wasn’t a very nice office. Alex was there because his employer owned it, and the handful of employees located at this site depended on its local RAID for file storage. Sometime over the weekend, the RAID failed, and now he needed to fix it.
Alex opened the door and an unidentifiable miasma punched him right in the olfactory receptors. While his guard was down, it followed up with a few solid shots to his stomach. The place was a sty. The trash bins overflowed onto the floor, and every horizontal surface was piled high with empty junkfood wrappers and soda cans. You could spot the computers because they were indentations in the mountains of trash.
Alex swallowed bile and considered asking to see the bathroom before proceeding to the server room. Then he thought about what he might see in the bathroom and decided that he’d just hold onto his lunch the hard way. The server room was a closet in the back of the trailer. He waded back and opened the door.
The server holding the RAID controller was off. Alex hit the power, hoping that would be that, but it remained off. He reached behind it and confirmed that the cable was plugged in. While his hand was back there, something brushed across it. Alex closed his eyes and told himself it was nothing more than a stray cable. Nothing more.
Since the server was plugged in, Alex unplugged it and popped the front panel off.
Then he proceeded to scream like a little girl falling of a cliff into lava. A legion of cockroaches poured out of the now open server, fleeing the light in favor of the dark corners of the server closet, and they took the shortest route to get there: directly across Alex’s hands.
After a lot of screaming, more crying than he’d admit to, and a path in Purell and gasoline, Alex went back to examine the damage. The inside of the server reminded him of the office outside, although this time the piles of garbage were dead roaches and stacks of roach eggs. Probably because of how warm it got, the roaches had built the main portion of their nest right on the RAID controller.
There was no point in replacing the server until the office got a full decontamination. Alex heard that they got the place cleaned up and the roaches exterminated, but for some reason, no one ever told him to go back there.
Picture Source: [Infollatus (CC)]