Chapter 2

Chapter 2

A Chapter by Alex Vandool

"There is no tomorrow, there's only yesterday and the day before. Today's the whole thing now - tonight is all we have."

Some bot or other had flown in a few weeks earlier, and was engaging in an indoctrination session with a group on the fringes of the programme. The dreary old chat was beaming out into this shadow world and was glowing on a number of the screens in the crybar. Conversely, panentheism was coming back into fashion, between lulls in the ebb and flow of the Zero Personal Mega Church viewtruths. A newish mood of reaction was slowly seizing focus in the universal mind.

He looked at his client through somewhat jaded eyes. Glancing this way, muttering to themselves, staring bemusedly as if into a sudden memory, they began striking on antique cigarette lighter, fixated on the sparks emitted in the relative darkness of their pointed reverie.

"There is no need for concern at the atomphobic goals of the anti-science soul terrorists. Unity in difference, public security, and committment to the richest of all possible cultures is a foregone conclusory certainty", the bot droned on from the screens.

They nodded and looked away from the sparking artefact, as if satisfied with their activity. "These days...", they looked at him directly, and snorted derisively.

He smiled in acknowledgement of their effort and accuracy. Allowing for the effects of the shots of Mezmerizer and other lacrimosities in which they had indulged, he couldn't help feeling a genuine admiration for his client's temperament, and wondered where their case might lead.

"I venture that we might..."

"Yes, the evening draws out..."

"Without any need for hurry..."

"Patience is the art of the noble..."

"Excuse my presumption..."

"Obliged for your temperance..."

"The obligation is surely mine..."

Gathering their senses thereupon, they stretched out their arm toward the centre of the crybar. A hover-tray sped to the table and they paid their bill with a slight flick of their wrist on the centralized credit meter. "Let's get out of here".

Both rose, and then descended to the metallic exit. Before leaving the dismal establishment, they turned to him and proffered a suggestion. "If you wish, you may bring me to my residence. I will explain something of my difficulty on the way".

Reaching the Jacobin, he adjusted the seating to their preference, boarded himself, and took hold of the hover wheel. Liftjets engaged in virtual silence, he whirled the highlighter and put the infrareds into effect. Moving up to level three of the city's flyway, he looked enquiringly at them to confirm their preparedness for the trip. They blinked affirmatively, and he put the Jacobin into self-drive mode and released his hold on the wheels.

Gliding above the dimly lit streets, he felt a tinge of regret that he had sworn off Mezmerizer, and similar vices, some years before.

© 2022 Alex Vandool

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Added on March 4, 2022
Last Updated on March 29, 2022


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