Alarm squealing thankfully pulled him from his lousy sleep. He wasn’t in a good mood. Jacob wanted to find Petra and find out what her problem was and why she had reacted the way she did. He showered but decided breakfast could wait until he went downstairs to DEFCON. There was a meager breakfast served for attendees before the first session. Perhaps he would be able to locate Petra or at least Quip. At the last minute he decided he would take his PC with him for notes on the two sessions he looked forward to attending today.
Just when Jacob thought things couldn’t get any worse, the DEFCON security check point refused his entry. His badge would simply not scan as recognized.
Jacob protested, “I’ve already been attending this event, and you passed me through yesterday without a beat. Come on, man, don’t you remember me?”
The bruiser at the door laughed and said, “That’s what they all say, Mack. Your badge is invalid, and you don’t enter. End of story.”
Jacob was really pissed at this point, “I have been here. I’m signed up for a session. And I am entitled to breakfast. So move out of my way.”
“Mack, you are not going in here on my watch. I was hired to keep out the riffraff. With an invalid badge, you are considered riffraff. So step away, Mack, unless you want the casino security guys headed this way to escort you outside.”
Jacob glanced over and saw two very large guys in dark suits approaching. Security in casinos is not a laughing matter, so he walked back toward the registration desk. He had the nice registration lady look up his name and hoped it was simply a matter of reprinting his badge. She was unable to locate his name then indicated he must be mistaken. He was not registered. She agreed that the badge he had looked right, but obviously it wasn’t valid. The lady was sorry, but registration had closed last night. No additional attendees could be registered as all the classes scheduled were full.
Trying to justify the situation, he reasoned it wasn’t like he’d paid and had a receipt, but rather his registration had been part of the free package he had received. Petra’s comments came back like a sledge hammer. Jacob turned and walked away toward the nearest restaurant. His empty stomach and the security bruiser were not improving the lousy mood that had started his day.
He sat down and ordered breakfast. The waitress brought his food quickly, and he consumed it with a vengeance. Feeling much better and ready to find Quip and Petra, he had no real way of reaching either of them unless he saw them. Jacob signed the ticket with his room number, printing his name as indicated.
The waitress returned several minutes later asking Jacob if he could rewrite his room number on the check. She began shaking her head with a weak smile at him, saying that he must be mistaken about the room number because in checking that room and his name, he was not registered in the hotel. She asked if he had another form of payment for the meal.
“You need to go check again,” Jacob was beginning to really get angry though he knew that taking it out on the waitress was pointless.
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