MMO Cease and Desist

May 13, 2016:

Stark Industries receives a Cease and Desist from a MMO company … why?

Stark Tower - New York


NPCs: None.



Mood Music: None.

Fade In…

The ancient avianoid entity known as The Corvinus was gifted with vast processing power and storage space, it's creators having designed for the ages. Having operated for aeons well beyond expected design parameters with only marginal computational errors, it was no surprise that the juxtaposition of it's host and it's self have led to some very odd mental situations.
For example, a mind capable of calculating the heat death of the universe within five significant digits within a few moments of gathering all information needs… well, it needs something to keep it 'busy' when all that is available to run all that magnificent brain-meat is… an average human mind.

There are many MMOs out there.

Jim Reha found one on break one day between international support conference calls, and it became insanely easy for even his limited mind to grasp control of several 'outlaw' servers and even… improve them. So much so, that for the past few months Jim's work performance has been steadily above average, yet… for some reason his wi-fi usage is off the charts, as well.

No, he's not streaming porn.

This has come to a head, though, because the skilled computational experts of one of the said *big* MMOs have recently filed a request for a 'Cease and Desist' against… Stark Industries. Uh-oh.

A certain bird-like employee is now standing in the private elevator, waiting for the meeting with Pepper over some concern about bandwidth usage… unaware that… the jig is up, as it were…

Waiting in her office, Pepper is getting about four other things done simultaneously. She's honestly amazed that JARVIS hadn't pointed out the excessive bandwidth useage earlier, but then she supposes the AI is used to Tony levels of internet abuse and likely didn't see Jim's actions as noteworthy until the Cease and Desist arrived. Thus, despite having JUST made a pot of tea, the beverage is going untouched and being allowed to grow cold.

Brin is sitting in one of the chairs in Pepper's office, they've been reviewing the relative success of the actions Pepper took to stop some of the Purifier funding. "Excessive bandwidth usage?" Her eyebrows rise "and a cease and desist. I wonder what's caused that …." Her mind rather boggles.

Like a fowl to the slaughter, then, Jim approaches Pepper's office, mindful to keep out of most lines of sight. He could have down-shifted to Corvinus, but he's still on the clock despite his electronic side-adventures, and he's always been raised to put in an honest day's work.

He gives a polite restrained knock at the doorframe before entering and closing the door slightly to obscure the view into the office.

"You needed to see me, Mi — Pepper?"

One of the things Jim has found hard to break the habit of even after all this time is referring to someone by just their name. It flew in the face of decades of retail experience and military training before that.. and a polite upbringing.

"Oh, hello Miss Myers!"

Okay, so what is going down here?

Pepper Potts gives the two a chance to get their hellos out of the way — while she finishes an email — and then she's looking at a document on her tablet. "Jim, I'm hoping you can help me with something. Have you heard of something called 'The Continents of Combat'?"

"Brin, please Mr Reha." the brunette looks up at the greeting. She's just finishing reviewing some of her own reports and with a tap on her tablet, closes the screen.

"Alrighty, then, um, Brin. You can call me Jim, then?" The offer is courteous, dignified, and respectful, but a bit nervous as he hears his boss mention the 'parent' code of the servers he's currently got running in the back of his mind. The avianoid blinks a few times and then looks out at the city through the window past Pepper's desk for a moment or two.


*SO* Busted. Your chance to come clean. She's been good to you. You make this right.

"Yes, Pepper. It's one of those Massively Multi-player Organized jobbers."

Or not. You could just be like that other guy. *DON'T* be THAT guy. There's not enough room for that kind of ego on this planet!

"It's okay to —" He pauses again and shakes his head. Don't you dare lie to Pepper!

"I've, um, been running a copy of a few of the pirate servers up here? Y'know, to keep me from getting *too* distracted? Is there something wrong?"

Pepper Potts says, "Well, other than the Cease and Desist order from Gekko Gaming? How about the fact that you've managed to outdo Tony's best bandwidth-hogging by about a factor of five." She sets the tablet on her desk and turns it for Jim to look at. Right there, in LED pixels, are the numbers of how much data he's sent and received. And for today, the numbers are still counting."

Brin smiles faintly and nods in agreement "Deal. I'll call you, Jim." her eyebrows rise even higher at the admission he makes and she coughs to hide the bigger smile that starts appearing.

"Pirate servers? As in, illegal?" which might explain the cease and desist "How many is a few, if I may I ask?" She's curious.

"…glrk…" Well, at least, that's the closest sound that Jim makes to intelligible noise. Any brief momentary pride at having out-hogged Mr. Stark is strangled by the very sudden and VERY REAL terror of easily being 'let go' by Pepper and S.I. for 'unprofessional conduct'. And then who would pay the legal bills? And where would he stay, and… and…

Thousands of computations run alongside the purloined I.P., calculating 'worst case' and 'best case' scenarios even as the bird-like plummage fluffs out in such a fashion that it'd be almost adorable if but for the sheer terror that the tensed fellow is almost palpably exuding.

"Um, it's… independently coded based off the source code of the root for their product but some of it was so loose that I kind of have ah, been um… poking at it as a hobby on the side and um right now I'm running fifty independent servers up here? I'm, uh, well, there's very little lag compared to their -" He coughs nervously "salable product?"

Is he shaking? The bird that's been shot, that took shots over in M-Town, been through hairier things on a good day…. is trembling?

Pepper Potts raises her eyebrows in unconscious imitation of Brinley at the word 'fifty'. "That's … almost impressive, Jim. Although, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to shut down all of those servers before Gekko moves on from a Cease and Desist to actual litigation. If you'd like software to play with while passing the time, I'm sure the the StarkPhone and StarkTab divisions would love the help in debugging and stress testing their new OS and application code."

"Was it opensource to begin with?" Brin sounds a little bemused by the 'fifty' and refuses to look at Pepper. "Or, more appropriately, what were the licensing terms for the base code?" An interesting question to be sure.

If Jim could achieve what he said he had, then that's a pretty amazing feat.

"I… One moment, please?"

Jim gets that glassy-eyed far-off stare once more. The bandwidth usage drops from the insane amount that was ripping through the connection to… barely negligible in comparison to normal operations.

"It… it's done."

He almost sounds like he had to put a pet down, for lack of a better analogy.

"I… I've been avoiding that because I didn't want to take work from the other awesome people that work here? But… I can do that. Um… easily?"

He points his index fingers at each other when Brin asks the question and shakes his head. "Very much not open code with lots of DRM attatched that made it impossible to improve the product without jail-breaking it, and in fact produced a lot of hardware and software lag. There were some independent folks that had a server or two going, so I… used their code as a base. Hacked but not far from the original?"

I'm not really sure how I did it myself, it just sort of worked?

Pepper Potts can see the numbers on the tablet trickling down to a near-stop. "Thank you, Jim. And I'm sure the code engineers won't complain about your helping them with stress testing. That's usually something they try to avoid anyway." She also (briefly) considers asking him to help her with the project she and Brinley have been working on, as he could SERIOUSLY help JARVIS with the data crunching. But she's not sure if reading him in on it is a good idea.

Brin winces at the mans admission that it wasn't open source code and heavily DRM'd. "I … see…." she says slowly. Peppers suggestion to help with Starks stress testing meets with approval but she see's Pepper's look at her.

"Remember we spoke a few months ago, Jim, about the issues we were having tracking The Purifier funding? We've found some of it, but could do with some more help." Pepper can add to that explanation.

The birdly fellow looks to Brin and nods. "Absolutely. Let me know whatever you need. Some of those bastards shot a whole bunch of holes in me a few months back trying to slaughter kids in M-Town. I'm on-board, just let me know."

No, he didn't remember if he told his boss about that. He'd healed, he didn't want to worry her too much.

Then Jim pauses briefly and glances to Pepper.

"I… can kind of understand that with the Starktechs. The code's their baby, and stress-testing it is sort of like shooting the baby and then scrambling to patch it back together again, stronger, harder, better, faster."

"Could we, ah, not mention the whole bandwidth thing outside of this office? I mean, I don't want it to be a challenge to try and beat?"

And knowing of a particular resident genius, it'd very much become a challenge to beat.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License