don’t know what we were thinking. Whatever we were thinking, it was bad. We had thought that we could merge Frank and Dirk. Joseph Futrelle, a Senior Research Programmer who had worked on a lot of important artificial intelligence projects for people with four stars, had assured us that they had achieved a lot of positive results when they tried it with gerbils. It was all hooked up on a secret NSCA intranet homepage, and had it looked like it was the perfect thing for Frank and Dirk.
We hadn’t known about the bloodsucking habit that Frank had picked up in the Mission District. Apparently he’d started with sushi, and by the time he’d written Dirk’s most important scenes in the hypertext, was on to steak tartar. His friends later reported that he was eating raw bloody haunches of pork during the period before we flew him out to Urbana. Nor did we forsee what would happen when his carnivorous habit was combined with Dirk’s charisma. I now hasten to the more moving part of my story. I shall now relate events, that impressed me with feelings which, from what I had been, made me what I am today.
Little did we know that Dirk and Frank together would make not only one hell of a hypertext novelist, but also one bloodthirsty mother of vamp. We had stakes but we didn’t know how to use them. Frank’s body was limp on the table. Dirk’s incisors were ripping into my carotid artery. It hurt like hell and I was spurting blood everywhere and I felt guilty as well.
I felt guilty because I had made Dirk feel guilty many times, and had even ridiculed him, albeit in a friendly way, with his own best interests in mind. I felt bad that I made jokes about the fact that the poet was not prolific, and I felt bad that I teased him about being deaf and also tone-deaf. I felt especially guilty about Frank, because Frank had had a decent job before we demanded that he join us and become a famous hypertext novelist. I felt guilty because I had thought that two of my friends, both of whom were competent, even good, writers in their own right, would be better off as one really great hypertext novelist. And we had the technology. But where had all that gotten us? Good intentions mean naught. Two good writers combined don’t make one great writer. This is the lesson. Pay attention. Two good writers combined make for one film noir handsome, feral, bloodsucking creature.