FORTY-SEVEN, 2.0

Rod couldn’t believe his eyes. The ZOOM feature was perhaps the most significant upgrade, allowing him the gift of spotting a traffic jam four miles ahead.

The X-Ray component was a wash, and only enhanced how he could see through tinted windows. Just a selling point that most people would likely find disappointing in the long run.

For Rod, the real gift was Night-Vision, and he was happy to have asked for the upgrade.Being a night owl, seeing in the dark was just as important as breathing, as he saw it.

Yes, Rod couldn’t believe his new eyes.

He walked to work that morning, imagining that other passerby were staring at him in awe, hoping they could acquire similar optics or afford the upgrades. But no one would be able to. Rod had connections.

Meeting people and convincing them that he would be their walking advertisements, that was his job. Hey, there were worse ways to make money. He could be a portable toilet cleaner. In this city, that was lower than being homeless.

Rod stepped into his office building, scanned his card, and walked to the elevator to the retinal scan his eyes. One attempt, then a malfunction. Then another malfunction. “Hey, Jones,” he called to the tall security guard.

Jones walked over with a smile. “Yes, Mr. Corrigan?”

“New scanner not working today?” Rod pointed to the retinal scanner, which was indeed a new model.

“It’s been fine all morning, sir.” As Jones spoke, another worker scanned in and entered the elevator.

“Well, I’m late, so do you mind if I…?” Jones put out a hand as Rod tried to walk past.

“I’m sorry sir, you know the rules. Come this way?” He gestured to a side door, discolored and rarely used.

“Oh, Jones…Jonesy, come on! You know me, man!”

Jones grabbed Rod by the arm, hard. There was no longer a smile on his face. “I thought I did.”

Rod was roughly pushed through the side door into a small room with a hatch in the ceiling. The hatch was open, and cold air poured in from the darkness beyond. Rod squinted his Night-Vision kicking in, and after the overhead lights washed out he Zoomed in on the open hatch.

There was nothing above, and no matter how high he urged the Night Vision he couldn’t see anything up there. “What’s this going to be like?”

“Sir, I’ll hold your bag for you.” Jones took Rod’s bag before he could object, and closed the door.

Rod waited, looked up again. The ground started to rise, and before he could believe it he was ejected into the darkness above.

He floated, and answered the security questions as they flashed before his eyes. Beyond the questions was something scarier than nothingness, a world of horrors and nightmares come to life populated by figures that moved outside of three dimensions and with snarling, horrifying faces.

He was released after the eternity of questions, allowed to recuperate for the afternoon.

The next day, Rod had his old eyes installed. He could deal without the Night Vision from now on.

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One comment on “FORTY-SEVEN, 2.0

  1. Cool story. It seems plausible in time.

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