Trex World, Part 32
The next morning he set off for Taste!. With his account on fractions of cred, he didn’t want to waste a chance to make contact by talking to Amanda_adnamA’s voice mail. Better to just go in person. There were twirling sensations in his stomach. Why am I nervous again? This girl is prolly half my age. I’m an idiot. Doing the shuffle routine through the streams and currents of humanity, he mused again, I’m an idiot who’s about to be but out on his arse. Play it cool, doofus.
Taste!’s building had grown. It’s dome top had gained at least two storey’s height since his last visit, it’s exterior was now a reddish sort of pink that transitioned to various shades of brown and then back to bright red, and it’s diameter had widened, displacing it’s neighbors by a couple of meters at least. The surrounding Floor area was teaming with people, pushing in and out of the now multiple portals into the place, all filled with that same mist that had boggled Paul’s mind before. More people than mist, now. Halfway up, Taste!’s purple glowing sign was gliding around the building’s circumference. As it glided out of sight, a new glowing image in green flicker strobing “WANT IT>>> NEED IT>>> TASTE IT” followed. A voice over an unseen PA boomed, “Only 12,456 left! Only 12,455 left! Only…” The Detective was right, that kind of economic growth was unheard of in the business district. Even PanPro only grew about a centimeter per fiscal year. This was all very bizarre and slightly disturbing.
The closer Paul got to one of the entrances, the more he had to shove and elbow his way to make progress. Gone was the flow, all that remained was chaotic jitterdance. “What’s going on?” He managed to shout at a dark complexioned lady who briefly made eye contact with him.
“You don’t know?” she shouted back, a look of incredulity on her face.
Paul shook his head. “They’re having a sale,” she shouted once more and was lost to him as a pocket opened up before her and she plunged in.
“Holy Crapioca,” Paul breathed, pushing and shoving his way to an entrance.
A party was going on inside.
At least, it looked like a party, felt like a party, so it must be a party, right? The cavern Paul had stepped into was even more hyper-stylized than before. The fog was still present, as were the strobes and dancing lights, but on a grander scale. More wattage. More Decibels. More beautiful people scurrying about. The ceiling curved up and disappeared in the haze. Spaced at even intervals, Paul could see more Smaser’s had been mounted on gimbals, presumably tracking potential customers, ready for a zap. Numerous cocktail waiters and waitresses in various forms of dress or undress flitted about, dropping off martini glasses filled with glowing liquids, delivering their wares and deftly missing streams of women and men gang- rushing the multiple checkout stands that radiated throughout the now impressively large main floor.
Paul took a chance that he wouldn’t be hit by a smaser if he stood close enough to the entry portal. It was difficult, given the volume of people flowing in and out, but soon enough, with some forcible elbow grease, he was an island in that flow. He shouted at a waitress in passing, who smiled, brandishing her drink tray. Paul took a glass of the glowing concoction and asked if the young hostess if she happened to know were Amanda_adnamA was.
“Of course!” the young lady with blue hair squealed, and pointed towards the center of the building, into the fog. “Take the tube to Foyeo,” and she started to peel away from him.
Paul bared down a bit. “‘Foyeo’?”
The girl rolled her eyes and shouted, “For Your Eyes Only” and made her escape.
Now, how to move through this wall of flesh? Paul sipped his drink and was suddenly very relaxed. Not woozy. Not like booze. Just…calm. Navigating towards the center of the store didn’t seem like such a challenge all of the sudden. He could see a pattern forming. It was chaotic, yes, but it obeyed certain rules. In part, it obeyed the beat of the hypersonics. The smasers obeyed those rules, too. He could choose to be hit by one or he need not be. He could buy some code or not buy. It was his choice. Half steps and whole steps and quarter steps—glide…yes, yes! It was music after all…Unthinking, he set off towards the center’s dense mist.
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