Fenno sat in front of his laptop staring at his Dean Robert Clark wallpaper.
He looked down at his stopwatch. It was almost four o’clock. According to cryptic messages from the ITS desk, at precisely four o’clock, HLS e-mail would be operational for exactly twenty-eight seconds. Fenno knew that within this narrow time window, getting even one message off of the server would require concentration.
His stop watch began to beep and Fenno frantically began banging away at the keyboard in an attempt to upload his account ID and password to the HLS server. An hourglass appeared on the screen. Fenno knew there wasn’t much time. One message popped up his Microsoft Outlook before he heard a digitized crashing sound and Outlook informed him that contact with the server had been lost. Fenno clicked yes on the dialogue box asking him if he would like to read his “new” mail.
Fenno laughed. He would be a partner at Cravath before he got to the new mail at this rate.
The message was from HLCentral.
“HLCentral is proud to announce now for HLS students Concorde service departing from Pound Hall to locations all over Europe! And it’s only $20! Cool, right! We don’t even know why we do this stuff!”
This was perfect. Fenno would be able to seize on HLCentral’s conveniently reduced supersonic flight prices just in time for post Winter-Term break. He had to remember to thank the people in the Registrar’s office for somehow working a vacation in to the calendar when it appeared to the naked eye that there would only be time for a regular weekend.
Fenno checked the timetable in the e-mail. The next flight was leaving in a matter of minutes. He grabbed his pack and ran out the door towards Pound Hall. In the parking lot sat the Concorde, and Fenno raced on just in time to seize control of the last seat. He kicked back and prepared to break the sound barrier as the plane taxied onto Mass Ave.
Fenno was surprised when only a small light came on above his seat indicating that the plane had reached Mach one. He felt more than a little bit disappointed that there wasn’t even a loud crack. Fenno surveyed the fine appointments of the plane and the words Mach and One began dancing with each other in front of his eyes. He jumped up realizing suddenly that it simply didn’t make sense. He approached the front of the plane where TJ Duane was talking with a group of students.
“–and that’s when I told him, its all about services, and the next day he started Enron,” said Duane. The students around him began clapping mildly. Fenno shook his head in disgust as he walked past Duane to the cockpit. As Fenno extended his hand towards the door he heard a voice yell behind him.
“Hey! You can’t go in there!”
Before anyone could stop him he grabbed the door and rushed in pushing it behind him. Fenno was only half shocked to see that there was no cockpit behind the door. Instead he was in a dark room filled with huge canisters connected to some sort of exhaust system. One was marked LSD-242. Another read PCP-283.
“So you figured out my little secret, eh, Fenno?” said a voice behind him.
Fenno turned and saw Duane.
“I think I’ve just about got it. You’ve concocted a number of designer hallucinogenic drugs and you’ve been piping them into the vents of the law school. My guess is that somehow this combination of substances allows the entire campus to be highly susceptible to some form of suggestion. Probably a coded message in your e-mails,” said Fenno.
“You figured it out Fenno. You figured it all out. I don’t know how, but you figured it out.”
“So there is no plane, and probably not even a bus to New York?”
“We’ve been sitting in the storage closet in Pound Hall the whole time.”
“All the trips to Pravda?”
“You never went any further than the Harkbox Café,” said Duane, laughing.
“But why? Why would you do this?” said Fenno.
“It was really just stage one, Fenno. I had a bigger plan if I could pull this off; get people to buy into the idea of amazing services for nothing at all. But, now the plan has to go, or alternatively, the cog in the machine has to.”
Duane was pointing a pistol at Fenno. Fenno ducked and narrowly missed a shot. He ran back to the door he had entered the room through and pulled the door open diving through. He fell onto his back and when he looked up he was in restraints. Men in white were dragging him through what looked like a very sterile building.
“Where’s Duane? Where’s the Concorde?” said Fenno.
“There is no Duane,” said one of the men in the coats. “You were never on the Concorde, Dr. Fenno and your ‘friend’ Duane who magically gives you everything you need from outlines to firm databases to convenient transportation does not exist!”
The men were attaching electrodes to Fenno’s head.
“So, I don’t go to Harvard Law School? I’m not destined to be a member of the ultra-elite class of the world’s most hated profession?”
“Oh, no that part is real,” said the steward. “Switch!”