Title: Next You: Having Nice Things
Author: Angus H. Day
Publisher: Angus H. Day
Date: May 15 2013
Genre: Science Fiction
Angus day lives in Fort Collins Colorado with his wife and son. His daughter has embarked on her career as a graphics designer.
He’s been an Infantryman, Swine Farmer, smattering of other trades and jobs and now a manufacturing pharmaceutical chemist.
What aspect of his life that is devoted to fitness favors swimming in open water which means he spends most of the year working out in a pool then hit the lakes when it warms up a bit. His wife, Cheryl, safety kayaks for him when they manage to make it work.
Marcella willed the pod to set down on a flattened portion of slope that had once been the home of a glacier. Since Bremmers were composed of nanites the thirteen thousand feet of altitude did not affect them as it would humans. Once the pod was settled they assumed the physical attributes of a swarm of ants to travel down the mountain and find an entry into the domed city. The ten kilometers of travel to the dome was much faster in this form as they didn’t have to waste energy maintaining the bipedal human shape. Once inside they kept to the shadows until they arrived in a space that appeared to be a vacant classroom with no active surveillance.
Reassembling into human form Marcella and Walden waited until they were sure no traffic was moving in the outer hall and exited the room. The hallway cameras would have seen a man in his thirties with thinning hair and a young woman appearing to be in her late twenties emerging from the classroom no doubt having finished whatever subject they were studying. Moving back the way they had entered the building allowed them to exit onto the mall approximately one kilometer from the institute according to the city map.
Walden spoke “Let’s take our time about this and make sure we have a clear picture. I see on the map that there is a restaurant halfway between here and the institute that has tables that view the mall. We should be able to profile behavior and passively scan the city from there don’t you think?”
“Most of the city, but you’ll notice on the map that the main church we have suspicions about will be on the far edge of our range. If your main goal is to scan for nanite concentrations then we should consider multiple positions.”
Walden chuckled gently “My main goal at the moment is to enjoy a pleasant meal with you. I don’t get out often enough.”
Marcella had acquired the human ability to blush when embarrassed and this occurred at the mention of Walden wanting a dinner date. “Walden, this is a tactic for blending in correct?”
“Yes and no, I do genuinely enjoy your company and I don’t want to pass up this opportunity. Dear Marcella, will you dine with me?”
“I will indeed kind sir. Lead on.”
Walden and Marcella strolled down the mall to a restaurant called Flores Tortillera and were seated at a table that allowed a view of the entire mall grounds on their level. As they sat next to each other they joined hands under the table sharing some of each of their nanites to form an independent sensor to detect the proximity of unfamiliar nanites and a separate sensor to specifically detect Bishop. The sensor pack they made adhered itself to the table frame before the waiter arrived to take their orders.
As an hour passed they enjoyed their meal genuinely, which improved their ability to blend in, and spoke of things that would not give them away as strangers. Finally the maitre’d approached them with the bill and asked if the service had been to their liking. This was not the same person who had seated them and the sensor package began alerting Walden abruptly when the bill was laid on the table. Looking up from the portfolio which contained the bill Walden could see all of the patrons in the restaurant looking directly at them. The sensors should have not been audible to anyone but them, yet it seemed that everyone was hearing.
The maitre’d regarded them for a moment apparently receiving instructions from another source. “I am to tell you that your bill has been covered and a gentleman would like to speak with the both of you in the restaurant foyer. You may take your device with you and have a nice day.” All of a sudden everyone who had been paying them attention returned their focus to their meals and partners.
Walden spoke “Well my dear, we apparently have an admirer. Let’s not keep him waiting.”
“Yes Walden.” If we have to escape and evade, agree that we wait no more than an hour at the pod for the other.