Author : Ephrat Livni

Probably in most situations it’s bad news bears when the boss asks you to supply drugs. But in this case, it’s alright. First, we’re talking weeds. And second, Ellipsis has been reviewing biz docs for said boss, so she knows investments are risky and the question is potential return on investment, or ROI in bizspeak. If anything, she feels favored, not burdened, by the request — and favored is what you need to be if you are going to compete. Ellipsis wants to compete. Well, she doesn’t really want to. But it’s a competitive time and she doesn’t lack drive, so she says it can be sorted.

“Awesome. Cuz this project plushellasux.” Boss slides away, enjoying the admiring glances of pale, haggard, underpaid Metropolitans, wishing they too had that magical MoreCorp Silicon glow.

Ellipsis is not immune, even if she is wary. She also believes. How could you not? MoreCorp rules the interwebs and the inters rule all. Who is she to disdain? If there is a game, she wants to play, and people say there is, the Lovesport, like an employment Olympics in the time of permatemping. But no one knows much.

The next day she makes her offering and is surprised at ROI. Yields are immediate. The manager wanders over after finding herb in her purse. “Hey koolio, move near me. I’m lonely. This project superplusmegasux.” Boss extends a hand.

“Ellipsis.” She follows the manager.

Reader resentment is palpable as they pass. It’s a small group, mostly vets doing the minimum, which is what’s considered maximization. See, Too Long Don’t Read (TLDR) is a bizdev thought leader innovation, a text reduction method that’s plus-what’s-up-minus-space-waste, part of the Prose Control Project. It’s a spawn of MoreCorp’s algorithmic perfect, Near Zero, or N0. But corp reverence for N0 has bred reader contempt for yes, and most try to do near zero, reviewing as few comps as possible.

Comps are texts to be eliminated. They vary in length, quality, and subject — law, lit, medi, philo, tax, tek. Each presents a unique challenge to thoughtful readers.

The thoughtless dismiss all the writings of yore with a cursory NR, nonresponsive, expendable data in an age of limited storage. Readers relieve the world of works; the gist gets aggregated in spreadsheets.

“Brainstorm for us. Reduction’s production for you fux!” Daisy shouts at admirers as she heads outside with Ellipsis, explaining that she’s growing sexpertise to monetize on it if MoreCorp ends up a no-go.

“Stripping? Are you serious?”

The brainstorm amounts to boss smoking a spliff in a snowy alley. “I’m never serious.” Daisy smirks, tiny, tense, huddled in a hoodie, wrapped in a scarf, hidden under a hat, and stuffed in silver tektights, for running, not an office, unless it’s in Silicon where garb is not a signifier. “But yes.”

“Don’t you make bank at the world’s best corp?”

“I do. But maybe not for long.” Daisy smiles mysteriously.

“What,” El asks. “The Lovesport?”

“Ahh! The Lovesport, that’s what everyone always wants to know.” Boss throws the roach into a filthy snowbank. She turns back toward the office, stops before thumbing the vidgard, and whispers, quietly this time. “I’m in it. Muthahellaplusfrigginsux.”

They slide straight into their slots. Nothing to talk about but much to consider! El is inspired.

If the Lovesport is real, maybe she’ll play — her metrics are meteoric. Or maybe Daisy’s playing her. Everyone’s got an angle and a need. That’s why bizdev-ers like to say that a project is like a microcosm of the universe, with everyone interconnected and dependent and working under a corp executive.

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