Trex World, Part 33
Tubeways were scattered about, projecting titles in front of their doors, “Adults Only”, “Kids Only”, “Lovers Only”, “Tubeway Only”, and, finally, “For Your Eyes Only”. It had the smallest line of the bunch.
The tube pushed up to one of the upper level’s of Taste!’s cylindrical structure. When Paul popped out he was in a dark cool room, lit only by ultraviolet, and there was white mist on the floor and the walls were very dark blue from knee height upwards. Silver words in three dimensional block letters were spinning in the center of the space, separating and scattering in a violent fashion, and then reforming anew. “TASTE THE FUTURE…THE FUTURE IS TASTE!…” Radiating out from this center were small groups of people in threes and fours, forming triangles and squares, looking at their own animated illusion bubbles in their geometric centers. Some were giggling, some where shaking their heads and rolling their eyes. Some simply hung their mouths open in disbelief.
Paul stepped into the room a bit more and a vocal shot at his ear, “There’s a group of two in the far corner, sir, awaiting your arrival.” Nutz, this place has timing down to a science. He stepped up, completing the triad with a smiling couple who both had bronze skin and dark hair. He looked down into the globe and was engulfed in sound and light. The sensations filled his head like water from a tap. A voice that rumbled in bass provided narration for the scene that emerged. Imagine a world where every sense is controlled by you. Your sight, your hearing, your sense of touch and smell, and, of course, your taste, is subject to your every whim… The voice droned on, showing pleasant examples of children pulling toys out of thin air, people trying out clothes that instantly changed their fashion, couples decorating their pads instantly and effortlessly, all without a trex.
Paul discovered that he was in the same group as those shaking their heads. He focused again on the words streaming his ear. Your Citizen Contributions here at Taste! help fund the research that will bring us, everyone of us, a brighter, better future, and best of all, it will be for free -
Paul had to shake it off. He stepped away from the couple, still entranced with visions of unlimited material wealth at no cost for everyone. Citizen Contributions? Huh? It’s a fleebing commercial for fark’s sake. They’re all farking mad. Completely mad. The young couple before him were younger than he by at least a decade. The illusion before them did not seem to be mere fabrication.
“Not going to listen to the whole spiel?” It was Amanda_adnamA.
Cute as a button with laughter in her eyes. She waved him over to a corner of the room, away from the groups of people. Someone popped out of the entry tube to take Paul’s place. “Thirsty?” she asked.
He was and he said so. She touched the wall they were standing next to and stroked it lightly. It contorted where she touched and a hole irised open revealing a flat spot holding a martini glass with the same glowing liquid. “Is this more of the same stuff?”
She nodded and guessed his next question, “It’s got a little bit of what we call, unofficially, ‘perception enhancement’.”
She laughed and twirled a bit from side to side, shaking her head. “If that were so,” she said, “Then Authority would have shut us down immediately. I promise you, Paul, there’s nothing in that drink that fits any Restricted Construction schedules.”
“You could be telling me that just because I’m an ex-cop,” he said, referring to their first meeting.
“Well, you are an ex-cop, right?”
“Sure,” he lied, “But I could also be lying to you, trying to infiltrate your biz to see just what the fark is going on here. Get some trade secrets or sumpthin’.”
She laughed and twirled again, “I don’t think so.”
“Your face. It’s much too sad. I’d expect someone trying to get in good with staff to come off as trying to be hip and cool. You can’t force those things. You either are or you aren’t.”
Paul had nothing to say to that. He wanted to ask just how old she thought she was pulling this kind of contrived wisdom out of her arse. It was terribly endearing though. He sipped the glowing concoction again.
“You like the new nippletecture?”
Paul choked on his drink but managed to recover, trying not to dribble, “Can’t wait until you complete the areola.”
She slapped him on the arm playfully and gasped, “How did you know?”
“Just a little bit of demented intuition. Say, could I talk to you someplace…less distracting?”
She took him around a curved corridor that was cleverly arched to hide it from plain site and then through a door marked “Employees Only”. A winding stair case led to what Paul presumed to be the apex of Taste!’s dome. It was a nice, quiet space, with a wrap around couch below equally wrap around windows, about an eighth of which allowed a view of something other than Taste!’s neighboring buildings.
“So. When’s this place going to lactate?” Paul offered for restarting the conversation.
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