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Omnitrex Tech Part 10

kelson.philo's picture

Link to part 1

Paul could feel his sweat starting to evaporate. If that was happening, it meant his disguise was fuming into air as well. He had very little time to get out of the arteries the Detective was plowing through. He looked desperately for some place of salvation. The buildings in the business district of the Expanse were like forced bubbles with cylindrical bottoms. Various doors and windows of transparent spongiform glistened in the skylight, style shops with a trickle of customers at this hour, none of which seemed too appealing for a fellow that was about to transform into something else.

Then to his right was a portal to another world, it was full of mist and electric blue strobes. People coming out of the portal seemed dazed and winced at the sky and more than a few walked back in. Above the entryway was a sign that boldly declared “TASTE!” in luminous block lettering. With a passing glance to see if her Honor was watching or not, he veered into the establishment. He was bombarded with lights in his eyes and the most amazing arrays of smells. Its heady use of airborne flavoids was overwhelming at first and he was suddenly feeling a little lightheaded from all the roasted and spicy aromas that inundated him.

All around him were light projections of business logos and sexy people dancing in time with booming hypersonics that carried coherent streams of fragrance directly to a potential customer’s olfactory housing. He suddenly recalled, no, was , to last Tuesday, at his office block’s commissary, where one of his officemates was yammering about a brand of tech he called a ‘smaser’ and then laughing heartily. Paul didn’t get the joke and had to have it explained. Smell Amplification through Stimulated Emission of sumpthin’sumpthin, get it? It’s like a ‘laser’. Jeepharkers, Paul, what planet are you on right now? So anyway, these new taste shops are using these smasers for—”

“What are you sensing right now, officer?” a sultry woman’s voice cooed next to him and Paul was startled to see a young girl staring up at him. Young for him, anyway. He was back in the mist and the fog. The girl was young, must have been just beyond hive age and seemed to be glowing. It was impossible to guess her age, her face said young, her eyes said old. Paul felt his heart beating faster, the more he looked at her, the more her features seemed to …accent themselves.

“I was just admiring the, ah, of your, erm, smasers,” Paul managed to say. The bass of the hypersonics was a fortunate mask for both his diminished hearing and some strange need to shout. What was it the paramedic had written about loud noises? He wasn’t thinking straight.

“Smasers,” she laughed, “That’s cute. Yes, they can really transport you places…Smell the most powerful of senses, you know,” she moved close while saying the words.

“What is this place?” he asked.

“This is Taste!” The girl squealed, spinning in the fog, causing tracers of blue and orange light to orbit around her. “We’re number one taste shop on the Expanse. . Perhaps we could load your trex up with some free trials?”

“Yes I’d like that, I mean, who-boy, is it hot in here?” Suddenly feeling the sweat off his back cooling, Paul regained some composure, “Citizen, I’m on official business and need to inspect this premise’s facilities.”

The spell was broken and, suddenly bored, the girl’s features drooped away and she looked much less than what had attenuated Paul’s senses so severely and she shot a thumb in a direction to the back of the store. “Bathroom’s that way,” she said, deadpan and turned and stomped through the mist to a waiting associate. Paul heard her mutter, “Farking cops, all they ever want is to ‘inspect the facilities’…jazzholes,” and her associate giggled as Paul made it to the safety of the restroom.

And just in time, it seemed. His helmet had almost completely sublimated and was now just a crispy shell of black plastic. The sharp lined black jumpsuit and belts and boots were like tissue paper. Paul ripped all of it off and crumpled it up, threw it in the composter and flushed. The jets of water turned into black sludge and soon disappeared. Paul took a moment to breathe and look in the mirror. The uniform, fake as it was, was also exceedingly stuffy. His own jumpsuit was stained with sweat and would take a while to dry itself off and wick away the salty residue. He washed his face and hands and soon felt better, more like a real person. “Shight almighty,” he breathed at his reflection. “What have I gotten myself into?”

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That was a really good

That was a really good installment. I loved the jargon they use, and all the subtle (and overt) mind games that exist in this world. I want to put together a group of short stories in a novel format (hopefully) and I'm wondering if you want to put this piece in when its finished and edited? I would contribute skullhack. The theme would be something along the lines of "inhabitants of future cities". Let me know if your interested.

kelson.philo's picture

Well, slap my chrome eyes

Well, slap my chrome eyes and call me molly (actually, you don't have to do that), that would be great. 'twould be nice to gather up such a collection. Can't say for sure when this piece will be's rather surprised me, to tell the truth. I think the environs here in the Cloud have sumpthin' to do with it, though.

No worries

I have yet to finish Skullhack. Really, Im looking for three or four other stories that all have a different "texture" to them. All involving the trials and tribulations of inhabitants of a future city. So if anybody else reads this and wants to join in, please do. Remember, each story needs to have a different feel.


ack ack
i'd buy it.