Please join me in congratulating<NAME> on nine years with <COMPANY>! Thank you for all that you do for the <REDACTED> team! Thank you and beware. Beware the terrible curse of the 9th year, a curse born in the mists of legend. It is said this office was built on the site of an ancient village. A village in which dwelled 9 diabolical witches. None can say what happened with any certainty that grim February day, only that when the next caravan of traders arrived to ply their wares, they found nine graves for those condemned of vile sorcery and an empty town which their animals refused to enter. That night they heard strange and terrifying sounds from the abandoned buildings, and all they found in their search of the area were strange charms made of bone and hide. Charms that resembled a nine pointed star that blazed brightly in the night sky. The village was condemned and left to rot, no one brave enough to tempt the fates by reclaiming the site until history obscured the blood dimmed past.
Over the years many dark and terrible deeds have been attributed to this curse. Every ninth server comes installed with never before seen vulnerabilities. Every ninth employee is overcome with madness and relegated to the lightless basement, from which their incomprehensible screaming will never be heard beyond the cold iron bars confining them and the runes of warding carved into the concrete. Every ninth cup of coffee tastes kind of off. Not like… rancid or anything where you would refuse to drink it, just disappointing in a vague sort of way. Like you thought it would be better than it was. I mean, you still drink it, but you kind of wish you had poured it out instead and made another one. But then you’d feel wasteful. You can’t win in that situation.
I cannot predict with any degree of certainty what might occur to you as a consequence of your anniversary. Will the witch cult return to haunt you with dreams of their violent ends, driving you to the depths of insanity? Will you disappear to whatever nightmarish place the rest of the village was cast, their spirits lost to this world? Will you be forever cursed to drink unsatisfying beverages? Never really experiencing satisfaction from your drink of choice, just a general malaise. Who wants to live like that? No one, that is who. I think I would rather have my soul ripped apart in the bladed winds of torment in the plane of eternal fire. At least then I would have the hope of a nice cuppa.
Congratulations again. Congratulations and doom. DOOM.
Happy 6 year anniversary,<NAME>! That is an impressive milestone. As you know, <COMPANY> is a world leader in employee recognition experiences. Anyone can give an employee a pocket watch or a crystal paper weight. Here at <COMPANY> we want each experience to be as unique and memorable as you are, <OTHER NAME>! To that end, we have devised a new “movie magic” package! Please choose from one of the following:
The Martian: An all-expenses paid trip to Mars! That is right! We will send you and a person of your choosing to the red planet! There you will experience all the fun and enjoyment Matt Damon did in the hit film! You will grow potatoes and explode your hab and have almost no chance of rescue as we can only afford the initial trip there. Shooting things into space is EXPENSIVE! If you only knew.
Titanic: Ever wanted to see an iceberg… up close? We will fly you and a guest to the arctic where you will be dropped on an out of control boat on a collision course with destiny! Does this seem less impressive than the first one? It should! We pretty much blew our entire budget on that Mars thing! I mean, the cost of launching the fuel alone is $12 billion! And you need a lot of fuel to get there! And not just fuel! Space is a vacuum! You need an oxidizer if you hope to achieve a burn. It is like sitting on top of a huge bomb! An expensive, expensive bomb! Better hope we did our math right or KABLAMO!
The Terminator: A relentless killing machine will hunt you and a person of your choice through the streets of Los Angeles! Will a reluctant hero arrive form the future in time to save you? Of course not! We can’t afford time travel research! Not when it is estimated to cost an additional $10,000 per pound of material we need to send along with the fuel on this crazy expedition! It will take 500 days to reach Mars! Do you know how much food and water two people need to survive that long? Well we do, because we did the math. It is WAY more than we thought when we dreamed this up. Even pants are heavier than we anticipated! Honestly, it isn’t even a robot hunting you! We just paint some guy silver and give him a gun!
Gladiator: Relive the excitement of the Russell Crowe smash sensation, as we make you fight to the death and sell tickets! What? We have to do something to cover the losses from that Mars thing! Why does an internet company even want to go to Mars? It doesn’t make sense! I’m not going to lie, some ether may have been involved in that decision making! And by some, I mean a lot. Like A LOT a lot.
The Notebook: We give you a notebook. It isn’t even a nice one. It is one of the leftovers from when we were planning that whole Mars expedition. Honestly, we may have written in it. We sort of didn’t care by the time we reached this point. We really overdid it coming out of the gate and lost steam after that.
If Mina Harker lived near me she might remark, “I suppose one ought to pity anything so hunted as the scorpions.” While I may not track them from London to Transylvania, my pursuit is no less dogged. Though I may not slay them with stake and sword, my weapons are no less lethal. Like Van Helsing, I cannot rest while such abominations roam the earth unimpeded. They must be dragged, screaming, into the hells that surely await them.
Scorpions. Welcome once more to the lands of lamentation. To the domain of death. To the fetid fields fecund with your filthy fallen. Our dance has begun again. When I discovered one of you had breached my home, had struck at the heart of the eagle’s nest, I knew that soon your numbers would stir once more. I resumed my vigil. For some time, it was fruitless, but tonight… tonight… you made yourselves known. With the hellacious heat, your come. You rise from your slumber and renew your assault. Did you think I would not be ready? Did you dream I would be caught unaware? This is your Ragorak. These are the fields of Gehenna. Armageddon. I shall leave your ruined corpses as a monument to you folly. Let us clash once more. I will make a feast of your tears.
Congratulations on your one year anniversary, <NAME>! You help the <PRODUCT> team make a big impact in the hosting space. Almost as big of an impact as the hits in this weekend’s big game!
Yes, two teams will square off to determine who will be declared the winner in this super contest of dominance. I am speaking, of course, of the imminent invasion of our planet by a vile space faring species called the Zarrax.
A grim and terrible foe, they are known to adorn themselves with the polished skulls of their vanquished enemies. Rumors they wear the skins as cloaks have been dispelled as their terrible plasma weaponry burns away far too much of the flesh, leaving great and terrible tears where boiling fat oozes from the smoking wounds.
Of course, should their long range weaponry fail, they can always fall back on their foul pain lashes, barbed lengths of twisted wire with which they ensnare their foes to drag them, screaming, back to spiked torment cages. While we cannot fully comprehend the dark technologies the aliens employ, the tortured screams from these macabre devices are somehow harnessed to power their warships, of which countless numbers shall blacken our skies and rain destruction upon our cities.
Of course we cannot count humanity out. There is always the hope that we will capture one of their space craft and write some manner of computer virus which we can then upload to their control vessels and in so doing win the day. It is a longshot, but it is potentially our only hope for survival. We have already enlisted the aid of Jeff Goldblum. While he continues to insist he is just an actor and doesn’t actually know anything about technology, we are expecting great things from him. Otherwise, we will shove him into one of the torment cages on the ship and make for the moon to wait this whole mess out. Whatever happens, humanity shall survive. Perhaps irreparably twisted by our encounter with these monsters, our psyches shattered and little left save a mad, bestial drive to live, but survival all the same.