Usually the second cup of coffee cleared my head but not this morning.
I had grit in my eyes and my mouth felt like I'd been gargling with bleach.
I thought back to last night. Tossing and turning in sheets made of sandpaper as the neon cast gruesome shadows across the linoleum.
And still I see that damned pirate image. What did it mean?
They started turning up last week. USB drives that some clown had fashioned to look like death. And they were death.
We'd been lucky so far. First they'd just upset the dames in accounts with pictures that would shame a sailor. Now we were losing data.
Everyone had orders from above not to touch the cursed things, but nobody was listening.
And now my job was on the line - I'd been called upstairs to see K-B.
...Old KB loomed over me like a sweaty thunderstorm with braces. His cigar ash drifting around my shoulders, turning to snow in the harsh light of the angle-poise lamp.
"Don't you check what's being loaded? What's the point of your being here!"
"I can't be everywhere," I stammered. Then I drifted away, a protection mechanism left over from my days at the orphanage.
Something clicked, something he said... Check... Point. Then I had it. Check Point!
Check Point Media Encryption and Port Protection, a key part of their Endpoint Suite that meant I could automatically allow or deny individual USB devices for use on the network, right down to the user level, with full Active Directory integration.
It was the perfect solution. I'd call them right away, assuming I got out of there alive. I glanced hopefully at the huge oak door.
But Old KB was just getting going, working himself into a frenzy of spit and cigar smoke, his fists balled, eyes bulging, his face red with fury.
Looking desperately round the office, I saw something familiar glint in his USB port.
"Hang on a minute!" I said. "Isn't that a skull, Mr Kross-Boanes?"