Deft Beck

Spatial Delivery

Chapter 2

March 9th, 2011

Rated T for:

Mild Language

Deft Beck: Author

Can't they run these things at night?

These newish train stations are nice; you just walk in and walk to your train, sensors and automation taking care of everything. It would take an idiot to mess this-

Up to Second Street? Hell, I'm on the wrong train! I can't switch out without throwing the whole system off, technology at work. Guess I'll have to walk another ten minutes out in the empty streets, at night.

With my night nearly going up in flames, I found myself plunking down on the second floor of the car and delivering a well-deserved sigh, while noticing a really tall... guy (?) standing in front of the subway map directly outside the train car. Guy looked to be as tall as a bus stop, not unusual (for this town), but still kind of out of place. He didn't appear to be moving at all, and kept at it as the train passed by him. Whatever, not important.

Couldn't make this place any more clean, your tax dollars at work; frankly, that's one obvious benefit of the recent hikes.

I could see myself in the clear glass situated right in front of me. I need to shave.

The second floor was almost deserted. Practically no one lives around here. There might be the occasional commuter, but you're not going to see anyone at this time of the night on the subway, especially in a place with a newly automated labor force. it's too bad that I actually have to do something in order to keep Robin and I pent up. Makes me wish I was a kid again.

Near me, I see this downtempo guy with brown everywhere, from his hair to his eyes to-why is he wearing gloves? He should be sweating, unless he doesn't do that; you never know these days. I keep looking at him: He's sitting down, holding a Coke thermos in his gloves, the plastic glowing raspberry-blue. There's a suitcase that he's holding to his chest. The train lurches forward and it spills all over the suitcase and those fuzzy gloves. He groans and tries to wipe it up with the gloves, before lurching and taking them off all of a su-Wait, what the hell?

I can see right inside his hands, clear plastic displaying a network of cables running up through his wrist. A bionic hand? Why was he so worried, it wouldn't do any- okay he's checking a biofeedback monitor, it must be new. I wonder what happened to him. The cables seem to run into the suitcase, I don't know why.

It was then that I realized that I had been staring at him for a good minute straight, without blinking. Stupid eyes don't work for shit, and the biofeedback app says they're fine. Must be lag or something, which is weird because wasn't Robin supposed to look into that?

"It's nothing, just an adjustment thing. They do that sometimes," she said to me after I messaged her, apparently having just turned her phone back on. "Just don't be stupid and use eye drops or something like that, remember. Will you be back soon?"

I scoffed and snapped my phone shut, just as the train made its first stop at wait does that say-

First Street donuts taste so good. I recommend Despacio's at the corner. They've always got nice, hot and fresh crullers at any given time of the day, gotta love heat boxes.

I got off and walked up towards the street level, toward the duos before seeing this giant ad being projected on a random wall nearby. It was just a line going up and down, up and down... Was it supposed to be a sign for something?

Into the building I walked, the doors opening for me. No one was around but the robot vacuuming the floors, right in front of-

Why me? My eyes start to screw up and now I've got robots in my way? Any way you put it, the floors do look clean from this angle. If I kicked and broke the thing, repairs would go on our bill, never mind the report to the landlord.

The elevator took me right up to our floor without any input on my part, just like half of the decisions made in this stage of my life. I didn't want to see that, even if I wanted to, because the elevator was old and not clear, just like my head at that hour. Anyone could see right through my front, though, even without fancy eyes.

The apartment doors around here didn't open to one's whim, and I wanted to let her know I was back, so I knocked on the door a few times until she let me in.

"You look really tired," she commented as I slumped down onto the bed. Her hair was down tonight, a rare sight. It reminded me of dull crimson in low light, if you want to get poetic.

Even in low light, I can still see how messy it is in here. There are cables everywhere and half of them are buried underneath clothes. One of these days I'm going to trip over my ocular charger and go blind for a few embarrassing minutes, crashing through the patio door glass and falling five stories to my debt.

I turned my head to face her. "Have you ever been up there? I would rather just stay grounded instead of having to deal with those space-cases," I remarked, immobile as my head sank into a pillow.

Her voice lacked sympathy: "You knew what you were getting into when you agreed to this."

I got up and leered at her. "I had no choice!"

"Well, with you asleep in a hospital bed, somebody had to make the tough decisions," she retorted, as she gathered her laundry into a ball of cheap fabric, her legs whirring and shifting all the while.

"Which part of this involved mail nodes? It must have been an easy decision, forcing me to wander around space with new, fancy googly eyes while you sat down here and lazed around!" I snapped at her.

She was at the door by that point, clutching her clothing: "I had no choice, either!" she concluded, slamming the door behind her and catching a sock between the hinges.

It's probably just her. So much for the party.

Before I could stop caring, she opened the door again and shouted at me: "Honestly, If you're going to do nothing, maybe you could shave your scraggly face for once! You look like you're friggin' homeless!!"

She slammed the door again. I turned my head towards the ceiling and sighed. I was too exhausted to think about anything so I just turned on the TV.

Again with that stupid white line going up and down, right in the ad space. Below it was a bug, alerting me of mail from headquarters. My eyes were growing heavy, so I just had it read to me:

"Congratulations to Theodore and Robin Sempro of City Node 06, taking the municipal mayorship prize for the month! Perks include a month of pass-offs, a benefits package and bragging rights! Keep up the good work! – Mercury Couriers Extra Branch "

I was too exhausted to care, so I fell asleep right then and there, just as the voice stopped droning out loud to no one in particular.